This article identifies the main social contributions of Open Educational Resources (OERs), their impact and the results of several initiatives related to them. Based on a theoretical and reflexive framework, we analyze the evolution of business models around OERs, their contribution to open knowledge and the common educational policies related to this phenomenon. Finally, we point out the new horizons and models of knowledge based on OERs. Design/methodology/approach: This study utilizes a theoretical and conceptual framework based on references coming from journals with an impact factor, complemented with quotes by important authors and OER representatives. The review offers a conceptual and applied overview regarding the business models around OERs, their contribution to open knowledge and their impact on current society. Because the study is not empirical, the authors justify their statements on existing scientific literature with high academic impact. Practical implications include knowledge about the OER phenomenon, its social contributions, and the economic models established around it.