Sustainability: what the entrepreneurship educators think

The purpose of this paper is to consider the understanding and presence of sustainability within entrepreneurship education. The extant literature on sustainability within the entrepreneurship discipline remains extremely limited. Previously, sustainability within an entrepreneurship context has related to economic viability as opposed to sustainability in its broadest sense. This study explores, through a survey of entrepreneurship educators, three key research questions, namely, how entrepreneurship educators believe that entrepreneurs can contribute to solving sustainability problems. Second, to what extent education about sustainability is integrated within existint entrepreneurship curricula. Finally, what considerations are being made to include sustainability within future programmes.


Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Sustainability Innovation: Categories and Interactions

The purpose of this paper is to propose a framework to position sustainable entrepreneurship in relation to sustainability innovation. The framework builds on a typology of sustainable entrepreneurship, develops it by including social and institutional entrepreneurship, i.e. the application of the entrepreneurial approach towards meeting societal goals and towards changing market contexts, and relates it to sustainability innovation. The framework provides a reference for managers to introduce sustainability innovation and to pursue sustainable entrepreneurship. Methodologically, the paper develops an approach of qualitative measurement of sustainable entrepreneurship and how to assess the position of a company in a classifi cation matrix. The degree of environmental or social responsibility orientation in the company is assessed on the basis of environmental and social goals and policies, the organization of environmental and social management in the company and the communication of environmental and social issues. The market impact of the company is measured on the basis of market share, sales growth and reactions of competitors. The paper fi nds conditions under which sustainable entrepreneurship and sustainability innovation emerge spontaneously. The research has implications for theory and practitioners in that it clarifi es which fi rms are most likely under specifi c conditions to make moves towards sustainability innovation. The paper makes a contribution in showing that extant research needs to be expanded with regard to motivations for innovation and that earlier models of sustainable entrepreneurship need to be refined.


Rethinking 21st-Century Businesses: An Approach to Fourth Sector SMEs in Their Transition to a Sustainable Model Committed to SDGs

With barely ten years remaining to reach the goals included in the United Nations 2030 Agenda (UN2030A), there is still no agreed-upon universal criterion regarding how businesses can move firmly forward to achieve them. A significant number of laudable initiatives have emerged and been consolidated internationally, highlighting the need to change the outdated mainstream economic model based on continuous growth—whose maximum exponent is the macroeconòmic magnitude “Gross Domestic Product” (GDP)—to another sustainable model which considers the ecological “people and planet-centered” oriented limits, prioritizing individual wellbeing and social prosperity, in line with the UN2030A. Facing the prevalent resistance to change, some innovative small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are consciously addressing the transition on their own, but not without di_culties. The purpose of this article was to fill the gap in the social sciences literatura by conducting in-depth interviews with Fourth Sector (4S) entrepreneurs, business leaders from purpose-driven companies, and academics, in order to approach and look into their perspective about the role that 4S SMEs are being called to execute to advance toward 2030. The two main contributions of this article are (1) 4S SMEs identify an urgent need to modify the current economic model with metrics aligned with UN2030A and (2) it is essential to assemble and build an “Engagement Ecosystem” through a systemic thinking approach to allow 4S SMEs to make real contributions to the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


Entrepreneurship Education and Sustainable Development Goals: A literature Review and a Closer Look at Fragile States and Technology-Enabled Approaches

Entrepreneurship has the potential to reduce poverty, stimulate economic growth and boost innovation, in addition to enhancing social and environmental sustainability. In accordance with the human capital theory and previous empirical studies, it is assumed that entrepreneurship education and training (EET) directly correlates with positive entrepreneurial outcomes and therefore sustainable development. Although several scholars have attempted to review and analyze EET literature over the past decade, none of these reviews directly links EET with sustainable development or focuses on the role and status of EET (research) in less-stable areas of the world. This systematic review thus attempts to analyze recent literature to identify the extent to which EET research addresses Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The review identifies several gaps in research and practice that potentially hinder EET from adequately advancing sustainable development, including a dearth of research on fragile states and demographic diversity, limited EET access to non-university students and a general lack of focus on educational technology, progressive education approaches, and innovation in fragile countries compared to stable ones. The review also identifies challenges pertaining to EET resource constraints in fragile contexts. The paper concludes by o_ering insights on how educational technology could mitigate EET challenges in fragile environments to ultimately ease some barriers towards SDG advancement and provides recommendations for future research directions.


