hub heroes

Portraits of a city’s success stories

We team up with hub.brussels, Brussels’ Business Support Agency, and shine a light on 50 of the Region’s start-up success stories driving the capital city’s economic landscape forward. From the eco-conscious manufacturer to the technology-enabled post-production imprint, our 50-strong selection of portraits and interviews plays testament to the Region’s dense and dynamic culture of entrepreneurship.

Urban Gardener

Urban Gardener

Dominic López

What would be your two-minute elevator pitch?

Urban Gardener is a concept store allowing anyone and everyone to create a low maintenance green space in their home.

List three factors that make Brussels’ entrepreneurship landscape unique.

  • It’s cosmopolitan way of life.
  • The willingness of its public authorities to support and promote entrepreneurship.
  • Its connection with the rest of Europe – and the world – thanks to its central position as the capital of the EU.

What are the three biggest challenges you faced when starting up your business?

  • I previously worked as an administrative employee for two decades, so my first biggest challenge was in knowing whether I could reinvent myself into a new business owner, focussing more on trade and in direct contact with the customer. I’m still standing two years later, so I can now safely assume I did!
  • I come from a family where entrepreneurship isn’t part of our family culture, so another big challenge was in convincing my entourage that my project was on its way.
  • Managing a business by yourself is a challenge in itself, especially in a country where corporate taxes are particularly high.

If you really believe in your project and your own capacities to make this project become a reality, don’t let others convince you otherwise. 

How did you benefit from hub.brussels’ expertise in the conception of your business?

They were the lighthouse that lit up my path to entrepreneurship. At each stage of my project someone at hub.brussels was able to provide the answers to my questions. The support I received from this public body was crucial at various levels of the development and realisation of Urban Gardener.

List three pieces of advice you would give to the budding entrepreneur.

  • Be prepared. Create a business model canvas of your project, and business and financial plans. These three elements should become the bibles of the project, but still be open to change as the project itself evolves. They are not static; they only represent the architecture of your project.
  • Be confident. If you really believe in your project and your own capacities to make this project become a reality, don’t let others convince you otherwise. Having confidence in yourself is crucial in convincing others to adopt your ideas and support your project, too.
  • Ask for help. If you’re working alone, don’t be shy to use a support structure. There are a multitude of structures in Brussels that can accompany you at all the stages of your project. Having such external support can also serve as a complementary guarantee of credibility for potential financial partners.
Rue de l’Aqueduc 73 Aquaductstraat (1050)
urbangardener.be 

Do you want to take your idea to the next level like Dominic?

Contact hub.brussels!