Blog & News.
Blog & News.
This case study from Belgium has been provided by the Belgian partner in the BASET project – Creative District, illustrating an insightful example of a non-profit organisation, which has managed to overcome the challenges in the social impact ecosystem by implementing an innovative business model, proving systematic growth. Moreover, while scaling up with a very fast rate, it has boosted its positive social impact.
CREATIVE DISTRICT 2014-2019
Creative District was established in Belgium in 2014 as a non-profit association to promote entrepreneurs in the sector of CCI (Creative and Cultural Industries). In order to provide them with an adequate workspace, Creative District started its journey by identifying and occupying unused spaces.
The first experience proved to be very profitable from the point of view of the real estate owner: the completely empty building in which Creative District operated, benefited from its presence, its management and its dynamics to find new tenants and increase its price per square meter.
Over the years, Creative District has specialized in the revitalization of vacant spaces. From promoting entrepreneurs in the CCI sector, Creative District has set the mission of revitalizing vacant spaces by implementing projects with societal values and local anchorage, related to the creative industries, to revive them and re-create an economic activity.
Thus, the benefits have evolved significantly according to the expertise developed by Creative District. In parallel, more and more property owners have realised the novel business model of Creative District for the revitalization of their spaces, whether in consultancy, management, or activity creation.
Over time, the organisation has proved that this continuous support to entrepreneurs and providing them with workspaces and experimental grounds for their project is a win-win for the various stakeholders in the ecosystem.
Hence, more spaces can be revitalized leading to more positive and diversified impact. The evolution of Creative District's services from 2017 has not only required a change of the business plan, but also of the branding and marketing. Consequently, in 2019 the organisation created two new legal forms to better manage and valorise each type of services.
This pinpoints how crucial it is for an enterprise in the social ecosystem to be flexible, not only with their business model but also to be able to diversify in various ways. In conclusion, from the graphics above it is evident that over the years and during its development Creative District has gone through several transformational evolutions:
The Business Model Canvas (BMC) was developed by Alex Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur, and co-created with an array of 470 practitioners from around the world. It offers a simple, visual, one-page canvas on which entrepreneurs can design, innovate and dialogue about their business models. It is not the only framework that has been developed to articulate business models but like many of the frameworks this one was built out of careful research. However, unlike many others, it has also been tested and enhanced through the input of many practitioners.
In addition, the BMC itself sits inside a very innovative business model, including licensing under Creative Commons and a commitment to co-creative innovation within the methods around the BMC. Business Model Canvas and Business Model Generation book written by Alex Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur can be found here: www.businessmodelgeneration.com
Business Model Canvas & Social Enterprises
Working with the Business Model Canvas in and around the social enterprise sector Ingrid Burkett Knode realized that there were some ‘special’ things about social enterprises that could easily be reflected in the BMC using a few simple adaptations.
Ingrid Burkett Knode has used the BMC to work in the social enterprise sector and has found the canvas to be very helpful, particularly in early exploratory stages of development and in relation to growth and innovation stages. She has documented her knowledge on the BMC in the material: "Using the Business Model Canvas for Social Enterprise Design".
What she concluded was that there are three basic different ways in which social enterprises organize themselves in achieving the goals:
Many social enterprises find it difficult to explain their business models, and that many start working on their business plans before understanding their business models thoroughly.
KISMC & CABAN
As we have realized and already shared in the blog article 'Why Social Business Modelling is Important for Social Entrepreneurship' managing a social business is not about just adding business skills to the realm of social impact! Balancing a social mission with an intention to trade and manage a business requires a blending of skills which is greater than the sum of each set of skills alone.
The social impact inside a business operation is not cost neutral - so both the skills needed to deliver on a social impact and the costs involved in doing so need to be considered in designing a viable and sustainable business model. Therefore, business modelling is crucial for social entrepreneurs and for that reason, we are clarifying a few important points regarding business modelling in social entrepreneurship.
What is a Business Model?
A business model (BM) is more than the product or service an entrepreneur or a company offers. It is a logic description of how businesses make money. It is a tool that helps stakeholders understand and clearly articulate how the entrepreneur (company) creates, delivers and captures value for itself as well as the customers at an appropriate cost.
From the management point of view BM is a step-by-step plan for generating revenues and making a profit in a specific marketplace. It explains what products or services to produce and market, and how it plans to do so, including what expenses it will incur. The business models differ from each other depending on the nature of the business. To put together a good business model, one needs to know what to offer in the form of goods or services that is of value to potential customers or clients, ideally in a way that differentiates the entrepreneur (company) from its competitors (it is called value proposition). A successful business model just needs to collect more money from customers than it costs to make the product.
What does a Business Model consist of?
In their simplest forms, business models (BMs) can be broken into three parts:
So, a BM is simply an exploration of what costs and expenses the entrepreneurs (companies) have and how much they can charge for the products or services they generate. New business models can refine and improve any of these three components.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.
Social Business Model
Social Impact Investors
The Boost Aid for Social Entrepreneurship through Training /BASET/ Project No. 2017-1-BG01-KA204-036360 has been co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union.
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