A step-by-step guide to sustainable business modelling
This PILOT course forms a comprehensive hands-on introduction to the latest and most useful practices, knowledge and skills that you need to create your sustainable business model and accelerate your entrepreneurial journey.
Here's a welcome message from Ondine Hogeboom and Antony Upward from Lean4Flourishing who will be your learning mentors through the course:
We are very mindful that this course is being launched during the Covid-19 pandemic and hope all participants are safe and well. Please learn more at the EIT CLIMATE-KIC COVID-19 RESPONSE HUB.
This course is based on the outcomes of a 5-year action research project conducted with over 800 entrepreneurs across multiple countries which explored the key components and processes needed to develop sustainable business models that meet the Sustainable Development Goals. It is the first research of its kind globally. You can therefore rest easy that you are in good hands and the journey you are about to embark on is the most innovative and best available.
If you engage in all that this course offers, you can equip yourself (and your team) to face the future with more confidence. The course shows and allows you to explore the latest practices, methods and tools that are already helping entrepreneurs – start-up teams that like you are strongly motivated to use their enterprise idea to forcefully tackle the climate crisis and our many other interlinked challenges long into the changing future.
To do this we’re going to help you create a really useful business model applying the latest 360° business modelling tools.
We believe adults learn best when they can immediately practice, apply and reflect on all new ideas or tools. So this course features a range of hands-on activities, designed by our experts and learning designers. These activities give you the experiences needed to thoroughly understand and give you the confidence to immediately use what you learn to accelerate.
This course was developed as part of our Sustainable Business Modelling blended training by authors EIT Climate-KIC and entrepreneurial and business modelling experts Lean4Flourishing.
Special thanks go to Ondine Hogeboom and Antony Upward from Lean4Flourishing who will be your learning mentors through each module, and they are delighted that you have decided to explore the design of your sustainable business model with us.
EIT Climate-KIC is the EU’s largest public-private partnership addressing climate change through innovation to build a zero-carbon economy. We address climate change across four priority themes: urban transitions, land use, production systems, and decision metrics and finance. Climate-KIC is supported by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of the European Union.
This course is for entrepreneurs wishing to develop a useful and compelling sustainable business model and for individuals providing coaching support to entrepreneurs.
Are you ready to embark on a journey that will ask big questions, ask you to explore these big questions and take a different approach to business as you may know it? If so, then this course is for you!
This course is designed to help you flourish along the start-up journey. We recognise that the entrepreneurial journey starts with you. Your personal and organisational journey are aligned propelling your progress towards a more sustainable enterprise.
The course is designed for you to step back and look at your role as an entrepreneur and your business idea from a number of different perspectives:
- What happens to your idea when you explore it through social, ecological and economic lenses – and what are the tensions between these perspectives?
- What different impacts could your idea have socially, environmentally and economically?
- What does success look like for your sustainable enterprise?
- How do you authentically lead a sustainable enterprise?
We expect you to go at your own pace. You may work through this course over a few days, weeks or a few months even. And you can use the course as a reminder in the future. keep returning to the course over time.
Business model design is a skill and the process of acquiring this skill is iterative based on practice over time. Business model design skills are built over time as you learn more about yourself, your stakeholders and your enterprise.
To gain this powerful and sophisticated new skill, you can’t always predict the ideal route or the time it may take you to acquire. This course is therefore not linear. It accommodates and encourages you to take the path that feels right for you – including iterating through the modules and returning back to modules. Your learning journey won’t always go in a straight line, but we aim to help you arrive at your destination: achieving your individual learning goals.
This is not your typical linear online course. We believe that designing and building a business is a dynamic and co-creative process and therefore cannot be undertaken alone. Therefore, while some of the work requires you to work through on your own, for the majority of this course we strongly recommend you work with others, for example a co-founder, a team member, an advisor or any other person that can relate to your enterprise well.
The way this course is designed enables you to do the learning about how to co-create and design with others. You will be guided on the 'how to' and the process of design so that you can facilitate this process and engage with others.
In addition to the course content and hands-on activities, this course also provides you the opportunity to:
- Learn with your peers in the course group (a growing sustainable business modelling community of practice),
- Share your ideas through the medium of audio and video
There are two courses within our Sustainable Business Models hub.
