Product and service development is a discipline I recently discovered. First at my former job where I was in charge of developing an "innovative financial mechanism" for biodiversity conservation at a non profit organization. The whole process was absolutely new to everyone and we did the learning-by-doing routine and so we did, we learnt but at the end it didn't work. After that I took two courses in my master on product and service development, sustainability innovation and sustainability entrepreneurship.
From a more practical perspective, in 2007 I started a clothes swapping project that I wanted to turn into a business. I gave it a lot of thought, time and effort. As I mentioned in my bio, we did over 60 events, swapped more than 1000 garments and got over 1000 people on board. I applied to many funding calls including Echoing Green in 2009, Ashoka and Wayra but never got the yes. And I am trying it again today as a natural outcome of two years studying and researching about circular economy.
Today I have more theoretical tools at least, I took strategy courses, my innovation courses and I am quite knowledgable about circular economy. And there is a way higher awareness level regarding the need for change in our economic system, both consumption and production. Of course I am in Europe. But now that I am trying to put together another funding proposal to start up a circular business I still feel there is not enough knowledge about how to develop such type of businesses. Some of the questions that I am asking myself and that I am trying to answer now are:
This is a great opportunity for researchers, innovation gurus and consultants to help the transition towards a circular economy, by creating guidelines for entrepreneurs to develop circular business models that replace the business-as-usual ones if this is possible. I think it is.