Hogeschool van Amsterdam

Centre for Applied Research on Business and Economics

From individual sustainability orientations to collective sustainability innovation and sustainable entrepreneurial ecosystems

Abstract

Sustainability and economic growth – the integration and balance of social, environmental and economic needs – is a salient concern for sustainable development and social well-being. By focusing on a sustainable innovation project, we explore how entrepreneurial ecosystems become sustainable entrepreneurial ecosystems and investigate the interactions of entrepreneurial actors.

We conducted an inductive, single-case study of a specific collaborative innovation project in the denim industry specialized in a specific geographic location. From our data we show that the presence of four conditional aspects foster sustainable entrepreneurial ecosystems. These include: sustainability orientation of actors, recognition of sustainable opportunities and resource mobilization, collaborative innovation of sustainability opportunities and markets for sustainable products.

We make two observations that contribute to the literature.

* First, we see that in a sustainable entrepreneurial ecosystem, entrepreneurial experimentation is a highly interdependent and interactive process.

* Secondly, we see that recognition of sustainable opportunities is distributed among different actors in the ecosystem. Our findings also have implications for practitioners and policy makers.

Reference Divito, L., & Ingen-Housz, Z. (Accepted/In press). From individual sustainability orientations to collective sustainability innovation and sustainable entrepreneurial ecosystems. Small Business Economics, An Entrepreneurship Journal.