Sustainable Entrepreneurship & Innovation Group


CBS Sustainability Research Group:  ‘Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Innovation’

Definitional Framing
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.

Focus Areas
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.

Strategic goals

- Research. 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 area. In 2019, we have a Special Issue on Impact Investing at the Journal of Business Ethics (see link here).  
  • co-organize one Professional Development Workshop (PDW) at the Academy of Management (or similar event) per year. In 2019, we have an impact investing PDW.  
  • more ideas welcome …

- Outreach. It is our intention for members of the hub to

  • collaborate 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 organize the Beijing and the Copenhagen Impact Investing Days (BIID).   
  • more ideas welcome …

- Education. 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.
  • more ideas welcome …

Recurrent activities  

  • 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.
  • More ideas welcome …


  • 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.
  • More ideas welcome …

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



Group Members

Kai Hockerts

Esben Rahbek Gjerdrum Pedersen

Daniel Hjorth

Sudhanshu Rai  

Luise Noring

Kirsti Reitan Andersen

Anirudh Agrawal

Kristian Roed Nielsen

Lara Hale


'Associated’ Members         

Maria Figueroa

Kerli Kant Hvass

Jan Michael Bauer

Matthew Archer

Colin Melvin

Florence Villeseche

Ester Barinaga

Isabel Froes

Andreas Wieland

Philip Beske-Janssen


The page was last edited by: Department of Management, Society and Communication // 10/09/2019