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Sustainable Entrepreneurship at the Bottom of the Pyramid: An Identity-Based Perspective

School of Business & Management, Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology, LUT, P.O. Box 20, 53851 Lappeenranta, Finland
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Sustainability 2021, 13(2), 812; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13020812
Received: 23 November 2020 / Revised: 8 January 2021 / Accepted: 12 January 2021 / Published: 15 January 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Economic and Business Aspects of Sustainability)
Entrepreneurial behavior research has widened its scope to focus on founders who engage in creating enterprises for both their economic self-interest and their concern for others. Yet, there is a lack of an empirically grounded understanding of the sustainable enterprise creation behavior of entrepreneurs at the bottom of the pyramid. This study contributes to sustainable entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial behavior literature streams by applying founder identity theoretical perspectives to explore and understand bottom of the pyramid entrepreneurs’ self-perceived identities in the creation of sustainable enterprises. The study applies a multiple case study design with qualitative data collected through field observations and in-depth interviews with enterprise founders and stakeholders. The data were complemented with secondary materials such as websites, founder blogs, online videos, news articles, and other media coverage. The data were analyzed in stages through thematic analysis. Findings show that sustainable entrepreneurs at the bottom of the pyramid possess multiple frames of reference, basic social motivations and adopt either single or multiple role identities, which influence their behavior during the process of creating their enterprises. Moreover, the analysis reveals that Fauchart and Gruber’s social identity typologies and the role identities of Cardon et al. can be applied to entrepreneurs at the bottom of the pyramid to understand their identity profiles and illuminate on how these identities result in observed behavioral differences during the process of creating their enterprises. View Full-Text
Keywords: bottom of the pyramid; developing country; entrepreneurial behavior; founder identity; role identity; social identity; sustainable entrepreneurship bottom of the pyramid; developing country; entrepreneurial behavior; founder identity; role identity; social identity; sustainable entrepreneurship
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MDPI and ACS Style

Musona, J.; Puumalainen, K.; Sjögrén, H.; Vuorio, A. Sustainable Entrepreneurship at the Bottom of the Pyramid: An Identity-Based Perspective. Sustainability 2021, 13, 812. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13020812

AMA Style

Musona J, Puumalainen K, Sjögrén H, Vuorio A. Sustainable Entrepreneurship at the Bottom of the Pyramid: An Identity-Based Perspective. Sustainability. 2021; 13(2):812. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13020812

Chicago/Turabian Style

Musona, Jackson, Kaisu Puumalainen, Helena Sjögrén, and Anna Vuorio. 2021. "Sustainable Entrepreneurship at the Bottom of the Pyramid: An Identity-Based Perspective" Sustainability 13, no. 2: 812. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13020812

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