CLEANING UP THE ECONOMY: BUSINESS MODELS OF ENVIRONMENTAL SOCIAL ENTERPRISES
Seminar with Ellen Stenslie
Wednesday, 24 January 2018
Environmentally motivated social enterprises (ESEs) sit at the heart of business model innovation for sustainability. They might be finding new ways of producing local food and energy, recycling, providing transport or conservation, while running their businesses. By having environmental aims as their core purpose, they are living examples of organising business institutions differently to bring societal and environmental change. Still, there is a lack of empirical research within this field. Ellen is presenting her study, that aims to contribute towards an increased understanding of this particular type of enterprises in the UK.
Her paper more specifically seeks to explore key characteristics of ESE business models in regard to how they organise to achieve environmental impact; how they aim to contribute towards more sustainable societies; how they are financed; their legal structure(s); and how they adapt to overcome barriers in their economic and political environment. It is clear that ESEs organise themselves in an institutionally different way from conventional businesses, promoting other logics than profit maximisation. However, ESEs also encounter multiple challenges, e.g. achieving and balancing their environmental and economic aims. In order to overcome these they, for example, adopt multiple legal forms and/or change institutional dynamics in their business model.
Ellen Stenslie is a PhD researcher with the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Department of International Environment and Development Studies. Her PhD research is on institutional dimensions of environmentally motivated social enterprises in the United Kingdom, including legal structures. Ellen holds a MA in International Environmental Governance, a BSc in Business Management and Organisational Psychology and further studies within Political Economy. Areas of research interest include alternative forms of enterprise, ecopreneurship, creating sustainable economic institutions, law and environmental governance systems. Ellen is a visiting researcher with CUSP at the Centre for Enterprise and Economic Development Research (CEEDR), Middlesex University London.