Collaborative business modelling to scale inclusive businesses in developing countries – a workshop based approach

Milou Derks, Tamara Oukes, Petra C. de Weerd-Nederhof, H. Romijn

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperAcademic


Inclusive businesses providing services in areas like healthcare, water, energy, sanitation, and food must scale their outreach and impact in order to meet the needs of the world’s poor. In response to the substantial barriers that scaling usually entails, scholars have identified the need to focus on scaling strategies that strengthen and align the whole business ecosystem of inclusive businesses. This should be done through coordinated synergistic action, creating value not only for the inclusive business and poor communities themselves but also for other ecosystem actors such as NGOs, public and private actors. This paper develops a conceptual framework that supports the development of such collaborative scaling strategies in the light of the shortcomings of existing firm-centric scaling tools and methods. The framework takes account of the fact that inclusive businesses must work out scaling strategies together with their key partners, and that the implementation of such collaborative strategies will almost always require adaptation of business models. The framework therefore revolves around collaborative sustainable business modelling. The first version of the framework was designed by means of an extensive literature review and practitioner interviews. This initial version of the framework was evaluated and improved iteratively, involving a series of workshops with stakeholders of four inclusive business initiatives in Africa and Asia. The results indicate that the framework helps workshop participants to expand their mental frame, encouraging them to adopt a broader (eco)systems perspective on scaling. This leads to the identification and exploration of valuable business model adaptations for scaling that can be achieved through collaboration, and for the assessment of the practical feasibility of different scaling strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Event28th Innovation and Product Development Management Conference (IPDMC), ONLINE - Milan, Italy
Duration: 6 Jun 20218 Jun 2021


Conference28th Innovation and Product Development Management Conference (IPDMC), ONLINE
Internet address


Dive into the research topics of 'Collaborative business modelling to scale inclusive businesses in developing countries – a workshop based approach'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this