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School of Business | Department of Management Studies | Entrepreneurship | 2015
Thesis number: 14209
Does entrepreneurship contribute to sustainable development? A systematic literature review
Author: Moshina, Vera
Title: Does entrepreneurship contribute to sustainable development? A systematic literature review
Year: 2015  Language: eng
Department: Department of Management Studies
Academic subject: Entrepreneurship
Index terms: yrittäjyys; entrepreneurship; kestävä kehitys; sustainable development; yritykset; companies; kehitys; development
Pages: 87
Full text:
» hse_ethesis_14209.pdf pdf  size:3 MB (2898463)
Key terms: systematic literature review; sustainable development; triple bottom line; sustainable entrepreneurship; entrepreneurial opportunity
Sustainable development has become an important subject of discussion in the recent years, especially after it was raised in the UN report on sustainability, published in 1987. Thus, connection between sustainable development and entrepreneurship has received a lot of attention in scientific circles, resulting in a number of publications on the matter. These publications cover various issues around this topic and it is an innovative and interesting task to synthesize and inventory them by means of systematic literature review (SLR).

This thesis presents a SLR of published research articles, concerning the connection between entrepreneurship and sustainable development, approached from the Triple Bottom Line viewpoint. Based on the predefined search strategy a total of 35 such articles were identified and 27 of those were included in the review. The selected articles were published between years 1999 and 2015. This master's thesis presents a detailed description of the review process, including the review protocol, presentation of the results and researcher's analysis of the studied matter. It provides conclusions and identifies gaps in the research area, thus giving suggestions for future research on this matter.

The main findings of the thesis are the following. The connection between entrepreneurship and sustainable development is still a nascent field of research, which is why it is impossible to provide any definite "yes or no" answer to the question whether entrepreneurship contributes to sustainable development. The first wave of the publications in the field, however, tends to arrive to the conclusion that there is a correlation between certain forms of entrepreneurship (social, environmental and sustainable) and sustainable development. Sustainable entrepreneurship, in particular, has a great potential to contribute to sustainable development. Additionally, the research results show that sustainability issues nowadays can be a source of entrepreneurial opportunity.

Since sustainable entrepreneurship is an emerging field of research, it still requires more general studies. There is also a number of themes in this area that need more profound basic studies. However, few topics in the field already received wide coverage in the scientific community, e.g. the nature of market imperfections leading to opportunities for sustainable entrepreneurship and entrepreneurs' incentives for starting sustainable businesses. In the future the field would greatly benefit from more empirical studies covering various issues in the area.
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