Sustainability Entrepreneurship

“Sustainable entrepreneurship is focused on the preservation of nature, life support, and community in the pursuit of perceived opportunities to bring into existence future products, processes, and services for gain” (Shepherd & Patzelt, 2011). Hence and in contrast to other forms of entrepreneurship, sustainable entrepreneurs simultaneously address the so-called triple bottom line (planet, people, profit) (Elkington, 1997), realizing both economic and non-economic gains.

The aim of the research project is to better understand the entrepreneurial process in sustainable entrepreneurship. For this purpose, we take a holistic perspective and analyze relevant factors in the different phases (pre-launch, launch, and post-launch), in which entrepreneurs identify the sustainable (business) opportunity, implements it, and subsequently runs the start-up.

The focus is particularly on the pre-launch and launch phase. Here, we consider entrepreneurs and the (business) opportunity from a dynamic perspective and analyze their motivation for sustainable behavior and drivers in the identification and implementation of sustainable business opportunities. In addition, we aim to investigate how the different goal dimensions (planet, people, profit) are integrated/aligned in the course of the entrepreneurial process and how changes in the attitude, motivation and values ​​of entrepreneurs impact the (business) opportunity (degree of sustainability, "mission drift").

The results will enable us to answer how entrepreneurs integrate sustainability over the course of the entrepreneurial process.


Carina Bohlayer
Universitätsallee 1, C6.420
21335 Lüneburg