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Rijksuniversiteit Groningen/Campus FryslânCentre for Sustainable EntrepreneurshipAbout CSE

The what and why

What is the challenge?

Many countries and regions face unprecedented crises and disruptive events. International financial dilemmas and ecological catastrophes are challenging our existing economic systems more than ever. The United Nations has identified 15 critical challenges for the 21st century, including climate change, clean water, democratisation, health, energy, and global ethics. The World Economic Forum highlights income disparity, chronic fiscal imbalance, rising greenhouse gas emissions, and water supply as the most important of all issues.

The impact of these global challenges can no longer be ignored. Many Western and Asian countries continue to report below-average economic growth rates and persistent high levels of unemployment. Welfare growth of newly industrializing and developing countries is hampered by ever-increasing rates of pollution. International organizations consistently show a discrepancy between the demand and supply for services and products due to population growth and rising income levels.

The international grant challenges require a fundamental redesign of existing production systems. Without social or environmental considerations there will not be enduring welfare. We need to transform the current oil- and gas-based economy into a circular society. In a circular society, the intertwined relationships between economic, ecological, and social virtues are balanced and preserved.

The transformation from an oil- and gas-based economy into a circular society is the main challenge of the modern world economy.

Why sustainable entrepreneurship?

Sustainable entrepreneurship is the key answer to the main challenge. Sustainable entrepreneurship transforms the current oil- and gas-based economy into a circular society. Sustainable entrepreneurship differs from mainstream entrepreneurship. Mainstream entrepreneurship only focuses on maximizing profits at all costs.

Sustainable entrepreneurship is moving beyond profit maximization. Sustainable entrepreneurs are opportunity-oriented and aim to generate new products, services, production processes, techniques and organization models which substantially reduce social and environmental impacts, whilst simultaneously improving the quality of societies. Sustainable entrepreneurship offers the creative potential needed to develop a circular society in which economic, social, and ecological systems are simultaneously balanced and preserved.

Sustainable entrepreneurs face many challenges. They produce new products and services for new markets with new business models. The market reports great variation in the degree and success of sustainable entrepreneurship. Some corporations such as Unilever and Friesland Campina incorporate sustainability company-wide and are also very successful. Other firms are in earlier stages towards sustainability.

The main question that we face is: how can we design, implement, and manage successful sustainable entrepreneurship?

Why a Centre for Sustainable Entrepreneurship?

The Centre for Sustainable Entrepreneurship is the crucial answer to this question. The Centre will foster the design, implementation, and management of successful sustainable entrepreneurship because:

  1. It educates a new generation of sustainable leadership by means of an academic fulltime master for university students;
  2. It inspires and supports existing and new firms by means of certified masterclasses for business leaders;
  3. It generates in-depth academic knowledge by means of sustainability labs for academic scholars

The joint efforts of university students, business leaders, and academic scholars will disentangle the causes and consequences of successful sustainable entrepreneurship.

Laatst gewijzigd:12 juli 2017 12:08