In part I of these series, I have explained to you the challenge Makro Nederland was facing and why the company decided to adapt its business model in order to stay relevant. In short, Makro has decided to become a unique marketplace where entrepreneurs can also meet and get inspired. Makro will therefore step more into the role of a facilitator, handing these entrepreneurs good ideas and smart solutions, so that their time spent at Makro is time well spent.


Looking for a different approach, Makro sought collaboration with Team Academy, an international school for entrepreneurship, based in Amsterdam. The students of Team Academy are all trained in modern design thinking skills, a methodology that is always human-centered, possibility driven, options focused and iterative.

Doing lots of interviews with Makro clients and using tools like the Business Model Canvas and Value Proposition Design by Osterwalder, they were quickly able to establish the pains and gains of three types of Makro clients:

  1. The New Entrepreneur – is keen on being independent, loves his/her freedom and working in diverse teams, is usually passion and fun driven, has a great network and is a tech-savvy person. There is not much difference between business and social life. He/she could use some support though from experienced entrepreneurs, helping him/her e.g. understand how to handle business operations and how to do develop the right sales and marketing skills.
  2. The Experienced Entrepreneur – perfectly understands the value of a good network around him/her, likes to have his/her own playground and responsibilities. By utilizing his network, knowledge and experience, he/she runs his/her business with efficiency and fun. This experienced entrepreneur is usually a born leader who knows how to convert vision and ideas into practice and understands the importance of sharing knowledge with younger generations. He/she could use some support though on how to benefit from technological tools and how to make work a bit more about fun and passion in order to get creativity stirred up.
  3. The Hospitality Entrepreneur –  like The New Entrepreneur, The Hospitality Entrepreneur is very keen on freedom and independence. He/she always has a growing network, will always strive for the satisfaction of the guests, and is always in search of new trends and new challenges. He/she could use some support though on how to handle logistics better, how to avoid unforeseen expenses and how to reach new customers.


Doing research and creating personas like this (which of course were much more elaborate than this quick summary), helped Makro to specifically tailor a proposition for its clients. It helped to determine the ‘What is?’-phase, the necessary starting point when wanting to adapt a business model. The main conclusion here was clear: ‘If we already have all these great entrepreneurs in the house, basically the only thing left is to connect them, let them share their knowledge and help them grow that way’. That’s how value is being created.

In the following episode, I will get into the steps that were taken to start implementing this solution. 

Wanna have a peek already what is being organized at Makro? Events are both published at the S2M Event Calendar and


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