Asynchronous Learning: Sustainable Entrepreneurship

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Asynchronous Learning: Sustainable Entrepreneurship

Asynchronous Learning: Sustainable Entrepreneurship
Citation: Tunçalp, D.; Y ld r m, N. Sustainable Entrepreneurship: Mapping the Business Landscape for the Last 20 Years. Sustainability2022, 14 , 3864.https://doi.org/10.3390/ su14073864 Academic Editor: Dilek Cetindamar Received: 7 January 2022 Accepted: 14 March 2022 Published: 24 March 2022 Publisher ‘s Note: MDPI stays neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional af l- iations. Copyright: © 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https:// creativecommons.org/licenses/by/ 4.0/). Article Sustainable Entrepreneurship: Mapping the Business Landscape for the Last 20 Years Deniz Tunçalp and Nihan Y ld r m * Department of Management Engineering, Istanbul Technical University, Istanbul 34469, Turkey; [email protected] * Correspondence: [email protected] Abstract:Sustainable entrepreneurship is venturing to shift business practices towards environmental and social sustainability. It gained popularity worldwide, particularly in the US, due to promoting regulations for some sustainability areas, the high availability of impact investment, and the large- scale entrepreneurial ecosystem of the country. However, the literature does not explain what sustainable entrepreneurs undertake in business. This paper investigates (1) what the coverage of sustainable entrepreneurship is, (2) how this coverage has changed in the last 20 years, and (3) which sustainable development goals (SDGs) sustainable entrepreneurs serve. For these questions, the study analyses keyword co-occurrences of companies ( n= 2004) from 72 countries and regions listed on the CrunchBase database with sustainability identi cation. The study shows differences in coverage and changes between the US and the other countries in the last 20 years. The study maps sustainable entrepreneurs to the SDGs they primarily serve, analysing their descriptions and websites. It identi es the distribution of sustainable entrepreneurs over SDGs, locating more popular and less popular SDGs. The paper invites several research streams on sustainable entrepreneurship and suggests policies to promote SDGs among sustainable entrepreneurs. Keywords: sustainable entrepreneurship; sustainability; keyword co-occurrence; keyword maps; sustainable transformation 1. Introduction The population and the socioeconomic activity of humans have already surpassed the Earth’s capacity to supply essential resources [ 1]. Change and innovation have be- come vital for establishing a sustainable economic order worldwide. Humanity needs better living conditions for everybody while maintaining the delicate ecological balance of the planet [ 2,3]. Services owing from nature to the people create high levels of cost as they cause pollution, harm, and biodiversity loss. As custodians of natural ecosystems, sustainable entrepreneurs [ 4,5] venture to create signi cant economic value for the large- scale betterment of the Anthropocene [ 6]. They may also have pivotal roles in translating scienti c and technological knowledge into innovative products and services in various industries and markets [ 7,8]. These roles seem necessary for a large-scale transition towards a sustainable future [ 9–12]. There are various research papers on the roles of sustain- able entrepreneurs [ 13] and techniques to locate [ 12] or support them in entrepreneurial ecosystems [14] with extensive reviews and theoretical models [15–17]. However, sustainability-driven, sustainable, or sustainability entrepreneurship is rela- tively recent [ 18]. As an umbrella term, it covers a variety of approaches, including “green” entrepreneurship, “ecopreneurship” [ 19,20], “business social entrepreneurship” [ 21], or “sustainability-motivated” [ 22] entrepreneurship. However, the study could not locate any comprehensive review identifying the business landscape of sustainable entrepreneurship. This gap may be due to unavailable data and methodological limitations. Fielser et al. [ 13] argue that researchers have a preoccupation with studying the features of sustainable Sustainability 2022,14 , 3864.https://doi.org/10.3390/su14073864https://www.mdpi.com/journal/sustainability sustainability Sustainability 2022,14 , 3864 2 of 21entrepreneurs and their potential to act as catalysts for sustainable development. However, the literature is also silent on which SDGs sustainable entrepreneurs serve. Several research areas covered “opportunities, motivations, competencies, strategies and business models”. However, the knowledge about their focus on different SDGs is still limited [ 13]. As the world needs urgent global actions towards a comprehensive sustainability transition [ 23], questions remain on how entrepreneurs respond to sustainability issues and how these responses change. In exploring sustainable entrepreneurship on the business landscape, one has to ac- knowledge the particular position of the US. Sustainable entrepreneurship has a signi cant footprint in this country with the regulations that promote sustainability in some domains, available impact investment, and its large-scale entrepreneurial ecosystem [ 12,24,25]. There- fore, making a wholesale analysis of world countries without separate treatment of the US may hinder differences and shifts in the coverage of sustainable entrepreneurship in other countries. This paper investigates what sustainable entrepreneurs undertake in business in the US and other countries. It questions how the coverage of sustainable entrepreneurship has changed worldwide