DOI: JEL codes: M13, M14 /

Received 29 August 2022; Revised 31 October 2022, 13 December 2022, 10 January 2023; Accepted 16 January 2023.

This is an open access paper under the CC BY license (

Simona-Andreea Apostu, Ph.D Lecturer, Department of Statistics and Econometrics, Bucharest University of Economic Studies, 010552 Bucharest, Romania; Scientific Researcher, Institute of National Economy, 050711 Bucharest, Romania, e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Iza Gigauri, Ph.D., Associate Professor, School of Business, Computing and Social Sciences, St. Andrew the First-Called Georgian University, 0179 Tbilisi, Georgia, e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


PURPOSE: Entrepreneurship seen as an engine for economic development is especially desirable for emerging countries to support rapid growth. Moreover, entrepreneurs can support social transformation in favor of more sustainable products and services. Sustainable orientation of entrepreneurship contributes to sustainable development goals and prevents environmental deprivation. However, the sustainable development agenda can also influence entrepreneurship. METHODOLOGY: The conducted bibliometric analysis confirmed the growing interest among scholars in the correlation of entrepreneurship to sustainability in the last years. Furthermore, panel regression (static model) was used to explore the variables on entrepreneurship influencing the sustainable development goal (SDG) index in emerging countries, and Levin, Lin and Chu (LLC), W-Stat – IPS, ADF-Fisher Chi-Square, and PP-Fisher Chi-Square tests were applied to analyze the variables stationarity. In order to examine the existence of structural breaks, the robustness was checked on single cross-section units and on the whole panel dataset. In addition, the Hausmann test was used to select between random and fixed effects, and heteroskedasticity of residues, autocorrelation of residues and dependence of residues between the panels were conducted. Data was analyzed through Eviews 13. FINDINGS: This paper investigates the relationship between sustainability and entrepreneurship in emerging countries. It discusses the impact of sustainable development on entrepreneurship and the influence of entrepreneurship on sustainable development. IMPLICATIONS: The study results can be used by governments and policymakers to plan their strategies and policies concerning entrepreneurship and implementation of sustainable development goals. They should promote entrepreneurial activity and control the negative environmental impact of enterprises simultaneously. ORIGINALITY AND VALUE: The research addresses the gap in the literature concerning the relationship between sustainable development and sustainable entrepreneurship. The paper examines the reciprocal relationship between sustainable development and entrepreneurship with an emphasis on emerging countries.

Keywords: entrepreneurship, sustainability, sustainable development, sustainable entrepreneurship, emerging countries, entrepreneurs


Entrepreneurship is considered to be an engine for economic development and hence is especially desirable for emerging countries to support rapid growth. Entrepreneurs can facilitate social transformation in favor of products and services produced in a sustainable way. Consequently, the sustainable orientation of entrepreneurship contributes to sustainable development goals (SDGs) and avoids environmental degradation. On the other hand, the sustainable development agenda can also affect entrepreneurship. Sustainability, as the effort to balance economic, social, human, and ecological goals, takes into consideration the fact that organizations operate in a complex, interdependent environment.

The concept of sustainable development engages in improving human wellbeing over a long-term period within the sustaining ecosystems (United Nations [UN], 1972). The concept explains that human wellbeing must not be achieved at the cost of a damaged environment, which poses a question of how sustainable development could be interpreted from the point of view of smaller private enterprises (Parrish, 2010). Sustainability-driven enterprises should endure business activities while contributing to sustainable development (Atkinson, 2000).

In recent years, considerable attention has been devoted to entrepreneurship, including social, environmental, sustainable, green, and women entrepreneurship in the academic literature. Entrepreneurs are focused on solving concerns through innovative entrepreneurial activities and business ventures. Entrepreneurship is seen as a driver for economic growth through innovation, job creation, technologies, positive impact on exports and GDP/capita (Cumming, Johan, & Zhang, 2014). Especially, social entrepreneurship has attracted the attention of scholars and practitioners for its capability to contribute to solving urgent social problems and responding to grand challenges (Bacq, Geoghegan, Josefy, Stevenson, & Williams, 2020). Social enterprises strive to couple entrepreneurship with sustainable development, offering the potential for the implementation of SDGs. Moreover, social entrepreneurship is defined differently in diverse countries, highlighting the variances in developed and developing country contexts (Starnawska, 2016; Defourny, Mihály, Nyssens, & Adam, 2021). The definitions agree that social enterprises combine business activities with social missions to serve vulnerable people (Defourny et al., 2021; Gigauri, 2022) and help society to transform instead of generating profit for its founders (Martin & Osberg, 2007). Searching innovative solutions, social entrepreneurs achieve scaled social impact (Lubberink, Blok, Van Ophem, & Omta, 2019).

Miller (1983) defined entrepreneurial orientation as “one that engages in product-market innovation, undertakes somewhat risky ventures, and is first to come up with ‘proactive’ innovations, beating competitors to the punch.” Entrepreneurial orientation includes proactiveness, innovation, and risk-taking, and favorably impacts firm performance (Razaei & Ortt, 2018). Entrepreneurial orientation includes “processes, practices, and decision-making activities” (Lumpkin & Dess, 1996), leading to innovations and defining the market potential of a company (Kiyabo & Isaga, 2020).

Although sustainable development encompasses social, environmental, and economic aspects to be balanced, the sustainability concept is described as maintaining “critical natural capital intact for transferal to future generations” (Reijnders, 2021), taking into account that natural resources cannot be substituted by economic resources. For example, forests can be a source of raw material for business, but simultaneously they are the only non-substitute source of oxygen and biodiversity (Singh, Murty, Gupta, & Dikshit, 2009; Geissdoerfer, Savaget, Bocken, & Hultink, 2017). Therefore, the substitutability of natural resources by human-made capital is restricted, but, on the other hand, the “substitution of manufactured capital by natural capital” is possible (Reijnders, 2021). Accordingly, a long-lasting negative impact on natural capital would occur if human-made capital substitutes natural capital, and hence, this would be unjust towards future generations due to the unfair distribution of natural resources between generations (Reijnders, 2021). In this regard, sustainable development centers on sustainability in entrepreneurship activities. Sustainable entrepreneurship pursues economic, ecological, and social goals, which are integrated into business operations. While recognizing and using business opportunities, entrepreneurs must also consider sustainability aspects, as “business as usual” is no longer acceptable (and effective) these days. Thus, sustainability in entrepreneurship means implementing entrepreneurial activities without damaging the environment.

To address the gap in the literature regarding the relationship between sustainability and entrepreneurship, the study answers the following research question (RQ):

RQ: What is the association between entrepreneurship and sustainable

development in emerging countries?

The aim of the paper is to investigate the correlation between sustainable development and entrepreneurship in emerging countries. In order to achieve the research objective, relevant literature was reviewed, and a bibliometric analysis was conducted. Further, hypotheses were formulated and tested. The paper discusses the variables reflecting entrepreneurship in emerging economies and its connection with sustainable development.

This paper is divided into six sections. After the introduction, the relevant literature on entrepreneurship and sustainability in emerging countries is reviewed. The section is concluded by hypothesis formulation and bibliometric analysis. Next, data and methodology are described, followed by empirical results and a discussion of the results. The final section provides conclusions highlighting the research implications on theory and practice, including limitations and suggesting future research avenues.


Entrepreneurship and sustainable development

Sustainable development is an important concept for business and policy, reflecting the progress on pressing environmental issues such as ecosystem degradation and climate change. It is defined as the development meeting the needs of the present, but also protecting Earth’s life-support system in order to assure the welfare of current and future generations (Griggs et al., 2014). As the laws of physics will not change (Foley, 2017), the solution is that society respects the boundaries of the “safe operating space” (Rockström et al., 2009; Steffen et al., 2015) and limit harmful emissions (Hummels & Argyrou, 2021). Although “sustainability is a pluralist concept” (Byrch, Milne, Morgan, & Kearins, 2015), broadly, it focuses on the triple bottom line suggesting that economic growth, flourishing society, and protecting the environment can be accomplished simultaneously (Larsen, 2008). In this sense, it unifies economic, social, and ecological concerns and proposes a new way of thinking that recognizes the world as interconnected between nature, society, and the economy (Hopwood, Mellor, & O’Brien, 2005). Sustainable development is defined as “to meet the needs and aspirations of the present without compromising the ability to meet those needs of the future” (UN, 1987).

Regarding this, entrepreneurship represents a significant driver in the process of transformation towards sustainable products and services (Hall, Daneke, & Lenox, 2010), being seen as a universal solution for many social and environmental concerns (Brugmann & Prahalad, 2007; Arthus-Bertrand & Handy, 2003; Senge, Lichtenstein, Kaeufer, Bradbury, & Carroll, 2007; Hart & Milstein, 1999; Wheeler et al., 2005). Thus, entrepreneurship represents a way to ameliorate and improve environmental and social disruptions (Cohen & Winn, 2007; Hall & Vredenburg, 2003; Gigauri, 2022; Hart & Milstein, 1999; Hart & Christensen, 2002; Senge & Carstedt, 2001; Coase, 1974; North & Thomas, 1970; Demsetz, 1970; Pigou, 1912).

