WildLife Economy

Sustainable business models for a Wildlife Economy

01/31/2023 - 16:36

How to balance between ecology and economic vitality
  • Research

An environmental issue is that often nature is considered as a counterbalance for economic development instead of an economic asset. Thus, nature-based business opportunities are not seized, or rather developed ‘stand-alone’. This results in uncontrolled pressure on the area while generated income does not flow back into nature management of the area. A more cohesive approach will allow to develop financial mechanisms for management of nature areas struggling to generate sufficient budget. Also, ecological projects do not require to be in synergy with local economies and communities, making initiatives less effective. For example, reintroduction of indigenous species is a policy aim, but a lack of local support results in delay and/or cancellation.


Nature as an economic asset

For the Interreg project Wildlife Economy: nature as an economic asset, Breda University of Applied Sciences (BUas) was asked to help develop a supporting methodology for the implementation of Sustainable Business Models in the Regional Landscape Kempen and Maasland (RLKM).


Recent development in ideas about using tourism for a more sustainable society (such as for example so-called regenerative tourism), emphasizes that such a change is not possible, without new business models where the success of a business is explicitly related to the success of the environment.


Business Purpose Canvas

A proposal was made for a Business Purpose Canvas (BPC). This canvas for stakeholders of a local region helps to explore how the success of a businesses is inextricably linked to the development of the region. The Business Purpose Canvas was presented as part of a broader manual outlining a methodology to support the implementation of sustainable business models in RLKM.

In the face of social and environmental issues, businesses and their economic development can no longer be afforded to be acknowledged separately. The development of the Business Purpose Canvas contributes to a growing body of resources for entrepreneurs to reconsider their business as embedded in society.

The entire manual can be read here.

This project was funded by Interreg Europe.


Our researchers explored new business models in the transition of this rural region from agricultural area towards more diverse region that also provides sustainable accommodation and gastronomy. Would you have any questions? Please mail Lauren Verheijen (Verheijen.l@buas.nl)