Toward a theory of sustainable entrepreneurship: Reducing environmental degradation through entrepreneurial action


This article explains how entrepreneurship can help resolve the environmental problems of global socio-economic systems. Environmental economics concludes that environmental degradation results from the failure of markets, whereas the entrepreneurship literature argues that opportunities are inherent in market failure. A synthesis of these literatures suggests that environmentally relevant market failures represent opportunities for achieving profitability while simultaneously reducing environmentally degrading economic behaviors. It also implies conceptualizations of sustainable and environmental entrepreneurship which detail how entrepreneurs seize the opportunities that are inherent in environmentally relevant market failures. Finally, the article examines the ability of the proposed theoretical framework to transcend its environmental context and provide insight into expanding the domain of the study of entrepreneurship.

Journal or Publication:
Journal of Business Venturing
Authors:
Thomas J. Dean
Jeffery McMullen
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Status:
publish
Year Published
2007
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