Support Systems for Sustainable Entrepreneurship
SHIFT, which stands for Support Systems for Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Transformation, is a unique research project that is part of the EU program ECO-INNOVERA.
The main goal of SHIFT is to enable universities, incubators, business development organizations, financial institutions, design service providers and other relevant actors and intermediaries to support sustainable entrepreneurship more effectively.
SHIFT is investigating the impact of various actors in the entrepreneurial support system at different stages in the life cycle for eco-product and eco-service development (eco-innovation). It is also identifying existing deficits and gaps and recommending changes, strategies and policy development to more effectively support entrepreneurs, start-ups and Micro-SMEs developing innovative green products and services.
Eco-innovation and the green economy are at the top of the EU agenda. However, systematic and effective support is still not widespread for start-ups and micro-SMEs seeking to expand their position or launch eco-innovation in the marketplace. Public and private support systems for entrepreneurship need a paradigm shift in order to stimulate and support the creation of eco-innovation.
Based on sound theoretical foundation, thorough empirical analysis of the status quo in the project countries – Finland, Germany and Sweden – and the identification of best practice worldwide, a range of concrete and realistic recommendations will be developed for policy makers and actors of the support systems.
SHIFT is a collaborative project involving forward-looking academic institutions in three EU countries that place a high priority on achieving sustainability:
- Borderstep Institute for Innovation & Sustainability in Germany – coordinator
- Linköping University in Sweden (Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and the Department of Management and Engineering)
- Aalto University in Finland (NODUS Sustainable Design Research Group, School of Arts, Design and Architecture (Aalto ARTS)