Business Acquisition Platform

Business Acquisition Platform

Client: Laurea University of Applied Sciences

The challenge:
"In Finland, 28,746 companies were established during 2014.
In the meantime, 30,749 companies ended their business in the same year."

This is an interesting statistic because in lieu of the economic situation in Finland, the governments wants to encourage entrepreneurship. However, the statistics show a troubling trend. My team was given a challenge to create a 'business acquisition platform' where companies shutting down and those starting out can exchange resources. To understand the why companies start and shut down, we followed the process mentioned below.

Process
Initial interviews:
5 semi-structured interviews with entrepreneurs starting their company.
5 semi-structured interviews with entrepreneurs shutting down their company.

Key insights:

slide1
Key insights from all the interviews

Service ecosystem

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Service ecosystem map

From the service ecosystem map, we found about Yritys Suomi – the company being part of the welfare system of Finland, providing support and advice to entrepreneurs. Therefore, we mapped the customer journey of entrepreneurs who used Yritys Suomi's service to start a company as well to shut it down.

Customer journey for Yritys Suomi

customer-journey_bizacq-platform-01
Emotional customer journey for entrepreneurs starting a company
customer-journey_bizacq-platform-02
Emotional customer journey for entrepreneurs shutting down a company

From the customer journey map, we identified touchpoints which provided a negative experience and asked 'what if we could concert this low into a high?' This helped us define our problem statement, as mentioned below.

The problem: How do we facilitate knowledge exchange between entrepreneurs that are starting out and those that are shutting their companies?

Service concept development
In order to develop a solution, we used the Value Proposition Canvas followed by the Business Model Canvas (BMC).

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Value Proposition Canvas for entrepreneurs shutting down a company
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Value Proposition Canvas for entrepreneurs starting a company
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Business Model Canvas for the new service concept for Yritys Suomi

Role of the service provider is of 'facilitation'.

Outcome
Rather than create a service, we wanted to create a service ecosystem where entrepreneurs could thrive and grow their businesses. Our outcomes include:

  1. A peer to peer network (website) that connected entrepreneurs to each other.
  2. The network provided an opportunity for entrepreneurs to interact online as well as meet face to face to exchange knowledge.
  3. A blog written by Yritys Suomi advisors as well as entrepreneurs to consume knowledge and gain guidance passively.
  4. Weekly emails suggesting interest based meet-ups for entrepreneurs.

Measuring the service

  1. Number of entrepreneurs who sign up for this service through yritys Suomi.
  2. Number of peer-to-peer interactions enabled due to this service.
  3. Reduction in number of companies shutting down every year.

Keywords: service design, customer journey, value proposition canvas, business model canvas, service ecosystem, omni-channel service, ecosystem