Learning apart and together: towards an integrated competence framework for sustainable entrepreneurship in higher education

Sustainable entrepreneurs, i.e. thosewhoproactively facilitate latent demands for sustainable development, are nowin higher demandthan ever before. Higher (business) education can play an important role in laying the foundation for these sustainable entrepreneurs. Traditionally, however, educational scholars focus either on the issue of education for sustainability or on entrepreneurship education. There is little work which explores and/or crosses the boundaries between these two disciplines, let alone work in which an effort is made to integrate these perspectives. In this article, a competence approachwas taken as a first step to link the worlds of education for entrepreneurship and for sustainability because we postulate that both, apparently different, worlds can reinforce each other. Based on a literature review, focus group discussions with teachers in higher education (n ¼ 8) and a structured questionnaire among students (n ¼ 211), a set of clear, distinct competencieswas developed, providing stepping stones for monitoring students’ sustainable entrepreneurship development in school-based environments.


Greening Goliaths versus emerging Davids — Theorizing about the role of incumbents and new entrants in sustainable entrepreneurship

This paper proposes a model of how incumbents and new entrants engage in sustainable entrepreneurship. We suggest that in the early stages of an industry’s sustainability transformation, new entrants (‘Emerging Davids’) are more likely than incumbents to pursue sustainability-related opportunities. Incumbents react to the activities of new entrants by engaging in corporate sustainable entrepreneurship activities. While these ‘Greening Goliaths’ are often less ambitious in their environmental and social goals, they may have a broader reach due to their established market presence. This paper analyses the interplay between ‘Greening Goliaths’ and ‘Emerging Davids’ and theorizes about how it is their compounded impact that promotes the sustainable transformation of industries.


Sustainability Entrepreneurs, Ecopreneurs and the Development of a Sustainable Economy

This paper focuses on investigating the role that sustainability entrepreneurship may have in engendering a shift in the practices and operations of contemporary capitalism. Sustainability entrepreneurs are increasingly seen as being in the vanguard of a shift to a new form of capitalist development that can help to address fears over global warming, climate change and their associated negative environmental impacts. Such developments can be set within a wider popular and academic discourse of ecological modernisation, at the heart of which is a relatively optimistic view of the potential for technological change to lead to solutions for environmental problems. This paper focuses on a subset of sustainable entrepreneurs termed ‘ecopreneurs’ who seek to combine business practice with sustainable development and so transform their business sectors. The paper suggests that work on sustainable entrepreneurship could be substantially improved by an engagement with the literatura on transition management in science and technology studies and makes some suggestions as to how such a research agenda could be advanced.


Clarifying the Meaning of Sustainable Business: Introducing a Typology From Business-as-Usual to True Business Sustainability

While sustainability management is becoming more widespread among major companies, the impact of their activities does not reflect in studies monitoring the state of the planet. What results from this is a “big disconnect.” With this article, we address two main questions: “How can business make an effective contribution to addressing the sustainability challenges we are facing?” and “When is business truly sustainable?” In a time when more and more corporations claim to manage sustainably, we need to distinguish between those companies that contribute effectively to sustainability and those that do not. We provide an answer by clarifying the meaning of business sustainability. We review established approaches and develop a typology of business sustainability with a focus on effective contributions for sustainable development. This typology ranges from Business Sustainability 1.0 (Refined Shareholder Value Management) to Business Sustainability 2.0 (Managing for the Triple Bottom Line) and to Business Sustainability 3.0 (True Sustainability).


Success factors for environmentally sustainable product innovation: a systematic literature review

The growing awareness regarding environmental sustainability has fully reached business reality. Consumers and companies alike are looking for alternatives to mitigate pressing environmental demands resulting from continuous population and economic growth. On the other hand, companies must deal with an increasingly competitive scenario where innovation is regarded as a survival need in most markets. It is thus clear that systematic academic research is paramount to guide companies to succeed in environmentally sustainable product innovation. In this context, this paper (i) consolidate extant research and aggregate findings of different studies on environmentally sustainable product innovation through an interpretative framework of published literature on the topic, and (ii) map critical success factors that drive the success of product innovation developed in this new logic of production and consumption. To achieve these objectives, a systematic literature review on environmentally sustainable product innovation was conducted. Results show that there are four main critical success factors for environmentally sustainable product innovation: market, law and regulation knowledge; interfunctional collaboration; innovation-oriented learning; and R&D investments. The factors identified in this research and corresponding variables were subjected to a brief empirical test by professionals. The test allowed a preliminary approval of the developed framework and identification of the most important variables within each factor. A research agenda based on the state-of-the-art on the topic is also proposed.