A process-oriented framework of competencies for sustainability entrepreneurship

Tamsin Foucrier, Arnim Wiek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Employee-owned businesses, benefit corporations, and other efforts in sustainability entrepreneurship are responding to prevalent challenges such as climate change, economic inequalities, and unethical business behavior. Universities, however, often fall short in suciently equipping students with competencies in sustainability entrepreneurship. One reason is that none of the existing frameworks links competencies to the actual processes of entrepreneurship, from discovery to consolidation. If graduates are to successfully start and run sustainability-oriented enterprises, the real-world entrepreneurship processes should provide the main orientation for training and learning. The present study proposes such a framework. We first conducted a qualitative literature review on competencies for entrepreneurs, sustainability professionals, social entrepreneurs, and sustainability entrepreneurs. We clustered the identified competencies according to conceptual similarities. On this basis, we describe sustainability entrepreneurship competencies along the entrepreneurial process model. The result is a process-oriented and literature-based framework of sustainability entrepreneurship competencies. It is intended to be used as a general vision for students, faculty, and entrepreneurs, as well as for the design of curricula, courses, and assessments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7250
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number24
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019


  • Business education
  • Curriculum design
  • Sustainability competencies
  • Transformational sustainability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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