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Oppportunists, champions, mavericks? A typology of green entrepreneurs

Taylor, David W. and Walley, Elizabeth E. (2002) Oppportunists, champions, mavericks? A typology of green entrepreneurs. ISSN 0966-9671

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Abstract

Given the importance of green entrepreneurs in the transition towards a sustainable society, the authors propose a framework for investigating the influences on, and motives of, green entrepreneurs. The literature on entrepreneurs generally, and approaches to classifying entrepreneurs, are reviewed with the aim of gaining useful insights for the green context. The scope for investigation encompasses all possible forms of green business, including not only those founded on the principle of sustainability but also those that are opportunistically or accidentally green. Assessing both the research on typologies of entrepreneurs generally and recent perspectives on green entrepreneurs in particular, the authors propose that green entrepreneurs are best characterised by a combination of internal motivations and external (hard and soft) structural influences. The resulting typology presented in this paper produces four 'ideal types' of green entrepreneurs: innovative opportunists, visionary champions, ethical mavericks and ad hoc enviropreneurs. Their characteristics are explored and examples provided. Recommendations are made on how the typology can contribute to further research into ways to foster green entrepreneurship and the change agent role that green entrepreneurs play in the two-way iterative relationship between firms and society.

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