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Where design meets entrepreneurship

Date: Jun 18 2024
Where design meets entrepreneurship

People often ask me what the link is between design and entrepreneurship.

And I have no need to go back further than the definition we used when I was Chief Executive at the Design Council, still the pre-eminent Design Council in the world.

Back in 2005, Sir George Cox’s Cox Review addressed a critical question for the UK’s economy: How does the country capitalise on the creative skills of its people to face the threat of competition from emerging economies?

This review was prepared for the Chancellor of Exchequer at the time of the 2005 budget. In it, George used this definition, which I believe some twenty years on, still applies:

Sir George Cox quote

So, essentially, design is the fulcrum which will make the difference between new ideas being successful or not.

Perhaps one of the best examples of that is with Apple, until recently the world’s most valuable company. Jonny Ive, British, Northumbria University trained in Industrial design – oh, and yes, another Sir – worked alongside Steve Jobs to create the Apple brand we, mostly, all know and love. An absolute commitment to design and to putting the user at the heart of everything at Apple – from the retail experience to the packaging and the user journey – meant a transformation in the way that millions interfaced with technology.

At the British Design Fund, we celebrate the creativity and innovation which comes across our desks every day. Our LinkedIn page curates the very latest news, views and opinions on the start-up world, and examples of enterprise which I believe still makes our country stand head and shoulders above so many.

So please follow do us on LinkedIn – we’ve already welcomed over four thousand followers and a few more will not go amiss.


John Mathers


British Design Fund