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Using the Business Model Canvas for Social Impact

An introduction to the popular planning tool and how to use it to build social impact initiatives.

Entrepreneurs are increasingly working toward a triple bottom line: people, planet and profit. Alison Taylor, founder of business design and strategy studio Augur, works closely with founders who want to optimize their operations and bring their social impact work front and center. She joined our small webinar series to talk to our community about reimagining the impact their companies can have, using the Business Model Canvas.

Business theorist Alex Osterwalder created the Business Model Canvas in 2005. This strategic management tool lets team members list and analyze the most important components of their operations in a single place, allowing them to see how one area affects another. The nine components of the Business Model Canvas are: 


Taylor explained that you can start just about anywhere on the Canvas, since each piece ties together. As you begin to lay out your ideas in the Business Model Canvas template, keep your purpose and the people you serve top of mind. And don’t worry about your mission being too niche. “What it means is you are so hyper focused on the people or industry, that you’re becoming the expert in that,” explained Taylor. 

Watch Taylor walk one of our Fellows through a hypothetical product launch with the help of the Canvas during the webinar.