Entrepreneurship has a significant role in business, but not necessarily a productive one (Baumol, 1990), being influenced by “information asymmetry and prior knowledge,” “social networks,” “the entrepreneur’ personality traits” and/or “type of opportunity” (Ardichvili, Cardozo, & Ray, 2003). In the process of change and societal transformation, entrepreneurs are motivated by environmental degradation and supply entrepreneurial opportunities, which generates profit and improvements in social welfare (Dean & McMullen, 2007). Thus, entrepreneurship is providing institutional change and societal transformation (Santos, 2012; Stål & Bonnedahl, 2016; Salmivaara & Kibler, 2020), being very important to establish an equilibrium between the demands of the economy and the ecological support systems.

Shepherd and Patzelt (2011) highlighted that “the mechanism of inducing change” is based both on “what is sustained and what is developed.” What is to be sustained is referring to environment-friendly institutions, community-based institutions, and institutional trade-offs and what is to be developed is referring to economic benefits, and non-economic gains for others. Therefore, entrepreneurship involves the simultaneous presence of profitable opportunities and of enterprising individuals (Venkataraman, 1997), with a positive social impact on the achievement of sustainable development goals (Seelos & Mair, 2004). The efficacy of the entrepreneurial activity is significantly influenced by the nature of market impulses, known in the literature as the prisoner’s dilemma. In this context, entrepreneurs are facing disagreements between individual rewards and collective goals in order to achieve sustainable development, being compelled to environmentally degrading behavior (Pacheco, Dean, & Payne, 2010).

Entrepreneurial collaboration influences sustainability in three ways: first, for cross-actor participation within entrepreneurial processes; second, for coordinating across sustainability issues and between entrepreneurial solutions; and third, for cross-sector cooperation between different forms of entrepreneurship, the collaborative entrepreneurship being linked with sustainable development (Schaltegger, Beckmann, & Hockerts, 2018).

Entrepreneurship positively influences economic growth and, respectively, job creation and social well-being (Audretsch & Keilbach, 2004; Audretsch, 2005; Alpkan, Bulut, Gunday, Ulusoy, & Kilic, 2010; Acs, Audretsch, Braunerhjelm, & Carlsson, 2012; Méndez-Picazo, Galindo-Martín, & Ribeiro-Soriano, 2012; Nissan, Galindo, & Picazo, 2012; Castaño, Méndez, & Galindo, 2016; Doran, McCarthy, & O’Connor, 2018; Stoica, Roman, & Rusu, 2020; Gigauri, Panait, Apostu, & Raimi, 2022). The increased interest in environmental problems contributes to develop activities that respect the environment, being a stimulating factor for sustainable development (Méndez-Picazo, Galindo-Martín, & Castaño-Martínez, 2021; Panait, Hysa, Petrescu, & Fu, 2022). Entrepreneurship is considered an alternative to unemployment and poverty, being a panacea for development (Bogan & Darity, 2008; Apostu, Mukli, Panait, Gigauri, & Hysa, 2022), significantly contributing to achieving sustainable growth, and together with small businesses it represents the basics of economy (İyigün, 2015).

A key factor for entrepreneurship is represented by innovation, representing a continuous, systematic activity that focuses on the entire organization, including its organizational forms and methods (Sawhney, Wolcott, & Arroniz, 2006; Hamel, 2006). Innovation has an impact on the capacity of an organization to support its competitive advantages, and helps the organization provide better answers to rapid and sudden changes within the market and economy (Du, Bhattacharya, & Sen, 2011; Flammer, 2015; Wadhwa & Kotha, 2006; Miller, Fern, & Cardinal, 2007). It is based on policy tools or measures that are very important for the transition of society and the economy to sustainability (Ionescu et al., 2020). In order to achieve sustainable development, an association between entrepreneurship and innovation is necessary (Iqbal, Khan, Gill, & Abbas, 2020). The recognition of entrepreneurship as a solution to environmental degradation and social inequality led to the appearance of a new type of entrepreneurial activity, namely sustainable entrepreneurship (Muñoz & Cohen, 2018). Sustainable entrepreneurship alludes to entrepreneurial actors who can achieve economic returns by exploiting environmentally relevant market failures (Dean & McMullen, 2007). 

Social enterprises are emerging as a source to solve pressing social and environmental problems through their value-based business approach and step forward to mitigate the impact of health and economic crises while contributing to economic growth and promoting social equality (Gigauri et al., 2022; Gigauri & Bogacz-Wojtanowska, 2022). Through innovative solutions, social enterprises address sustainable development goals and create social impact while raising awareness among investors and the public (Gigauri et al., 2022).

Although new ventures are considered a solution to social and ecological challenges (Hall et al., 2010), there are differences in this respect among developed and developing countries. Sustainability damages are often found in developing economies due to their weak regulation systems and unsustainable business practices (Kshetri, 2021; Fikru, 2014). Moreover, effective mechanisms forcing sustainable activities in developed countries cannot be effective in emerging markets (Kshetri, 2017). Furthermore, technological progress enabling sustainable entrepreneurship is more developed in advanced economies but shows great promise for emerging countries (Kshetri, 2021). In addition, sustainable entrepreneurship can be attractive for developing economies only if it contributes to economic growth, which is seen as the main possibility to increase the welfare of a country (Hall et al., 2010).

Entrepreneurship in emerging countries

Emerging countries are very important in the current economic scenario, representing approximately half of both the world population and the global gross product (Casanova & Miroux, 2017). Even though, the observed growth of these countries has registered a downward trend since 2013 due to the global financial crisis that started in 2008 (Kantis, Federico, & García, 2020). Emerging economies are characterized by an increasing market orientation and an expanding economic foundation, many of these are becoming major economic forces in the world and entrepreneurship is playing a key role in this economic development (Bruton, Ahlstrom, & Obloj, 2008).  In developing countries, entrepreneurship must enhance at the same time economic growth, advance environmental objectives, and improve from a social point of view. Dhahri and Omri (2018) studied entrepreneurial activity in emerging countries, highlighting a positive influence to the economic and social dimensions of sustainable development, and a negative contribution to the environmental dimension.

Entrepreneurship education is a must for sustainable development, providing the youth with the needed entrepreneurial skills in order to be self-reliant. Governments should also be included in entrepreneurial development by giving adequate attention through the requirements of a good economic environment (Arogundade, 2011; Gigauri, 2022). Lourenço, Jones, and Jayawarna (2012) examined attitudes to an entrepreneurial form of sustainability education, indicating a strong relationship between the perception of learning benefits and the intentions of aborning entrepreneurs to achieve a profit. The first mentality is negatively associated with perceptions of benefit; instead, learning is not affected.

Emerging countries are characterized by a “youth bulge,” meaning a population dominated by young people. Thus, governments must take appropriate measures in order to make the best benefit of this young population, otherwise, the results will be a rising trend regarding unemployment (Zaki & Rashid, 2016), leading to an unemployed young population becoming entrepreneurs. Thus, the emerging economies are confronted with a high level of entrepreneurship due to less difficult entry barriers and high levels of need for entry, particularly in the informal sector (Omri, 2020). 

The emerging markets are associated with high institutional uncertainty, which can be a barrier to entrepreneurship, but they also provide important opportunities for entrepreneurs (Tracey & Phillips, 2011). Kirzner (1992) considers that a free market encourages entrepreneurship from a legal, political, constitutional, and economic perspective. In emerging countries, liberalized environments lead to improved business climates (Okoroafo, 1993) and a free market representing an instrument for entrepreneurial activity (Herrera-Echeverri, Haar, & Estévez-Bretón, 2014). Entrepreneurial activities are significant in emerging economies due to an increasingly market orientation and an expanding economy, with entrepreneurship playing a key role in economic development (Ahlstrom & Bruton, 2008; Bruton et al., 2008).

Another important factor regarding entrepreneurship in emerging countries is reflected by good government (Ong, 2006), which has recently become a buzzword both for scholars and political decision-makers (Omri, 2020). Ahlstrom and Bruton (2006) highlighted that in the case of emerging economies, fundamental and comprehensive institutional transformations are encountered as their economies grow.

Thus, formal entrepreneurship is encouraged by several factors, such as good economic and political institutions, efficient regulation of the economy, and well-defined property rights and solid laws (Havrylyshyn, 2001; Kaufmann, Kraay, & Mastruzzi, 2006). Although there are numerous studies confirming governance quality which significantly influences entrepreneurship activities in emerging countries, in the case of economies in their early stages of development , the improvement of governance quality does not lead to encouraging people to register their businesses (Thai & Turkina, 2014).

