The IUP Journal of Entrepreneurship Development
Motivations of Ecopreneurs: The New Entrepreneurial Paradigm

Article Details
Pub. Date : December, 2021
Product Name : The IUP Journal of Entrepreneurship Development
Product Type : Article
Product Code : IJED11221
Author Name : Patrick Harte, Thomas Peisl and Katharina Kammers
Availability : YES
Subject/Domain : Management Journals
Download Format : PDF Format
No. of Pages : 24



The purpose of this study is to investigate the motivations of ecological entrepreneurs, 'ecopreneurs', to engage in green innovation, i.e., ecopreneurial ventures for wider gain than solely financial, and to introduce the ecopreneur to mainstream entrepreneurial research and study. The study is an exploratory one utilizing organization-based research. It includes collection and analysis of qualitative data involving 16 semi-structured interviews with ecopreneurs from Germany and Scotland. Three new motivational dimensions are identified and presented: to inspire others, achievement, and economic success. Additional findings include the importance of green values and economic success can change over time, e.g., ecopreneurs start their businesses with high focus on green values, but later put higher focus on economic success. Others start with their primary focus on making profits, and as their companies prove to be successful, a switch to more green values is made. The study identifies six key drivers emerging from the investigation into the motivations of German and Scottish ecopreneurs. The extended model on ecopreneurial motivation adds to existing research and opens a path to more environmentally-conscious entrepreneurship education, the ecopreneurial paradigm. This may lead to an ecological startup environment, as the attention of potential ecopreneurs is drawn to the need for creating more businesses with green focus.


Entrepreneurship is a broad field of research, which is both complex and heterogeneous, and has developed in various directions (Bruyat and Julien, 2001). One sub-category is ecopreneurship, a neologism created out of the words 'ecological' and 'entrepreneurship' (Schaltegger, 2002). First research in the field of this environmental entrepreneurship path was conducted by Blue (1989), Bennett (1991), and Berle (1993), but ecopreneurship is still not