Developing a business model for a social startup that changes investor behaviors

Finding the business model for Financial Footprint Calculator – a social innovation business that wants to raise awareness of private investors for the positive impact their investments can have, and change their behavior. By applying Lean Startup, Customer Development and Business Model Canvas combined with social innovation and sustainability criteria to have an impact and make money.

The startup idea: Raise people’s awareness for the social impact, their private investments can have, and change their investment behaviors

The idea of Financial Footprint Calculator was pitched by Konstantin and Catherine on the Startup Weekend Berlin Social Innovation 2015. The business idea is a social innovation business that wants to raise awareness for sustainable investments and the positive impact private investors can have with their financial decisions. It aims at changing the behavior of private investors. This shall be realized by a web-based scoring of current investments, the financial footprint, and suggestions for improving the footprint.

The teamwork: Elaborating a sustainable social business for the Financial Footprint Calculator

Konstantin and Catherine were joined by Florian, Tobias, Daniela and me. With diverse professional backgrounds, we have designed and developed a website demo with the desired user experience, and have elaborated criteria for scoring the footprint. We have examined available databases for sustainable investments, and have elaborated a business model to make money by brokering sustainable investment products.

Nicole’s contribution: Search for the lever where you can make the greatest social impact

I advised and collaborated on all aspects of the business model, particularly how to achieve problem-solution-fit: Are private investors aware of the positive or negative impact their investments are having? Would they use a scoring platform to do something about it?

I pointed out when I felt that something was missing or should be addressed. For example, to distinguish between the social impact the startup wants to make in form of awareness and behavior change and how to achieve that by designing the customer relationship over time, and the sustainability criteria that investment products have to meet.

The result: A validated problem-solution fit and a structured business model for the social FinTech startup

Next to a website MVP, Konstantin and Catherine now have a solid basis to start from: a structured business model with a validated problem-solution-fit. They understand how to further elaborate the customer relationships and the partnerships with financial product providers to raise awareness, change behavior, and achieve the impact their business is aiming at: leveraging the financial power of a mass of private investors.

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