Governments of emerging economies are interested in startups and young firms as they are potential engines of economic growth and structural transformation (Gries & Naudé, 2010). Although there is a high interest in this topic, there is not so much research in the literature (Acs & Amoros, 2008; Bruton et al., 2008; Kantis, 2005; Smallbone, Welter, & Ateljevic, 2014), thus policymakers are not provided with a clear evidence-based platform in order to design their policies and programs.

Due to intense global competition, rising market volatility, constantly changing consumer demand, and shortened product life cycles, companies all over the world are being affected, with disruptive innovation and disruptive innovation-based entrepreneurship becoming strategic means to achieve sustainable company growth and competitiveness (Si, Zahra, Wu, & Jeng, 2020), especially in emerging countries.

Reviewing the above entrepreneurial literature in emerging countries, it is also noteworthy that there are not only differences between developed and emerging countries, but also within developing countries in terms of their economic development, legislation, education, demographical conditions, access to finances, technological advancement, or innovativeness. Besides, attitudes towards entrepreneurship can vary, leading to entrepreneurial motivation. However, our study focuses on emerging countries, assuming they share one important similarity: developing economies.


Entrepreneurs’ solutions to environmental degradation

Entrepreneurship has a vital role in solving the environmental challenges the world is facing. The traditional theory regarding the environment and welfare indicates that market failures in the economy impede entrepreneurial activities to solve environmental problems, motivating environmentally degrading entrepreneurial behaviors (Pigou, 1932; Tietenberg, 2000; Cropper & Oates, 1992; Bator, 1958). There are also authors considering entrepreneurship as a modality of solving market failure problems (Coase, 1974; Buchanan & Faith, 1981; North & Thomas, 1970, Demsetz, 1970) and, respectively, issues related to the environment (Anderson & Leal, 1997, Anderson & Leal, 2001). Regarding this, York and Venkatatraman (2010) contradicted the idea that entrepreneurs cause environmental degradation, launching solutions for this issue.

In this context, environmental entrepreneurship was born as a subset of sustainable entrepreneurship, representing the entrepreneurial action that solves environmental challenges. Thus, entrepreneurial action can lead to achieving ecological sustainability (Dean & McMullen, 2007). Despite social entrepreneurship, which tends to address mission-driven instead of profit-driven entrepreneurial endeavors (Dees, 2001; Mort, Weerawardena, & Carnegie, 2006), sustainable entrepreneurship is characterized by its alleviation of environmental market failures through the exploitation of profitable opportunities (McMullen, 2007). 

The entrepreneurs’ motivations for pursuing sustainable activity

Although many discussions deal with the factors motivating entrepreneurs to undertake sustainable ventures (Schaltegger, 2002), there are only a few studies on this issue (Schlange, 2006). Walley and Taylor (2002) referred to a typology founded in entrepreneurship theory (Thompson, 1998; Post & Altmann, 1994; Giddens, 1984). Based on the external and internal influences on observed entrepreneurial behavior, four ideal types of “green entrepreneurs” are concluded. The external factors are characterized as “soft” (personal networks) as opposed to “hard” structural influences (economic structure of society). The internal factors of the entrepreneur vary between predominating economic objectives with no green orientation and a sustainability orientation. In this context, green entrepreneurs register different levels of commitment to sustainability issues and their motivation can be differentiated along distinct context variables (Schaltegger, 2002). Parrish (2010) highlighted the fact that entrepreneurs are motivated by opportunity-driven variables in order to build a profitable activity and by sustainability-driven variables with the aim to achieve profit objectives. 

The external drivers are: geographical influence (Linnanen, 2002), market choice (the reason for market emergence) (Schaltegger, 2002), and structural influences (degree of enforcement of environmental standards) (Walley & Taylor, 2002). The internal factors are deduced from the entrepreneurial motivation structure: sustainable entrepreneurs following their desire to change the world, make money, or combine both (Schaltegger, 2002). The internal factors are: priority of environmental business goals (Schaltegger, 2002), orientation of entrepreneurial mindset (Walley & Taylor, 2002), and entrepreneurs’ desire (Linnanen, 2002).

Sustainability orientation leads to entrepreneurial propension

In the literature we found that entrepreneurship is very important for sustainable development because entrepreneurs will follow entrepreneurial opportunities caused by market imperfections to achieve entrepreneurial rents (Kuckertz & Wagner, 2010). The entrepreneurial opportunities based on market imperfections are not always the same as those promising the highest entrepreneurial rents (Dean & McMullen, 2007).

Entrepreneurial intentions and behavior were associated with individual personality (Baum, Frese, & Baron, 2007), self-efficacy, risk-taking propensity, or optimism (Fraser & Greene, 2006; Rauch & Frese, 2007). In the case of sustainable development, the individual’s sustainability orientations are the result of the individual’s interests in understanding the emergence of organizations (DiMaggio, 1988).

People concerned about environmental problems act according to their values and engage in voluntary actions (Bruyere & Rappe, 2007). In some cases, policy makers can solve market imperfections, but in other cases, they are associated with entrepreneurial opportunities (Cohen & Winn, 2007; Dean & McMullen, 2007). Thus, individuals interested in sustainability will be predisposed to accept entrepreneurial opportunities resulting from unsustainable economic behavior, as the perception of entrepreneurial opportunities depends on prior individual knowledge (Shane, 2000). Zahra, Gedajlovic, Neubaum, and Shulman (2009) consider that opportunities for sustainable entrepreneurship might not be seen as opportunities, in some cases being hard to be distinguished, sustainability orientation being ascribed to entrepreneurs as individuals rather than to businesses (Kuckertz & Wagner, 2010).

The orientation towards sustainability includes attitudes and personal traits on social responsibility and environmental protection (Sung & Park, 2018; Popescu, Hysa, & Panait, 2022). In what concerns the individual level, the orientation to sustainability is reflected by the proactive orientation toward societal and environmental issues of a business owner or manager (Diehl, Greenvoss, & Klee, 2015). In the case of business, the sustainability orientation reflects a company’s philosophy of doing business in a socially and environmentally sustainable way (Roxas & Coetzer, 2012), leading to competitive advantage and superior financial performance (Claudy, Peterson, & Pagell, 2016).

According to Tran and Von Korflesch (2016), entrepreneurial behavior can be predicted using intentions. The Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) claims that intentions can be useful in order to predict actual behavior (Ajzen, 1991), using TPB the actual entrepreneurial behaviors (Hockerts, 2017) and human behavior (Armitage & Conner, 2013; Yuzhanin & Fisher, 2016) can be predicted.

The attitude towards sustainability and perceived entrepreneurial desirability enhances sustainability-oriented entrepreneurial intentions (Vuorio, Puumalainen, & Fellnhofer, 2018). Kuckertz and Wagner (2010) indicated a positive relationship between sustainability orientation and entrepreneurial intention. Instead, business experience negatively influences this relationship.

Based on the extant literature, the following hypotheses were formulated:

H1: Entrepreneurship significantly influences sustainable development in

emerging countries.

H2: Sustainable development significantly influences entrepreneurship in

emerging countries.

Bibliometric analysis on entrepreneurship in sustainable development in emerging countries

Bibliometric analysis represents a quantitative study of bibliographic material in order to provide a general picture of a research topic (Merigó & Yang, 2017). It is an integral part of research evaluation methodology, mainly within the scientific and applied fields (Ellegaard & Wallin, 2015). Norton (2010) defines bibliometrics as the measurement of texts and information. Using bibliometrics, Porter, Watts, and Anderson (2003), Porter and Watts (2005), and Pilkington (2003) identified hidden patterns by classifying information. Therefore, we used bibliometric analysis to create a comprehensive image of the literature regarding entrepreneurship in sustainable development in emerging countries. We investigated all published papers in the Web of Science database related to the association of the words: “entrepreneurship,” “sustainable development,” “emerging countries,” the result being represented by 79 articles from 2002 until 2021.

As shown in Figure 1, the number of published papers and citations illustrates a hyperbolical progression. There is a jump in the number of publications after 2012 and a rise in the number of citations after 2018. Thus, there has been a growing interest in the field in the last decade, with the main focus being on entrepreneurship for sustainable development.

Figure 1. Dynamics on (a) publications and (b) citations in the field

Source: Authors’ selection from WoS database, based on selected words, using Excel.

Analyzing a country’s interest for the ‘entrepreneurship in sustainable development in emerging countries’ topic, the most influential countries in the field are countries in cluster 1 (Figure 2). The top five productive countries of publication are: the UK, China, USA, India, and Spain, registering the most participation in the field, with 9, 8, 8, 7, and 6 papers, respectively.


Description automatically generated

Figure 2. Country analysis

Source: Authors’ selection from WoS database, based on selected words, using Tableau.

Exploring the amount of information offered by the word clouds, we tried to identify the most common words found in the scientific articles. The co-occurrence of authors’ words in the publications is investigated, taking into account a frequency of at least eight times, using a correlation degree greater than 0.5 and a threshold of 0.5. The analysis has been done using the VOS programme.

