Introducing the Business Model Canvas

Introducing the Business Model Canvas

By Sara Lock
Mark Robinson


Reinvent your business model with this introduction to the Business Model Canvas for arts and cultural organisations.

The origins

Osterwalder and Pigneur created The Business Model Canvas as a shared language for describing, visualising, assessing and changing business models.

They say ‘a business model describes the rationale of how an organisation creates, delivers and captures value.’

The canvas was co-created by 470 people in 45 countries, across a diverse mix of industries and sectors, and is used by many successful companies such as IBM and Ericsson.

This introduction is inspired by and references the Business Model Canvas by, featured in the book Business Model Generation by Alexander Osterwalder & Yves Pigneur.

It is designed to accompany a series of business model case studies written for by Mark Robinson.

A creative canvas

The Business Model Canvas is a visual framework for describing the different elements of how a business works. It illustrates what the business does, for and with whom, the
resources it needs to do that and how money flows in and out of the business. It can be used to design new models or to analyse current models.

The canvas is made up of nine different elements. This introduction will explain what each of them might describe in an arts and cultural context.

One advantage to the Business Model Canvas is that it is not a linear description. This allows for the effects of alterations in one area to be clear, making it easier to play around with changes to current or potential models.

You can ask questions such as ‘what would happen to costs or revenue income if we introduce new partners or offers?’ This allows you to weigh up effects and risks. It can also stimulate new ideas. ‘What if...?’ can be the most powerful question when working with the canvas.

Download the guide to read more.

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Resource type: Guide/tools | Published: 2016