Discover an unusual entrepreneur’s inspirational journey in Brussels’ recreational market.
After working many years in finance, Jérôme Desombre, a bold entrepreneur with an uncommon career, undertook a fun and unexpected activity.
A career in finance.
After working for a major French banking group for 15 years, Jérôme Desombre left for Brussels to manage Euroclear’s strategic department. Later, the financial crisis led him to become a consultant. His independent activity started off well, but wasn’t straightforward during the banking crisis, especially without a good mastery of Dutch in Belgium.
Having an idea is great! Executing it well is even better.
Jérôme Desombre chose to suspend his business activities. He wanted a profession which could be fun for customers, create jobs and earn him a living as well. He was intrigued by the rapid growth of a Laser Game space in Paris. The consultant conducted a market study in Brussels which confirmed his idea’s potential…
A new passion and a daring project.
Six months later, our entrepreneur opened “Space Laser Game”. A business which immersed him in a completely new activity, very different from strategy and finance. A 750 m2 space, including 500 m2 of labyrinths for all age groups: families, companies, schools, young people, etc. The space brings them together to have fun and experience an exciting new environment.
Unsurprisingly, this new business required significant investment and our entrepreneur was faced with other challenges: finding new financing sources, acquiring communication skills, solving team management issues and managing supplier delays. All of the difficulties encountered taught him to be more cautious in his business dealings.
“I am on-site or connected 7 days a week. Every day of the week brings new challenges and good news. That’s why I’m always motivated and passionate about my work.”
This bold entrepreneur wasn’t done yet because his ambition would push him to grow and open other locations in Brussels. The scarcity of large enough affordable spaces in the city centre slowed down his efforts and led him to expand Space Laser Game by connecting it to a new space and developing Space Team Games. This new activity consists of a series of fun group trials which boost everyone’s skills and create team spirit. “Space Fun Game” recently came to life in a 1,000 m2 space.
A unique offering in the Brussels market.
Today, the founder of Space Fun Game does not regret his decision to switch professions and even encourages young people to follow their dreams and launch their projects. His business is already profitable, even though it can be difficult to attract tourists in summer due to its distance from the Pentagone and Brussels Beach! Jérôme Desombre provides a unique and high-quality recreational offering in Brussels which sets itself apart from other Laser Games in the city’s periphery, which are often located in cold and unwelcoming buildings.
Motivation is the energy which drives us. It fuels itself!
“What motivates me the most as an entrepreneur is feedback from happy customers, our good team spirit and of course, my ideas for new projects. Motivation is an important factor for success, because entrepreneurship requires boldness and repaying loans from increasingly cautious banks.”
Advice for every kind of project
Of the advice gathered during our interview, we retained the following lessons in particular:
- Position yourself clearly in the market, have an attractive product and an offering that stands apart from the competition.
- Surround yourself with the right people and get assistance from support organisations such as hub.brussels.
- Carefully identify trustworthy suppliers.
- Train continuously and always be innovative.
- Be ambitious and keep setting yourself bigger goals.
“First, I would like to thank the hub.brussels agency and, in particular, Véronique Renard from the hospitality.brussels cluster, who was a great help when I was developing my project. The events organised by the agency helped me meet high-level players, new partners and collaborators. An entrepreneur must wear many hats and learn continuously. I was also introduced to new techniques, notably website SEO, subscription management, etc. In addition, “My business pass”, the regional support programme for companies, allowed me to benefit from broad support for marketing, legal aspects, etc.”
“It’s about shared best practices which help everyone and well-invested public funding.”