In order to recognize the common words, we used cluster analysis on a keyword network, which was extracted from the papers. The results are presented in Figure 3, highlighting the words that record the highest frequencies of occurrence, which, apart from the keywords used, are: opportunity, innovation, knowledge, strategy, network, and challenge.


Description automatically generated

Figure 3. Most common words and word network in scientific publications’ content

Source: Authors’ selection from WoS database, based on selected words, using VOS program.

The combinations of words most encountered were explored by the most correlated words within the selection of articles. The empirical results (Figure 3) highlighted four significant clusters of the most common combinations in the selected 79 studies in the field. These are:

  • Cluster 1: bop, challenge, education, entrepreneur, experience, focus, interaction, knowledge, network, opportunity, practice, project, relationship, society, strategy, student, theory;
  • Cluster 2: country, economic growth, economy, entrepreneurship, firm, goal, government, growth, innovation, institution, perspective, role, technology;
  • Cluster 3: business, company, creation, market, methodology, need, order, part, person, region, sustainable development, world;
  • Cluster 4: analysis, development, economic development, factor, impact, importance, literature, practical implication, stakeholder.

As can be observed from the four clusters, the most encountered words are related to entrepreneurship and sustainable development.


To identify whether entrepreneurship influences sustainable development in emerging countries, we used the following variables: new business density rate, total business density rate, closed business density rate (reflecting entrepreneurship), and SDG index (representing sustainable development) for 29 countries for the period 2009–2020. The source data is represented by the World Bank database and Sustainable Development Report. A short description of the variables is presented in Table 1.

Table 1. Variables description


Variables description



The number of deregistered firms with limited liability per 1,000 working-age people (ages 15-64)


New business density (new registrations per 1,000 people ages 15-64)


The total number of registered firms with limited liability per 1,000 working-age people (ages 15-64)


The overall score measures the total progress towards achieving all 17 SDGs

For highlighting the variables on entrepreneurship influencing the SDG index in the emerging countries panel regression (static model) was used, being specified as follows:

where Y, X, W, and Z are different vectors of pull and push determinants.

To test the variables’ stationarity, the study used the Levin, Lin, and Chu – LLC (Levin et al., 2002), Im, Pesaran and Shin W-Stat - IPS (Im et al., 2003), ADF-Fisher Chi-Square, and PP-Fisher Chi-Square tests. In order to investigate the existence of structural breaks, the robustness was checked both on single cross-section units and on the whole panel dataset.

Referring to the Static Panel data model, three different methods can be detected: Common Constant, Fixed Effects, and Random Effects. The Common Constant method considers no differences among the data matrices of the cross-sectional dimension (N). In the case of the Fixed Effect Model (FE), differences between units can be accommodated from different intercept. In the case of the Random Effects Model (RE), interference variables may be interconnected between time and units (Apostu et al., 2022).

To select between random and fixed effects, the Hausmann test was used to detect the presence of statistically significant unobserved fixed effects (Hausman, 1978). Robustness checks (heteroskedasticity of residues, autocorrelation of residues and dependence of residues between the panels) was conducted by the Wooldridge autocorrelation test (Wooldridge, 2002) and Wald test (heteroskedasticity of residues), Pesaran test (dependence of residues between the panels) and Greene heteroscedasticity test (Greene, 2003) and LM test (autocorrelation of residues). We used Eviews 13 Student version to estimate the analysis models.


To answer the research objectives related to the determinant factor in the emerging countries related to SDG, we used a panel data equation model as follows:

The dependent variable is represented by the SDG index. The explanatory variables included in the regression equations are: new business density rate (NBDR), total business density rate (TBSR), and closed business density rate (CBDR).

In order to examine the characteristics of the countries included in the sample, descriptive analyses of the data were conducted (Table 2). The average CBDR in the sample is 3.46%, varying from 0.02% and 66%, with a standard deviation of 8.32%. The minimum value for NBDR is 0.15%, the maximum value is 10.66%, the mean value is 4.17%, and the standard deviation is 2.79%. TBSR oscillates between 1.45% and 128.56%, with a standard deviation of 32.81% and a mean of 51.38%. The SDG index registers the lowest value of 57.20 and the highest value of 81.90. The average value for the sample is 71.79, and the standard deviation of 5.78.

Table 2. Summary statistics of dependent and explanatory variables





















Std. Dev.





As we can see in Figure 4, the trends for the variables in the sample are slightly different, but in most of the cases, SDG registers an ascending trend, concluding that all countries have taken measures in order to achieve sustainable development goals.

Figure 4. Trends regarding the variables in the analysis

An important step is identifying the cross-sectional dependence between variables, and for this, we performed the Pesaran cross-sectional dependence test (Table 3). The results conduced to reject the null hypothesis, thus, there is no cross-sectional dependence, i.e., the variables are not correlated to each other.

Table 3. Results from cross-sectional dependence test




Breusch-Pagan LM



Pesaran LM normal



Pesaran CD normal



The stationarity of the variables was tested through unit root tests using the augmented Dickey–Fuller and Im, Pesaran, and Shin unit root tests. The variables CBDR and SDG are stationary at level and the variables NBDR and TBSR are stationary after the first difference for a probability of 95%, registering a value of less than 0.05 (Table 4).

In order to check causality, the Granger causality test is employed (Table 5). The result confirmed the role of CBDR on NBDR, but not vice versa. CBDR and NBDR cause TBSR, and CBDR causes SDG for the countries in the sample. This can be explained by the fact that total business density rate and closed business density rate have an influence on the sustainable development index, thus, sustainable development represents the result of density rate for enterprises and closed enterprises. Instead, sustainable development does not cause changes in entrepreneurship in the case of emerging countries.

Table 4. Unit root tests for the full sample


Levin, Lin & Chu

Im, Pesaran & Shin W-Stat

ADF-Fisher Chi-Square

PP-Fisher Chi-Square


















NBDR - level









NBDR - first difference









TBSR - level









TBSR - first difference


















Table 5. Granger causality results among the variables

Null hypothesis



NBDR does not Granger Cause CBDR



CBDR does not Granger Cause NBDR



TBSR does not Granger Cause CBDR



CBDR does not Granger Cause TBSR



SDG does not Granger Cause CBDR



CBDR does not Granger Cause SDG



TBSR does not Granger Cause NBDR



NBDR does not Granger Cause TBSR



SDG does not Granger Cause NBDR



NBDR does not Granger Cause SDG



SDG does not Granger Cause TBSR



TBSR does not Granger Cause SDG



The static results using fixed/random effect estimations are prescribed by Hausman’s specification test (Table 6), highlighting random effect estimates are appropriate due to accepting the null hypothesis of random effect applicability. The results are also confirmed by the Redundant Fixed Effects Test.

Static results (Table 7) indicated that the SDG index is significantly influenced by the total business density rate in emerging countries, with the correlation between them being negative. Instead, new business density rate and closed business density rate do not influence sustainable development in the emerging countries.

Table 6. Correlated random effects - Hausman test

Test summary

Chi-Sq. Statistics

Chi-Sq. d.f.


Cross-section random




Cross-section random effects test comparisons




Var (Diff.)

















Table 7. Static panel results



Std. Error





























Prob (F-statistic)



Applicability of model

Random effects


No. of observations



Note: *** - 1% significance level.

Also, the following assumptions were verified: heteroskedasticity of residues (Wald test); dependence of residues between the panels (Pesaran test) and autocorrelation of residues (LM test). In order to test the normality of the residuals, we used the histogram (Figure 5). According to it, it is depicted that the residuals are normally distributed because the Jarque-Bera test value is 2.267, which is found to be non-significant at the 5% level of significance.

Therefore, the analysis results indicate that entrepreneurship significantly influences sustainable development, confirming H1. Instead, sustainable development does not cause an increase in the case of variables reflecting entrepreneurship in emerging countries, invalidating H2.

Figure 5. Characteristics of residuals based on the random-effects model


Since sustainable concerns are becoming of great significance, society anticipates that entrepreneurial practices focus on balancing sustainability and profitability (De Clercq & Voronov, 2011). Consequently, entrepreneurship must take into consideration sustainability development while striving for financial gains. Furthermore, enterprises play an important role in economic development, especially in emerging markets. Developing countries offer a dynamic environment for investment and entrepreneurial potential. Entrepreneurs are motivated to change and improve the existing situation. Accordingly, entrepreneurship, seen as an economic driver for development and transformation, requires that governments support entrepreneurial ecosystems in order to fully realize their developmental potential and facilitate economic growth (e.g., Kantis et al., 2020; Audretsch & Keilbach, 2004; Alpkan et al., 2010; Nissan et al., 2012; Stoica et al., 2020).

