Green Entrepreneurship: Literature Review and Agenda for Future Research


Advocacy for pro-environmental behaviour in the business arena is on the increase. Yet, many businesses have continued to indulge in “business-as-usual” practices, which are preoccupied with profit maximization objectives at the expense of all other social benefits. Such anti-environment practice has little or no regard for flora and fauna wellbeing. Hence, the main objective of this study is to review, explore and synthesize current views in the field in view of clarifying relevant concepts in green entrepreneurship context. Also, to identify behavioural and performance standards required of green entrepreneurship growth and development. To achieve the study objectives, we adopted integrative review of literature methodology. Concerning the findings, the paper identified new trends in green entrepreneurship and identified the need to clarify some relevant concepts, such as: industry life cycle, entrepreneurship knowledge sharing, institutional framework, entrepreneurship financing, green entrepreneurship decision-making process among others. We also identified the need to properly delineate the process leading to the practice of green entrepreneurship as a departure from the old entrepreneurship philosophy. Therefore, we recommend that further studies should endeavour to focus on identifying the step-by-step processes involved in the green entrepreneurship practice for the possibility of wider accessibility and ease of understanding of prospective green entrepreneurs in the interest of green entrepreneurship growth and development. Finally, we identified the dearth of literature with change management scholars’ view and contributions to the emancipation of green entrepreneurship from the cocoon of traditional entrepreneurship management practice hence, we threw it open for future research undertaking.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • Acs, Z. J., Audretsch, D. B., Braunerhjelm, P., & Carlsson, B. (2009). The knowledge spillover theory of entrepreneurship. Journal of Small Business Economics, 32(1), 15–30.

  • Ball, C. & Kittler, M. (2017). Removing environmental market failure through support mechanisms: insights from green start-ups in the British, French and German energy sectors. Journal of Small Business Economics, 2(3), 1–22.

  • Banerjee, S., & Dutta, A., B. (2017). Green HRM: A brief review. Rainbow Multidisciplinary Pre Reviewed Annual Journal, 3(1), 1-5.

  • Bannamar, K., & Gressel, N. (2015). Forget sustainability: Go for green entrepreneurship. Journal of Thinkers Creative Leadership, 1.17. Retrieved on 16/06/2019 via

  • Barbieri, N., Ghisetti, C., Gilli, M., Marin, G., & Nicolli, F. (2016). A survey of the literature on environmental innovation based on main path analysis. Journal of Economic Surveys, 30(3), 596–623.

  • Buck Consultants (2011). American businesses are measuring the savings from their green workplace practices more than ever. Retrieved on 14/10/2019 via

  • Coad, A., Segarra, A., & Teruel, M. (2016). Innovation and firm growth: does firm age play a role? Journal of Research Policy, 45(2), 387–400.

  • Colombelli, A. & Quatraro, F. (2017). Green startups and local knowledge spillovers from clean and dirty technologies. Journal of Small Business Economics, 3(5), 1-23.

  • Consoli, D., Marin, G., Marzucchi, A., & Vona, F. (2016). Do green jobs differ from non-green jobs in terms of skills and human capital? Journal of Research Policy, 45(5), 1046–1060.

  • Costantini, V., & Mazzanti, M. (2012). On the green and innovative side of trade competitiveness? The impact of environmental policies and innovation on EU exports. Journal of Research Policy, 41(1), 132–153.

  • Criscuolo, C., & Menon, C. (2015). Environmental policies and risk finance in the green sector: cross-country evidence. Energy Policy, 83(1), 38–56.

  • Dale, G. (2019). Climate, communism and the age of affluence? A Review of Aaron Bastani in Automated Luxury Communism: A Manifesto, 1-6. Retrieved on 13/07/2019 via

  • Dale, G. (2018).The emergence of an ecological Karl Marx: 1818 – 2018. The legacy of the political economist is fiercely contested, 1.7. Retrieved on 13/07/2019 via

  • Dale, G. (2015). Origin and delusion of green growth. International Socialist Review, 2(97), 1-5. Retrieved on 23/06/2019 via

  • Darnall, N., & Edwards, D. (2006). Predicting the cost of environmental management system adoption: the role of capabilities, resources and ownership structure. Strategic Management Journal, 27(4), 301–320.

  • Dean, T. J., & McMullen, J. S. (2007). Toward a theory of sustainable entrepreneurship: reducing environmental degradation through entrepreneurial action. Journal of Business Venturing, 22(1), 50–76.

  • Demirel, P., Cher Li, Q, Rentocchini, F. & Tamvada, J., P. (2017). Born to be green: new insights into the economics and management of green entrepreneurship. Journal of Business Economics, 52(1), 759–771.

  • Demuth, A. (2014). Green Entrepreneurship: A promising path towards a sustainable future in Tunisia and elsewhere. Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, 4-51.

  • Esty, D. C., & Winston, A. S. (2009). Green to gold: how smart companies use environmental strategy to innovate, create value, and build competitive advantage. Journal of building and Engineering, 2(5), 1-13.

  • Farinelli, F., Bottini, M., Akkoyunlu, S. & Aerni, P. (2013). Green entrepreneurship: the missing link towards a greener economy. ATDF Journal, 8(3), 42-48.

  • Ghisetti, C., & Quatraro, F. (2013). Beyond inducement in climate change: does environmental performance spur environmental technologies? A regional analysis of cross-sectoral differences. Journal of Ecological Economics, 96(1), 99–113.

