Principles of ecopreneurship

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The term Eco - Entrepreneurship (also Ecopreneurship ) or Ökounternehmertum designate a form of entrepreneurship, ecology, innovation and entrepreneurship linked in a business start-up. An eco - entrepreneur is distinguished from the environmental activities of traditional large companies a high degree of innovation of the business and by the discovery and exploitation of market niches or use of the market failures (eg due to transport at a specific location worthless appearing waste to a other place where they are used as valuable resources ). Eco - Entrepreneurship as a theory of the creation and growth of innovative green business is therefore not identical with ecology -oriented business administration (so-called Eco - Management), which is mainly concerned with issues such as life cycle assessment, eco-auditing, sustainability and energy efficiency, so with aspects of efficient and responsible use of resources is concerned.


The concept of eco - entrepreneurship emerged in the mid / late 1980s, from the environmental debate out. Well-known pioneers of the Eco - Entrepreneurship in the U.S. are Douglas Tompkins and Peter Barnes, in Germany Heinz Hess and Horst P. Popp. Various suggestions for the development in Germany emerged in the practical activities of the anthroposophical movement. Since the beginning of the 21st century, the concept was received by the economics mainstream, underpinned theoretically (eg, theories of market failure and practically developed ( by so-called Eco - Venturing, Eco - incubators, etc.).

Since about 2000, also the generic term sustainable entrepreneurship or Sustainability Entrepreneurship, short Sustainopreneurship is used both for social entrepreneurship as well as for eco - entrepreneurship.

Theoretical and empirical issues

The application of the theory of market failure on the Eco -Entrepreneurs results in a series yet to be answered Direction of theoretical and empirical questions such as according to the profitability of the Eco - Entrepreneurship, which would actually be significantly lower than that of (because of market failure been surviving ) large investments usually expected profitability, or as to the compatibility of (often conservative values ​​embossed ) environmental and sustainability orientation, radical innovation and entrepreneurship in a person. Many Ecopreneurs have apparently recovered from the humblest of beginnings a great impact on the markets, even without them stood venture capital available. Petersen shows that by far the greater number were of the newly founded company, who later won a major impact on the market, first exclusively on environmental and not fixated on profitability goals. Also Kirkwood and Walton show on the basis of a sample of New Zealand founders that Ecopreneurs lower income expectations than average founder and that they mainly a - partly for her surprising - opened up the prospects for the successful establishment of positive demand trend (so-called pull effect ), a pattern that is rather unknown in Germany by Nebenerwebsgründern. Wagner shows that a strong environmental orientation of the surveyed students from him a technical university accompanied by an increased willingness to engage in entrepreneurial. The alumni of this university, however, this close link is only valid if the moderator variable ' innovation ' is pronounced. Otherwise enters a certain resignation effect.