I get angry every time I hear people saying it’s a rough time to start a business and then they come up with a lot of old ideas in old markets solving old problems of which I often wonder if they are real problems. I’m not pretending that it is easy though, but the market is not the problem. It’s not seeing the opportunities.
But luckily some of us do see the ocean of business opportunities in the challenges we’re facing in today’s world. Maybe the secret is that we’re not looking for a business opportunity, but are triggered by some issue and come up with a solution with impact, which also turns out to be marketable.
Some time ago I watched an interview with Boyan Slat (20). I’m so impressed by this young guy and his incredible project The Ocean Clean Up. It’s amazing to hear this ‘boy next door’ talking about his major innovation. You may have heard about it, but if not he invented a technology to extract, prevent, and intercept plastic pollution. The Ocean Clean Up’s goal is to fuel the world’s fight against oceanic plastic pollution, by initiating the largest clean up in history. And it all started during a diving trip at sixteen where he saw more plastic bags in the water than fish. From that moment on he had the feeling that something must be done. He came up with a high-tech solution to an immense problem. Because of the impact and earnings of his idea, he attracted major partners and investors, suddenly making him an entrepreneur.
His story reminded me of another person who had an issue with plastic. Caroli Buitenhuis, the inventor of Tassenbol (Bagbubble). The idea for the Bagbubble occurred around 2004 when she was in a supermarket doing grocery and thought of all the plastic bags she had packed at home. And all at once she had that brainchild: there should be some kind of closet with re-usable bags (the Bagbubble) in any supermarket. Research showed that 184 million plastic bags can be re-used each year through the Bagbubble! This also saves 30 million kilos of CO2 equivalent. Caroli found herself some great partners and started producing and selling Bagbubble. Nowadays you can find Bagbubbles in supermarkets and schools all around the Netherlands and even abroad.
These examples show that one issue of plastic waste can be solved business wise and in several very different ways, from super high tech to simple and easy. The similarity is that both ideas started with one person thinking somebody should do something about that and then realizing that they are somebody.
When we look around us, there are so many issues waiting for someone to come up with a business idea. We just don’t see it. YET. Or maybe you did but don't know where to start? If so, maybe I can help you figure things out. I invite for a conscious clarity call. You just have to sign up here.
Grace & Gratitude,
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