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Business Makeover: Case survey on BMI by SMEs

List of Authors: Harry Bouwman, Marikka Heikkilä, Jukka Heikkilä, Mark de Reuver, Andre Madian
Publication year: 2017



This article analyses Business Model Innovation (BMI) in small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs)
in an order to recognise drivers and resulting changes when the companies are innovating their
Business Models (BMs). We present both insights from individual cases and some general patterns as
well as provide management guidelines.


The authors conducted a case survey on BMI in 28 SMEs from several European countries.


BM Innovation requires changes to many elements of the BM, almost always to the service or
product offering as well as to the business network. Also the target market and the technology
utilised are most often altered. Use of BM tools to design and analyse these changes was found to
lead to better understanding of BMs and helped to spot blank spots or loopholes in the BMs.


Our research shows that BMI looks easy but that implementation of ideas are complex and needs
careful management attention. Instead of trying to delimit the changes to only some element of the
BM, managers should consider the whole BM, and especially focus on the offering and collaboration
with business partners. SMEs would benefit from easy to use platforms and tooling that make it
possible to test the viability and sustainability of their BMs and support them with implementation of


This paper is one of the few surveys in the BMI field that focus on SMEs. It illustrates what drives
SME to innovate their BMs and what is the scope of the changes required.


Business Model Innovation, Case survey, SME, Business Model, Business Model tool, BM driver 

Last updated on 2019-21-08 at 23:31