With the new, interactive tool, the “Ecogood Business Canvas” (EBC), founders can focus on values and impact right from the start.
The new Ecogood Business Canvas (EBC) combines the model of the Common Good Economy (GWÖ) with the advantages of the existing Business Model Canvas. A team of five GWÖ consultants and speakers from Austria and Germany developed this tool so that companies/organizations can anchor meaning and contribution to social-ecological change in their business model. The EBC is the ideal instrument for founders who want to build on cooperation, align themselves with the values of the GWÖ and, together with their stakeholders, have an eye on the good life for everyone.
Purpose as a starting point for social impact
Isabella Klien, coordinator of the EBC development team, got the impetus for a tailor-made tool from feedback from young companies. They were not yet able to work with the existing tools of the common good balance sheet because they could not contribute any experience as a basis for a balance sheet. “We put the meaning of the company to be founded at the beginning. That is the starting point for a social effect,” the GWÖ consultant from Salzburg describes her approach to developing her own offer for founding for the common good. The EBC was created in collaboration with her colleagues Sandra Kavan from Vienna and Daniel Bartel, Werner Furtner and Hartmut Schäfer from Germany.
Synthesis of the advantages of the common good balance sheet and the business model canvas
"In the Ecogood Business Canvas we have combined the best of two worlds," say Werner Furtner and Hartmut Schäfer, who joined the team as Canvas practitioners. "We have combined the advantages of the business model canvas - visual representation on a large poster and a joint, iterative and creative development of the start-up strategy - with the values and the impact measurement of the GWÖ." It is of central importance that all contact groups of an organization in the Keeping an eye on: the social environment, customers and co-enterprises, employees, owners and financial partners as well as suppliers. For the forthcoming foundation, it is then necessary to work out how, in interaction with these contact groups and by implementing the four GWÖ value pillars - human dignity, solidarity and justice, ecological sustainability as well as transparency and codecision - the socio-ecological effect can be maximized and thus a contribution to the good life is provided for all.
For zebras and founders looking for lived values in their job
In the startup world, there is a distinction between startup unicorns, who want to grow quickly and profitably and sell as quickly and expensively as possible, and startup zebras, who rely on cooperation and co-creation and uphold organic growth as well as social and ecological goals. “According to this classification, we are clearly addressing zebras. Our canvas is ideal for them,” says Daniel Bartel, who is anchored in the social entrepreneurship scene. But the target group is broader. “Basically, we are addressing all those founders for whom meaningful business is important. The GWÖ offers a different economic model and with the Ecogood Business Canvas optimal support for start-up advice," says Viennese start-up expert Sandra Kavan.
Co-creation and diverse application possibilities
A guide accompanies the founders when using it and uses questions to guide them step by step through the entire creation of the canvas. The process can be carried out as an individual or in a team, self-organized or accompanied by GWÖ consultants: using the EBC poster (A0 format) or an online whiteboard. Both variants promote a co-creative and playful creation of the canvas. The use of Post-Its supports visualization and enables iterative development. The EBC is also suitable for existing organizations that want to "refound" and realign themselves. Organizations that start with the EBC are also well prepared to review their positioning after the first few years by creating a balance sheet for the common good.
Documents for download and information evenings
The documents – the EBC as a poster with and without key questions and the guidelines for creating the EBC – are available for download free of charge (Creative Commons license): https://austria.ecogood.org/gruenden
The members of the EBC development team offer free information evenings especially for founders for those who would like to get to know the tool for common good-oriented founding better: https://austria.ecogood.org/gruenden/#termine
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