Social Business Model Canvas
The Social Business Model Canvas is a tool for creating a solid business model around your social enterprise. It’s also a collaborative tool that helps you communicate different business models with your stakeholders and brainstorm new ones according to Tandemic.
It helps you clearly identify who your beneficiary segments are, even if they aren’t paying you and there is no place for them in the regular business model canvas, to ensure that you have laid out a compelling rationale that will drive your customers to buy without forgetting about your impact on society and develop clear thinking around what kind of social impact you’re creating and how it could be measured.
BM ToolBox explains that the Social Business Model Canvas is inspired by the Business Model Canvas. Originally crowdsourced, the book “Business Model Generation” by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur at Strategyzer has sold over one million copies in 30 languages.
The canvas allows you to frame a hypotheses which you then test with customers until you get to the point in the validation process where you have enough to go on to build a minimum viable product. In simple terms, a good and conclusive canvas lays the groundwork for your business and changes with every iteration you go through. It describes how you create, deliver and capture value.
The goal fo the social business model canvas is to support social innovators by designing their Business Models. Social Businesses focus on the impact they create for beneficiaries rather than creating profits. Therefore, the tool takes additional aspects into account which helps in creating a social business model.
The Social Business Model Canvas is divided into 13 building blocks. In comparison to the Business Model Canvas it takes the following aspects into account:
- The component ”Segments“ is divided into “beneficiary” and “customer”. This supports the aspect that beneficiaries often do not pay anything but are crucial for the business model.
- The Value Proposition consists of the elements “Social Value Proposition”, “Customer Value Proposition” and “Impact Measures”, which define how you control your social impact.
- The type of intervention describes the type of product that will deliver the value.
- Besides partners, the canvas includes the key stakeholders that are / should be involved in your program.
- The component “Surplus” describes where you plan to invest your profits
To wrap it up, the digital hub TDB states that the term ‘business model’ has a corporate ring to it – not a language that the social sector historically has been friendly with, let alone fond of. But if you think about it, creating, delivering and capturing value is precisely what social entrepreneurs do.
Let’s face it, a business model – the engine for sustained earned revenue – is what any social entrepreneur needs if (s)he doesn’t want to be stuck in the endless cycle of writing grant proposals and worrying about next month’s payroll. Besides, approaching your social enterprise through the lens of a business-model seeker will put your venture on an entrepreneurial path of seeking beneficiary-centered solutions, validated by their willingness to pay for the product or service you provide.
The business model canvas is a business’ blueprint once you strip away all the fine-tuned details and impossible-to-make business predictions found in a traditional business plan. It sketches out what you are trying to do for whom and how you think it’s going to work. The original canvas is made up of nine blocks that easy to grasp.
And if you want to use the Social Business Model Canvas, The Social Enterprise Institute shows that you should bring your team together to discuss your ideas for the venture and how you see it working. Use the canvas template provided to structure your conversation and challenge your assumptions as you go along. How do you know that what you have written in each part of the canvas is true? What evidence would you need to test your assumptions? When completed, take stock and consider the whole picture. Explore the connections and trade-offs between each section. Is the overall picture plausible? Are there things that you need to revisit or think differently about?
Checkout other business canvases in our Canvas Database