Getting broken items back into working order

Major variations

On-demand repairs versus maintenance contracts. Repairing items using readily available materials versus replacing specialist components only manufactured far away.

Potential impacts

  • Keep items in use that would otherwise go to waste or landfill
  • Enable people to keep using items that they perhaps could not afford to replace
  • Keeping local industry or businesses functioning and productive – economic impacts in the community
  • Reduce energy and material usage due to increasing the life span of items


  • In most places there will be demand for the repair of some type of item, and it can benefit the community a lot to offer it


  • A wide range of skills may be needed depending on how different the items brought to you for repair are.
  • Some spare parts may be difficult to get hold of, and the unpredictability of demand can make keeping stock expensive.
  • For some items, mass produced new equivalents can be so cheap that the labour intensive approach of repairing old ones is uneconomic.

Business model canvas

Key partners

  • Repair Café movement
  • ASK Network (open source repair toolkit)
  • Suppliers of components and spare parts
  • Look for partners who can help you with any of the items that would otherwise be costs: e.g. community centres or libraries who might let you use their space

Key activities

  • Advertising
  • Repairing
  • Ensuring parts availability

Key resources

  • Repair skills
  • Tools & equipment

Value propositions

  • Ability to use the item or device again (whether for personal use, or in income generating activities) 
  • Cost savings over buying a new item
  • Reduce waste and the number of items going to landfill
  • Convenience – being able to get something working quickly

Customer relationships

  • Service relationship
  • Co-creation – repairing things alongside the customer and transferring skills at the same time


  • Social media & local advertising to individuals
  • Word of mouth & referrals
  • Build relationships with organisations

Customer segments

  • People with broken items
  • Organisations with broken items
  • Organisations who provide items to others that they want kept in good repair
  • Charities or other organisations that want to support device repair

Cost structure

  • Time 
  • Components
  • Tools & equipment
  • Inventory carrying cost
  • Space where repairs are carried out
  • Advertising or marketing costs

Revenue streams

  • Charge for repairs (by time spent or per item)
  • Charge for spare parts
  • Charge an annual fee for maintenance
  • Ask for voluntary contributions (tips / pay what you can)
  • Vol

Complementary models

Supporting others to develop knowledge and skills with the focus on education and certification​
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