Business Model Sustainability Toolkit

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Digital solutions—whether products or services—are essential to transforming the aid sector. As humanitarian and development interventions become more complex and costly, a business-as-usual approach is no longer feasible. Building effective digital solutions in a more sustainable way is necessary to ensure cost-effectiveness, scale, and financial sustainability, which in turn supports their positive, long-term impact. However, it can be difficult for digital development practitioners to apply the Digital Principles to their work and investments. In particular, the principle of Build for Sustainability is often an elusive concept that may look different across initiatives.

What Is the Business Model Sustainability Toolkit?

The Business Model Sustainability (BMS) Toolkit, funded by Fondation Botnar in partnership with the Digital Impact Alliance (DIAL), helps social enterprises, NGOs, and small businesses think about their own sustainability and the sustainability of their digital solutions. It consists of a Business Model Sustainability Canvas and a Business Model Sustainability Guide, which includes guidance, case studies, and interactive tools for users.

What Does the Toolkit Aim to Achieve?

The goal of the Business Model Sustainability Toolkit is to enable intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs in any corner of the world who have developed digital solutions to be used for development or humanitarian purposes to create a business model to sustain the impact of their solution.

An organization utilizing the BMS Toolkit will better understand how it can generate and deliver value in a sustainable way, and in turn realize its economic, social, and/or environmental impact goals. It will be able to develop business models that will enable the sustainable and scalable use of digital programs, tools, or products to significantly impact development and humanitarian outcomes.

Digital Principles Team