In conversations where we share our ideas about business, we usually ask questions that I personally enjoy the answers to, especially the one: “How did you get that idea?”
The things that inspire a person to come up with a business idea can be definable (like reading a book or reproducing an existing service elsewhere…). They cannot, however, be delimited. Stereotypes are not what you would commonly get for an answer.
Here are reported stories of three entrepreneurs stating their respective answers to what had inspired them:
Syrine: management graduate
As a student, Syrine used to eat at the university restaurant and she wasn’t satisfied with the way things were managed at the kitchen. Vegetables would be purchased usually once a week (day of the local market) and would serve for the whole week. That way, the kitchen didn’t have fresh vegetables every day. As a management student, Syrine couldn’t be insensitive to the great amount of vegetables wasted because they are no longer fresh.
Her business today consists of buying fresh vegetables, doing all the necessary peeling and cleaning and finally selling them to restaurants. Thus, restaurants are supplied with the amount of fresh vegetables they need every day. Besides avoiding food waste, this service helps improving kitchen practices and efficiency.
Chahida said that her house was set on fire and that her small family was left homeless. She had to start earning money. She began by making basic traditional food supplies and selling them to a grocery store. Her products were appreciated and she decided to get a loan and to take her activity to the next level. Now Chahida has her own store in which she sells a wider variety of homemade goods and she participates in food expositions on the national level.
Wissal’s daughter who had a health issue was prescribed bran to be integrated in her food. Having made researches about bran and its medical benefits, Wissal thought of ways to make it more desirable to eat for her daughter and for everyone. She invented a beautiful collection of bran based cookies that she’s selling locally and working relentlessly on gaining new markets.
I shared these stories to point out that imposed circumstances are pregnant with ideas. In fact, ideas don’t have to be revolutionary; they are rather supposed to bring an answer to a challenging situation, and thus creating perhaps an opportunity out of it.