EIRC Seminar – Tatiana Khvatova (emlyon) and Rita Klapper (Idrac) present their research project titled “Applying the concept of Business Model in start-ups: insights and inconsistencies”


Date: Tuesday, March 14th, 2023

Time: 12:00 to 13:30


On March 14th, 2023, Tatiana Khvatova (on site) and Rita Klapper (online) presented a working research project exploring the application of the concept of Business Model is start-ups. They introduced the theoretical background for their project, their pilot study, as well as a potential research design for a new main study.

The discussion contemplated the need to clarify the research questions, define an appropriate research design, as well as identify potential outlets and additional literature for such a project.

A big thanks to Tatiana and Rita and to everyone who engaged in the discussion and shared their insights!


Project description:

Applying the concept of Business Model in (sustainability) start-ups: insights and inconsistencies

Drs Rita G. Klapper (Idrac Business School, Lyon) & Tatiana Khvatova (emlyon business school)


This research project builds on existing research conducted by the principal investigators in France, Holland, Russia and Canada.  The study aims to explore the perception of the concept of business models by sustainability entrepreneurs, initially in the Netherlands.  We are particularly interested in how individual experience, perception and learning shape sustainability BMs in start-ups. Hence our research aims:

  • To explore the cognitive side of BM development in sustainability start-ups with focus on:
  • Entrepreneurial perception of the BM
  • BM development: phases, different processes involved, stakeholders involved in the different phases
  • Entrepreneurial learning experience
  • Value creation processes for different stakeholders, as both recipients and (co) creators of value  
  • The role of sustainability in/for the BM
  • The success of the BM


Our study focuses on the individual level, and we are presently exploring whether the project can be conducted both in the Netherlands and in France.  There is also a potential for it to be longitudinal. We would like to explore 10 to 12 illustrative cases in both countries (regions), conduct interviews with the start-up entrepreneurs, and potentially talk to the business support organizations in each area.


We are happy to collaborate with individuals and organizations interested in this research and invite the latter to contact us on rgklapper@gmail.com or rita.klapper@ecoles-idrac.fr and khvatova@em-lyon.fr.


We envisage a number of outcomes of this research:

  1. Knowledge exchange between both the practitioners and academics in both countries
  2. Practice oriented publications
  3. Academic publications
  4. Recommendations for policy makers
  5. Organization of events (regional, cross-national, online, hybrid, face to face) involving both practitioners and academics from both countries (regions).


We are also interested in collaborating with a PhD researcher to collect data for/with us.