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Entrepreneurship by Design points to the application of designerly approaches to entrepreneurial processes. Whether it is in collaboration with existing organisations in the form of intrapreneurship or regarding new organisations in the form of start-ups. Design approaches bring something unique to situations in need of change. This uniqueness does not only show in the form of new ideas but evenly in the form of new behaviour. Design behaviour in non-traditional design settings seems to evoke a new form of working and/or organising that shows remarkable resemblances with entrepreneurial behaviour. That is, the “design mind” seems to initiate a different type of behaviour and a different discourse compared to that of collaborating non-designers. These design manifestations facilitate the development of new perspectives and alternative development process to address wicked situations and ill-defined problems, like present corporate and societal challenges.

The performed research contributes mostly to the research programmes of “Strategic Design” and “Let’s Re(D)use” within the IDE research portfolio. The application of designedly approaches beyond its original domain of product development, in fields and processes that are more strategic will provide valuable insights on the fundamental levels of design theory and methodology. The presented developments around design thinking call for such an answer.

The Entrepreneurship by Design Lab aims to develop a fundamental basis that could serve as a further expansion of the application of design beyond its original domain of product development and contribute to larger societal problems. In the perspective of Sustainability and the road towards new societal transitions, new collaborations between social start-ups and local governmental bodies have to be created. To require a fundamentally new way of operating in which designerly thinking can play a crucial role. Likewise, new societal systems, like healthcare systems in low-resource settings (i.e. in Africa) are being created within a totally new entrepreneurial setting. Bringing non-traditional partners together, raising the need for creative and proper solutions.

During the course Cutting Edge Design, Innovation & Entrepreneurship Msc. students turn abstract notions and terms related to entrepreneurship in a more tangible format.


Lab Director
Frido  Smulders