in the last 20 years. It also identi es which SDGs sustainable en- trepreneurs serve. For these questions, the study analysed keyword co-occurrences of com- panies identi ed with sustainability from 72 different countries and regions ( n = 2004) on CrunchBase, an extensive database of entrepreneurial companies. The study also mapped these companies over the SDGs they serve, considering their CrunchBase descriptions and websites. The results outlined related keywords and topical areas of sustainable entrepreneur- ship. It reported signi cant differences between the US and the other countries and located several shifts in the subjects’ coverage in the last 20 years. It described what topics and issues received more and increasing/decreasing attention. In addition, it identi ed the distribution of sustainable entrepreneurs over the SDGs. These results have important theoretical and policy implications for technology man- agement and entrepreneurship. Research on sustainable entrepreneurship needs to move towards an empirical approach from its current prescriptive and conceptual orientation [ 12]. Researchers need to analyse the content, impacts, trade-offs, and synergies of entrepreneur- ship and sustainable development. Furthermore, understanding the complex interdepen- dencies between different sustainability goals is essential to avoid compromises between the critical dimensions of sustainable development. The study also invites several research streams on sustainability and entrepreneurship. Researchers may perform formative assess- ments against key sustainability challenges to identify gaps in sustainable entrepreneurs’ collective sustainability performance. Policy efforts may focus on these areas to develop entrepreneurial agglomeration. In addition, further research may assess sustainable en- trepreneurs’ outcomes in addressing sustainability issues under market competition and with open innovation. Studying how sustainable entrepreneurship interacts with SDGs may help researchers understand the conditions under which sustainable entrepreneurship contributes to SDGs [13]. The following section describes the theoretical background of this paper, describing sustainable entrepreneurship. Then, the third and the fourth sections describe the study’s methodology and results, respectively. The fth section discusses the contributions before the paper concludes. 2. Sustainable Entrepreneurship 2.1. The Coverage of Sustainable Entrepreneurship Sustainable entrepreneurship is the “discovery and exploitation of economic oppor- tunities through the generation of market disequilibria that initiate the transformation of a sector towards an environmentally and socially more sustainable state” [ 26] (p. 482). It involves “the process of discovering, evaluating, and exploiting economic opportuni- ties that are present in market failures which detract from sustainability, including those Sustainability 2022,14 , 3864 3 of 21that are environmentally relevant” [ 27] (p. 58). It primarily “combines opportunities and intentions to simultaneously create value from an economic, social and ecological perspective” [28] (p. 18) . These entrepreneurs aim to balance their efforts in these three areas [ 4] and design their organisations [ 29]. It focuses “on the preservation of nature, life support, and community in the pursuit of perceived opportunities to bring into existence future products, processes, and services for gain”, where the gains includes “economic and non-economic gains to individuals, the economy, and society” [30] (p. 142). The literature de nes sustainable entrepreneurship as “the teleological process aiming at achieving sustainable development, by discovering, evaluating and exploiting opportuni- ties and creating value that produces economic prosperity, social cohesion, and environmen- tal protection” [ 31] (p. 2). It differs from regular entrepreneurship by its social, economic, and environmental dimensions [ 32] or the economic, psychological, social, and ecological consequences [ 7]. Sustainable entrepreneurs introduce innovative business models and develop revolutionary technologies through the concept of “creative destruction” [ 33,34]. It draws attention to four market imperfections: awed pricing mechanisms, information asymmetries, inef cient rms, and externalities leading to unsustainable business and environmental degradation [ 7]. It is a controversial area following the legacy of sustainable development [35] (p. 441). Researchers have suggested that sustainable entrepreneurs focus more on social issues than environmental problems [ 36]. They suggest green products are less likely to facilitate a scalable business [ 37]. Similarly, some have suggested that sustainable entrepreneurs prefer focusing on consumer-focused technologies to scale. For them, the recent sustainability trend in startups mainly involves consumer-focused technologies, with less interest in traditional or basic technologies [38]. 