Business Model Analysis

What is a Business Model?

A business model is a representation of how an organization creates value, delivers it to its customers, and captures value to ensure the sustainability of its activities. A business model facilitates systematic thinking and communication about the core aspects of a “business”, be it for profit or in the pursuit of a non-profit mission.

Business Model Analysis in the Context of the Project TAO

In the project TAO we use business models to reach a better understanding of the e-inclusion measures we develop for the promotion of older persons’ participation in online communities. Business model analysis helps us to analyze the organizational sustainability of these measures as well as their fitness for broad implementation and facilitates the transfer of organizational know-how among partners.

Common Frame of Reference

We use the Business Model Canvas developed by Osterwalder and Pigneur as a common frame of reference. It consists of nine basic building blocks covering the four main areas of a business: customers, offer, infrastructure, and financial viability. This basic frame of reference may be extended to also include aspects of organizational culture.

Illustrative Case

In the context of the campaign “Free Cruise on the Internet” we used the business model approach at the end of the pilot phase in order to negotiate and to clarify our goals as well as the roles of each partner organization.


  • Osterwalder, Alexander / Pigneur, Yves (2010) Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers and Challengers, Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons. (The first 72 pages of the book are freely available at the Business Model Generation Website)


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