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Online financial calculator as a microlearning tool for entrepreneurs in business modelling


Objective: The article aims to present the opportunities of the practical use of an online financial calculator considered as an improvement when compared to already existing tools and as a supplement to Osterwalder and Pigneur’s business model canvas. It facilitates the calculations required by entrepreneurs and start-ups to assess data related to financial forecasting.

Research Design & Methods: The article adopts a conceptual analysis approach and a statistical evaluation of the proposed financial calculator by 58 Polish entrepreneurs. The latter tested the calculator and assessed its functionality, listing the most interesting aspects.

Findings: The results demonstrate that forecasting the payback period over several years is the most useful function offered by the proposed online financial calculator. The second most important element is its calculation of an estimation of investment costs, which is useful for start-ups and entrepreneurs. The conceptual analysis findings consider the tool to be a form of ‘microlearning’ and an improvement on existing tools. The article demonstrates how it can be easily used by entrepreneurs and start-ups for conducting financial calculations.

Implications & Recommendations: An analysis of the already existing financial tools indicates that they are either too simple or too complex. The proposed online financial calculator supplements the information inputted into the cost structure and revenue model elements in the business model canvas. The financial calculator ought to act as a tool that significantly supplements the business model canvas.

Contribution & Value Added: This article addresses a gap in the literature related to criticism directed towards the business model canvas. The latter does not allow for any financial calculations. The inclusion of the financial calculator with the business model canvas enables the provision of new financial insights. It enables entrepreneurs to assess when economic viability will be achieved. Considered a simple and easy-to-use microlearning tool, the financial calculator is user-friendly and it allows for the inputting of data (multiple times, if required) in a brief period, being both cost-effective (as it is publicly available online at no cost) and efficient due to the brief period required to use it. To date, there is no other adequate tool that may be used to determine the optimisation of assets of either a start-up or of an already existing enterprise. Neither is there an adequate online financial tool that addresses the cost structure and revenue streams elements in the business model canvas.


business models, financial calculator, NPV, IRR, microlearning


Author Biography

Ludmiła Walaszczyk

Ludmila Walaszczyk, Ph.D. in Management Science, Lukasiewicz Research Network – Institute for Sustainable Technologies, Radom Poland, Head of Hybrid Learning and Behavioural Economics Lab. Her scientific interests concern business models aspects, the multiculturality in organisations, and the management of the modern enterprise.

Sandra Dingli

Sandra Dingli, Ph.D. in Philosophy, University of Durham, UK; Professor, Edward de Bono Institute for Creative Thinking and Innovation at the University of Malta. Her research interests include innovation management, foresight, business models, leadership, and new digital technology.


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