Sustainability Entrepreneurship: From Consumer Concern Towards Entrepreneurial Commitment Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Sustainability is a multidimensional concept that goes beyond environmental protection to economic development and social equity. This change drives entrepreneurs introducing new sustainability-derived products and services to help sustain nature and communities. Entrepreneurship is increasingly being cited as a significant conduit for bringing about a transformation to sustainable products and processes. This research uses the term sustainability entrepreneurs for those who introduce innovative sustainability-derived products, processes, and services for gain, where gain includes economic and non-economic gains to individuals, the economy, and society. The research design was a qualitative exploratory study. The study focuses on a sample of sustainability entrepreneurs as the target respondents who take a commitment to sustainability via sustainability entrepreneurship. Interviews were based around open-ended questions prompting the respondents to engage in a storytelling approach to describe their journey from consumer concern to sustainability entrepreneurship. The data were analyzed using thematic analysis. A set of themes emerged after analysis, reflecting experience as sustainability entrepreneurs. The themes were: Concern as a consumer for sustainability living; Entrepreneurship is not just for money or identity fulfilment but also for altruism; Values underpinning sustainability entrepreneurship: Fairness, responsibility, altruism, and integrity; and Collaboration not competition. This research contributes to an understanding of sustainability entrepreneurs as those who emerge from consumer concern to introduce innovative sustainability derived products, processes, and services for gain, where gain includes economic and non-economic gain to individuals, the economy, and society.

publication date

  • 2019