Core Areas

The CSCP has identified two core focus areas for sustainable livelihoods: Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Lifestyles. In order to support the efforts of sustainable entrepreneurs, there are various enabling initiatives such as Sustainable Intrapreneurship, Venture Capital and Venture Philanthropy. To strengthen the activities needed to support sustainable enterprises, the CSCP directs its efforts toward business incubators and education.

Sustainable Entrepreneurship

Sustainable Entrepreneurship is a means to support innovation, develop solutions for environmental and/or social challenges, and lead sustainable lifestyles and/or livelihoods. This is achieved by identifying opportunities to develop new products, services, technologies and production processes based on the values of creativity and respect for natural systems and social well-being.

Either as a start-up or established business, Sustainable Entrepreneurship serves as a point of leverage to improve operations, products and services. Sustainable Entrepreneurship has an inward focus and enables intrapreneurship whilst from an external perspective companies are created or become promoters of sustainable lifestyles.

Sustainable Lifestyles

A lifestyle is defined as “the way people live at a particular time and place” and it describes the various ways individuals relate with each other and with nature. This interaction can be translated into terms of consumption and production, where nature produces the conditions for inhabiting the planet whilst all living creatures consume these goods, mankind in particular.

Scaling Up

Entrepreneurial firms, as engines of innovation, have a crucial role in developing and scaling innovative ideas, technologies and business models that encourage sustainable consumption and production, or in other words sustainable living. The number of such entrepreneurial firms is rapidly increasing across the world. However, only very few of these firms are successful in scaling up their operations, which is often necessary to achieve operational efficiencies and increase positive impacts for the environment and society. In fact very little is known about the strategies employed by these entrepreneurial firms and their effectiveness. And therefore there is no clarity as to which strategies should be encouraged by policy-makers, financial institutions and other stakeholders to ensure that entrepreneurial firms scale “the right things right” rather than “the right things wrong” or the “wrong things right”.

As part of Liudmila Nazarkina's guest research stay at the Collaborating Centre on Sustainable Consumption and Production (CSCP), a report has been produced to outline a range of strategies used by entrepreneurial firms to scale business impacts on sustainable living. This is achieved by presenting four “organisational personas” (Local Integrator, Enthusiastic Innovator, Cross-Sector Collaborator and Branding Guru), or distinctive organisational types, each of which has a different business model and different approach to scaling up their impacts and operations. The description of these organisational personas is based on an ongoing independent PhD research project at the University of St. Gallen and inspired by the “personas” concept developed at the CSCP.