About the Project
The goal of the project was to study an existing B Corporation and expand its business model. The selected B Corporation was Greyston Bakery as a social enterprise, Greyston provides individuals in Yonkers, NY with employment skills and resources to lift them out of poverty. Taking their core values and business environment into account, a new business concept was created to help this company continue to fulfill its mission.
Greyston’s business is making delicious brownies, and their mission is to help the at-risk community in Yonkers, NY. Their open-door policy offers employment opportunities regardless of education, work history or past social barriers, such as incarceration, homelessness or drug use.
THE GREYSTON FOUNDATION
Greyston Foundation provides employees of Greyston Bakery with housing, professional development, child care, and community gardens. Greyston Foundation is actually the parent company of Greyston Bakery, as well as a few other For-Profit and Nonprofit subsidiaries.
“B Corps are for-profit companies certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.” Becoming certified as a B-Corp allows socially-motivated businesses to gain recognition, and have their mission accredited by the B Lab.
The current B-Assessment score for Greyston Bakery is 143. Although Greyston scored above the median in each of the applicable categories, the majority of their points are allocated in the “Community” section. This is due the plethora of support services Greyston offers to their employees (and their families) through the Greyston Foundation.
Business Environment Analysis
As we began the process of research, we chose to first conduct a PEST analysis. We gathered data not only for the present time period, but 5-10 years in the future, and even 10-20 years into the future. By conducting a PEST analysis, we overviewed the business environment surrounding Greyston in a macroscopic view. This allowed us to take notice of overarching patterns and trends that may impact the outcome of our proposed solution.
We chose to take a closer look at the relationships between Greyston bakery and other stakeholders, in order to see how they work in the industry. We analyzed the stakeholders that are involved with Greyston both directly and indirectly.
In order to holistically understand all of the stakeholders involved in the Greyston ecosystem, we completed two stakeholder maps. One map was completed from the perspective of a Greyston factory employee, and the other map was completed from the perspective of a Greyston Bakery customer.
The Value Flow Model is a tool designed to visualize the entire system in which a business operates. By using this tool to map the Greyston ecosystem, we were able to see all of the connections visually. We were able to identify the flows of goods and services, as well as the flow of money and credits, information and value.
After completing our overall process of analyzing the stakeholder landscape surrounding Greyston, we realized a few key points. Not only do Greyston employees have a significant stake in the success of Greyston Bakery, so do their families and the Yonkers, New York community. Therefore, it is critical to not only focus on the Greyston employees themselves, but the entire family unit and community at large.
BUSINESS MODEL ANALYSIS
The Business Model Canvas, designed by Alex Osterwalder, is a tool that allows people to map each component of a business model. This tool allows users to see which areas of their business model correspond with others, and which areas may need further development.
The Social Business Model Canvas is a tool that heavily borrows from Osterwalder’s Business Model Canvas. However, the Social Business Model canvas includes four very pertinent areas that were previously omitted. The areas of “Beneficiary Segments”, “Impact Measures”, “Surplus” and “Social and Customer Value Proposition” are included in the Social Business Model Canvas in order to create a holistic map of a social enterprise.
Competitive Environment Analysis
After thoroughly researching and analyzing the business environment, we then looked into each of the customer segments Greyston currently serves.
CUSTOMER NEEDS MATRIX
After identifying each customer segment, we then began to evaluate the needs of each segment. This allowed us to proceed with a clear understanding of what is important and valuable to each customer.
COMPETITOR STRATEGY CANVAS
We distinguished three separate segments of Greyston’s competitors. Each of those segments has different drivers of competitors. We rated them in different ways by the sources from our secondary research. Lines drawn on the strategy canvas let us find some potential spots to fit and explore with interesting ideas.
To identify opportunities, we took into consideration findings from both the Competitive Environment Analysis and the Business Environment Analysis, trends within the areas of the B Corp Assessment (Workers, Environment, Customers, and Governance), and a benchmark on other B Corporations that belonged to industries that were similar to Greyston’s.
Through the process of affinity mapping, we identified a few areas of opportunity:
- Building social ecosystems with other like-minded companies to help the local Yonkers' community.
