DIY Learn Module of the Month: Business Model Canvas

Earlier this year, we launched DIY Learn - our new online learning programme in innovation. Created in partnership with the Open University and with support from the Rockefeller Foundation, DIY Learn features 10 interactive, bite-sized modules that provide instruction on tools and methods from Nesta’s popular DIY Toolkit.

DIY Toolkit was created to help development practitioners invent, adopt or adapt ideas that can deliver better results, and DIY Learn takes this support one step further. With a lot of online content on innovation already out there, it can be difficult to know what is really useful. DIY Learn cuts through this, presenting a collection of the most widely used tools in the DIY Toolkit.

Over the coming months, we will feature each module from DIY Learn here on Nesta, and the inaugural Module of the Month is the Business Model Canvas.

Business Model Canvas

The Business Model Canvas is a one-page worksheet that lays out both what you do (or want to do), and how you go about doing it. This visual format was first introduced by Osterwalder and Pigneur and has become a globally used tool for organisations of all different sizes.

The tool enables you to have structured conversations around management and strategy by laying out the crucial activities and challenges involved with your initiative and how they relate to each other. It is useful for both new and established organisations and businesses, and can also be used at the project level.

The DIY Learn module walks you through the Business Model Canvas process and offers guidance so that you can make the most of using it. By taking the module, you will be able to:

  • Explain why business models are important
  • Understand why a good value proposition is central to a successful Business Model Canvas
  • Explore how the Business Model Canvas would be useful to apply to your own development ideas

Watch the Business Model Canvas module introductory video below, or go straight to the module.

We estimate this module will take between two and three hours to complete for an independent learner with a good level of English. It is divided into smaller study sessions, each of which follows a standard pattern to make it easier for you to plan your time. As you work through the module there are some in-text activities to help test your understanding of the material, and it finishes with a series of self-assessment questions.

Feedback and training support

We hope that you enjoy the module, and we’re always delighted to hear from our learners. Please send feedback on the module to [email protected]. We are particularly keen to hear what you have done with the skills and tools you have learned.

While the module has been designed to be studied independently this is not the only way it can be used. The DIY Learn Trainers Handbook also provides guidance on using all the modules as a basis for group training in a classroom setting.

Check back next month for more information on our second Module of the Month, Theory of Change.

Take the module>>

Part of
DIY Learn


Isobel Roberts

Isobel Roberts

Isobel Roberts

Content and Communications Manager, Innovation Skills

Isobel worked in the Innovation Skills team as Content and Communications Manager, helping to build Nesta's learning and development offering.

View profile