Edible City Solutions for a better world!

Find answers to your questions around Edible City Solutions

In our work with different entrepreneurs, inititatives and ECS businesses we constantly try to find answers for pressing questions about how to design and run a successful organization. We gather the answers from experts and condense some of the most asked questions on this page. If you don’t find the answers to your questions, be sure to contact us.

Also visit the EdiCitNet download area for further inoformation.


Do Business with ECS – FAQ:

What is the definition of a sustainable value proposition?

“A promise on the economic, environmental and social benefits that a firm’s offering delivers to customers and society at large, considering both short-term profits and long-term sustainability”

What are the key aspects of a value proposition?

Key elements include:

-Which customer problem will be solved?
-Why should customers purchase your product/your service/your value proposition?
-What makes your product unique?
-How can your value proposition be aligned with the principles of sustainability? (What positive impacts do your products and services have on the environment and society?)

What are key sustainability priciples to observe when building a business?
  • Efficiency: reduction of the amount of environmental
    resources per unit of output;
  • Consistency: preventing harmful or toxic substances, using renewable resources and biological principles, ensuring closed material loops, recycling;
  • Sufficiency: sustainable lifestyles and consumption patterns, limiting consumption to necessities;
  • Preventing unjustifiable risks: avoiding highly invasive technologies with uncertain consequences such as atomic energy;
  • Distributive justice: just distribution of resources and incomes within a generation; generational justice in successive generations
How do I determine in which part of the ECS value chain I am in?

Any ECSI can classify its activities as being part of one or more parts of the ECS value chain. Activity areas can also change over time when you add activities or products to your portfolio. On the EdiCitNet Marketplace, we also use the term “product or service category” to describe the value chain activities. Choose from the following value chain activities:

  • Education
  • Raw Resource Input
  • Resource and Waste Recovery
  • Retail
  • Circular Economy
  • Dirstribution
  • Preparation and Consumption
  • Processing
  • Production
What are major forms of financing for my ECS business?

Financing of your ECS business or initiative can be reached via many different ways. For most, a combination of different financing forms will be necessary. The following is a quick list of different options:

  • Government grants and programs
  • Public or private banks
  • Incubators or accelerators
  • Business angels
  • Crowdfunding or Crowdinvesting
  • Friends & Family
  • First revenues
What is meant by "other stakeholders" in the Edible City Solution Canvas?

In order not to view the business model in isolation from the outside world, the Edible City Solution Canvas also includes other stakeholders in addition to customers and key partners. Both external and internal groups that make demands on the company are considered. The different perspectives of the stakeholder groups customers, network partners, environment and society should be considered.

In the context of sustainability-oriented start-up ideas, it should be considered whether the business model offers additional benefits for further stakeholders. It should also be analyzed what influence individual groups of stakeholders have on the company to be founded.

What is the difference between the Business Model Canvas and the Edible City Solution Canvas?

The Business Model Canvas was originally developed by Alexander
Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur and serves to visualize and analyze
the way a business functions. Today, it is the probably most widely
used tool for start-up management and has become the standard
for start-up presentations and workshops. The Borderstep Institute
for Innovation and Sustainability has integrated sustainability
concepts into the design of the original canvas and worked with
Humboldt University to create the Edible City Solutions Canvas.
The ECS Canvas is tailored to the needs of aspiring entrepreneurs
and teams that want to develop economically sustainable models
that serve their communities and establish new or enhanced value
chains for local and sustainable food production.

In the ECS Canvas, you will notice that the traditional segments
‘Customer Relations’ and ‘Customer Relationships’ are combined
to form a single segment called ‘Customers’. In addition, two
new segments are added: ‘Competitors’ and ‘Other Relevant
Stakeholders’, in order to incorporate the environment the ECS
is operating in.

What are different business models in urban agriculture?

The major business models in urban agriculture are:

  • Differentiation
  • Diversification
  • Low Cost
  • Commons
  • Experience

To learn more about these business models, see our “GROWING JOBS IN URBAN AGRICULTURE” playbook. Download here.

How do I use social media tools efficiently in my rorganization?

ECS occupy a niche position due to their socially and environmentally  oriented value proposition. Thus, using Social Media platforms efficiently can lead to more opportunities for communicating your value proposition, connect you to local customers and partners and help evolve your economically sustainable models to fit the needs of customers and trends. Growing Jobs in Urban Agriculture Workshop focused on this need because social media tools propose an increasingly growing impact on how information is sourced and disseminated. If you would like to freshen up your skills or increase your competence to understand what works for you, below are some tips and hints from Stian Broch, a photographer who presented at the ‘Growing Jobs in Urban Agriculture Workshop’ for what works on social media and how to make it happen.

• Create your own style
• Keep your feed clean
• Be short and precise
• Be eager, but don’t be desperate
• Don’t post if it’s not good enough
• Improve your camera skills
• Be confident with your digital tools
• Use stories to be a bit more loose, but keep the quality up
• Timing is everything, but at what time?
• Respond, interact and be creative in your way of communication
• Make money!