Greening Entrepreneurship: How Today’s Students are Turning Eco-Friendly Ideas into Entrepreneurial Ventures

Study reveals how higher education shapes students’ green entrepreneurial intentions, blending innovation with environmental values for sustainable futures

In a development for environmental sustainability, a study published on November 20, 2023, in the Springer journal Entrepreneurship Education has shone a light the growing significance of Green Entrepreneurship (GE) as a response to the challenges posed by global warming and harmful human activities. GE, which combines innovation with a steadfast commitment to environmental preservation, is emerging as an indispensable tool in the arsenal against environmental degradation. This approach, deeply rooted in personal environmental values and distinct personality traits, pivots around creating both environmental and social value through business practices.

The study, focusing on undergraduate students in an emerging economy, offers profound insights into the factors that inspire green entrepreneurial intentions. It underscores the instrumental role of Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs) in inculcating a sustainable mindset in students, who are pivotal to the future of business practices. By delving into the interplay of attitudes towards entrepreneurship, knowledge, motivation, and proactiveness – all crucial personality traits – the research presents a nuanced understanding of how these factors, coupled with university support, shape students’ intentions towards green entrepreneurship.

Incorporating theoretical frameworks such as the Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA), Flow Theory (FT), and Generational Theory (GT), the study provides a multifaceted analysis. It explores how these theories interact to foster a comprehensive grasp of the variables influencing green entrepreneurial aspirations among young adults. The research, led by Sanjoy Kumar Roy from Zhejiang University, highlights the imperative of nurturing a green entrepreneurial mindset among youth. This approach is crucial, especially in tackling environmental challenges through innovative and sustainable business ventures.

Sanjoy’s Proposed model

The findings of this study are a clarion call to educational institutions and policymakers, urging them to devise strategies that inculcate environmentally sustainable business acumen in the entrepreneurs of tomorrow. It emphasises the need for an educational and supportive ecosystem that not only promotes but also nurtures green entrepreneurial intentions among students. This approach is particularly vital in emerging economies, where sustainable practices are increasingly seen as a pathway to environmental and economic resilience.

Furthermore, the study accentuates the necessity for continued research in varied cultural contexts. This expanded scope is essential for enhancing global understanding of green entrepreneurial intentions and for developing effective strategies that encourage sustainable entrepreneurship worldwide. In essence, the study offers invaluable insights for shaping future entrepreneurs who are not just business savvy but are also deeply committed to environmental stewardship, thereby contributing significantly to the global effort to combat environmental challenges.

You can read the study here in Entrepreneurship Education.


Matthew has been writing and cartooning since 2005 and working in science communication his whole career. Matthew has a BSc in Biochemistry and a PhD in Fibre Optic Molecular Sensors and has spent around 16 years working in research, 5 of which were in industry and 12 in the ever-wonderful academia.

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