  • Green Project (2012). An attempt to define green entrepreneurship. NCCR Policy Brief, 6(1), 1-3. Retrieved 16/6/19.

  • Hassan, A. & Kouhy, R. (2016). From environmentalism to corporate environmental accountability in the Nigerian Petroleum Industry: Do green stakeholders matter? International Journal of Energy Sector Management, 9(2): 227-250.

  • Hörisch, J., Kollat, J., & Brieger, S. A. (2017). What influences environmental entrepreneurship? A multilevel analysis of the determinants of entrepreneurs’ environmental orientation. Small Business Economics, 48(1), 47–69.

  • Hussain, A. (2018). Green human resource management HRM) practices in organizations: A Comprehensive Literature Surveyed. Journal of Management Research and Analysis, 5(2), 112-117.

  • Jones, G & Gettinger, B. (2016). Alternative Paths of Green Entrepreneurship: The Environmental Legacies of the North Face’s Doug Tompkins and Patagonia’s Yvon Chouinard. Harvard Business School Working Paper, 10(1), 17-34.

  • Junior, F., H., Galleli, B., Gallardo-Vȧzquez, D. & Sȧnchez-Hernȧndez, M., I. (2016). Strategic aspects in sustainability reporting in oil & gas industry: The comparative case-study of Brazilian Petrobras and Spanish Repsol. Ecological Indicator, 72(1), 203-214.

  • Khan, M. (2015). Green human resource management – A prerequisite for sustainable environment. Progress in Science and Engineering Research Journal, 18(3), 1-7.

  • Kulkarni, P., V., & Pammar, L., S. (2019). A comparative study of rating systems in green building. Journal of Engineering and Technology, 6(4), 1.3.

  • Malavisi, A. (2018). The Urgency of the Greening of Ethics. Australasian Journal of Logic, 4(3), 593-609.

  • Meyskens, M., & Carsrud, A. L. (2013). Nascent green- technology ventures: a study assessing the role of partnership diversity in firm success. Journal of Small Business Economics, 40(3), 739-759.

  • Mohammed, A. Y. (2018). International Trade and its Impact on CO2 Emission: Empirical Study of Bahrain. International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, 8(2): 318-333.

  • Mrkajic, B., Murtinu, S. & Scalera, V. G. (2019). Is green the new gold? Venture capital and green entrepreneurship. Small Business Economics, 52(4), 929-950.

  • Muhamad, M., & Anuge, J. (2016). Exploring the challenge for Sustainable Development in the energy sector: Sociomaterial view of two British and Nigerian cases. World Association of Sustainable Development, 2-14.

  • Muo, Ik., & Ariyo, O., O. (2018). Change in macroeconomic policy frameworks in Nigeria lessons from history. Journal of Policy and Development Studies, 11(4), 1-7.

  • OECD (2011). Measuring Green Entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship at a Glance, 23-38. Retrieved on 20/06/2019 via:

  • O’Neil, I., & Ucbasaran, D. (2016). Balancing Bwhat matters to me^ with what matters to them^: exploring the legitimation process of environmental entrepreneurs. Journal of Business Venturing, 31(2), 133–152.

  • O’Neill, K., & Gibbs, D. (2016). Rethinking green entrepreneur- ship - fluid narratives of the green economy. Journal of Environment and Planning, 48(9), 1727–1749.

  • Pacheco, D. F., Dean, T. J., & Payne, D. S. (2010). Escaping the green prison: entrepreneurship and the creation of opportunities for sustainable development. Journal of Business Venturing, 25(5), 464–480.

  • Porter, M. E., & van der Linde, C. (1995). Toward a new conception of the environment-competitiveness relationship. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 9(4), 97–118.

  • Rahman, A., A., Nezakati, H., Ho, J., A. & Ong S., T. (2016). Integrating operations, human resource, marketing, and accounting and finance perspectives in sustainable supply chain research. Economic Growth, Environmental Protection & Social Progress, 11-231.

  • Schumpeter, J. (1934). The theory of economic development. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

  • Shapira, P., Gök, A., Klochikhin, E., & Sensier, M. (2014). Probing green industry enterprises in the UK: a new identification approach. Journal of Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 85, 93–104.

  • Suudin, H. & Brown, D., A. (2017). Greening the black box: Integrating the environment and management control systems. Journal of Accounting, Auditing and Accountability, 30(3). 620-642.

  • Tamvada, J. P. (2015). The spatial distribution of self-employment in India: evidence from semiparametric geoadditive models. Regional Studies, 49(2), 300–322.

  • Tee, M., Abdulahi, R., Din, J., Abdulahi, S. & Wu, L. (2017). Green SD Adoption using knowledge management facilitation – Motivational perspective. Journal of Theoretical and Applied Information Technology, 5(17): 4291-4301.

  • Yousuf, N., A., Awang, H., & Iranmaneseh, M. (2017). Determinants and outcome of environmental practices in Malaysian construction projects. Journal of Cleaner Production, 156(17): 345-354.

  • Zhaojun, Y., Jun, S., Yali, Z & Ying, W. (2017). Green, Green, It’s Green: A Triad Model of Technology, Culture, and Innovation for Corporate Sustainability. Sustainability. 9, 1-23.


Journal + Issues