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Sustainable Entrepreneurship
Traditional Entrepreneurship focuses on identifying new opportunities for creating value for customers or users and developing those opportunities to establish a profitable business. They are vital for the continuing development of disruptive innovation and market change. However with growing global concern about addressing environmental and social issues faced by a global economy, it becomes imperative to find entrepreneurship that can address the triple bottom line approach of sustainability. This led to emergence of Sustainable entrepreneurship - combining the traditional focus of entrepreneurship with an emphasis on opportunities to alleviate social or environmental conditions. Sustainable entrepreneurship is about entrepreneurs striving simultaneously for profit and also improving local, global environmental and social conditions.

Past Literature studies have mainly focused about corporate sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility, however, there is less focus about reconciling tensions that arises due to challenges faced by Sustainable Entrepreneurship. “Additional insights can be gained from comparative studies of sustainable entrepreneurial initiatives in both small and large firms, by doing case studies” Hockerts and Wüstenhagen (2010, p. 489). Literature research is inadequate in offering practical insights for sustainable entrepreneurship ideas to conduct their initiatives in the real world scenario. So a thorough check on theoretical definitions of these initiatives needs to be done in order to address the tensions between being commercially successful and at the same time being environmentally friendly.

There may be several reasons for the traditional entrepreneur to become a sustainable entrepreneur. One of the reason could be prior exposure to a sustainability related market failure that led to shift in corporate strategy that encompasses sustainability involved business initiative. Understanding Consumer psychology and behaviour for alternative sustainable products may give us some framework to reconcile tensions for sustainable entrepreneurs. Sustainable entrepreneurs can resort to patents, cooperating with educational institutions, establishment of an international network and organisational culture, for better business development leading to commercial success

An empirical design analysis to reconcile tensions faced by Sustainable Entrepreneurs - although they are highly motivated to solve environmental and/ or social related problems (sustainability-related market failures) is the outcome of this research work. A cross-case or cluster analysis of entrepreneurs operating in the industry will be conducted, evaluating theory against real life. An approach will be designed to identify the sustainable entrepreneurs motivations to start-up, challenges faced throughout the business development and their impact in market. Eventually a case study approach to study the sample space of sustainable entrepreneurs could result in understanding the reasons for antecedent exposure to an environmental concern.

1. Philosophical reflection on sustainable entrepreneurship
Sustainability thinking may cause a market shift propelled by change in consumers mindsets and unsustainable, irresponsible consumption. The main process innovations are turnaround events that mark the beginning of an industry’s transformation towards sustainability - shifting the sustainable paradigm to Sustainable Entrepreneurship.
2. Theoretical reflection on sustainable entrepreneurship
Current scientific literature about Sustainable entrepreneursip has mainly been conceptual and theoretical (Hockerts & Wüstenhagen, 2010). There are several definitions that explain sustainable entrepreneurship. Most popular is  - “Sustainable Entrepreneurship is focused on the preservation of nature, life support, and community in the pursuit of perceived opportunities to bring into existence future products, processes, and services for gain, where gain is broadly construed to include economic and non-economic gains to individuals, the economy, and society”.(Shepherd & Patzelt, 2011). 

3. Empirical design of sustainable entrepreneurship
 
Theoretical research by Hockerts and Wüstenhagen (2010) elucidates the framework for the transformation of traditional industry towards sustainability. Its a four stage approach - 1) A sustainable entrepreneur launches a sustainability innovation and initiates the transformation of an industry towards sustainability. 2) Business growth, followed with the growing trend and continued transformation of an industry towards sustainability. 3)  Emergence of start-ups backed up by professional investors and also with implementation of both product and process innovation. These Sustainable Entrepreneurs achieve profitable growth and will extend market share, while defending its market share. 4) Other mass-market brands will compete to gain market share as well, taking the transformation of an industry towards sustainability further. This stage is the maturity stage of sustainable entrepreneurship.

It is evident that opportunity recognition for a Sustainable Entrepreneur targets an environmental or social imperfection, which they aim to solve, as exemplified by Schaltegger & Wagner (2011).  So a quantitative design to analyse difference business of sustainable entrepreneurs will be made for each of the above stage to understand the challenges and evaluate the risks and rewards of undertaking sustainable entrepreneurship, which involves finding ways to measure the economic as well as social and environmental risks and rewards of a new venture. 

As the scope of this research proposal is to reconcile the tensions between the economic and environmental pillars of the triple bottom line definition, a case study based approach will be designed to work solutions for the challenges quantified at each stage of the sustainable entrepreneurship. Slapper and Hall (2011) outline that sustainability measures can be quantified depending on the entity, the type of project or geographical scope. The predetermined set of measurements will rest with key stakeholders and experts. Kayes and Skykes (2009) determine that once an entity has established a baseline of current performances, the TBL allows for better decision making regarding the relative cost and benefit of sustainability measures. Profits are measurable, although there is no defined measuring unit for social capital, environmental or ecological health (Slapper & Hall, 2011). The Indiana Business Research Centre’s Innovation Index quantifies environmental and social elements through a universally accepted accounting method, with the opportunity to compare “performance between companies, cities and development projects” (Slapper & Hall, 2011, p.4). Life cycle analysis of the industry is another cradle-to-grave methodology to quantify the environmental impact of the business run by sustainable entrepreneurs. An integration of the life cycle analysis approach to the corporate strategy of the business could reduce tensions between the ideology of attaining commercial success and at the same time run the business always environmentally-friendly.


Sources : 
1 Kirchgeorg, M., Winn, M.I. Parodi, M., in press. Marketing to the poorest of the poor: challenges for sustainability marketing. Business Strategy and the Environment
2 Shepherd, D. & Patzelt, H. (2010). 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, Vol. 35, Iss. 1., pp.137-163.