Special Issue "Sustainable Entrepreneurship: Theory, Research and Practical Applications"

A special issue of Administrative Sciences (ISSN 2076-3387). This special issue belongs to the section "Entrepreneurship".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 May 2019

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Maria Urbaniec

Cracow University of Economics, 31-510 Kraków, Poland
Website | E-Mail
Interests: sustainable entrepreneurship; social entrepreneurship; green entreprenurship; innovation; sustainability

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The growing importance of sustainable development has given rise to the concept of sustainable entrepreneurship. Sustainable entrepreneurship has become a new concept in both research and practice in the recent decade (Cohen and Winn, 2007; Shepherd and Patzelt, 2011; Schaltegger and Johnson, 2016; Sarango-Lalangui et al., 2018). It is a unique perspective that links the creation of economic, social and environmental values with a focus on the well-being of future generations (Hockerts and Wüstenhagen, 2010; Schaltegger and Wagner, 2011). Sustainable entrepreneurship can also be considered an opportunity for business development at the nexus of environmental and social aspects. A growing area of entrepreneurship research provides evidence that sustainable entrepreneurs can succeed in combining profit with pro-social and environmental goals by developing new products and services (Shepherd and Patzelt, 2011; Gast et al., 2017; Hall et al., 2010).

Furthermore, sustainable entrepreneurship has many features in common with environmental and social entrepreneurship, however, the coherent pursuit of economic viability, social equity and environmental stability distinguishes sustainable entrepreneurship from other concepts (Thompson et al., 2011; Hoogendoorn at al., 2017). Exploring this multi-dimensionality calls for the application of different theories, research perspectives (e.g. critical and mainstream) and methods (conceptual and empirical) (Hall at al., 2010; Hörisch, 2015).

This Special Issue aims to provide a platform for researching the breadth and depth of sustainable entrepreneurship as well as extending its conceptual and empirical research. The key objective is to explore theoretical developments around the complexities of sustainable entrepreneurship and new practical insights into analysing both opportunities and challenges in creating, developing and scaling social and environmental ventures up towards sustainability.

From an analytical point of view, a number of key research issues still exist, for example:

  • What is the role of sustainable entrepreneurs in exploring, development and exploitation of new business opportunities?
  • What are the drivers and barriers for the development of sustainable entrepreneurship?
  • What motivates entrepreneurs to create value for others by identifying and seizing upon opportunities arising from problems in society that have been neglected or unsuccessfully addressed by public, private, or civil society organizations?
  • How sustainable enterprises create value beyond the limits of the enterprises, contributing positively to social and ecological systems?
  • How can different actors contribute to sustainability transitions?
  • What is the best institutional environment for developing sustainable business?
  • How can social and/or environmental entrepreneurship contribute to meet the challenges of sustainable development?

Researchers, academics, practitioners, entrepreneurs, and other stakeholders are welcome to submit their original manuscripts to this Special Issue on “Sustainable Entrepreneurship: Theory, Research and Practical Applications” in Administrative Sciences.

Dr. Maria Urbaniec
Guest Editor


  • Belz, F.M., & Binder, J.K. (2017). Sustainable Entrepreneurship: A Convergent Process Model, Business Strategy and the Environment, 26, 1-17.
  • Cohen, B., & Winn, M.I. (2007). Market imperfections, opportunity and sustainable entrepreneurship. Journal of Business Venturing, 22, 29-49.
  • Hall, J.K., Daneke, G.A., & Lenox, M.J. (2010). Sustainable development and entrepreneurship: Past contributions and future directions. Journal of Business Venturing, 25, 439-448.
  • Hockerts, K., & Wüstenhagen, R. (2010). Greening Goliaths versus emerging Davids – Theorizing about the role of incumbents and new entrants in sustainable entrepreneurship. Journal of Business Venturing, 25(5), 481-492.
  • Hoogendoorn, B., van der Zwan, P., & Thurik, R. (2017). Sustainable Entrepreneurship: The Role of Perceived Barriers and Risk. Journal of Business Ethics, 1-22, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-017-3646-8
  • Hörisch, J. (2015). The Role of Sustainable Entrepreneurship in Sustainability Transitions: A Conceptual Synthesis against the Background of the Multi-Level Perspective. Administrative Sciences, 5(4), 286-300.
  • Sarango-Lalangui, P., Santos, J., & Hormiga, E. (2018). The Development of Sustainable Entrepreneurship Research Field. Sustainability, 10(6), 2005. doi:10.3390/su10062005
  • Schaltegger, S., & Johnson, M.P. (2016). Sustainable Entrepreneurship: A Review. Leuphana University Lüneburg: Lüneburg.
  • Schaltegger, S., & Wagner, M. (2011). Sustainable entrepreneurship and sustainability innovation: categories and interactions. Business Strategy and the Environment, 20(4), 222-237.
  • Shepherd, D.A., & Patzelt, H. (2011). The new field of sustainable entrepreneurship: studying entrepreneurial action linking ‘‘what is to be sustained’’ with ‘‘what is to be developed’’. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 35(1), 137-163.
  • Thompson, N., Kiefer, K., & York, J.G. (2011). Distinctions not dichotomies: exploring social, sustainable, and environmental entrepreneurship. Advances in Entrepreneurship, Firm Emergence and Growth, 13, 205-233.

Dr. Maria Urbaniec
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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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. Administrative Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly 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 350 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.


  • Sustainable entrepreneurship
  • Social entrepreneurship
  • Green entrepreneurship
  • Sustainable entrepreneur
  • Sustainable enterprise
  • Sustainable innovation
  • Sustainable development
  • Sustainability transitions
  • Business sustainability

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle Critical Success Factors of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises in Saudi Arabia: Insights from Sustainability Perspective
Adm. Sci. 2019, 9(2), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/admsci9020032
Received: 7 March 2019 / Revised: 25 March 2019 / Accepted: 26 March 2019 / Published: 2 April 2019
PDF Full-text (419 KB)
: The aim of this study is to explore the critical success factors (CSFs) of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Saudi Arabia. A questionnaire was developed using 28 factors/indicators identified from the previous researches. From 500 respondents, a total of 347 questionnaires [...] Read more.
: The aim of this study is to explore the critical success factors (CSFs) of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Saudi Arabia. A questionnaire was developed using 28 factors/indicators identified from the previous researches. From 500 respondents, a total of 347 questionnaires were returned. By conducting exploratory factors analysis, these indicators were categorized into six factors, namely: Individual factors, business characteristics, management factors, business support, capital availability and business environment. Using IBM SPSS and AMOS, the results indicated that business support was the most critical factor that significantly affects the success of SMEs in Saudi Arabia, followed by individual factors, capital availability, and management factors. They also indicated that business characteristics and business environment factors had no significant impacts on the success of these enterprises. Full article
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