- Health and mindfulness within the baking industry for social good.
- The rise of urban farming within the cities' under used spaces
Based on the insights gathered through the research phase, we then proceeded to sketch, or describe a potential solution to the proposed problem. After that we proceeded with our selected group of ideas that met the criteria of the project, and also had the potential to create value in the Greyston ecosystem.
We used a Concept Evaluation Matrix to decide which concept to select and move forward with. Although our final concept would likely have its own unique customer segments, we had to also be sure that we were first fulfilling the needs of the existing Greyston customers. In addition to serving the needs of the customers (and creating value for them) we also looked into the value of our concepts to Greyston as a business. By completing the Concept Evaluation Matrix, we were able to confidently move forward in evaluating our ideas using 2x2 mapping techniques.
CONCEPT EVALUATION INSIGHTS
After having plotted the results from the matrix in two different 2x2’s to identify the concepts that had received the highest scores, we were able to determine which ones were the ones we wanted to work on. As many of our concepts shared some common ground, we then decided to combine several ideas to generate a new business concept that serves multiple of the needs and opportunities our research identified. The tools we used allowed us to easily come to these conclusions as they showed results visually.
New Business Concept
Greyston Farms is a social enterprise that provides individuals in Yonkers, NY with employment skills and resources to lift them out of poverty, by growing organic goods within the city’s underutilized spaces. Greyston Farms targets the local Yonkers community. The main goal of this venture is to directly give back to the community and create more positive impact among its locals.
BENEFITS FOR GREYSTON FOUNDATION AND GREYSTON BAKERY
The creation of Greyston Farms will bring a number of benefits to the Greyston Foundation and Greyston Bakery, among them:
Increase surplus: All profits would be directed to the Foundation.
Employment opportunities: Greyston Farms will create employment opportunities for the Foundation’s beneficiaries that have not been able to findwork within Greyston Bakery.
End poverty in Yonkers: Furthering the Foundation’s mission, Greyston Farms is providing community members with a way of earning a living.
Build Reputation: Revitalizing neighborhoods, providing employment, training and certifications will continue to build the Foundation’s reputation among the Yonkers’ community.
NEW BUSINESS MODEL CANVAS
Although the Business Model Canvas of Greyston Farms is very similar to that of Greyston Bakery, there are a few differences. First of all, the cost structure and flow of revenue is different, mainly because Greyston Farms requires different equipment to sufficiently operate. Greyston Farms also has a strong focus on the local Yonkers community. This aspect differs from Greyston Bakery, which sells its products to people and wholesalers across the country.
NEW SOCIAL BUSINESS MODEL CANVAS
The Social Business Model Canvas of Greyston Farms is also very similar to that of Greyston Bakery, but again there are a few differences. Greyston Farms focuses on the local Yonkers community even more so than Greyston Bakery. Some of the social aspects of Greyston Farms that differ from the bakery, is that Greyston Farms employs teenagers. Greyston Bakery is devoted to providing “pathways out of poverty” and focuses on the at-risk community through employing adults. Greyston Farms, however, recognizes that at-risk teens and adolescents could also benefit from a local outreach initiative that also provides workforce development training.
FUTURE OUTCOMES FRAMEWORK
Using this method, helped us clarify the goals we set for our venture as well to measure success. Analyzing the development of our business, helped us assess potential changes we would make to our implementation plan. We assessed each target segment to ensure that anyone impacted by our venture was considered, while exploring the different perspectives of our team.
The Strategy Map works with the Balanced Score Card Framework. The purpose of this tool is to create, analyze and compare strategies to achieve and measure the goals the organization has set. The Strategy Map later helped us narrow down what we needed to create the final Balanced Score Cards.
BALANCED SCORE CARDS
The Balanced Score Cards is a framework that evaluates four perspectives: Financial, Development, Internal Processes, and Customer. Each perspective sets strategic goals from the corporate strategy, critical success factors, Key Performance Indicators and an Action Plan.
After developing KPI’s we designed a metrics dashboard that would easily allow Greyston Farms management to evaluate, analyze, track and assess if the KPI’s were being met. The dashboards presented next show fictitious data.