How to Recognize Opportunities in Sustainable Entrepreneurship?

Entrepreneurship Campus

By Entrepreneurship Campus

How to Recognize Opportunities in Sustainable Entrepreneurship?

A news headline a few weeks ago pointed out that while we still don’t have a vaccine for the coronavirus, we know the vaccine for saving the planet. The post-COVID-19 recovery will be an unparalleled chance for ruling governments, entrepreneurs, and citizens to integrate economic recuperation with environmental and climate action. At the same time, the pandemic is an opportunity to look back at socio-economic systems and trying to improve them or even to design more sustainable and fair economic systems.

Even though without a vaccine the health crisis will somehow come under control. However, the economic recovery that will follow must preserve the environmental achievements that we have witnessed during the last months.
We’re living through a crisis but at the same time, we’re living through the biggest drop of CO2 emissions. Demand for energy has fallen globally, people are traveling less as most airlines have grounded their airplanes. Previous experience during the 2008 crash has shown that demand for fossil fuels never reached the pre-crisis levels. On the contrary, the demand for electricity was fueled by solar and wind power. This makes experts believe that even though the CO2 emission will increase after the pandemic, demand for non-renewable resources will fall.
Our overall well-being is closely linked to the health of our environment. Simple factors like proper waste management, clean water and sanitation, and low levels of air pollution can guarantee well-being for everyone and especially for vulnerable communities living in places affected by climate change.

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Back to our initial question: how to recognize opportunities in sustainable entrepreneurship?

A simple search on how to identify business opportunities results in countless guidelines, articles, books, research papers, etc. Meanwhile, the broad impression when searching for sustainable entrepreneurship opportunities is: “Unfortunately, there are not too many studies that address this topic.”
Yet the existing ones point out that sustainable entrepreneurs are influenced in their identification of sustainable opportunities by their knowledge of natural and communal environments, by their motivation to develop gains for themselves and others, and by entrepreneurial knowledge. (Ruven Hanohov, Leonie Baldacchino).

The most interesting fact is a rising number of companies from the less developed, emerging economies among the most successful and innovative companies in the world that recognize business opportunities based on sustainable innovation. Those enterprises provide services and products to markets that are not served properly due to various challenges.
Successful sustainable businesses define and achieve both economic and non-economic goals such as reduced costs, zero waste and emissions, creating value from waste, maximum energy efficiency, deliver functionality rather than product ownership, and stakeholder satisfaction.
In a nutshell, sustainable entrepreneurs identify opportunities from challenges to fuel their ideas while strongly relying on business innovation. At the same time, innovation provides an entrepreneurial opportunity.

Such opportunities are closely tied to local contexts, but you as a member of the Entrepreneurship Campus can learn how to identify them. First, you can get entrepreneurial knowledge on how to innovate and coming up with a solution out of challenges. Second, you can continue your training with the Sustainable Entrepreneurship Course. Third, you can focus on a general problem and find out how it’s related to the Sustainable Development Goals and their targets. Hence, you can find a specific and achievable cause. At this point, you can become part of the Citizen Entrepreneurship Competition and get a taste of the entrepreneurial life.
You can improve your idea or project with the help of our great community of aspiring entrepreneurs from all over the world.


BBC: Climate change and coronavirus: Five charts about the biggest carbon crash

Opportunity recognition in sustainable entrepreneurship: an exploratory study

Photo by Victor Garcia on Unsplash

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