Leuphana project aims to turn young people into environmental entrepreneurs

2022-07-28 Lüneburg. How can young adults be motivated to use their environmental knowledge and commitment in an entrepreneurial way? The Leuphana University Lüneburg project "From Eco to Ecopreneur" aims to answer this question. The project leader is Professor Dr Jacob Hörisch, an expert in sustainability economics and management. The Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt (German Federal Foundation for the Environment) is funding the project, which is scheduled to run for three years, with around 125,000 euros. Representatives of environmental protection associations, ecopreneurs and Leuphana members from the area of start-up support now came together for a kick-off conference.

The younger generation is becoming more and more environmentally aware, as can be seen not only in the large number of civil society initiatives, but also in the growing number of degree programmes with an environmental focus. Unlike young people with qualifications in economics, however, students of environmental sciences and members of environmental protection associations rarely aim to set up businesses.

With the help of target group-specific educational measures, Prof. Hörisch and his colleague Maren Fokuhl would like to raise this potential with their project and promote the founding of new environmentally oriented companies. "Such "ecopreneurship" can make a significant contribution to solving pressing environmental problems," the scientist is convinced. Through their better, demand-oriented offer, new environment-oriented companies could put established competitors under pressure.

During the kick-off conference, the first joint measures among the 12 institutions involved in the project were coordinated and agreed upon. For example, lectures and start-up-oriented seminars, excursions to successful eco-preneurs, workshops and summer camps are planned. The first lectures and talks with founders have already taken place in July. The measures will then be evaluated and assessed in terms of their success in stimulating start-ups in the environmental sector.