2.2. Sustainable Entrepreneurship across Countries A country’s favourable environment and supportive conditions signi cantly deter- mine the success or failure of its startups, where sustainable entrepreneurs are not an exception. The distribution of the capital available for impact investment is uneven across countries [ 39,40]. Therefore, the availability of sustainability-sensitive capital makes the country context more critical for sustainability startups [12,41–43]. Previous literature emphasised the importance of countries’ innovation ecosystems in facilitating and regulating economic activity and their effects on productivity and inno- vation [ 44]. They focused on understanding the economic, social, and institutional back- ground to explain the regional agglomeration patterns across regions and countries [ 44–47]. Research also dealt with the same issue within the “systems of innovation” concept for exploring regions and countries [44,48,49]. Political and social conditions in a country also make the location more critical for sustainable entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurial ecosystems in a country or a region affect business models’ selection and orientation towards speci c sustainability topics [ 12]. The proximity between entrepreneurs with similar interests reduces R&D and transaction costs, increasing the availability of quali ed human capital [ 50]. It enables knowledge spillovers and intellectual asset transitions, accelerating digital entrepreneurship [ 51]. Institutional settings shape entrepreneurs’ topical and technological choices in a particular region [12,52–55] . Therefore, it is crucial to grasp how countries and regions have speci c differences in sustainable entrepreneurship. The US has a sizeable sustainable entrepreneurship activity among world countries, as the largest country in venture capital [ 56]. The sample distribution among other countries also illustrates this phenomenon. Besides the size of the US economy [ 57], there are several reasons for the extent of sustainable entrepreneurship. For example, the US has various bodies that support sustainability, such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) [58–60] . Sustainability-related regulations include the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, Clean Energy and Security Act, Endangered Species Act, Insecticide, Fungicide, Rodenticide Act, and Lacey Act. The government also actively funds projects and economic activity in Sustainability 2022,14 , 3864 4 of 21biofuels or renewable energy [ 61]. Public policy plays a substantial role in channelling US institutional asset owners’ capital to impact investing for many years [ 25]. The country contributes more than 50% of the total value created into the global startup ecosystem. It hosts several of the world’s top startup ecosystems, including Silicon Valley, New York City, Boston, Los Angeles, and Seattle. These cities account for more than 70% of North America’s entrepreneurial ecosystem value [ 62]. Previous research has identi ed Boston, Houston, and Seattle as the top three locations for sustainable entrepreneurship in the US [ 12]. With more than two hundred specialised companies, San Francisco, including Silicon Valley as the innovation core of the US, holds the leadership position for the CleanTech vertical [ 24,63]. Silicon Valley has created a signi cant gap between the US and the other countries [ 63]. Therefore, this study takes a comparative view, analysing the US and the other countries separately. 2.3. Entrepreneurship for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) The UN announced SDGs and declared the general responsibility of businesses in sustainability issues relatively recently in 2015 [ 64]. This move has acted as a driver for the general recognition of sustainable development challenges worldwide [ 12,13]. Later, the UN [ 65] extended this call by de ning the sustainable development pillars as (1) driving economic growth, (2) promoting sustainable agriculture and innovation, (3) increasing social cohesion, (4) reducing inequalities, (5) introducing climate change mitigation technologies, and (6) establishing environmentally sustainable practices and consumption patterns. Before the release of the UN’s sustainable development goals in 2017, Eurostat’s “Environmental Goods and Services Sector” classi cation for environmental protection activities (CEPA) or resource management activities (CReMA) mainly described the focus of sustainable entrepreneurship [ 9]. However, after the announcement of the UN SDGs, the scope has shifted to address them through innovation [12,33]. Previous studies provided some early insights into the focus areas of sustainable en- trepreneurship. Tiba et al. [ 12] suggest sustainable entrepreneurs mainly target the “health and well-being” SDG. They argued that these entrepreneurs were primarily attracted to the comparatively higher earnings potential of businesses in the medical and pharmaceutical sectors and the number of health issues in urgent need of solutions. They also suggested that the SDG regarding quality education was the second most popular SDG. The following section describes the methodology of this study, providing insights about the data, analysis, and rationale before the presentation of the results and their discussion. 3. Materials and Methods This study primarily employed two methods over different empirical materials. It car- ried out a bibliometric analysis of sustainable entrepreneurs’ keywords. It also performed a content analysis of their business descriptions and website materials to map them over SDGs. This section describes how the paper employed these methods. 