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KULeuvenX: Sustainable Business Models: Guidance for Future Farmers

In this course of 5 modules, our team of experts from both academic and non-academic institutes will introduce you to strategic planning for farming businesses of the 21st century. At the end of the course, you will be able to create and refine a Business Model.

6 weeks
4–6 hours per week
Progress at your own speed
This course is archived

About this course

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Agri-food systems are among the most important human-environmental production systems that shape our society. Current research on global drivers of change unambiguously demonstrates the role of the food system in the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Strengthening the position of the farmer has been recognized as one of the key factors for the transition towards more sustainable food systems.

In this course, we will explain the current context, problems and opportunities of the value food chain and more specifically the role of the farmer in this system. We clarify why it is of crucial importance to create a good business plan. We will also explain step-by-step how you can create a strategic plan for a farming business.

First we will look at the values, norms and internal factors of a company. Thereby identifying strengths and weaknesses. Next we will dive into the external factors of the business by using the 5 forces of Porter and the PESTEL analysis. Once you know all the factors that define and influence a business, we can start with the creation of a strategy.

You will learn about market segmentation and will be able to determine the target groups that fit with the created value propositions. Finally, we will look at the business model canvas and explain how the nine building blocks interact with each other and can be optimized.

We realize every farm is unique. There is not one receipt for a successful farm. Yet, we offer you a background, insight and inspiration that helps you to develop a robust, resilient and future-proof business model.

This MOOC was made in collaboration with the following projects:

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement: Newbie No 772835 I FOX No 817683 I RUSTICA 101000527 I COCOREADO 101000573

Course created with support from

FHSWOdiseeILVORikoltoEuropean Union

At a glance

  • Institution: KULeuvenX
  • Subject: Business & Management
  • Level: Introductory
  • Prerequisites:
    • Secondary school
    • Interested in the agro value chain and the agro-industry
  • Language: English
  • Video Transcript: English
  • Associated skills: Research, Value Propositions, Business Planning, Strategic Planning, Sustainable Business, Production Systems, Refining, Resilience, Innovation, Business Modeling, PEST Analysis, Influencing Skills, Market Segmentation, Sustainable Development

What you'll learn

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  • Understand the struggles of the agro food chain
  • Explain the importance and benefits of a good business plan
  • Understand the difference between management and entrepreneurship
  • Identify the 6 capitals of a farming business
  • Identify the local and global supporting environments of a farming business
  • Complete a SWOT analysis of a farming business
  • Develop a strategy based on the SWOT analysis by using Porter’s generic strategies
  • Identify the business’ value propositions in the value elements pyramid
  • Determine the businesses customer segments
  • Complete a value proposition canvas
  • Complete a business model canvas

Module 1: Introduction

Introduction of the main topics covered in this MOOC. Furthermore, an explanation of the current state of the agro sector and the components of a business plan.

Module 2: Entrepreneurship

Explanation of the difference between entrepreneurship and management, the values of a company and the internal factors of a business.

Module 3: External factors

Exploration of the external factors that influence a business.

Module 4: Value proposition and customer segmentation

Exploration of the value proposition and customer segmentation of a farming business and the fit between them.

Module 5: Business Model Canvas (BMC)

Exploration of the business model canvas and on how to make it more robust and futureproof.

Module 6: Outro

Complete the course by passing the final quiz.

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