About Nesta

Nesta is an innovation foundation. For us, innovation means turning bold ideas into reality and changing lives for the better. We use our expertise, skills and funding in areas where there are big challenges facing society.

Business model canvas

How can it help me?

The Business Model Canvas helps you focus on your vision and break down how to achieve it, on a single clear page.

The layout, originated by Osterwalder and Pigneur, gives you a bird’s eye view of your activity to spark new ideas from a different perspective. It also enables collaborative discussions on management and strategy by helping to set out the key elements and hurdles of your activity and showing how everything interrelates.

How does it work?

  • Start by filling in the ‘What do you do?’ (or What do you plan to do) box in the centre.
  • Then build from this by adding keywords and detail to each of the other boxes. (This can be done with sticky-notes so that you can move ideas around the canvas. You can also colour-code your keyword notes according to sections of your activity, such as different client groups.)


  • Map out the business models of organisations you admire to help to refresh your thinking.
  • Try not to get too attached to your initial idea. You can experiment with and practice new techniques that might be useful in future work through sketching alternative business models and seeing how others work.