The results of our research suggest that entrepreneurship significantly influences sustainable development. All emerging countries in our sample have taken actions to achieve sustainable development goals. The findings are in line with previous studies emphasizing the positive impact of entrepreneurship on economic and social aspects of sustainable development (e.g., Dhahri & Omri, 2018; Hall et al., 2010). These results also confirm the contribution of entrepreneurship to sustainable development goals (Seelos & Mair, 2004). It should be noted that although the results show that entrepreneurship significantly influences sustainable development, the concept of sustainable development affects entrepreneurship as sustainability influences almost all domains of today’s society. Moreover, social and sustainable enterprises, generating social impact, are the reflection of such an influence.

In addition, sustainable development goals (SDGs) imply to enterprises to operate in harmony with the environment preventing unsustainable use of natural resources. Our research results indicate that total business density in emerging economies influences the SDG index. However, sustainable development does not lead to increases in variables reflecting entrepreneurship in emerging countries. This result indicated that, in the case of emerging countries, sustainability does not influence entrepreneurship. Our study presents the relationship between sustainable development and entrepreneurship in the short term.

Prior studies also demonstrated a negative influence of entrepreneurial activities on the environmental dimension of sustainability (e.g., Haldar, 2019; Ben Youssef, Boubake, & Omri, 2018; Dhahri & Omri, 2018). Yet, entrepreneurship positively affects sustainable development in the case of innovation and new technologies (e.g., Ben Youssef et al., 2018; Iqbal et al., 2020).

Moreover, innovation is pivotal for enterprises in developing countries to achieve multiple ends of sustainability. It is an impetus for the growth of entrepreneurship and the implementation of sustainability (e.g., Ben Youssef et al., 2018). In this regard, sustainable entrepreneurship is becoming prevalent to address environmental and market issues (Sung & Park, 2018; Muñoz & Cohen, 2018; Dean & McMullen, 2007). Our research resonates with the literature suggesting the values that bring about sustainable entrepreneurship and that entrepreneurs should have multiple goals for the raison d’être of their enterprises (Haldar, 2019).

Since the research results indicate that entrepreneurship significantly influences sustainable development confirming the previous findings (e.g., Sung & Park, 2018; Seelos & Mair, 2004), entrepreneurship education should concentrate on sustainability issues, teaching business and management from the lens of SDGs (Ortiz-de-Urbina-Criado, Mora-Valentín, & Nájera-Sánchez, 2022; Lourenço et al., 2012). Moreover, sustainability-focused individuals can better recognize entrepreneurial opportunities (Sung & Park, 2018; Nordin, Ravald, Möller, & Mohr, 2018; Parrish, 2010; Baum et al., 2007).


This paper attempted to offer a better understanding of the links between sustainable development and entrepreneurship in emerging countries. The aim of this research was to identify the impact of sustainable development on entrepreneurship and vice versa. Research findings clearly showed that entrepreneurship considerably influences sustainable development. According to Granger causality, closed business density rate causes new business density rate, but new business density rate does not cause closed business density rate. Closed business density rate and new business density rate cause total business density rate and closed business density rate causes sustainable development goals for the countries in the sample. These results reflect the fact that in the case of emerging countries, the density rate for enterprises and closed enterprises generate changes in sustainable development. Instead, sustainable development does not cause changes in entrepreneurship. To establish the relationship between sustainable development and entrepreneurship, panel regression was also used, the dependent variable being the sustainable development index and the independent variables: new business density rate, total business density rate, and closed business density rate. According to the Hausman test and Redundant Fixed Effects test, the model considered random effects. The results of the regression analysis indicate that the SDG index is significantly influenced by total business density rate in emerging countries, the correlation between them being negative. Instead, new business density rate and closed business density rate do not influence sustainable development in emerging countries.

This research supports the results of other studies and has implications for the theory and practice of entrepreneurship. It contributes to the existing literature by exploring the influence of entrepreneurship on sustainability in emerging economies. The results can be used by governments and policymakers to plan their strategies and policies concerning entrepreneurship and implementation of sustainable development goals. They should promote entrepreneurial activity and control the negative environmental impact of enterprises simultaneously. For about four decades, scholars have advocated sustainability-driven entrepreneurship, sustainable production, and responsible consumption (Haldar, 2019). If entrepreneurship supports sustainable development, entrepreneurial practice needs to be encouraged. In addition, the adoption of innovation and new technologies should be promoted in enterprises in order to implement sustainability.

Governments in developing countries pay attention to the potential benefit of entrepreneurship to contribute to economic and social development. To realize this strategy, entrepreneurs need a stimulating environment and support from the government. Consequently, policymakers can develop programs to encourage entrepreneurs to build their ventures. Governments can create an enabling environment for entrepreneurs by removing barriers, supporting collaboration, accessing financial resources, and reducing entry regulations and costs for entrepreneurs.

Moreover, entrepreneurial capabilities need to be developed as rapid and constant changes occur. In this regard, education programs should provide sustainability-oriented teaching in business and management courses. Nurturing an entrepreneurial culture has a crucial role in enhancing entrepreneurial orientation with an emphasis on sustainability.

The authors are aware of the limitations of the research that emerged from the sample of countries, and the indicators used. Given that this study analyzes only the influences of entrepreneurship on sustainability and the impact of sustainable development on entrepreneurship, this relationship could include more variables that must be explored as sustainable entrepreneurship is a complex process. For this reason, this research should be extended by future studies to investigate other factors, including entrepreneurs’ behavioral aspects, cultural and country contexts, entrepreneurial intention and sustainability awareness, affecting the correlation between sustainability and entrepreneurship. In addition, further studies will investigate the difference in the relationship between sustainable development and entrepreneurship in developed and emerging countries while taking into consideration the sectoral, geographical, and economic differentiation of this relationship. Another direction considers sustainable entrepreneurship. Sustainable entrepreneurship includes more components, and starting from the idea that entrepreneurship significantly influences sustainable development in the case of emerging countries, future studies will examine sustainable entrepreneurship in terms of motives and behaviors.


Acs, Z.J., & Amorós, J.E. (2008). Entrepreneurship and competitiveness dynamics in Latin America. Small Business Economics, 31(3), 305-322.

Acs, Z.J., Audretsch, D.B., Braunerhjelm, P., & Carlsson, B. (2012). Growth and entrepreneurship. Small Business Economics, 39(2), 289-300.

Ahlstrom, D., & Bruton, G.D. (2006). Venture capital in emerging economies: Networks and institutional change. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice30(2), 299–320.

Ajzen, I. (1991). The theory of planned behavior. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 50(2), 179-211.

Alpkan, L., Bulut, C., Gunday, G., Ulusoy, G., & Kilic, K. (2010). Organizational support for intrapreneurship and its interaction with human capital to enhance innovative performance. Management Decision, 48(5), 732-755.

Anderson, T.L., & Leal, D.R. (1997). Enviro-capitalists: Doing good while doing well. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

Anderson, T.L., & Leal, D.R. (2001). Free market environmentalism. New York: Palgrave.

Apostu, S.A., Mukli, L., Panait, M., Gigauri, I., & Hysa, E. (2022). Economic growth through the lenses of education, entrepreneurship, and innovation. Administrative Sciences, 12(3), 74.

Ardichvili, A., Cardozo, R., & Ray, S. (2003). A theory of entrepreneurial opportunity identification and development. Journal of Business Venturing, 18(1), 105-123.

Armitage, C.J., & Conner, M. (2001). Efficacy of the theory of planned behaviour: A meta-analytic review. British Journal of Social Psychology, 40(4), 471-499.

Arogundade, B.B. (2011). Entrepreneurship education: An imperative for sustainable development in Nigeria. Journal of Emerging Trends in Educational Research and Policy Studies, 2, 26-29. Retrieved from

Arthus-Bertrand, Y., & Handy, C. (2003). Helicoptering up. Harvard Business Review, 81(8), 80-93. Retrieved from

Atkinson, G. (2000). Measuring corporate sustainability. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management43(2), 235-252.

Audretsch, D.B., & Keilbach, M. (2004). Does entrepreneurship capital matter?. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice28(5), 419–430.

Bacq, S., Geoghegan, W., Josefy, M., Stevenson, R., & Williams, T.A. (2020). The COVID-19 virtual idea blitz: Marshaling social entrepreneurship to rapidly respond to urgent grand challenges. Business Horizons, 63(6), 705-723.

Bator, F. M. (1958). The anatomy of market failure. The Quarterly Journal of Economics72(3), 351–379.

Baum, J.R., Frese, M., & Baron, R.A. (Eds.). (2007). The psychology of entrepreneurship (1st ed.). New York: Psychology Press.

Baumol, W. J. (1990). Entrepreneurship: Productive, unproductive, and destructive. Journal of Political Economy98(5), 893–921.

Ben Youssef, A., Boubaker, S., & Omri, A. (2018). Entrepreneurship and sustainability: The need for innovative and institutional solutions. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 129, 232-241.