This course has a sister, Benefits of Sustainable Business Modelling, which explores the basics of modelling. Learn about its value, its benefits and the opportunities/risks that arise from it, plus how to apply systems thinking to any business model.
You would benefit from viewing the Benefits of Sustainable Business Modelling, but this is not required as part of this current, standalone course.
EIT Climate-KIC is a European knowledge and innovation community, working towards a prosperous, inclusive, climate-resilient society founded on a circular, zero-carbon economy. We are supported by the EIT, a body of the European Union.
"If we want to support mindset shifts and systems change, we think that it is essential to make knowledge broadly accessible, not only explaining the risks and challenges, but also sharing insights on already available solutions and on how every single individual contribution is crucial for keeping global warming well below 2°."
- Sira Saccani, Director of the Sustainable Production Systems Team at EIT Climate-KIC
Please use the following email address if you have any questions, issues or want to get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org
This is an introductory-level learning resource. No prior knowledge is assumed, and we’ve tried to keep everything as clear and straightforward as possible.
If you want to develop a sustainable business that optimises the positive outcomes for all stakeholders impacted by the business, then this is the course for you! The tools and techniques presented in this course will help you clarify your vision and values, engage with all of your stakeholders, develop your mindsets as an entrepreneur, get clearer about what difference you aim to make and consider all possible negative and positive outcomes of your enterprise.
The goal? Win-win for you, your stakeholders and the planet.
Select the green Enrol button on this page. If you haven’t already registered on the site, you will be prompted to do this when you enrol.
Once you have completed the course as specified, you will also receive a certificate from us. You will be able to download the certificate directly from this portal page.
At the present time, the course is only available in English.
No – unless you want to! Many of the activities allow you to read as much or as little as you want. It’s your choice. But it is always good to be able to read quickly to get the key information we need, or just an overall idea of what something is about.
The techniques we use to do this are called skimming and scanning, and they are useful in any language. There are many resources online about this; here are two:
We expect that a minimum 1mbps internet connection is needed to go through the course content and ideally to also take and upload photos and videos. For external resources such as videos, a higher speed might be needed (2mbps and above). The course links to various external resources from different platforms like YouTube and Vimeo.
Climate-KIC bears no responsibility if there are country restrictions that block video or other content in your location.
All of EIT Climate-KIC’s courses are accessible on smartphone, tablet, and desktop. For some courses, you may also need access to a printer in order to print off work sheets and to complete offline activities. If you have any issues accessing our courses on these devices, please contact our technical support team.
When you register on the EIT Climate-KIC portal you automatically become a part of the learning community. You can then use the Groups and Discussions set up for the course or topic you are interested in to seek help from other community members.
Within the community, your active contribution is appreciated and encouraged. Start by setting up your profile and allowing others to get a clearer picture of who you are.
You can then engage in open discussions, reply to questions or contribute to a task that has been set up. You can also initiate a new thread yourself.
We will provide you with either downloadable versions or access to online versions (where available). It is highly recommended to get the most value from the business modelling design process that you print the Flourishing Business Canvas.
Research has shown that peer support among entrepreneurs is one of the most valuable aspects of any entrepreneurship course or programme.
Built into the course are numerous opportunities for you to connect with your peers; share your ideas, ask questions or even share the outputs from the tools. We recommend that you leverage this opportunity to learn from others - your learning will be greatly enriched!
Many start-ups are the same - they begin with one individual. If you are alone, think about who would be valuable to have with you to undertake the design process?
This could be a mentor, coach, potential supplier, friend or even a family member. Who do you feel could add a valuable perspective to your enterprise, who do you work well with and feel that you can be creative and share your idea’s openly with? Choose someone that will support and encourage this process.
Some universities are delivering our courses as part of their ongoing curriculum. Your university will advise you on the credits you may receive. If you are a student with one of these universities, your tutor may ask for additional work to meet the university accreditation standards – or you may be asked to complete part of the course alongside your other studies. Either way, this is a great opportunity to join in conversations with people from all walks of life who are joining together in their concern over the future of our planet.
Yes. As a member of the learning community, you are invited to feedback, make suggestions, or contact us if you would like further involvement in the development of EIT Climate-KIC courses.
Then, a taster of what's to come in the final part of our modelling course.
Then, a taster of what's to come in the final part of our modelling course....Less