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Ecopreneurs' creation of user business models for green tech: an exploratory study in e-mobility

: Abdelkafi, N.; Hansen, E.G.

Volltext ()

International journal of entrepreneurial venturing 10 (2018), Nr.1, S.32-55
ISSN: 1742-5360
ISSN: 1742-5379
Zeitschriftenaufsatz, Elektronische Publikation
Fraunhofer IMW ()

This paper examines ecopreneurship in established ventures that serve as early adopters of radical environmental technologies through so-called user business model innovation. Renewable e-mobility is identified as an appropriate application. The research methodology consists of two steps: a document analysis for developing a typology of ecopreneurs with user business models, and an in-depth case study analysis. We identify four patterns of entrepreneurial user business models in e-mobility: predominantly simple use, complementary business, feedback to core business, and additional business. We also explore the transformation path of the case company, which starts with simple use and then moves to the feedback to core business pattern. By drawing on insights from lead user theory in innovation management and sustainable entrepreneurship, we ground the new concept in extant literature and develop propositions. These propositions uncover some properties of ecopreneurs, the diffusion of environmental technologies, and industry transformations due to user business models.