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Sustainability-inspired business startups (SiBS) : an exploratory study of early-stage UK companies from the creative industry.

De Lazzari, Márcio Alessandro/M.A. (2018) Sustainability-inspired business startups (SiBS) : an exploratory study of early-stage UK companies from the creative industry. Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey.

Text (This is the PhD thesis dissertation of Marcio De Lazzari)
Marcio_PhDThesis_Final.pdf - Version of Record
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This study focuses on British Sustainability-inspired Business Startups (SiBS) from two sectors of the creative industry: fashion clothing and gifts. These two sectors are some of those that motivate most entrepreneurship, by using distinct elements of business models to attract their consumers. While price and style have led consumers to look for products with short lifespans, reducing sustainability impact is a growing concern in the fashion clothing and gifts sectors, what motivates some sustainable initiatives to be taken in place. However, although some sustainable initiatives have emerged, there is no clear understanding of how they are based in the business drivers or in the business models, and if these initiatives are contributing to startups to succeed. This research aims to provide new understanding of the role of sustainability in the business startups from the fashion clothing and gifts sectors which offer manufactured green products. In order to narrow the presenting study, specific research questions are: What are the drivers of SiBS and do they differ from generic-mainstream startups? What business models are adopted by SiBS, how and why? and What are the factors affecting the longevity of the startups investigated and why? Case study method was chosen to allow in-depth investigation and analyses of multiple variables in each startup investigated. Then, qualitative data from each startup was collected by different sources: interviews, direct observation and documentation. The use of multiple sources of evidence allowed triangulation between data collected. Fifteen British startups were examined, covering generic-mainstream and SiBS, business lifetimes up to ten years, and two sectors in the experimental group (fashion clothing, with four startups; and gifts, with six startups) and one sector in the control group (energy, with five startups). Data analysis consisted of within-case study and multi-case study. In-depth investigation provided richness of information from each startup and the identification of similarities and differences between groups of startups investigated. Accordingly, the findings of this research suggest that: Regarding business drivers, startups in the gifts and fashion clothing sectors are more motivated by lifestyle and less motivated by money than energy firms; Also, SiBS are driven by the founder’s motivation when aiming to incorporate sustainability aspects into their business activities, while generic- mainstream startups are driven by money with focus on profits; Regarding business models, iii SiBS prioritise environmental and social issues as main elements of their business models; Furthermore, business models do not really change throughout the growth of startups; Regarding business longevity, most startups in the gifts and fashion clothing sectors do not have clear financial strategies but this is commonly clear in the energy firms. Important differences in outlook between different groups and types of business startups (generic-mainstream and SiBS) investigated in this study lead to the conclusion that: The awareness of two financial aspects (financial literacy and financial importance) provide an opportunity to increase chances of success in the early days of SiBS; The dissemination of the types of business models innovation for sustainability may motivate the development of more sustainable practices into the SiBS operations; And the emphasis on sustainability in business startups, either as through the business drivers or the business models adopted, is a central and long-term strategy that may increase the significance, the number and the importance of SiBS.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors :
De Lazzari, Márcio Alessandro/M.A.
Date : 30 April 2018
Funders : CNPQ-National Council for Scientific and Technological Development in Brazil (Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Cientifico e Tecnologico)
Contributors :
Depositing User : Márcio De Lazzari
Date Deposited : 01 May 2018 10:26
Last Modified : 09 Nov 2018 16:39

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