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[MASTER THESIS, 2007] Sustainopreneurship - Business with a Cause. Conceptualizing Entrepreneurship for Sustainability.

[MASTER THESIS, 2007] Sustainopreneurship - Business with a Cause. Conceptualizing Entrepreneurship for Sustainability.

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Published by Anders Abrahamsson
Master Thesis in Business Administration
Växjö University, School of Management and Economics. Class FED 321.
Partly financed by Sida through a Minor Field Study Scholarship.
Contributions from On a Mission Sweden – Inc. Ass. / Ignition®.
Author
Anders Abrahamsson
Tutor and Examiner
Bengt Johannisson, Professor
Master Thesis in Business Administration
Växjö University, School of Management and Economics. Class FED 321.
Partly financed by Sida through a Minor Field Study Scholarship.
Contributions from On a Mission Sweden – Inc. Ass. / Ignition®.
Author
Anders Abrahamsson
Tutor and Examiner
Bengt Johannisson, Professor

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Anders Abrahamsson on Jul 31, 2008
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Sustainopreneurship -Business with a Cause
Conceptualizing Entrepreneurship for Sustainability
Master Thesis in Business AdministrationVäxjö University, School of Management and Economics. Class FED 321.Partly financed by Sida through a Minor Field Study Scholarship.Contributions from On a Mission Sweden – Inc. Ass. / Ignition®.
Author
Anders Abrahamsson
Tutor and Examiner
Bengt Johannisson, Professor
 
Summary
 This thesis presents a tentative definition of the concept of 
sustainopreneurship - 
in the most simplifiedform described as
entrepreneurship and innovation for sustainability 
- “
Business with a Cause”.
The concepttakes its departure from generic entrepreneurship theory development, its extensions and furthercontextualization into the domains of sustainability, primarily through recent research. A literaturereview provides core references related to the conceptualization of sustainability entrepreneurship. Aclaim is made that there is a need for further conceptual development, especially viewed in contrastto the empirical material and experience, when digesting the literature that deals with conceptspreceding sustainopreneurship. These concepts are eco-preneurship and social entrepreneurship, as well as current descriptions of sustainability entrepreneurship, including some sources where the word sustainopreneurship in itself is introduced for the first time. The methodological approachused when conducting the literature review is an analytical stance. Additional analysis, integrating and extending the reviewed sources, leads us to a performative definition of sustainopreneurship. This tentative definition is presented as an imagined prospective wordbook entry in a “futurehistory” format. One of the key distinctions in between entrepreneurship in general andsustainopreneurship, is that sustainopreneurship is mission- and cause oriented - business activity isused as a means to solve sustainability-related problems. In short, to turn
business activity from being a  part of the problem to be a part of the solution.
 This world of ideas is set in contrast to the practical enaction of 
On a Mission Sweden – Inc. Ass 
, andthe seven brands developed from this business platform – 
Club PuLS™, DJ Anders, SEEDS Sustainability Investment Fund, SEEDS Magazine, Ignition®, SLICE Services and Publishing™ 
and
S*E*N*S*A.
Three of these only reached conceptual stage for future potential launch. Four gotestablished, and of these; one idle, two spun off in their own ventures, and one intended to spin off during 2007. Entrepreneurship as a concept to describe the nature of these ventures wasexperienced as insufficient, until 2003, when the concept of “sustainopreneurship” was found by serendipity. The conceptual dissatisfaction with “entrepreneurship-as-usual”, together with finding this new concept, made me instantly embrace this concept in the moment when stumbled upon. Another major driver for this work is a strong aspiration to take the abstract, general words andstatements from world summits and conferences to the practical, hands on, down to earth, grass-root, local level with real world interaction to make possibilities of the problems related to thesustainability agenda. The ventures created from a time span of over seven years, forms a vast, deep,dense, intense and extremely rich “gross” empirical base from where the study collects its selective“net” material relevant for this study. The methodological approach to make sense and use of theseserial and parallel self-initiated and self-experienced venturing processes is
enactive research 
. The
 
enactive research provides an opportunity to test the suggested formulation of sustainopreneurship – from the abstract idea to the concrete interaction. A special form of ethnography is used namedself-ethnography. The ventures who have proven to perpetually evolve, develop and sustain arefocused;
On a Mission Sweden – Inc. Ass.
and
Ignition®.
These ventures have provided the mostsignificant change in both idea development, practice, and effect - both regards my inner world of insight breakthroughs and personal development, and the findings on a more abstract, conceptual,theoretical level. In order to highlight the three key dimensions of the concept, some key courses of events have been selected where they are considered to hold illustrative power: Firstly, the centralevents before the formalized venturing. Secondly, the milestones singled out during the venturing. Thirdly, some post-venture reflections around the process as such. The ethnographic style of thetales of the field is predominantly realist, with some degree impressionist. The final chapter summarizes and presents an intermediary conclusion whether the concept has metthe test and also discusses the meaning of the exercise as a whole. My own function is examined andevaluated briefly. The promise of the conceptual introduction is contrasted towards the approaches-as-usual regards the sustainability agenda that introduced the thesis, and some key points aredelivered. Venturing in the name of sustainability allows agents to “act outside the box” related tothe institutional framework that governs the structures that is set to solve the problems today,equipped with an upgraded mindset, operating with an agility made possible by the flexibility offeredby creative business organizing. The quest to make (business) opportunities from the agenda set by sustainability, and organizing upon them in itself creates a sustaining meaning internally within theteam to be able to ride through the storms – the same force traditionally driving NGO’s “not-forprofit”, now coupled with a good business sense operating “for-profit”, with profit as a
means 
, not asan end in itself - in a new in-between-land named “for prosperity”. When properly understood fromknowledge increasing among other stakeholders than the sustainopreneurial teams and their closestsupporters and early adopters, the welcoming of sustainopreneurial ventures are destined to increase.Proliferation and diffusion of sustainopreneurship in idea, applied interaction and reflective practicebeyond this point can turn sustainability to be the main driver for business activity, internalizing theexternal sustainability demands as the primary purpose of the business creation and idea, forming itsstrategic intent, and integrated in its “organizational DNA”. Sustainopreneurship holds the power togive even more leverage to forces emerging from the business world that contributes tosustainability. Throughout the process, a question has been emerging to serve as a new opening forfurther interaction, where the claim is that sustainopreneurship delivers a good part of the answer;
How can we innovate and interact in order to reach a critical mass of people and energies to create a sustainable world? 

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