Case Study: DKDO

For David Kelly, the founder of the David Kelly Design Office, the decision to set himself up as a microenterprise was always a conscious lifestyle decision, rather than something he just fell in to.

The 37-year old father of two didn't want to be one of those dads who never saw their children because they were at work all the time. 'Family is hugely important to me and I've done this because I'm well aware of the priorities in my life. Running a microbusiness means I can fit things around my own life, and I can work around stuff I don't want to miss, like events at my children's school or nursery.'

He also wanted to be in control of his own destiny, having seen his own father go through redundancy.

David's business, which he set up in 2002 – first as a sole trader and then later as a limited company, is concerned with product and interface design and development for the web. David took the leap of working for himself shortly before his 26th birthday when he applied for a soft loan of £5,000 from The Prince's Scottish Youth Business Trust. Time was running out, as the charity's cut-off point was 26, so he 'decided to grab that opportunity, before I turned 26.'

David's gone on to develop his business, solving problems for people with his technology solutions, working with design and hi-tech companies, helping to bring their ideas to life and market their IT. He's also innovated his own new software products, such as Shareflow, which have a practical application and, he hopes, will provide a lasting legacy.

His interest in the inaugural Small is Beautiful event is two-fold. Firstly as part of the conference team, he's the man behind the Small is Beautiful website. And secondly, as a microbusiness, he's really interested in hearing the stories and strategies of other participants and is hoping to be able to take away insights into running his own business better.

'Something like Small is Beautiful is a great thing,' he says. 'When you work as a micro, you are often working on your own and it can be lonely and a struggle at times. You can also get into a rut and that's when you sometimes need help to get a new perspective on things. I think networking with other like-minded people at an event like this is really important. We need to celebrate micros much more!'