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CREATE A REGENERATIVE BUSINESS MODEL

Framework Field Guide

FIELD GUIDE

Welcome to our field guide to create regenerative business models!

It is a powerful framework designed for engineers, scientists, software developers and everyone else in the field of entrepreneurship, working on impact-driven solutions that prioritize sustainability and align with the United Nations Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs). This guide will walk you through the steps of using the framework to craft an impact-driven business idea and design a regenerative business model.

Creating businesses that generate profit and contribute to a sustainable, equitable, and regenerative world is crucial. Traditional business models often prioritize profit over environmental and social impact. To address global challenges, such as climate change, poverty, and inequality, we require innovative, impact-driven businesses that make a difference. This framework helps you:

  • Empower impactful innovation: The canvas guides you to put impact at the core of your business idea and model.

  • Responsible growth: Impact-driven businesses require robust and scalable models. The canvas assists in designing regenerative models that can grow sustainably over time.

  • Sustainability: It ensures your business aligns with the SDGs, providing a roadmap for addressing critical global issues.

  • Efficiency: By following lean startup methodologies, you can test your ideas quickly and refine them as you progress.

  • Regenerative approach: It promotes regenerative business models that contribute positively to the environment and society.

 

WHY DO WE NEED THIS FRAMEWORK?

HOW DOES IT WORK?

The framework consists of three main steps, each building upon the previous one. The time frame for going through all steps varies depending on the complexity of your business idea and the level of detail you would like to explore. Typically, a five-day design sprint could be a starting point. More complex and impactful models may require multiple sessions over a few weeks.

 

Now let’s dive into each step:

STEP 1: CRAFTING AN IMPACT VALUE PROPOSITION

The first step in creating an impact-driven, regenerative business model is to define your
Impact Value Proposition. It outlines the specific impact your business intends to make in the world. It is the heart of your regenerative business and sets the tone for everything that follows.

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Impact Value Proposition Canvas​ - The right side

Start with your User/Customer on the right side:
 

  1. Customer Jobs: What are the things and tasks that our customers need to do every day to get their jobs done?

  2. Key Value Driver: What motifs do your customers have to get their jobs done? What are drivers to not accomplish it?
     

  3. Existing Solutions: What solutions (technical, process-wise etc.) do your customers already have to get their jobs done?
     

  4. Gains: What are current outcomes and benefits that your customers experience when they successfully complete their tasks? What gains, whether anticipated or unexpected, do your customers seek and find valuable, including functional utility, social advantages, positive emotions, or cost savings?
     

  5. Pains: What factors tend to frustrate your customers before, during, or after attempting to accomplish a job, or hinder their ability to complete it successfully? Additionally, what are potential risks and unfavorable outcomes associated with subpar or uncompleted tasks?




















     

  6. Products & Services: What is your product or service offering to get the job of your customer done and create gains as well as relieve pains?
     

  7. Gain Creator: How might your products and services contribute to customer gains? What results and advantages can your customers anticipate, aspire to, or find pleasantly unexpected?
     

  8. Pain Relievers: How can you address the specific concerns or challenges your customers may face when using our products and services? What strategies do you have in place to minimize or resolve any issues that might inconvenience your customers before during, or after their job completion?
     

  9. Now put your impact and sustainability glasses on to develop your Impact Value Proposition in the middle circle:
    What impact and value do we deliver to our customers by using or buying our product or service? Write down one impact value you can create for each element in the pains and gains sections.

Impact-Value-Proposition-Large-Green-BG-left.png

Impact Value Proposition Canvas​ - The left side

Then take a look at your Solution:

STEP 2: DEVELOPING AN IMPACT MODEL  

With your Impact Value Proposition in place, the next step is to develop an impact model using the Lean Impact Assessment Canvas. This tool helps you to describe your impact hypothesis, identify the metrics for achieving a desired impact and map out the specifics of your impact strategy.

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Lean Impact Assessment Canvas - The left side

  1. Start with the Problem on the left side of the canvas: What specific wicked problem are you solving?
     

  2. Identify Beneficiaries: Who is having a benefit? Who are your users and target group?
     

  3. Define Key Activities: Which technical features, activities or programs are you offering to solve the problem?
     

  4. And define Key Resources: What resources (material, time, financial) are needed?
     

  5. All this gives you first hints which Sustainability Development Goals are affected.





















     

  6. Now think about Effects on the right side of the canvas: What effects and results do you want to achieve? How important are these effects for people and the planet? Start with negative effects and then head over to the positive ones.
     

  7. Then determine How Much: How significant is the effect over a certain period of time? How many people and species are affected? How long does it take, and how quickly does it occur?
     

