What influences environmental entrepreneurship? A multilevel analysis of the determinants of entrepreneurs’ environmental orientation
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This cross-country study statistically investigates the determinants of environmental orientation of entrepreneurial activity. It builds on a new institutional theory framework and uses data gathered in the course of the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor to examine the institutional impacts and individual characteristics which influence the degree of environmental orientation of entrepreneurial activity, using a multilevel analysis. Our key findings are threefold: First, the results indicate that environmental orientation is frequently used as a source for securing legitimacy of entrepreneurial ventures. Second, we find lower degrees of environmental orientation among more educated entrepreneurs. Third, for many variables, such as age, gender and income, differences are observed when compared to earlier findings on the determinants of social entrepreneurship. Policy makers can learn from the analysis that policy measures should not only be designed specifically for environmental entrepreneurship, but also be adapted to the domestic economic circumstances, as, for example, environmental taxes only show significant effects on environmental orientation of entrepreneurial ventures in OECD countries. From a practitioner’s perspective, this indicates that a lack of regulation can provide opportunities for environmentally oriented entrepreneurial ideas.
KeywordsEnvironmental entrepreneurship Environmental orientation New institutional theory Legitimacy Cross-country study
JEL ClassificationsL26 Q01
This paper was presented at the conference “Born to be Green: The Economics and Management of Green-Start-Ups” (University of Southampton, 21–22 May 2015). We thank participants of this conference for helpful comments and suggestions. Furthermore, we would like to thank the organizers of the GEM workshop (Yeditepe University, 16–18 November 2014) and the anonymous reviewers for their very helpful comments and suggestions.
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