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Special Issue "Entrepreneurship and Sustainability"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 October 2015)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Yves Fassin

Department of Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Service Management, Ghent University, Belgium
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +32 9 264 3538
Fax: +32 9 264 3496
Interests: Corporate responsibility and management; business ethics issues in entrepreneurship and innovation, especially in small business and start-ups
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Mirjam Knockaert

Department of Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Service Management, Ghent University, Belgium and Centre of Entrepreneurship, University of Oslo, Norway
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +32 9 264 3459
Fax: +32 9 264 7888
Interests: High-tech and innovative entrepreneurship; Technological and academic entrepreneurship; Nascent entrepreneurial process; Intermediaries (VCS, technology intermediaries) and their impact on the entrepreneurial process and its outcomes
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Tom Vanacker

Department of Accounting, Corporate Finance and Taxation, Ghent University, Gent, Belgium
Website | E-Mail
Fax: +32 9 264 3577
Interests: entrepreneurial finance; venture capital; firm growth

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The growing importance of corporate social responsibility and corporate citizenship suggests that, to be successful, firms can no longer solely focus on financial performance (Dentchev, 2009). Although financial performance remains crucial for survival, there is a growing consensus that ignoring the impact on the environment and the local community can have detrimental effects for firms and can, as a consequence, be a threat for the sustainability of firms. This explains the increasing interest of academics, as well as practitioners, in the sustainability and social performance (Wood, 2010), also called shared value creation (Porter and Kramer, 2006), of firms. Next to financial performance, social performance includes environmental (Andersson et al., 2013), community and human performance (Mankelov, 2008). More research is needed “to explore the role of entrepreneurial action as a mechanism for sustaining nature and ecosystems while providing economic and non-economic gains for investors, entrepreneurs and societies” (Shepherd and Patzelt, 2011: 138). In this Special Issue, we are looking to publish papers that critically investigate the link between entrepreneurship and sustainability from a range of theoretical, methodological and disciplinary perspectives.

Topics of interest include but are not restricted to the following:

  • (How) do entrepreneurs, small business managers and providers of entrepreneurial finance integrate sustainability into their strategies?
  • Which aspects of performance (e.g., financial, environmental, and human) are important for entrepreneurial firms? Does this importance differ for different kinds of firms: start-ups versus mature firms, small and medium-sized enterprises versus large firms, commercial versus social ventures?
  • Are different aspects of financial and non-financial (early stage) performance related?
  • How can the non-financial performance of entrepreneurial firms be assessed? What are the appropriate performance indicators to measure firm performance, with respect to both financial and non-financial performance? Do these indicators differ for different kinds of firms?
  • What are the antecedents of the different aspects of performance, and how will they influence the sustainability of entrepreneurial firms?
  • (How) do distinct sources of entrepreneurial financing (including venture capital and business angels) influence the distinct aspects of performance (e.g., financial, environmental, and human) of their portfolio firms? How do investors contribute (or not) to the sustainability of their portfolio firms?

Prof. Dr. Yves Fassin
Prof. Dr. Mirjam Knockaert
Prof. Dr. Tom Vanacker
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • entrepreneurship
  • sustainability
  • financial performance
  • social performance

