June 2, 2015

Business Model Canvas Workshop launched in Ramallah

Together with the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs and local NGO, Leaders Organization, SPARK is working to support entrepreneurs in Palestine- particularly young Palestinians with the potential to lead and grow innovative start-ups into flourishing businesses, strengthening the economy of the country.

In Palestine there is a real need to address the lack of significant and relevant business education, both formal and informal. It is time for the gap in experience and capacity in the Palestinian labour market to be addressed. In response, through its Creative Steps Project funded by SPARK and the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Leaders Organizations hosted a Business Model Canvas (BMC) workshop on March the 7th in Ramallah.

BMC (2)

The Business Model Canvas Approach:

During the BMC workshop, Nedal Zahran, a Business Development professional highly experienced in formulating strategy’s, instructed the participating 10 teams on how to use the Business Model Canvasapproach. He delivered an expansive training, starting with the explanation of each of the building blocks to how they can be implemented into a business model canvas. Any company’s business model can be described in nine basic building blocks; namely, customer segments, value proposition, distribution channels, customer relationships, the revenue streams you generate, the key activities, resources and partners and finally, the cost. It is not sufficient to simply enumerate the nine building blocks but rather aspiring entrepreneurs must combine them in a pre-structured canvas. This is what defines the business model canvas; the tool that helps you combine, discuss, design and invent new business models.

Fine tuning your Business Model:

After the training, each team applied what they had learned and adjusted their own start-up business models with new improvements. The BMC workshop will encourage entrepreneurs to pay more attention to aspects of their business model they would otherwise have previously neglected. One of the participants, Ghassan Jaber, the CEO and founder of expressed, “I think this workshop was a fantastic idea, it helped us think deeply and clearly about our businesses”. The BMC will also support entrepreneurs in becoming more detail-oriented when it comes to designing and applying their business models. Behind any successful business there must be a solid and well structured business model.

At the end of the BMC workshop, 4 teams were selected to receive a seed investment worth $40,000 USD each from the Ibtikar Fund; a $10million USD private sector fund which invests in tech start-ups. The 10 companies that participated in the workshop had originally been shortlisted from a list of 120 companies that applied for the investment opportunity with the Ibtikar fund. As they say, when one door closes, another one opens. Luckily, the ambitious young entrepreneurs were given another opportunity through the BMC workshop.

BMC (1)

About Leaders Organization:

Leaders Organization was first established in 2002 and has since become a leading Palestinian NGO. It has grown from a provider of traditional services such as helping young people to develop necessary skills and expertise to enter the labour market, into a highly respected innovative and progressive organisation providing a unique set of services to young entrepreneurs and start-ups. Leaders Organization offers an expansive package of support including; business incubation services, management consultations, financial management support and legal advice, as well as marketing and business development support. Leaders work is delivered through two broad initiatives; the Digital Entrepreneurship Programme and the Socioeconomic Programme focused on poverty and improved livelihoods.

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