Brugmann, J., & Prahalad, C. (2007). Cocreating business’s new social compact. Harvard Business Review, 85(2), 80-90. Retrieved from

Bruton, G. D., Ahlstrom, D., & Obloj, K. (2008). Entrepreneurship in emerging economies: Where are we today and where should the research go in the future? Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice32(1), 1–14.

Bruyere, B., & Rappe, S. (2007). Identifying the motivations of environmental volunteers. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 50(4), 503-516.

Buchanan, J. M., & Faith, R. L. (1981). Entrepreneurship and the internalization of externalities. The Journal of Law & Economics24(1), 95–111. Retrieved from

Byrch, C., Milne, M. J., Morgan, R., & Kearins, K. (2015). Seeds of hope? Exploring business actors’ diverse understandings of sustainable development. Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, 28(5), 671-705.

Casanova, L., & Miroux, A. (2017). The emerging multinationals report, 2016: China surge. Cornell University Emerging Markets Institute, Cornell S.C. Johnson College of Business, Cornell University.

Castaño, M.S., Méndez, M.T., & Galindo, M.Á. (2016). The effect of public policies on entrepreneurial activity and economic growth. Journal of Business Research, 69(11), 5280-5285.

Claudy, M. C., Peterson, M., & Pagell, M. (2016). The roles of sustainability orientation and market knowledge competence in new product development success. Journal of Product Innovation Management, 33(1), 72-85.

Coase, R. H. (1974). The lighthouse in economics. The Journal of Law & Economics17(2), 357–376.

Cohen, B., & Winn, M. I. (2007). Market imperfections, opportunity and sustainable entrepreneurship. Journal of Business Venturing, 22(1), 29-49.

Cropper, M. L., & Oates, W. E. (1992). Environmental economics: A survey. Journal of Economic Literature30(2), 675–740. Retrieved from

Cumming, D., Johan, S., & Zhang, M. (2014). The economic impact of entrepreneurship: Comparing international datasets. Corporate Governance: An International Review, 22(2), 162-178.

Daim, T.U., Rueda, G., Martin, H., & Gerdsri, P. (2006). Forecasting emerging technologies: Use of bibliometrics and patent analysis. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 73(8), 981-1012.

Dean, T. J., & McMullen, J. S. (2007). Toward a theory of sustainable entrepreneurship: Reducing environmental degradation through entrepreneurial action. Journal of Business Venturing, 22(1), 50-76.

De Clercq, D., & Voronov, M. (2011). Sustainability in entrepreneurship: A tale of two logics. International Small Business Journal: Researching Entrepreneurship, 29(4), 322-344.

Dees, G.D. (2001). The meaning of “Social Entrepreneurship”. Working paper, Stanford University. Retrieved from

Defourny, J., Mihály, M., Nyssens, M., & Adam, S. (2021). Introduction: Documenting, theorising, mapping and testing the plurality of SE models in Central and Eastern Europe. In J. Defourny, & M. Nyssens (Eds.), Social Enterprise in Central and Eastern Europe (pp.1-19). New York: Routledge.

Demsetz, H. (1970). The private production of public goods. The Journal of Law & Economics13(2), 293–306. Retrieved from

Dhahri, S., & Omri, A. (2018). Entrepreneurship contribution to the three pillars of sustainable development: What does the evidence really say? World Development, 106, 64-77.

Diehl, T., Greenvoss, A., & Klee, S. (2015). Small business sustainability orientation - Exploring the case of Malmö hardware store. Malmö University electronic publishing. Retrieved from

Dimaggio, P. (1988). Interest and agency in institutional theory. In L.G. Zucker (Ed.), Research on Institutional Patterns: Environment and Culture. Cambridge: Ballinger Publishing Co.

Doran, J., McCarthy, N., & O’Connor, M. (2018). The role of entrepreneurship in stimulating economic growth in developed and developing countries. Cogent Economics & Finance, 6(1), 1442093.

Du, S., Bhattacharya, C.B., & Sen, S. (2011). Corporate social responsibility and competitive advantage: Overcoming the trust barrier. Management Science57(9), 1528–1545. Retrieved from

Ellegaard, O., & Wallin, J.A. (2015). The bibliometric analysis of scholarly production: How great is the impact? Scientometrics, 105, 1809-1831.

Fikru, M.G. (2014). International certification in developing countries: The role of internal and external institutional pressure. Journal of environmental management144, 286-296.

Flammer, C. (2015). Does corporate social responsibility lead to superior financial performance? A regression discontinuity approach. Management Science, 61(11), 2549-2568.

Foley, J. (2017). Living by the lessons of the planet. Science, 356(6335), 251-252.

Geissdoerfer, M., Savaget, P., Bocken, N.M., & Hultink, E.J. (2017). The circular economy – A new sustainability paradigm? Journal of Cleaner Production, 143, 757-768.

Giddens, A. (1984). The constitution of society: Outline of the theory of structuration. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press.

Gigauri, I., Panait, M., Apostu, S.A., Raimi, L. (2022). The essence of social entrepreneurship through a Georgian lens: Social entrepreneurs’ perspectives. Administrative Sciences, 12(3), 75.

Gigauri, I. (2022). The landscape of social entrepreneurship opportunities in Georgia. International Journal of Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Corporate Social Responsibility, 7(1), 1-17.

Gigauri, I., & Bogacz-Wojtanowska, E. (2022). Effects of the pandemic crisis on social enterprise: A case study from Georgia. Economics and Sociology, 15(2), 312- 334.

Gries, T., & Naudé, W. (2010). Entrepreneurship and structural economic transformation. Small Business Economics, 34(1), 13-29.

Griggs, D., Stafford Smith, M., Rockström, J., Öhman, M.C., Gaffney, O., Glaser, G., … Shyamsundar, P. (2014). An integrated framework for sustainable development goals. Ecology and Society, 19(4), 49.

Haldar, S. (2019). Towards a conceptual understanding of sustainability‐driven entrepreneurship. Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, 26 (6), 1157-1170.

Hall, J., & Vredenburg, H. (2003). The challenges of innovating for sustainable development. MIT Sloan Management Review, 45(1), 61-69. Retrieved from

Hall, J.K., Daneke, G.A., & Lenox, M.J. (2010). Sustainable development and entrepreneurship: Past contributions and future directions. Journal of Business Venturing, 25(5), 439-448.

Hamel, G. (2006). The why, what, and how of management innovation. Harvard Business Review84, 72–84. Retrieved from

Hart, S.L., & Milstein, M.B. (1999). Global sustainability and the creative destruction of industries. Sloan Management Review, 41(1), 23-33. Retrieved from

Hart, S.L., & Christensen, C.M. (2022). The great leap: Driving innovation from the base of the pyramid. MIT Sloan Management Review, 44(1), 51-56. Retrieved from

Havrylyshyn, O. (2001). Recovery and growth in transition: A decade of evidence. IMF Staff Papers48, 53–87. Retrieved from

Herrera-Echeverri, H., Haar, J., & Estévez-Bretón, J. B. (2014). Foreign direct investment, institutional quality, economic freedom and entrepreneurship in emerging markets. Journal of Business Research, 67(9), 1921-1932.

Hockerts, K. (2017). Determinants of social entrepreneurial intentions. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice41(1), 105–130.

Hopwood, B., Mellor, M., & O’Brien, G. (2005). Sustainable development: Mapping different approaches. Sustainable Development, 13(1), 38-52.

Hummels, H., & Argyrou, A. (2021). Planetary demands: Redefining sustainable development and sustainable entrepreneurship. Journal of Cleaner Production, 278, 123804.

Ionescu, G.H., Firoiu, D., Pîrvu, R., Enescu, M., Rădoi, M.I., & Cojocaru, T.M. (2020). The potential for innovation and entrepreneurship in EU countries in the context of sustainable development. Sustainability12(18), 7250.

Iqbal, N., Khan, A., Gill, A.S., & Abbas, Q. (2020). Nexus between sustainable entrepreneurship and environmental pollution: Evidence from developing economy. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 27(29), 36242-36253.

İyigün, N.Ö. (2015). What could entrepreneurship do for sustainable development? A corporate social responsibility-based approach. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 195, 1226-1231.

Kantis, H. (2005). The emergence of dynamic ventures in Latin America, Southern Europe and East Asia: An international comparison. International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 2(1), 34-56.

Kantis, H.D., Federico, J.S., & García, S.I. (2020). Entrepreneurship policy and systemic conditions: Evidence-based implications and recommendations for emerging countries. Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, 72, 100872.

Kaufmann, D., Kraay, A., & Mastruzzi, M. (2006). Governance matters V: Governance indicators for 1996–2005. World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 4012. World Bank, Washington. Retrieved from

Kirzner, I.M. (1992). The meaning of market process: Essays in the development of modern Austrian economics. London: Routledge.

Kshetri, N. (2021). Blockchain and supply chain management. Amsterdam: Elsevier.

