Linguistic Services Planning

This work was housed under SIL International’s Language Program Training (ILPT) department. I was able to help facilitate service design conversations both inside and outside the department. We used the business model canvas to capture business activities. We were then able to use the Value Proposition Canvas to talk about how we might add value to our customers by addressing their pain points. We wanted to know what a more valued service might look like to our customers.

We also introduced a service maturity model to help business plan owners look at the maturity of their business model and service and pursue growth opportunities.

Often in business modeling final solutions pencil out in financial numbers. With NGO work we have multiple non-traditional applications of the Business Model Canvas. For instance:

  • We have customers who are not the payees.
  • We have social impact goals compete with financial goals.
  • We have income streams which are not directly tied to output services rendered or products produced.
Example model

An example mapping service streams to business model canvas boxes. Credit: Hugh Paterson III & Fraser Bennet

I consulted a variety of Open Education and Business Model Resources as part of this project. A partial list appears below.

Consulted Sources

Avonds (2017)
(). How does organizational learning influence the business model? The case of a high-tech company  (M.S. Thesis) Open Universiteit Nederland, Retrieved from
Banda (2016)
(). Mapping the NREN Business Model using the Business Model Canvas: the case of TENET.
Black, Bissessar & Boolaky (2019)
, & (). Online Education as an Opportunity Equalizer: The Changing Canvas of Online Education. Interchange, 50(3). 423–443.
De Langen (2013)
(). Strategies for sustainable business models for open educational resources. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 14(2). 53.
Langen (2011)
(). There is no business model for open educational resources: a business model approach. Open Learning: The Journal of Open, Distance and e-Learning, 26(3). 209–222.
Denna (2014)
(). The Business Model of Higher Education. EducausEreview(March/April). 62–63.
Janssen, Schuwer & Mulder (2012)
, & (). A Business Model Approach for Open Educational Resources in Open Universities. In Okada, A. (Eds.), Okada, A. (2012). Open Educational Resources and Social Networks: Co-Learning and Professional Development.. Scholio Educational Research & Publishing. Retrieved from
Lichy & Birch (2015)
Lichy, J. & Birch, C. (). Advanced Business Models in International Higher Education. Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
MacBryde & Franco-Santos (n.d.)
& (n.d.). Designing better performance measurement systems in universities using the business model canvas. 10.
McAvennie (2017)
(). Development of a business model for the internationalisation of a Finnish corporate training service for the European data centre industry  (MBA Thesis) Jyväskylän ammattikorkeakoulu University of Applied Sciences, Finland. Retrieved from
(N.A.) (2013)
(N.A.). (). Business Models for Online Higher Education. Hanover Research.
Ochinanwata & Ezepue (2017)
& (). Business Model Innovation In Nigerian Higher Education Institutions.
Prifti, Knigge, Löffler, Hecht & Krcmar (2017)
, , , & (). Emerging Business Models in Education Provisioning: A Case Study on Providing Learning Support as Education-as-a-Service. International Journal of Engineering Pedagogy (iJEP), 7(3). 92.
Valentin, Werth & Loos (2014)
, & (). Towards a Business Model Framework for E-learning Companies. 11.
Wehn (2017)
(). University Business Models & Value Propositions in the Digital Age.

Hugh Paterson III
Hugh Paterson III
Collaborative Scholar

I specialize in bespoke research at the intersection of Linguistics, Law, Languages, and Technology; specifically utility and life-cycle management for information products in these spaces.

Fraser Bennett
Fraser Bennett
Education Administrator

My research interests include field linguistics, grammatical description, and translation.