Business Innovation for Sustainable Scale-up (BISS)

Making Collaboration Happen: Scaling Up Business Impacts on Sustainable Living

New sustainable business models can drive a significant change in the way we live our lives, such as sharing products, swapping goods, or purchasing services rather than products. How can the impacts of sustainable business models be scaled up from a niche towards a mass market application? Which strategies and key success factors are needed for scaling up impacts of sustainable business models? Which is the right scaling up strategy for which entrepreneurial type? These are questions the BISS project addresses.

Sustainable scale-up through business innovation

Responding to the opportunities offered by the increasing uptake of sustainable business models and associated business innovations, the CSCP together with the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) implemented the Business Innovation for Sustainable Scale-up project (BISS) from May 2012 to December 2013. The project provides  the basis for the establishment and development of the Global Network on Sustainable Innovation and Entrepreneurship, a hub for scaling up impacts of innovative business practices on sustainable living. The BISS project and the Global Network on Sustainable Innovation and Entrepreneurship were launched in an interactive parallel event at the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in June 2012.

Global Network:

The Global Network on Sustainable Innovation and Entrepreneurship was established to connect the many organisations, existing networks, and individuals in the private, public, and consumer sectors to create synergies and a critical global mass to enable a significant business contribution to sustainable living. Please visit the global network to find out more about all the interactive features: You can take part in online discussions, share your success story, interact with other members of the network and discover exciting events, videos, and pictures. You can even post your own! Joining the network is free and easy.

Multi-stakeholder scaling up guideline:

A guideline report on the success factors for scaling up business impacts on sustainable living and consumption. This report assists multi-stakeholders with assessing the success factors and associated partnership opportunities for three scaling up pathways, namely (1) scaling up impacts of organisations, (2) scaling up impacts from projects / programs, and (3) scaling up impacts through value creation.  This report is supported with illustrating practical examples, quotations from the project workstudios, and persons representing different stakeholder groups.

Multi-stakeholder dialogues:

Workstudios were held in four countries (Colombia, Philippines, Ghana, and Germany) creating a multi-stakeholder dialogue on how business and social innovations can foster the up-take of sustainable lifestyles, associated success factors, and pathways in which stakeholders can assist with achieving this vision. These workstudio were organised in partnership with local partners and the BMZ funded BIG2050 project, which focusses on sustainable lifestyles.

Research Framework:

This framework was developed as a practical approach to strengthen the link between business and sustainable living, and enhance communication and interaction between stakeholders in the private and public sector, support organisations, and consumers. It assists with the identification of and review opportunities for creating business impacts at micro, meso, and macro levels towards scaling up sustainable living. The framework is adaptable to the needs of various stakeholder groups (e.g. entrepreneurs, policy makers, consumer groups, multinational corporations). As part of the BISS project the framework was applied to develop an online tool for entrepreneurs and an interview series.

Reports and online materials:

All public materials produced as part of the BISS project are available from our website including the baseline assessment, multi-stakeholder guideline report, on-line tools, interviews, and reports on the multi-stakeholder workstudios held.