Kshetri, N. (2017). The economics of the Internet of Things in the global South. Third World Quarterly38(2), 311-339.

Kuckertz, A., & Wagner, M. (2010). The influence of sustainability orientation on entrepreneurial intentions — Investigating the role of business experience. Journal of Business Venturing, 25(5), 524-539.

Kiyabo, K. & Isaga, N. (2020). Entrepreneurial orientation, competitive advantage, and SMEs’ performance: application of firm growth and personal wealth measures, Journal of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, 9(12).

Larsen, G.L. (2008). An inquiry into the theoretical basis of sustainability. In J. F. Dillard, V. Dujon, & M.C. King (Eds), Understanding the social dimension of sustainability (pp. 45-82). New York, NY: Routledge.

Linnanen, L. (2002). An insider’s experiences with environmental entrepreneurship. Greener Management International38, 71–80. Retrieved from

Lourenço, F., Jones, O., & Jayawarna, D. (2012). Promoting sustainable development: The role of entrepreneurship education. International Small Business Journal: Researching Entrepreneurship, 31(8), 841-865.

Lubberink, R., Blok, V., Van Ophem, J., & Omta, O. (2019). Responsible innovation by social entrepreneurs: An exploratory study of values integration in innovations. Journal of Responsible Innovation, 6(2), 179-210.

Lumpkin, G.T., & Dess, G.G. (1996). Clarifying the entrepreneurial orientation construct and linking it to performance. The Academy of Management Review21(1), 135–172.

Martin, R.L. & Osberg, S. (2007). Social entrepreneurship: The case for definition. Stanford Social Innovation Review, 5(2), 29–39.

Méndez-Picazo, M.T., Galindo-Martín, M.Á., & Ribeiro-Soriano, D. (2012). Governance, entrepreneurship and economic growth. Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, 24(9), 865-877.

Méndez-Picazo, M.T., Galindo-Martín, M.A., & Castaño-Martínez, M. S. (2021). Effects of sociocultural and economic factors on social entrepreneurship and sustainable development. Journal of Innovation & Knowledge6(2), 69-77.

Merigó, J.M., & Yang, J.B. (2017). A bibliometric analysis of operations research and management science. Omega, 73, 37-48.

Miller, D. (1983). The correlates of entrepreneurship in three types of firms, Management Science, 29(7), 770-791.

Miller, D.J., Fern, M.J., & Cardinal, L.B. (2007). The use of knowledge for technological innovation within diversified firms. The Academy of Management Journal50(2), 308–326. Retrieved from

Mort, G.S., Weerawardena, J., & Carnegie, K. (2006). Social entrepreneurship: Towards conceptualisation. International Journal of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Marketing, 8(1), 76-88.

Muñoz, P., & Cohen, B. (2018). Sustainable entrepreneurship research: Taking stock and looking ahead. Business Strategy and the Environment, 27(3), 300-322.

Nissan, E., Galindo, M.A., & Picazo, M.T.M. (2012). Innovation, progress, entrepreneurship and cultural aspects. International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, 8(4), 411-420.

Nordin, F., Ravald, A., Möller, K., & Mohr, J.J. (2018). Network management in emergent high-tech business contexts: Critical capabilities and activities. Industrial Marketing Management, 74, 89-101.

North, D.C., & Thomas, R.P. (1970). An economic theory of the growth of the Western World. The Economic History Review23(1), 1–17.

Norton, M. (2010). Introductory concepts in information science (2nd ed.). New Jersey: Information Today, Inc.

Okoroafo, S.C. (1993). Firm performance in a liberalized environment: Empirical evidence from a developing country. Journal of Business Research, 28(3), 175-189.

Omri, A. (2020). Formal versus informal entrepreneurship in emerging economies: The roles of governance and the financial sector. Journal of Business Research, 108, 277-290.

Ong, A. (2006). Neoliberalism as exception: Mutations in citizenship and sovereignty. New York, USA: Duke University Press.

Ortiz-de-Urbina-Criado, M., Mora-Valentín, E.M., & Nájera-Sánchez, J.J. (2022). Sustainability and entrepreneurship: Emerging opportunities for business and management education. Journal of Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies.

Pacheco, D.F., Dean, T.J., & Payne, D.S. (2010). Escaping the green prison: Entrepreneurship and the creation of opportunities for sustainable development. Journal of Business Venturing, 25(5), 464-480.

Panait, M., Hysa, E., Petrescu, M.G., & Fu, H. (2022). Universities - players in the race for sustainable development. In C. Machado, & J.P. Davim (Eds.), Higher Education for Sustainable Development Goals (pp. 23-42).  Gistrup, Denmark: River Publishers.

Parrish, B.D. (2010). Sustainability-driven entrepreneurship: Principles of organization design. Journal of Business Venturing, 25(5), 510-523.

Pigou, A.C. (1932). The economics of welfare (4th ed.), London: MacMillan and Co. Limited.

Pilkington, A. (2003). Technology commercialisation: Patent portfolio alignment and the fuel cell. PICMET ‘03: Portland International Conference on Management of Engineering and Technology, Technology Management for Reshaping the World (pp. 400-407). Portland, OR, USA.

Popescu, C., Hysa, E., & Panait, M. (2022). Perspectives of responsible management in today’s VUCA world. In B. Akkaya, M.W. Guah, K. Jermsittiparsert, H. Bulinska-Stangrecka, & Y. Kaya (Eds.), Agile management and VUCA-RR: Opportunities and threats in industry 4.0 towards society 5.0 (pp. 57-71). Bingley: Emerald Publishing Limited.

Porter, A.L., Watts, R.J., & Anderson, T.R. (2003). Mining PICMET: 1997–2003 papers help track you management of technology developments. PICMET ‘03: Portland International Conference on Management of Engineering and Technology, Technology Management for Reshaping the World (pp. 188-193). Portland, OR, USA.

Porter, A., & Watts, R. (2005). Using the PICMET abstracts, 1997–2005. In VantagePoint Reader on your Conference CD: Tutorial, Portland International Conference on Management Engineering and Technology (PICMET’05).

Post, J., & Altmann, B. (1994). Managing the environmental change process: Barriers and opportunities, Journal of Organizational Change Management, 7(4), 64-81.

Rezaei, J. & Ortt, R. (2018). Entrepreneurial orientation and firm performance: The mediating role of functional performances, Management Research Review, 41(7), 878-900.

Reijnders, L. (2021). Substitution, natural capital and sustainability. Journal of Integrative Environmental Sciences, 18(1), 115-142.

Rockström, J., Steffen, W., Noone, K., Persson, Å., Chapin, F. S. III., Lambin, E., … Foley, J. (2009). Planetary boundaries: Exploring the safe operating space for humanity. Ecology and Society, 14(2), 32.

Roxas, B., & Coetzer, A. (2012). Institutional environment, managerial attitudes and environmental sustainability orientation of small firms. Journal of Business Ethics, 111(4), 461-476.

Salmivaara, V., & Kibler, E. (2020). “Rhetoric Mix” of argumentations: How policy rhetoric conveys meaning of entrepreneurship for sustainable development. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice44(4), 700–732.

Sawhney, M., Wolcott, R.C., & Arroniz, I. (2006). The 12 different ways for companies to innovate. MIT Sloan Management, 47, 74-81. Retrieved from

Schaltegger, S., Beckmann, M., & Hockerts, K. (2018). Collaborative entrepreneurship for sustainability: Creating solutions in light of the UN sustainable development goals. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Venturing10(2), 131-152.

Schlange, L. E. (2006). What drives sustainable entrepreneurs. In Proceedings of the Applied Business and Entrepreneurship Association International (ABEAI) Conference (pp. 1-11), Kona, HI, USA.

Seelos, C., & Mair, J. (2004). Social entrepreneurship - the contribution of individual entrepreneurs to sustainable development.  IESE Research Papers D/553, IESE Business School.

Senge, P.M., & Carstedt, G. (2001). Innovating our way to the next industrial revolution. MIT Sloan Management Review, 42(2), 24-38. Retrieved from

Senge, P., Lichtenstein, B., Kaeufer, K., Bradbury, H., & Carroll, J. (2007). Collaborating for Change. MIT Sloan Management Review, 48(2), 44-53. Retrieved from

Shepherd, D.A., & Patzelt, H. (2011). The new field of sustainable entrepreneurship: Studying entrepreneurial action linking “what is to be sustained” with “what is to be developed.” Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice35(1), 137-163.

Si, S., Zahra, S.A., Wu, X., & Jeng, D.J.F. (2020). Disruptive innovation and entrepreneurship in emerging economics. Journal of Engineering and Technology Management, 58, 101601.

Singh, R.K., Murty, H., Gupta, S., & Dikshit, A. (2009). An overview of sustainability assessment methodologies. Ecological Indicators, 9(2), 189-212.

