What is Your Value Proposition?

What Is Your Value Proposition Linked to the Golden Circle of Simon Sinek

In order to formulate the value proposition you need to have an answer to the questions:

  • what do you deliver to the costumer?
  • Which problems are we helping to solve for the costumer?

Is the value proposition of a social enterprise the same as for a regular enterprise?

We consider this approach too narrow.

A. Osterwalder, Y. Pigneur. ‘Business Model Generation: a Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers’. John Wiley & Sons (2010)

Value Proposition of a Social Enterprise

A social enterprise does not only want to add value to the costumer but also to the environment and the society.
The obvious question to be asked is what your specific social organization or enterprise encounters. The Social environment construes informal as well as formal rules and norms and it provokes attitudes and values, feelings, thoughts, and actions, which then determine the actual position of a person in a given setting (e.g., workplace, school, family).
From: International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, 2001

source: pixabay.com

According to Bosma and Levie (2010) the Social entrepreneurship is concerned with individuals or organizations engaged in entrepreneurial activities with a social goal. It may include the following:

  • Nonprofit organizations that apply business expertise to become independent of grants and subsidies (Boschee and McClurg, 2003Reis and Clohesy, 2001Thompson, 2002);
  • For-profit businesses that offer solutions for persistent social, economic and ecological problems using market-based models (Dees and Anderson, 2006Dorado, 2006); and
  • Hybrid organizations aiming to achieve social impact while maintaining a sustainable business model (Alter, 2007Nicholls and Cho, 2006). Particularly referring to this last point, as Yunus (2008)illustrated, social entrepreneurship addresses a pressing social problem – such as poverty, homelessness, or the needs of under-privileged children – using free market principles. It means, therefore, that SE is profitable and sustainable at the same time, but profits are reinvested into the business instead of going back to the investors.

This means two other dimentions need to be added to the original BMC.

Two elements need to be added: Social and Environment:

The two elements we need to add to the original BMC are obviously social and environment.
This can be structured with the triple layered BMC approach of Alexandre Joyce and Raymond L. Paquin (2016). 

This tool helps to explore sustainable-oriented business model innovation.

  • The environmental layer is based on the lifecycle perspective.
  • The social layer based on a stakeholder perspective.

When taken together, the three layers of the business model make more explicit how an organization generates multiple types of value: economically, environmentally and social. Visually representing a business model through this canvas tool supports developing and communicating a more holistic and integrated view of a business model; which also supports creatively innovating towards more sustainable business models.

A. Osterwalder, Y. Pigneur. ‘Business Model Generation: a Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers’. John Wiley & Sons (2010)

‘The Triple Layered Business Model Canvas: A Tool to Design more Sustainable Business Models’

The paper presents the triple layer business model canvas tool and describes its key features through a re-analysis of the Nestle Nespresso business model. This new tool contributes to sustainable business model research by providing a design tool which structures sustainability issues in business model innovation. Also, it creates two new dynamics for analysis: horizontal coherence and vertical coherence

This is only an introduction to map your value proposition regarding the environment and addad value to the society. Interested in more depth and application? Then continue with the in-depth assignment and read the enclosed article about ‘The triple layered business model canvas’.

source: welt.de

Watch this video (1 minute) about what makes a start-up successful (or a product introduction of your current organization) by Steven Schuurman and try to answer the question below


Steven Schuurman emphasizes the essence that people must recognize the customer's need, because then you are adding value. What two questions are asked in the original Business Model Canvas to define the value proposition?


what do you deliver to the costumer? Which problems are we helping to solve to the costumer?

Additional information and inspiration:

  • Inspiring video of Steven Schuurman about what's makes a startup succesfull
  • A. Osterwalder, Y. Pigneur. ‘Business Model Generation: a Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers’. John Wiley & Sons (2010)
  • Canestrino et al. ‘Understanding social entrepreneurship: a cultural perspective in business research’. Journal of Business research 110 (2020)
  • A. Joyce, R.L. Paquin. ‘The triple layered business model canvas: a tool to design more sustainable business models’. Elsevier: Journal of cleaner production. Volume 135 p1474-1486 (2016)
  • Bosma, N., & Levie, J. (2010). ‘Global entrepreneurship monitor: 2009 Global Report’. Babson College, Universidad Del Desarrollo, Reykjavik University.