Social Entrepreneurs and Grassroot Initiatives: How Cooperation can strengthen Sustainable Movements

Carina Nöelle Schüssler, Frank Gertsen

Research output: Contribution to conference without publisher/journalPaper without publisher/journalResearchpeer-review


Sustainable movements intend to raise awareness and initiate change through personal and structural changes that benefit people and planet. While movements regularly form out of protest against companies' practices, the collaboration with sustainable entrepreneurs might bear the potential to benefit both sides. Therefore, the parallels between sustainable companies and grassroot initiatives are explored and chances for cooperation are evaluated. To analyse the relation, an empirical study was conducted, interviewing participants of four different sustainability-related movements. Volunteers, entrepreneurs, as well as company representatives in a business related to the movement's cause were interviewed. The results show that collaboration between grassroot initiatives and sustainable entrepreneurs within the same movement is possible if certain rules are respected. Relevant recommendations for a successful collaboration and the resulting chances for each group are presented. Further, grassroot initiatives with a business model, as a hybrid of the two organisational forms, are examined.
Original languageEnglish
Publication dateJun 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020
EventISPIM Innovation Conference – Innovating in times of crises - Virtual
Duration: 7 Jun 202010 Jun 2020
Conference number: XXXI


ConferenceISPIM Innovation Conference – Innovating in times of crises
Internet address

Bibliographical note

Proceedings of the 2020 ISPIM Innovation Conference (Virtual) Event "Innovating in Times of Crisis" held on 7 to 10 June 2020.
LUT Scientific and Expertise Publications: ISBN 978-952-335-466-1


  • Innovation Management


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