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business model

The Business Model Canvas is used to describe and develop business models for businesses or projects. While the method is designed for business development, it is also well suited for project development or social
entrepreneurship. The template includes ‘building blocks’ that influence one another. The dynamic nature of the building blocks makes the method useful for business and project development.


For the method to work, participants must already have a concept for a business, project or the like, which can then be developed into a business model. A good place to begin the process is with the ‘Customer Segments’ and ‘Value Propositions’. Thereafter, each building block and related questions should be completed.

As an introductory exercise in plenum it can be useful to describe a Business Model Canvas for a well known business, where the teacher fills out each building block in dialogue with the students. Thereafter, student groups may complete the building blocks for the their own projects. Finally, prompt the students to present their business models in plenum and facilitate feedback.


  1. Value Propositions
    products and services offered by a business to fulfill customer needs.
  2. Customer Segments
    Identify customers to achieve an effective business model.
  3. Key Partners
    Which partners and service providers are connected to the company?
  4. Key Activities
    Describe the key activities that one needs to complete in order to create ‘value’ for the customers.
  5. Key Resources
    What resources are necessary for creating value for the customers.
  6. Customer Relationship
    To ensure survival and success identify the type of relationship that the company wishes to establish with the customers.
  7. Channels
    Decide on the distributions and communications channels that will be used to reach customers.
  8. Revenue Streams
    What are the possible revenue sources?
  9. Cost Structure
    What are the costs?

Worth Considering

It’s a good idea to fill out an example of a Business Model Canvas for a well known business before the exercise in plenum.

Consider letting the students fill out several different Business Model Canvas for their project, where they adjust the building blocks of each version – e.g. Customer Segments and Value Propositions. This in order to give them a basis for discussing and examining, which type of business model has the greatest potential.


Bring Post-it sticky notes and a template of a Business Model Canvas.


A. Osterwalder, Yves Pigneur, Alan Smith and 470 practitioners from 45
countries, self-published, 2010.

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