In Berlin, we have now had multiple more sessions for the intermediate training programme so we thought it would be a good time to share some insights with you! The topic of the second ME4Change training session in Berlin was on Stakeholders, Customers and Competition, which went in depth on why stakeholders analysis are so crucial to new businesses. We have also held a session on Business Plan Templates, which clarified the importance of identifying the foundations of your business from Customer Segments to Value Propositions.
A little more on the Stakeholders, Customers and Competition Session
Questions of the Day
What is a stakeholder? Why should we map the stakeholders in the field of our business? How to map them? Are competition and competitors necessarily parties to stay away from, or can we sometimes benefit from each other? Who has the highest interest in our activities and who has the highest probability of influencing our business?
Way of Presenting and Discussing
The trainer of the day, Sebastian Wolf Siebzehnruebl, chose an analogue format so all of the presentation was supported by self-made drawings and graphics. This made it easy to follow and he also created a colloquial environment where everyone was invited to share their experiences and challenges related to the topic.
Furthermore, the participants were given time throughout the day to sit down and think or discuss with each other about their specific projects and how and why stakeholders are important for them.
Significantly, how important it is to not just embrace the question about how to overcome challenges, but rather start with discussing WHY is this a challenge in the first place? What are the root causes for difficulties we may face?
The two major challenges of the day that were discussed: 1) If and why immigrant children are embarrassed about their immigrant parents and their background and 2) machismo, why is it so hard for men to talk about their feelings?
What went well?
Nice atmosphere: colloquial and easy to speak out: seemed as if everyone was comfortable discussing and sharing their experiences and challenges. We received very positive feedback from the participants in the end regarding the environment we created.
A little more on the Business Plan Template Session
This session, also hosted by Sebastian, was centered around the Business Plan Canvas, which is a strategic management and lean startup template for developing business models. The Business Model Canvas was initially proposed by Alexander Osterwalder, based on his earlier work on Business Model Ontology. It was a useful tool that illustrated the potential trade-offs between the proposed activities of the businesses, but most importantly was a means which focused the eye for the trainees.
Above is a sample Business Plan Canvas that was used as an exemplar. We were most fortunate that Melisa, from MyMigrantMama, offered to present her business to the rest of the trainees. This was a means with which Melisa had the opportunity to receive feedback and importantly suggestions for things that may not have initially come to mind. From the first Design Thinking course, it has become apparent how important it is to receive feedback from those not working on your project to test the very foundations of your business.