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Motivational Facets of Sustainable Entrepreneurship: A Systematic Review and Future Research Agenda

Kevin Reuther (), Yngve Dahle, Carolin Schmidt and Franziska Schösser
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Kevin Reuther: Fraunhofer Center for International Management and Knowledge Economy IMW, 04109 Leipzig, Germany
Yngve Dahle: Department of Health, Social and Welfare Studies, University of South-Eastern Norway, 3918 Porsgrunn, Norway
Carolin Schmidt: Faculty of Economics and Management Science, University of Leipzig, 04109 Leipzig, Germany
Franziska Schösser: Faculty of Economics and Management Science, University of Leipzig, 04109 Leipzig, Germany

Sustainability, 2023, vol. 15, issue 3, 1-23

Abstract: Entrepreneurial activity and especially sustainable entrepreneurship (SE) significantly impact the achievement of the sustainability transition. While we have a decent understanding of the drivers of entrepreneurial activity, there is limited knowledge and no systematic consolidation of existing work examining what motivates entrepreneurs to engage in SE. To address this issue, we conducted a systematic literature review analyzing 50 papers derived from the Scopus database since 2017. We found that the specific construct discussed in this literature is the Motivation for Sustainable Entrepreneurship (MSE) and argue that it is a combined construct comprising the motivation to have an impact on sustainability and the motivation to become an entrepreneur. We conclude by suggesting three areas for future research: First, a clear definition of MSE is needed, distinguishing what constitutes motivation for impacting sustainable development and motivation for engaging in entrepreneurship. Second, despite having a good understanding of the factors influencing MSE, these are often based on specific case-studies and could benefit from larger and more diverse samples as well as research methods. Third, we have a very limited understanding of the effect of MSE on new venture creation, entrepreneurial practices, performance, and success.

Keywords: entrepreneurial; motivation; intention; sustainability; sustainable development goals (SDG); UN17; literature review (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O13 Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2023
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