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Business models for innovators working in crisis response and resilience building

Date added

28 June 2019


Scaling sustainable innovations is a critical issue for humanitarian innovation. The added complexity and barriers faced by innovators who work in crisis areas, or in areas that are building resilience to crisis, make this already difficult task even more challenging. Far too few promising innovations have gone to scale. A failure to select, validate and implement appropriate revenue models is one of the key reasons for this. This creates a need for new insights regarding the journey to scale for innovators who lack commercial business opportunities to fund and grow their innovations.

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This paper focuses on the processes for selecting a business model and achieving financial sustainability. It is designed for organisations and initiatives working with social impact innovators.

The paper is divided into two parts. It begins by looking at the journey the innovator must navigate before they are in a position to select and implement a business model (Part 1). It then provides a more detailed inventory of business model options appropriate to innovators in this environment, using examples from the DEPP Innovation Labs.

The paper aims to walk through the various stages involved in developing a business model and to present the challenges and opportunities associated with a range of specific models in a humanitarian context.

The Disasters and Emergencies Preparedness Programme (DEPP) Innovation Labs is a diverse network of national and international humanitarian organisations, set up to identify and grow areas of innovation that come directly from communities affected by crises.cted by crises. Read more.

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