Although transforming economies offer many examples of business model innovation, they have been largely overlooked in academic research, with most studies focusing on what happens in developed countries. However, in their push to become innovation economies, transforming economies have become experimentation arenas for new ways of doing business. This special issue addresses the gap in business model innovation research in several ways. First, we develop a co-evolutionary framework in which we consider what type of business model innovation occurs in transforming economies (adoption, adaptation, or creation) and who the central players are (indigenous firms or MNEs). We show how, through business model innovation, indigenous firms have begun to challenge global industry leaders – despite not having the same resource advantages, proprietary technology, or market power – and we highlight the consequences of this for the domestic and global environment. Second, we discuss how the articles in this special issue advance research by contributing to a co-evolutionary perspective on business model innovation for a global and digital world. Third, to guide future research on business model innovation in the fascinating context of transforming economies we outline various directions that could build on our framework and the articles presented here.