This paper has its origins in my PhD research (2013) and evolved over the past few years, inspired by the feedback and works by many colleagues. It’s great that Business Strategy and the Environment finally accepted and published it in late 2019.

The “Business Models for Sustainability Innovation Framework” introduced in this paper (see figure) integrates micro-level and agency considerations (sustainable entrepreneurship) with macro-level and systems perspectives (socio-technical context). Several opportunities for future research result from this integration.


In essence, I am discussing the following issue in this article: Why should sustainability-driven entrepreneurs care about business models?

  • First, business models connect entrepreneurs’ innovative solutions to markets, users and various stakeholders, which is a prerequisite for positive ecological and social effects.
  • Second, business model design allows using the various resources found in the business environment, which can help in overcoming barriers to successful sustainability innovation.

Here, you can access the paper for free and get a detailed introduction to the “Business Models for Sustainability Innovation Framework”:


Lüdeke-Freund, F. (2020): Sustainable Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Business Models: Integrative Framework and Propositions for Future Research, Business Strategy and the Environment, Vol. 29, No. 2, 665-681. DOI (open access)

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