What is a 'Business Ecosystem'

The network of organizations – including suppliers, distributors, customers, competitors, government agencies and so on – involved in the delivery of a specific product or service through both competition and cooperation. The idea is that each business in the "ecosystem" affects and is affected by the others, creating a constantly evolving relationship in which each business must be flexible and adaptable in order to survive, as in a biological ecosystem.

BREAKING DOWN 'Business Ecosystem'

The ecosystem model can also be applied to organizations such as hospitals and universities. This term is part of a recent trend toward using biological concepts to better understand ways to succeed in business. Advances in technology and increasing globalization have changed ideas about the best ways to do business, and the idea of a business ecosystem is thought to help companies understand how to thrive in this rapidly changing environment.

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