Picture by Estée Janssens from Unsplash
Picture by Estée Janssens from Unsplash

Defining the mission and vision of our social entrepreneurship business has helped you to have a clear idea of the basic pillars of your company, as well as to be clear about the path and the impact you want to achieve in society. 

Contacting the beneficiaries and users of your social entrepreneurship idea has helped to get to know the context in depth, as well as the opportunities and needs of the target group. 

Contact with potential donors and collaborators of your business has been important to know what support you could count on and they have certainly given you important feedback on what kind of activities they would be willing to support and promote. 

Now, with this initial market research and your purpose in mind, it is time to define your social business model. In this module we will introduce you to the social business model canvas as well as some aspects to take into account when working with a social group.


Picture by Ian Schneider from Unsplash
Picture by Ian Schneider from Unsplash

In the module on the basics of social entrepreneurship, we introduced you to the Business Model Canvas (if you haven't seen it, you can take a look here). It is a structured scheme in the form of a table with some sections and questions that guide you when defining your business model through reflection on key aspects to take into account. 

In this activity we present the Social Business Model Canvas, an adaptation of the original one carried out by Ingrid Burkett Knode when she realised that social entrepreneurship has special characteristics that require a slightly different business model approach. 

In the Documents section you can download the canvas. Your task is to fill in each of the cells to define your social entrepreneurship business idea.


In the documents section you have an example of the Social Business Model Canvas with the cells filled in schematically so you can get an initial idea of some aspects you can think about. 

When deciding on your business model for working with migrant and refugee citizens in your community you need to keep in mind that there are different approaches to take. Here are some of them (which also apply to working with any target group with special needs): 

  1. Work directly with the migrant community through training and/or direct employment. e.g., a restaurant serving international cuisine may employ only people from a particular country. 
  2. Providing services or products to directly meet a social need or achieve a social impact, e.g., international cooking workshops where migrants are the teachers and locals are the trainees, or a craft fair with typical products made by migrants, open to the general public as customers. 
  3. Generate income with a social purpose for your specific group, e.g., a restaurant can use its income to help another organisation to carry out programmes with a social purpose. 

Once you have a clear idea of your social business model, it will be much easier to start working on it and get the support you need. Good luck!



When it comes to entrepreneurship in any business, but especially in the field of social entrepreneurship, contrary to what many may think, the initial key to the success of your idea is not having the right funding to carry it out, but having your idea and strategy very well defined. Identifying the values that will underpin your business, as well as the objectives you intend to achieve, the audience you are targeting and the actors involved, and being clear about the resources you have, will be what makes the difference between the success or failure of your social enterprise (and of any type of enterprise for that matter). The canvas is a useful and simple tool to define all these fundamental aspects.

Learning Outcomes

Competence Area 1: IDEAS & OPPORTUNITIES
  • 1.3) I can explain that different groups may have different needs.
Competence Area 2: RESOURCES
  • 2.3) I can judge the control I have over my achievements (compared with any control from outside influences)
  • 2.9) I can delay achieving my goals in order to gain greater value, thanks to prolonged effort.
  • 2.18) I do not get discouraged by difficulties.
Competence Area 3: INTO ACTION
  • 3.10) I can discuss the role that information plays in reducing uncertainty, ambiguity and risk.