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Sustainable Entrepreneurship in Practice: Paving the way to a new sustainable society?
Linnaeus University, School of Business and Economics, Department of Organisation and Entrepreneurship.
2017 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Although a variety of definitions of sustainability and sustainable entrepreneurship can be found in literature, the concept of the pursuit of both social, environmental and economic goals while creating value is a widely accepted perspective on sustainability entrepreneurship. However, the implementation of this holistic approach turns out to be very complex and hard to realize for sustainable ventures. While literature only gives general and little concrete recommendations on how to implement the integration of sustainability goals in a business, a tendency can be observed that sustainable entrepreneurship is often considered synonym with more environmentally focused concepts like green or ecopreneurship. This paper aims to examine how entrepreneurs integrate sustainability in their business model, and how they manage to integrate the three dimensions. Another research focus is laid on the question of how sustainable entrepreneurs can foster and forward a transformation towards sustainable development.

This study is investigated through multiple case study approach: Nine sustainability startups and institutions promoting sustainability entrepreneurship shall be investigated in order to get more insight on the goals and strivings of sustainability entrepreneurs, how they put them into practice, and how their actions can help to foster sustainable development in an economy.  

It was found that the integration of diverse sustainability dimensions is very complex, and most easily solved with a step-wise integrational approach, as entrepreneurs are still facing many challenges mostly due to the current, not sustainably-focused market conditions. Some “green” tendencies can be observed among the startups and institutions observed, but this can rather be traced back to practical reasons, not to the fact that their perspective of sustainability explicitly focuses on environmental aspects. It was further found, that entrepreneurs can be essential drivers for the sustainability transformation, which can also be fostered and accelerated through political action, education, information and transparency, technology, simplicity and access, gamification, psychology and cooperation and networks.

The study has scientific relevance as the struggle of reuniting the three, partly seeming exclusive, aspects of sustainability is a widely discussed topic in literature, which has only provided few practical answers, while at the same time, a tendency can be observed in literature, that researchers seem to especially focus on the environmental aspects of sustainability, while disregarding the importance of social aspects and social change.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. , p. 76
Keyword [en]
entrepreneurship, sustainability, sustainable
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-68253OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-68253DiVA, id: diva2:1147504
Subject / course
Business Administration - Other
Educational program
Entrepreneurship, Master Programme, 60 credits
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2017-10-06 Created: 2017-10-06 Last updated: 2017-10-06Bibliographically approved

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