CBS Sustainability

Sustainable Entrepreneurship & Innovation Group



The Research group “Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Innovation” is concerned with the identification of opportunities to achieve the SDGs through new business models, which create market disequilibria resulting in the transformation of industries towards a sustainable future.

For more information, please contact the Group Coordinator Kai Hockerts at

PDF iconSee the full member list here.

Areas of expertise

The research group focusses in particular on (but is not limited to) the following sub areas:

Identification of Sustainability Opportunities. Research in this area is concerned with the question of how the market failures underlying SDGs can be overcome and turned into business opportunities through new combinations of complementary assets.

Sustainable Business Models. This area studies how sustainability opportunities are turned into profitable business models (e.g. a value proposition based earned income strategy) and how these business models drive market transformation by attracting other industry players.

Sustainable/Social Venturing. Next, we also research the creation of start-up ventures founded with the explicit mission to address SDGs. These can be for-profit firms as well as new organizational forms (e.g. benefit corporations, community interest companies, or social økologiske virksomheder), in which all profit is reinvested in line with the mission.

Financing Sustainable Entrepreneurship. This area studies the emerging practice of impact investing which aims to create efficient capital markets to fund early stage sustainable and social enterprises and business models.

Sustainable Entrepreneurship Intentions and Education. Finally, we are concerned with the motivations of sustainable and social entrepreneurs as well as the role education can play in encouraging more students to engage in sustainable entrepreneurship.

Industry sectors. In terms of industry areas the group covers many areas including (but not limited to) innovations in circular economy, sustainable fashion, urban planning, work integration social enterprises, fair trade.


It is our intention for members of the group to:

  • foster research collaboration with leading scholars and environments on sustainable entrepreneurship and innovation (see list of international faculty contacts below),
  • promote new PhDs and Postdocs within the field of sustainable entrepreneurship and innovation,
  • co-edit at least one special issue per year in the are (in 2019, we had a Special Issue on Impact Investing at the Journal of Business Ethics),
  • co-organize one Professional Development Workshop (PDW) at the Academy of Management (or similar event) per year (in 2019, we had an impact investing PDW).

It is our intention for members of the hub to:

  • be collaborative with public and private organisations on research and education activities relevant to theory and practice (engaged scholarship/action research approach),
  • be involved in at least one CBS hosted workshop or conference every year (in 2019, we organized the Beijing and the Copenhagen Impact Investing Days).

Group's highlights

Brown Bag sessions - we intend to hold at least one brown bag paper development session per semester. (We already have several volunteers for autumn/winter 2019)

Editor Roundtables - we plan to organize at least one roundtable discussion per year with editors from journals relevant to the area. (In 2019 these coincide with the Beijing and the Copenhagen Impact Investing Days

Revise and Resubmit Workshops - regular workshops at which hub members present R&Rs they have received and discuss response strategies with group members.

Idea Generators - discussion of early paper ideas and proto papers ahead of the first draft being prepared.


  • The group is currently involved in the AGORA partnership which is an alliance of 8 universities planning to apply for funding under the European Universities call, to be launched later in 2019.
  • There is also a Erasmus Mundus application under way.

See the PDF iconlist of selected publications in the area authored by members of the Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Innovation group.


It is our intention for members of the hub to:

  • contribute with new education and teaching material on sustainable entrepreneurship and innovation (e.g. blended learning, MOOCs etc.),
  • commit to integrating discussions of innovation and entrepreneurship in their existing courses.
The page was last edited by: CBS Sustainability // 06/16/2020