Challenges of business models for sustainability in startups
Keywords:Business model innovation, Sustainable development goals, Sustainable entrepreneurship, Circular economy
This study aims to analyze the challenges startups face in implementing business models for sustainability. In particular, the research question of this study is: How do the challenges faced by startups affect business models for sustainability in the context of an emerging country?Design/methodology/approach
Startups are increasingly incorporating ways to thrive in a competitive environment with innovative sustainable business models, a key factor for competitive advantage and corporate sustainability. This paper analyses startups’ challenges in adopting business models for sustainability through a case study in two startups, using the sustainable value exchange matrix (SVEM) tool through workshops, to carry out the diagnosis of these challenges.Findings
The barriers and challenges of business models for sustainability in startups were found in different categories, where the main barriers are linked to the institutional category, the organizational and the market and sales culture. Thus, the authors concluded that there is a need to reformulate public policies and to have greater participation of the actors involved.Research limitations/implications
The main limitation of the research is the number of case studies (only two), which makes it difficult to generalize the results.Practical implications
The research presents two major contributions. First, through the case studies, it is possible to verify that the barriers and challenges in business models for sustainability have relevance for startups. The second contribution is the adaptation of SVEM in conducting the debate by incorporating the barriers and challenges in value creation and delivery system.Social implications
This study contributes to the business models for sustainability literature to better understand the challenges startups face in practice and can serve as insights to help overcome them. As this is an empirical study, the information gathered can help create metrics and public policies to achieve the United Nations sustainable development goals.Originality/value
The present research has as originality the analysis of the challenges in startups in implementing business models for sustainability and their relationships with the value proposition, capture and creation, as well as and delivery (adapted to the challenges found in the literature) applying the SVEM tool proposed by Morioka et al. (2018).
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