The Making of the Ecopreneur

Posted: 24 Nov 2009

See all articles by Robert Isaak

Robert Isaak

Pace University; University of Mannheim, Institute of SMEs and Entrepreneurship

Date Written: 2002


In this paper the author contrasts 'green businesses' with 'green-green businesses'. The ideal type of 'ecopreneur' is defined as one who creates green-green businesses in order to radically transform the economic sector in which he or she operates. Similarly, ecopreneurship is seen as an existential form of business behaviour committed to sustainability. Some 'ideal-type' illustrations of ecopreneurship are given, including recent examples, having in common an accidental evolution into ecopreneurship that then becomes transformative for self, society and economic sector. The author provides some practical suggestions for businesspeople who want to try an ecopreneurial strategy in the private sector, including: green brainstorming; cost reduction; the stimulation of innovation through green design and networking; and the attraction of interest of overwhelmed consumers in an emerging 'attention economy' through green marketing and through green start-ups ('green-green businesses'). He suggests that, to promote ecopreneurship, governments and public officials can: run competitions for the most imaginative green business plans; change tax regimes to promote resource conservation; build ecopreneurship into standards for public-sector managers to meet; and target the creation of high-technology development centres to build serial ecopreneurship and to attract 'blended value' venture capital. (Publication abstract)

Keywords: Sustainability, Public policies, Incentives, Environmental entrepreneurship

Suggested Citation

Isaak, Robert, The Making of the Ecopreneur (2002). University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership Historical Research Reference in Entrepreneurship, Available at SSRN:

Robert Isaak (Contact Author)

Pace University ( email )

One Pace Plaza
White Plains, NY New York 10603
United States

University of Mannheim, Institute of SMEs and Entrepreneurship

Universit├Ąt Mannheim
Mannheim, 68131

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