• ISSN: 2155-7950
  • Journal of Business and Economics

Steps for a Sustainable Entrepreneurship Model — Contribution for a Method

Isabel Sofia de Sousa Santos de Albuquerque1, Dana T. Redford2
 (1. K Evolution, Portugal, 2. School of Economics & Management, Portuguese Catholic University, Portugal)
Abstract: Sustainability, seen as the implementation of environmental, social and ethical responsible practices by companies has gained relevance at firm and policy level. Sustainability strategies are today common in large companies, and several financial indexes annually evaluate listed companies on their performance in environmental, social, governance and ethical practices. At political level, OECD and European Commission are some of the organizations that have been working on the promotion of public policy that encourages a wide use of sustainable practices amongst companies. For instances, from 2016 onwards many European companies will be obliged to annually report on how they manage their non-financial aspects. Despite the fact that this obligation is only for companies listed in the stock exchange, or that are from the financial/credit/insurance sector, with more than 500 employees, it is possible to expect an impact on other companies. In fact, this requirement will trigger further development of these issues along the value-chain of large companies, which will also reach the smaller companies. At same time that larger companies are being obliged to incorporate sustainability issues in their management, there is also a growing movement from the smaller businesses towards the creation of business activities that aim to have a positive impact on society and the environment. Taking into account the European Union growth strategy for 2020 and the strong focus that the European commission has been giving to entrepreneurship, it makes sense to strengthen the connection between sustainability and entrepreneurship. As such, this paper analyses how innovative Portuguese small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) are incorporating sustainability issues in their management and if they are selling green products or green services. Since the linkage between sustainability and entrepreneurship is still recent, this paper also proposes a sustainable entrepreneurship business model that can help entrepreneurs to identify the business opportunities associated with the European Union Growth Strategy for 2020.
Key words: sustainability; green products; entrepreneurship; business model; Portugal
JEL codes: M10, O13, Q56, Q57

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