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EmpoweriNg (European) SME business model InnovatiON

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - ENviSION (EmpoweriNg (European) SME business model InnovatiON)

Reporting period: 2016-02-01 to 2018-01-31

Reaching the ambitions of the Europe 2020 and the Innovation Union requires much more than just technological innovations. To unleash the potential of innovations, often companies need to innovate their business models. However, Business Model Innovation (BMI) does not reach small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) yet, nor is there knowledge on how SMEs conduct BMI in practice. Empowering SMEs to conduct BMI requires new approaches.
ENVISION delivered a platform with easy-to-use 29 tools for BMI: The ENVISION platform is unique because it is the first to be specific for the needs of SMEs and supports the whole process from initial business model idea to testing and implementation.
During the project, the platform was used by almost 150,000 people, whereas almost 50,000 used online training for the tooling. ENVISION results were disseminated through social media, online promotion, face-to-face workshops and online learning contents. In addition, ENVISION reached out to SMEs via dozens of multipliers such as SME organizations and chambers of commerce.
Case studies have been done that show the impact and utility of BMI tooling and the platform. The results from case research informed the development of the platform: thanks to the case studies the platform advises SMEs which tools they should use for their specific challenge. Because of this guidance, the platform has become truly self-service, and can be used by any SME.
Through quantitative research in three waves, in which a representative quota sample of European SMEs were surveyed, it was found that about 5 out of 10 SMEs do business model innovation. Of them, only 18% uses a formal business model method or tool, thus demonstrating the need for tooling development and dissemination. Both the case studies and survey data were used to examine BMI in specific types of SMEs such as female-led firms, family businesses and high-tech / ICT firms.
Besides several dozens of academic publications and practitioner-aimed dissemination on the platform, social media and other channels, the project also provided other deliverables that will remain available after the project ends: an open database of case studies on business model innovation; a platform with open and free tooling for BMI; and a database with survey data among European SMEs.
A self-service platform that was developed, finetuned and validated over three cycles of development, containing 29 easy-to-use tools for BMI. The platform also contains guidance on which tools to use for which question and auxiliary offerings such as a forum, challenges, online tutorial videos.
Survey data on over 1500 European SMEs engaged in BMI, with data on antecedents, practices and consequences of BMI.
The project delivered 123 case studies on BMI, 25 of which are longitudinal action design research cases.
Dissemination took place to millions of SMEs through a variety of channels and `multiplier' partners, thus reaching European SMEs from multiple angles (i.e. direct from project, through multipliers), multiple channels (online, social media, offline, face-to-face). Hundreds of thousands SMEs were actively engaged into utilizing the tooling and platform.
Exploitation is foreseen of the platform and tooling, detailed in an exploitation plan.
Project is a first to deliver a self-service platform and tooling for BMI targeted specifically to SMEs. Impact is potentially high as our qualitative and quantitative research shows the contribution and utility of BMI for SMEs.
Academically, the project advanced understanding of BMI in SMEs and the use of tooling through dozens of publications.
Dozens of tutorials have been collected from SMEs using the tooling - often sent spontaneously by SMEs and multipliers in appreciation for the tooling.
Envision logo
Screenshot ENviSION Platform entrance
Pictures representing some cases
Screenshot ENviSION Platform