Recognizing Opportunities for Sustainable Development

Holger Patzelt and Dean Shepherd have written an insightful paper on the necessity to know your social and natural surroundings to be better able to recognize opportunities that address a problem within one of the above. The full paper can be found here. If you have access to a university library, you should be able to access the paper there.

Recognizing opportunities for sustainable development requires that individuals are not only knowledgeable about changes in the market equilibrium but also about changes in the natural/communal environment in which they live.
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Our study also adds to the emerging sustainable entrepreneurship literature by expanding the notion of sustainability from a sole emphasis on the natural environment (Schaper, 2005) to include other aspects of the communal environment (cf. Cohen et al., 2008). Recently, scholars started investigating the interplay between entrepreneurial activity and the communal environment. For example, Peredo and Chrisman (2006) developed the concept of “community based enterprise” and suggested that poverty can be reduced when entire communities act as entrepreneurs and enterprises in pursuit of the common good. Consistent with our model, these authors argued that social and economic threats, and the development of knowledge within the community, are important antecedents of entrepreneurial activity that sustain the community while developing solutions for societal problems.
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