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SECURE – a new business model framework for measuring start-up performance

Tahseen Anwer Arshi (Department of Management, American University of Ras Al Khaimah, Ras al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates)
Venkoba Rao (Department of Management, Majan University College, Ruwi, Oman)
Sardar Islam (Department of Business, Economics and Finance, Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia)
Swapnil Morande (Department of Management, University of Naples Federico II, Naples, Italy)

Journal of Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies

ISSN: 2053-4604

Article publication date: 6 August 2020

Issue publication date: 17 July 2021




Existing business model frameworks show weak conceptual unification, a paucity of measurement focus and limitations when applied in emerging economies. The study proposes a new business model framework – “Start-up Evaluation Calculus Using Research Evidence” (SECURE). The purpose of this study is to allow the measurement of the impact of business model design on start-up performance in emerging economies.


Data collected from 713 entrepreneurs in select cities of India, Oman and the United Arab Emirates is analyzed through structural equation modeling. The study uses measurement and structural models to examine the validity of measures and additionally tests the five hypothesized relationships proposed in the study.


The SECURE’s components comprising desirability, marketability, feasibility, scalability and viability showed validity and reliability. They synergistically demonstrated a statistically significant effect on a mix of financial and non-financial start-up performance outcomes. An alternative structural relationship that examined the impact of SECURE on only financial performance outcomes showed a weaker model fit. The findings indicate that a business model framework is useful when its ex ante measures show a positive causal effect on the desired performance outcomes.

Practical implications

The scores obtained by the SECURE framework serve as an evaluative tool that informs entrepreneurs and start-ups on the readiness of their proposed, incubated or existing start-ups.


Replacing subjective judgments with objective assessment criteria, SECURE is one of the first quantitative and performance-driven business model frameworks that contain measures from all functional domains of a start-up business. Start-ups can evaluate their business models against the SECURE model’s research-driven quantitative criteria and assess their impact on start-up performance.



Arshi, T.A., Rao, V., Islam, S. and Morande, S. (2021), "SECURE – a new business model framework for measuring start-up performance", Journal of Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies, Vol. 13 No. 3, pp. 459-485.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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