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Open AccessArticle

Business Models’ Innovations to Overcome Hybridity-Related Tensions in Sustainable Entrepreneurship

School of Business Administration, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), Porto Alegre 90010-460, Brazil
School of Economics and Business Administration, University of Tartu, 51009 Tartu, Estonia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(11), 4503;
Received: 5 May 2020 / Revised: 29 May 2020 / Accepted: 30 May 2020 / Published: 2 June 2020
This paper aims to investigate how sustainable entrepreneurs innovate in business models to overcome their hybridity-related tensions to achieve environmental, social, and financial goals. A case study was conducted on 12 organizations in seven countries from October 2018 to June 2019 through observation visits, interviews, and secondary data collection. To analyze the data, a content analysis was applied with the help of NVivo Software. The analysis category is based on the definition of the pillars of business models: (1) Value proposition, (2) value creation/delivery, and (3) value capture. Concerning value proposition, organizations engage various stakeholders on developing emotions related to sustainable behaviors. They use the idea of community to promote it, fostering the sharing of intangible values. Associated with these actions, organizations offer more convenience accessing these products or services, home deliveries, facilitating access by geo-location, price reduction, and promoting consumers’ education. Regarding value creation/delivery, companies promote partnerships with other stakeholders as part of the main business strategy. They run the business while promoting a social movement. One is dependent on the other. In their engagement in sustainability discussion forums and practical activities, they put together consumers, suppliers, and also other agents outside their vertical supply chain. Operations of all companies are highly internet-based. Social media and transparency are also relevant to their operations. The main characteristic of value capture is that organizations integrate sustainability into their strategy in a way that, just by doing business, they fulfill their social, environmental, and economic missions. Therefore, through innovation in business models, these organizations overcome hybridity-related tensions and achieve financial stability while positively impacting society. The contribution to the literature was achieved by identifying business model innovations in sustainable entrepreneurship, analyzing their characteristics and mechanisms to overcome hybridity-related tensions, and providing empirical evidence about how business models can create and capture different and multiple forms of value. View Full-Text
Keywords: business model innovation; hybridity tensions; social entrepreneurship; sustainable business model; sustainable entrepreneurship business model innovation; hybridity tensions; social entrepreneurship; sustainable business model; sustainable entrepreneurship
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Matzembacher, D.E.; Raudsaar, M.; Barcellos, M.D.; Mets, T. Business Models’ Innovations to Overcome Hybridity-Related Tensions in Sustainable Entrepreneurship. Sustainability 2020, 12, 4503.

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