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Capturing the Stakeholders’ View in Sustainability Reporting: A Novel Approach
Sustainability 2016, 8(4), 379; doi:10.3390/su8040379
Received: 18 November 2015 / Revised: 23 March 2016 / Accepted: 11 April 2016 / Published: 16 April 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (416 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sustainability reporting is the process by which companies describe how they deal with their own economic, environmental, and social impacts, thus making stakeholders able to recognize the value of sustainable practices. As stressed in the Global Reporting Initiative guidelines, which act as a
[...] Read more.
Sustainability reporting is the process by which companies describe how they deal with their own economic, environmental, and social impacts, thus making stakeholders able to recognize the value of sustainable practices. As stressed in the Global Reporting Initiative guidelines, which act as a de facto standard for sustainability reporting, sustainable reports should take into account the stakeholders’ view. In particular, engaging stakeholders is essential to carry out the materiality analysis, by which organizations can identify their own more relevant sustainability aspects. Yet, on the one hand, the existing guidelines do not provide specific indications on how to get stakeholders actually engaged; on the other hand, research on quantitative techniques to support stakeholder engagement in materiality analysis is scarce. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is the development of a quantitative structured approach based on multi-attribute group decision-making techniques to effectively and reliably support stakeholder engagement during materiality analysis in sustainability reporting. As it more strictly guides the reporting process, the proposed approach at the same time simplifies materiality analysis and makes it more reliable. Though any company can adopt the approach, small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are expected to particularly benefit from it, due to the quite limited implementation effort that is required. With this respect, the approach has been validated on a sample of Italian SMEs belonging to different sectors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Entrepreneurship and Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle The Development of a Measurement Instrument for the Organizational Performance of Social Enterprises
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 161; doi:10.3390/su8020161
Received: 16 December 2015 / Accepted: 2 February 2016 / Published: 6 February 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1572 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
There is a growing consensus that the adoption of performance measurement tools are of particular interest for social enterprises in order to support internal decision‐making and to answer the demands of accountability toward their stakeholders. As a result, different methodologies to assess the
[...] Read more.
There is a growing consensus that the adoption of performance measurement tools are of particular interest for social enterprises in order to support internal decision‐making and to answer the demands of accountability toward their stakeholders. As a result, different methodologies to assess the non‐financial performance of social enterprises are developed by academics and practitioners. Many of these methodologies are on the one hand discussions of general guidelines or, on the other hand, very case specific. As such, these methodologies do not offer a functional tool for a broad range of social enterprises. The goal of this article is to fill this gap by developing an instrument suitable for the internal assessment and the external reporting of the non‐financial performance of a diverse group of social enterprises. To reach this goal, we used qualitative (focus groups and a Delphi panel) and quantitative research methods (exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis), involving multiple actors in the field of social entrepreneurship. Focusing on five dimensions of organizational performance (economic, environmental, community, human and governance performance), we offer a set of indicators and an assessment tool for social enterprises. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Entrepreneurship and Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Factors Influencing the Identification of Sustainable Opportunities by SMEs: Empirical Evidence from Zambia
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 81; doi:10.3390/su8010081
Received: 17 October 2015 / Revised: 8 January 2016 / Accepted: 12 January 2016 / Published: 15 January 2016
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (410 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study uses the model of Patzelt and Shepherd (2011) to examine the factors influencing the identification of sustainable opportunities among SMEs in a developing country, Zambia. The factors under investigation include knowledge of the natural/social environment, perception of threats to the natural/social
[...] Read more.
This study uses the model of Patzelt and Shepherd (2011) to examine the factors influencing the identification of sustainable opportunities among SMEs in a developing country, Zambia. The factors under investigation include knowledge of the natural/social environment, perception of threats to the natural/social environment, altruism towards others and entrepreneurial knowledge. We interviewed 220 owner-managers in the trading and service sector who supply goods and services to the mining industry in Zambia. We found that altruism towards others was partially supported by our empirical results while the positive effects of knowledge of the natural/social environment and perception of threats to the natural/social environment on the identification of sustainable opportunities were not supported. Contrary to our expectations, entrepreneurial knowledge does not positively moderate the relationship between explanatory variables and the identification of sustainable opportunities. In sum, we found only limited empirical support for the model of Patzelt and Shepherd (2011) concerning the identification of sustainable opportunities. Our findings contribute to literature on entrepreneurship and sustainable opportunity identification by showing what factors influence the identification of sustainable opportunities. This can help us to create awareness among entrepreneurs regarding the effects of entrepreneurial activities on the environment and society; consequently, stimulating entrepreneurs to identify sustainable opportunities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Entrepreneurship and Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Entrepreneurial Judgment and Value Capture, the Case of the Nascent Offshore Renewable Industry
Sustainability 2015, 7(11), 14859-14872; doi:10.3390/su71114859
Received: 25 June 2015 / Revised: 25 October 2015 / Accepted: 30 October 2015 / Published: 6 November 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (698 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Entrepreneurship may be regarded as the mechanism of change towards sustainability. Any entrepreneur that seeks to start a new venture in an emerging industry will face resource and time constraints. The question we raise here is how the entrepreneur should prioritize use of
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Entrepreneurship may be regarded as the mechanism of change towards sustainability. Any entrepreneur that seeks to start a new venture in an emerging industry will face resource and time constraints. The question we raise here is how the entrepreneur should prioritize use of time and resources to increase likeliness of success. To address this question we depart from a theoretical perspective of entrepreneurship seen as judgment, and bridges it over to entrepreneurship seen as co-creation. In other words, we combine the subjective with the intersubjective, and explore the effects of the actions successful green technology entrepreneurs in the emerging offshore renewable energy industry make in building their new ventures in nascent markets. Inspired by earlier studies on market entry, combined with new ways to understand new venture emergence, we find that independent entrepreneurs benefit from leapfrogging typical stages in the technology development process and rather devote time and efforts on resource acquisition. We also find that the most important value-capturing, decision-making heuristics are those related to “hybrid governance”. We discuss implications for theory, practice, and policy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Entrepreneurship and Sustainability)

Other

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Open AccessCase Report Teaching Case: ViaVia Yogyakarta: Choosing the Right Strategy to Maximize Social Impact
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 70; doi:10.3390/su8010070
Received: 29 October 2015 / Revised: 6 January 2016 / Accepted: 7 January 2016 / Published: 12 January 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1029 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This teaching case addresses the strategic choices of social entrepreneurs, Mie and Ingvild, who founded the ViaVia café in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. In their daily management of ViaVia , Mie and Ingvild put respect for local culture and ideals above short-term profit. They offered
[...] Read more.
This teaching case addresses the strategic choices of social entrepreneurs, Mie and Ingvild, who founded the ViaVia café in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. In their daily management of ViaVia , Mie and Ingvild put respect for local culture and ideals above short-term profit. They offered good working conditions for staff with opportunities to learn and grow, which resulted in a loyal group of employees who felt a sense of ownership of ViaVia. Furthermore, the organization was involved in a multitude of social, cultural, environmental and humanitarian projects. As a result, ViaVia was regarded as a positive contributor to the local community. In 2013, it secured international recognition for its efforts by receiving the prestigious Wild Asia Responsible Tourism Award. However, Mie and Ingvild wondered whether the support of many projects was perhaps spreading their resources too thin, and whether greater impact could be generated with fewer but more focused initiatives. Despite ViaVia’s success as a social enterprise, Mie and Ingvild reviewed the past 20 years of the café’s existence and contemplated the sustainable strategy that they should follow in the years ahead. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Entrepreneurship and Sustainability)

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