  8. And be aware of Risks: How high is the risk for the people and the planet that the effect does not occur as expected?
     

  9. After that, it is necessary to specify Key Data: What data and metrics are needed to measure the effect?
     

  10. And to predefine which Decisions can be made with the data collected?
     

  11. Go back to the Sustainability Development Goals in the middle and figure out which effects contribute to which SDG.
     

Well done - you have developed your impact model as a plug-in for your regenerative business model!


Please be aware that this is a strategic tool:
You can structure your ideas and test different models against each other. Furthermore, it helps you to analyze knowledge gaps and roadblocks. Be aware of biases, but remember that it is not about statistical significance. It's not about developing a pretty impact model chart, it's about deriving realistic actions whose impact can be measured.

Lean Impact Assessment Canvas - The right side

Lean-Impact-Assessment-Large-Green-BG-Right.png

STEP 3: DESIGNING THE REGENERATIVE BUSINESS MODEL

Now that you have a clear impact model, it is time to integrate it into your business model using the Regenerative Business Model Canvas. This final step ensures that your regenerative business is financially sustainable and aligned with its impact goals.

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Regenerative Business Model Canvas - The right side

  1. You have completed the first task already by creating an Impact Value Proposition: Customer Segments. Who is the focus of your value creation efforts? Who are your key customers you prioritize?
     

  2. Furthermore, the whole Impact Value Proposition is done: What value do you deliver? How are you contributing to solving your customer’s problems? What combinations of products and services do you provide to each customer segment? Which customer requirements are you fulfilling?
     

  3. Now look at the Channels: In what ways do your customer segments prefer to be contacted? What methods are you currently employing to engage with them? How are your channels seamlessly interconnected? Which ones demonstrate the highest effectiveness? Which options offer the most cost-effective results? How are you harmonizing them with customer routines?
     

  4. Next, start with Customer Relationships: What type of relationship does each of your customer segments expect you to establish and maintain with them? Which ones have you established? How are they integrated with the rest of your business model? How costly are they?
     

  5. Think about your Revenue Streams: What do your customers see as the most valuable offering they are willing to pay for? What are they presently paying for? What payment methods are they using? What payment preferences do they have? How much does each revenue stream contribute to your overall revenues?





















     

  6. The next step is to define Key Resources: What essential resources are needed for your impact value proposition? And for your distribution channels? How about customer relationships and revenue streams?
     

  7. This leads you to your Key Activities: What are the essential activities needed for your impact value proposition? How about your distribution channels? What forms your customer relationships? And what contributes to your revenue streams?
     

  8. Go further to your Key Partners: Who constitutes your vital partnerships? Who are your primary suppliers? From your partners, what key resources do you acquire? What key activities are carried out by your partners?
     

  9. Then take a look at your Cost Structure: What are the primary costs that are inherent in your business model? Among your key resources, which ones tend to be most costly? And when it comes to key activities, which ones typically have the highest expenses?
     

  10. Then have a look back at your Impact Model and plug it in: How do you create impact? What positive effects do you achieve? How significant is your impact? Has something changed when you see your business model now?
     

  11. And finally, please keep in mind your Key Performance Indicators, which you also can plug in from your Lean Impact Assessment Canvas: What metrics/data do you collect to measure the impact and effects?

 

 

Please keep in mind and challenge yourself during the process:

  • Balance profitability with sustainability to ensure the longevity of your impact.

  • Innovate your revenue streams and cost structure to create value and maintain a positive impact.

  • Utilize efficient and sustainable partnerships, distribution channels and customer relationship strategies.

 

By following these three steps, you will create a robust, impact-driven regenerative business model. Remember, this framework is an iterative and strategic tool. Regenerative businesses evolve and adapt over time as you learn more about your customers, the impact landscape, and key components of your business model. Continuous assessment and improvement are essential to stay aligned with your mission and achieve lasting positive change. Challenge yourself to gain a genuine grasp of the critical tasks and associated challenges and benefits that matter to your customers. Then, your regenerative business will make a profit and contribute to the well-being of the planet and society.

 

All the best on your journey to making a positive impact!

At this point, a special thank-you goes to the entire Strategyzer team, on whose canvases our framework is based.

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Regenerative Business Model Canvas - The left side

  • Use a large print out of the canvas posters (at least DIN A1, 594 x 841 mm or
    23.39 x 33.11 inch (0.84 m)).

  • Use sticky notes and don’t write on the canvas itself. This helps you to move ideas around.

  • Note one idea per sticky with a thick marker and describe any idea in 2–3 words.

  • Use different colors for different elements. It makes it easier to read your canvas.

  • Invite people from various departments as sparring and brainstorming partners and to bring a profound customer knowledge to the table. Also think about professional backgrounds like impact and industry experts as well as financial and legal advisors.

  • Make sure that you document all relevant insights, ideas, and action items for further development and implementation. Don’t put too many ideas on one canvas – use several canvases instead.

Do you want more content on regenerative business design?

We keep updating our open-source resources regularly – check out our resources page.

 

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