Smallbone, D., Welter, F., & Ateljevic, J. (2014). Entrepreneurship in emerging market economies: Contemporary issues and perspectives. International Small Business Journal32(2), 113–116.

Stål, H. I., & Bonnedahl, K. (2016). Conceptualizing strong sustainable entrepreneurship. Small Enterprise Research, 23(1), 73-84.

Starnawska, M. (2016). Social entrepreneurship research – challenges, explanations and suggestions for the field development. Problemy Zarzadzania, 14(3), 13-31.

Steffen, W., Richardson, K., Rockström, J., Cornell, S.E., Fetzer, I., Bennett, E.M., … Sörlin, S. (2015). Planetary boundaries: Guiding human development on a changing planet. Science, 347(6223).

Stoica, O., Roman, A., & Rusu, V.D. (2020). The nexus between entrepreneurship and economic growth: A comparative analysis on groups of countries. Sustainability12(3), 1186.

Sung, C.S., & Park, J.Y. (2018). Sustainability orientation and entrepreneurship orientation: Is there a tradeoff relationship between them? Sustainability10(2), 379.

Thai, M.T.T., & Turkina, E. (2014). Macro-level determinants of formal entrepreneurship versus informal entrepreneurship. Journal of Business Venturing, 29(4), 490-510.

Thompson, J.L. (1998). Will the real entrepreneur please stand up! Professorial Inaugural Lecture. Huddersfield, UK: University of Huddersfield.

Tietenberg, T. (2000). Environmental and natural resource economics (5th ed.). New York: Addison-Wesley.

Tracey, P., & Phillips, N. (2011). Entrepreneurship in emerging markets. Management International Review, 51(1), 23-39.

Tran, A.T., & Von Korflesch, H. (2016). A conceptual model of social entrepreneurial intention based on the social cognitive career theory. Asia Pacific Journal of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, 10(1), 17-38.

United Nations (1972). Stockholm Declaration and Action Plan for Human Environment. In United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, Stockholm, Sweden. Retrieved from

United Nations (1987). United Nations general assembly: Development and international co-operation. Environment report of the world commission on environment and development. Our common future. Released by the Brundtland commission. Retrieved from

Venkataraman, S. (1997). The distinctive domain of entrepreneurship research: An editor’s perspective. In J. Katz, R. Brockhaus (Eds.), Advances in entrepreneurship, firm emergence, and growth (pp. 119-138). Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.

Vuorio, A.M., Puumalainen, K., & Fellnhofer, K. (2018). Drivers of entrepreneurial intentions in sustainable entrepreneurship. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, 24(2), 359-381.

Wadhwa, A., & Kotha, S. (2006). knowledge creation through external venturing: Evidence from the telecommunications equipment manufacturing industry. The Academy of Management Journal49(4), 819–835. Retrieved from

Walley, E.E., & Taylor, D.W. (2002). Opportunists, champions, mavericks ...? A typology of green entrepreneurs. Greener Management International, 38, 31-43. Retrieved from

Wheeler, D., McKague, K., Thomson, J., Davies, R., Medalye, J., & Prada, M. (2005). Creating sustainable local enterprise networks. MIT Sloan Management Review, 47(1), 33-40. Retrieved from

York, J.G., & Venkataraman, S. (2010). The entrepreneur–environment nexus: Uncertainty, innovation, and allocation. Journal of Business Venturing, 25(5), 449-463.

Yuzhanin, S., & Fisher, D. (2016). The efficacy of the theory of planned behavior for predicting intentions to choose a travel destination: A review. Tourism Review, 71(2), 135-147.

Zahra, S.A., Gedajlovic, E., Neubaum, D.O., & Shulman, J.M. (2009). A typology of social entrepreneurs: Motives, search processes and ethical challenges. Journal of Business Venturing24(5), 519-532.

Zaki, I.M., & Rashid, N.H. (2016). Entrepreneurship impact on economic growth in emerging countries. The Business & Management Review7(2), 31. Retrieved from


CEL: Przedsiębiorczość postrzegana jako motor rozwoju gospodarczego jest szczególnie pożądana dla krajów wschodzących, aby wspierać szybki wzrost. Co więcej, przedsiębiorcy mogą wspierać transformację społeczną na rzecz bardziej zrównoważonych produktów i usług. Zrównoważona orientacja przedsiębiorczości przyczynia się do realizacji celów zrównoważonego rozwoju i zapobiega deprywacji środowiska. Program zrównoważonego rozwoju może również wpływać na przedsiębiorczość. METODYKA: Przeprowadzona analiza bibliometryczna potwierdziła rosnące w ostatnich latach zainteresowanie naukowców korelacją przedsiębiorczości ze zrównoważonym rozwojem. Ponadto regresja panelowa (model statyczny) została wykorzystana do zbadania zmiennych dotyczących przedsiębiorczości wpływających na wskaźnik celów zrównoważonego rozwoju (SDG) w krajach wschodzących. Ponadto wykorzystano regresję panelową (model statyczny) do zbadania zmiennych dotyczących przedsiębiorczości wpływających na wskaźnik celu zrównoważonego rozwoju (SDG) w krajach wschodzących. Ponadto do analizy stacjonarności zmiennych zastosowano testy Levina, Lin i Chu (LLC), W-Stat – IPS, ADF-Fisher Chi-Square i PP-Fisher Chi-Square. W celu zbadania występowania pęknięć konstrukcyjnych sprawdzono wytrzymałość na pojedynczych jednostkach przekroju poprzecznego oraz na całym zbiorze danych panelowych. Ponadto zastosowano test Hausmanna do wyboru między efektami losowymi i stałymi oraz przeprowadzono heteroskedastyczność reszt, autokorelację reszt i zależność reszt między panelami. Dane zostały przeanalizowane za pomocą Eviews 13. WYNIKI: W artykule zbadano związek między zrównoważonym rozwojem a przedsiębiorczością w krajach wschodzących. Omówiono wpływ zrównoważonego rozwoju na przedsiębiorczość oraz wpływ przedsiębiorczości na zrównoważony rozwój. IMPLIKACJE: Wyniki badań mogą być wykorzystane przez rządy i decydentów do planowania strategii i polityk dotyczących przedsiębiorczości i realizacji celów zrównoważonego rozwoju. Powinny one promować przedsiębiorczość i jednocześnie kontrolować negatywny wpływ przedsiębiorstw na środowisko. ORYGINALNOŚĆ I WARTOŚĆ: Badanie odpowiada na lukę w literaturze dotyczącej relacji między zrównoważonym rozwojem a zrównoważoną przedsiębiorczością. Artykuł analizuje wzajemny związek między zrównoważonym rozwojem a przedsiębiorczością, ze szczególnym uwzględnieniem krajów wschodzących.

Słowa kluczowe: przedsiębiorczość, zrównoważoność, zrównoważony rozwój, zrównoważona przedsiębiorczość, kraje wschodzące, przedsiębiorcy

Biographical notes

Simona Andreea Apostu is a PhD Lecturer at the Department of Statistics and Econometrics, Bucharest University of Economic Studies, Romania and a Scientific Researcher at the Institute of National Economy. She is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Social and Economic Statistics (JSES), a member of the scientific committee of the International Conference on Applied Statistics (ICAS), and a coordinating member of Young Statisticians Europe (YSE) – Romanian Group. She is also on the Editorial review board for: Journal of Social and Economic Statistics, International Journal of Sustainable Economies Management, International Journal of Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Corporate Social Responsibility, Journal of Circular Economy and Waste Management. Her research activity includes reviewing and publishing scientific articles in internationally indexed journals, participating in international conferences, and collaborating on research projects. The areas of interest are represented by the statistical and econometric methods applied for assessing problems like migration, macroeconomics, time series, labor market imbalances, healthcare, circular economy, and renewable energy.

Iza Gigauri is an Associate Professor at the School of Business, Computing, and Social Sciences, St. Andrew the First-Called Georgian University in Tbilisi, Georgia. She received her Ph.D. in Business Administration from Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University, Georgia. She holds an MBA from Business School Netherlands (The Netherlands) and an MBA from American University for Humanities Tbilisi Campus (Georgia). She graduated from Ilia State University (Georgia) and Ruhr-University Bochum (Germany). She delivers lectures and seminars at all three higher education levels in Corporate Social Responsibility, Social Entrepreneurship, Human Resource Management, Leadership, Organizational Behavior, Marketing and Marketing Management, Business and Marketing Research. She is an expert, opponent, and supervisor of doctoral dissertations and Master’s theses. She writes and presents on issues of CSR, Sustainability, Entrepreneurship, HRM. She is an editorial board member and a reviewer at international journals within Emerald Publishing, IGI Global, Frontiers, and Springer.

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Citation (APA Style)

Apostu, S-A., & Gigauri, I. (2023). Sustainable development and entrepreneurship in emerging countries: Are sustainable development and entrepreneurship reciprocally reinforcing? Journal of Entrepreneurship, Management, and Innovation, 19(1), 41-77.