Economic Business Model Canvas


In the last module you looked at what the circular economy is, why it matters and what your motivation for joining the circular economy is.

Understanding The Economic Business Model Canvas

In this module you are going to look at the standard (or economic) business model canvas (BMC), developed by Osterwalder and Pigneur (2010). The economic BMC is an effective tool for helping you understand your organisation’s business model.

In particular, the economic BMC helps visually represent your organisation’s business model. This allows you to gain a clear understanding of how your organisation currently operates, and, importantly, stimulates discussion about how your organisation might innovate and change towards adopting more circular models.

In the next two modules, you will apply variations of the economic BMC to help you identify how you can create a more environmentally and socially regenerative organisation.


Use the blank economic BMC template (available via the link below) to map your organisation’s business model; there are nine segments to complete.

Link to Blank Economic Business Model Canvas Template.


To support you with this task, there are question prompts for each of the nine segments:

  • Value Proposition: What problem are you solving and how will you solve it?
  • Key Resources: What do you need to have to produce, market, and deliver your solution?
  • Key Partners: Who do you need to work with to produce and deliver your solution?
  • Key Activities: What do you need to do to produce, market, and deliver your solution?
  • Customer Segments: Who needs your solution? How many people need your solution right now? How many will eventually need it?
  • Customer Relations: How do you talk to your market about your solution? How do you get more customers?
  • Channels: How do you deliver your solution to your customers?  Where will customers find your solution?
  • Cost Structure: How much will your key activities, resources, and partners cost you?
  • Revenue Streams & Pricing Models: How will you get paid for the solution you provide?

Also, here are three short videos from YouTube exploring the economic BMC:

Please note that there is no one correct sequence when using the economic BMC. For example, each of the above videos uses a different sequence for the three segments: Revenue Streams & Pricing Models, Key Activities, and Key Resources. We at Sustainable Futures tend to look at the creation of value (the left-hand side of the diagram) before the delivery of value (the right-hand side of the diagram). However, please feel free to choose whichever sequence works best for your organisation.


If you need further help, have a look at the completed example for Origin Coffee, using the link below:

Link to Completed Origin Coffee Economic Business Model Canvas

Module 3

To move onto Module 3, mark this module as complete by clicking on the green button below.

Adapted from Joyce, A. and Paquin, R.L., 2016. The triple layered business model canvas: A tool to design more sustainable business models. Journal of cleaner production, 135, pp.1474-1486.

Part funded through the European Social Fund (part of the European Strategic Investment Framework) for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

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