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Fostering entrepreneurial learning processes through Dynamic Start-up business model simulators


Entrepreneurial learning is a critical process in realizing the success or failure of a new business venture, as it implies that would-be entrepreneurs acquire those strategic management competencies required to start and manage a new business. Actually, statistics on start-up survival/failure rate reveal that the main reasons for failure are related to a lack of entrepreneurial competencies of start-uppers. This paper argues that combining Business Model representation schemas with System Dynamics modelling may support potential start-up entrepreneurs in learning and experimenting how to turn a business idea into a real firm. System Dynamics modelling is a methodology that allows us to elicit would-be entrepreneurs’ mental models underlying the ways to start and set up the strategic architecture of a nascent business, as well as to learn essential strategic management principles by exploring – through the use of simulation – alternative strategic choices and associated scenarios within a protected interactive learning environment. As such, a ‘Dynamic Business Modelling’ approach may offer useful insights to start-up entrepreneurs by capturing, explaining and simulating how critical business model elements interact to produce enduring competitive advantages over time.