Expanding entrepreneurial solution spaces in times of crisis: Business model experimentation amongst packaged food and beverage ventures

Tua A. Björklund*, Maria Mikkonen, Pauliina Mattila, Floris van der Marel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)
193 Downloads (Pure)


Research summary: Times of crisis require entrepreneurial responses to mitigate adverse effects and address new opportunities. This study focuses on how packaged food and drink entrepreneurs in Finland took action to create and capture new value during the Covid-19 crisis. Examining 844 social media posts of 66 ventures between March and May 2020 and interviewing 17 of these ventures, we found ventures to experiment with new business model variations, which not only expanded their set of solutions directly, but resulted in action-based learning leading to longer-term changes and increased capabilities for subsequent value creation. Furthermore, collaborative experiments and prosocial support increased the solution space through developing the capabilities of the ecosystem. Managerial summary: The global lockdown measures in response to the coronavirus pandemic have disrupted supply, production, sales and consumption. Facing these constraints, entrepreneurs can respond quickly and experiment to create new liquidity and opportunities. Our analysis of packaged food and beverage entrepreneurs in Finland during the crisis shows how entrepreneurs leverage existing resources and acquire new ones to create new offerings, operations and partnerships. These initial actions serve as experiments to learn from in creating and revising business models, promoting a virtuous cycle of further action and expanding potential future solutions accessible to entrepreneurs. Importantly, opportunities available to the venture expand through both venture specific learning and through supporting other actors in the ecosystem.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere00197
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Business Venturing Insights
Early online date25 Sept 2020
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Capabilities
  • Crisis
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Experimentation
  • Value creation


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