... where visionaries, game changers, and challengers discuss business models
Hello all, I am going to Kenya on September 14th for 3 months to pilot a new social enterprise that I recently founded called KenyaWorks - www.kenyaworks.org.uk. Our team will be working with groups of unemployed young Kenyan men and women to co-design profitable businesses to create jobs and reduce poverty. Our aim is to empower and give confidence to local people to begin analysing their surroundings and considering what businesses might be successful.
Obviously Business Model Generation will play an important role in our teaching. But if anyone in this forum has ideas for games to play, tasks to do, techniques to teach and ways to approach the design process please comment here and get involved. We would really like to crowdsource a lot of the what we teach and learn from others vastly more experienced than us... (we're 24, 26 & 26 so we're very willing to listen!) Many Thanks
As Alex says, this would be an exciting intitiative.
I ran a two hour pro-bono BMG workshop for Social Entrepreneurs in Sydney and Melbourne and the participants (35 in total) simply loved it. They could now visualise what their enterprise is all about and build from scratch rather than struggle with business plans!
At the end of the session I used the iPad App to show them a few examples and played the video.
Look for my presentations in this site when I posted the handouts.
Good luck, Kenyans need it.
In the sessions did the social entrepreneurs come with ideas/businesses that were already operational or did you try and work up some ideas. I guess I'm interested a bit in the idea generation stage and how the BMC and other techniques can be used to inspire young people to dream up and then establish successful businesses. Would you have any tips here?
Thanks for you input!
The participants had some idea of what they wanted to do but lacked a framework to 'visualise' how it would work. Walking through the BM, they could see how the 9 spaces connected and in turn gave greater meaning to develop their business plans.
In your quest for idea generation, I would suggest that you think about the following:
- ask what are those services now that are working well and ecnourage them to get to the root of the underlying need that this service addresses
- build with them a business model canvas of this service or product that meets the need
- ask how you can improve this service
Once they get it with an existing service/product, then ask what are current unmet needs they could collectively explore. Get them to identify some selection criteria - low cost, high impact, engaged community etc etc to select from a few.
In my view, if you set this process in train, they can repeat it again and again.
That's great, thank you! I'll let you know how it goes.
I'm glad you like our concept. I checked out at your website and it looks great. I will be in Kenya from mid-September in Nakuru. It would be good to meet and chat if you are live anywhere close to there?
Two things you might like to consider, suggested from one of Alex's workshops and one that might help resolve some basic questions you might get asked.
By using a 2 x 2 frame you ask in each box
What would you (like) to eliminate?
What would you like to raise?
What would you like to reduce?
What would you like to create?
This gets the thinking going just that little bit more.
The other one is the selective use of Edward de Bono's six thinking hats. Check it out if you are not familiar with it. Within the six types of 'persona' Alex believes there are three important ones to use for BMG. You stop different thinking taking place, you get everyone to focus by wearing on one hat at a time- most important.
Firstly you wear the FACTS hat- what have we got in information, data, proof, what are we missing and get all involved to contribute irrespective
Than you wear the Negative Hat- all involved just pick holes in the idea, they challenge it, they draw out all the negative points. Don't muddle this with trying to bring in "Yes but...." to offset this. This makes the evaluation of an idea a little more vigorous
Then you wear the Positive Hat- this lifts all that is good from the project and EVERYONE finds something positive, again don't mix the hats. This is the hat that builds and empowers. Any negatives from the last hat can now be turned into a positive through the solution to (hopefully) over come that inital comment.
Thirdly and more as a thought.....
My last comment is BMG is normally applied for (promising) business models. Many of what you might hear, explolre and extract are more maybe to resolve social problems and can be called more the not-for-profit models.The left side works irrespective.
So the way the current BMG canvas is designed the 'right side' of the model relate more to 'for profit' models. Here you might want to be a little creative but stay clearly within the spirit and logic of the BMG design canvas.
Within the labels assigned to each of these boxes think about going for different, more social friendly labels. For instance more Co-creators as against Customer Segments, more as a 'generic provided to' box. In the current Customer relationships to look deeper into just the (important) Relations, those that include non-customer relationships become important to consider in non profit situations perhaps. Thirdly, Cost Structure might become Value Streams- outlay and costs and finally Revenue Streams into Value streams- returns that cover other aspects of success besides just revenue.
These suggested adjustments might fit better for non-profit. They have been suggested by different people who have tried to work within the BMG canvas in non profit situations and these kep faithfully to the meaning, structure and concept but adjusted it to reflect the non-profit aspect.
This was suggested and used by Shawn Callahan and written about by Tom Graves only recently and I've taken his suggestions for the above. I'm not sure of Alex's view on this but I'm not sure he would object as long as you keep within his creative commons licence.
This is not to confuse you, it is to suggest to you that any emerging model needs to ask the right questions and explore the environment in the right way and that is sometimes not just in the 'harder-nosed' one of business related only. I've yet to myself try out this suggested non-profit adaptation but it seems to make good sense. The point is if you are confronted with "we don't understand this or relate to this" you have some thoughts ready to move the thinking through to the appropriate model and its correct core aspects.
Enjoy Nakuru, I lived and worked in Kenya for five years and wish you great success. There is a lot of terrific people bubbling with great ideas and if you can help accelerate these then terrific.
Thanks Paul, very helpful. I like the 2X2 idea and I've already been thinking a bit about de Bono's ideas.
That's interesting what you say about altering the BMC. Personally I've found it okay as it is if you think as a non-profit as your funders as your customers. But I'll bare in mind ways to change it in case it doesn't fit the business ideas in Kenya.
You're right, when I was in Kenya last time I was inspired by people's energy and ideas and the idea of this project is to help that along a little.
Hi Joshua, Just mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org when you get to Kenya, and we can arrange to meet.
Will do, are you based in Nairobi?