Practical Idealists. Stories of entrepreneurs running green business in China

University essay from Lunds universitet/LUMID International Master programme in applied International Development and Management

Abstract: Small and medium enterprises account for more than 90% of all enterprises operating in China, contribute to more than 60% of GDP and create about 80% of country’s jobs (Xinhua 2012). Large scale of the SME industry impacts significantly both on environment and social structures (Randriamalala et al. 2013:88). In the context of such importance of SME industry for economy and society it is logical to assume that sustainable development will not be possible without SMEs going ‘green’. This thesis seeks to point to the potential contribution of SME industry to sustainable development of Chinese economy and society by trying to understand the motivation and choices that led companies’ founders to initiate green business. Case study method is used in the study in order to explore in-depth the lives of four entrepreneurs that chose to run a green company. The material is presented in following order: organizational profile is followed by the interpretations of factors affecting individuals’ live choices based on Moore’s model of entrepreneurial process. My findings indicate that all of them had the intention to create something meaningful for personal satisfaction and people’s and environment’s benefit. As it is seen from the discussion the capabilities of the entrepreneurs to make use of existing opportunities, create new opportunities and thus affect social norms and establishing new habits among population are very important for development, because nowadays the world is in need of providing innovative solutions to environmental and social challenges

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