3.1. Bibliometric Analysis of Sustainable Entrepreneurs’ Keywords Bibliometrics is a eld that works on quantitative analysis of textual bodies of literature within and across disciplines [ 66,67]. Bibliometric mapping generates visual maps of textual data from documents, including keywords and their internal relationships, such as keyword co-occurrences [ 68,69]. The analysis in this study focuses on keyword co-occurrences of companies that identi ed themselves with “sustainability” as one of the keywords in the CrunchBase. CrunchBase database collects worldwide data on entrepreneurial companies, investors, funding rounds, and critical people of the entrepreneurial ecosystem. As of May 2019, CrunchBase had collected records on 760,590 organisations (of which 708,558 companies), 121,509 investors of different types, 263,426 funding rounds, 890,429 people, 17,068 initial public offerings (IPO), and 89,959 acquisitions [ 70]. The previous research also used the Sustainability 2022,14 , 3864 5 of 21CrunchBase data to provide the entrepreneurship and innovation activity in different contexts. For example, Den Besten [ 71] analysed the content and evolution of academic research using CrunchBase. Breschi et al. [ 72] presented new cross-country evidence on innovative startups and their relations with venture capital investments, drawing upon CrunchBase. Similar to the study’s context, Marra et al. [ 24] investigated the innovation in CleanTech using CrunchBase. The authors downloaded the data of companies founded in the 20 years between 2000 and 2019 identi ed with the “sustainability” keyword. These keywords are noun phrases, consisting of word sequences that end with a noun, and all other words in the sequence are nouns or adjectives. The companies mainly provide these keywords and are corrected and updated by CrunchBase and its users. Secondly, the authors identi ed the noun phrases and their thesaurus equivalents that co-occur at least ten times in in- dustry keywords of CrunchBase for all sustainability-identifying companies, at the same time counting co-occurrences using binary coding. In other words, the analysis counted multiple co-occurrences of a keyword in one company. It did not consider the multiple co-occurrences caused by textual repetition. This technique resulted in the quantitative identi cation of noun phrases as candidates for emergent keyword structure for each map. The authors then screened these noun phrases and discarded erroneous or generic entries. The analysis then selected 60% of the most connected nodes for mapping to visualise the strongest co-occurrences. For the calculations and mapping, the study used VOSviewer [ 73]. VOSviewer po- sitioned related terms more closely on a keyword map. The map also employs colours to indicate the clustering of different terms, putting terms with higher co-occurrence into the same cluster. VOSviewer utilises multidimensional scaling for mapping [ 74]. For clustering, it operates the modularity function of Newman and Girvan [ 75] (see also Walt- man et al. [76]). The paper analysed the rst ten years and the second ten years separately in preparing the keyword maps. The study used the companies’ foundation dates as the assignment cri- teria for a speci c period for this analysis. The paper also analysed countries in two distinct groups: (i) the US and (ii) all other countries. In the analysis, the other countries included the following (with frequencies): Argentina (3), Australia (37), Austria (11), Belgium (14), Brazil (51), Bulgaria (1), Canada (109), Chile (7), China (6), Colombia (9), Costa Rica (3), Croatia (2), Cyprus (2), Czech Republic (2), Denmark (30), Estonia (9), Fiji (1), Finland (11), France (38), Germany (106), Ghana (1), Gibraltar (1), Greece (6), Hong Kong (10), Hungary (5), Iceland (3), India (40), Indonesia (8), Ireland (9), Israel (51), Italy (31), Japan (21), Jordan (1), Kenya (8), Lithuania (3), Luxembourg (8), Malaysia (4), Malta (1), Mexico (8), Moldova (2), New Zealand (8), Norway (14), Pakistan (1), Palestine (1), Paraguay (1), Philippines (3), Poland (7), Portugal (9), Puerto Rico (3), Qatar (1), Russia (2), Rwanda (1), Saudi Arabia (1), Serbia (1), Sierra Leone (1), Singapore (23), Slovak Republic (4), South Africa (6), South Korea (5), Spain (47), Sweden (41), Switzerland (40), Taiwan (2), The Netherlands (129), Trinidad and Tobago (1), Turkey (7), UAE (9), Uganda (1), Ukraine (7), UK (184), and Vietnam (1), making a total of 1234 sustainable entrepreneurship rms or other entities. The UK had the highest frequency in the other countries list, with 184 instances. However, it was far less than the US’s frequency of 770. These frequencies further justi ed a separate analysis of the US-based sustainable entrepreneurship. In total, 38.42% of the sample was from the US, indicating a slight overrepresentation, as companies from the US make up 34.75% of all companies in the CrunchBase database [ 70]. The relative popularity of sustainability among consumers [ 77] and the higher availability of impact investment in the US than in the other parts of the world [78] may explain the 3.7% difference. We assumed CrunchBase includes current and representative information about the included entrepreneurs, and the keywords represent their business activities well. While there might be limits to this assumption, it provided a large sample across the world countries as one of the most comprehensive entrepreneurship databases globally. Sustainability 2022,14 , 3864 6 of 21 3.2. Mapping Sustainable Entrepreneurs and SDGsBesides the keyword co-occurrence maps, the paper also coded the sustainable en- trepreneurs according to the UN’s sustainable development goals to identify the topical gaps. However, if entrepreneurs are primarily concerned with economic purposes, how can they serve different SDGs? Firstly, sustainability entrepreneurs are different from regular entrepreneurs. They identify themselves, as well as their business interests, with sustain- ability. The entrepreneurial companies in the dataset, for example, identi ed themselves, or some data source identi ed these companies with the “sustainability” keyword on Crunch- Base. This identi cation was also evident in companies’ descriptions or their websites. Secondly, having economic concerns does not con ict with sustainability entrepreneurs’ SDG focus. These entrepreneurial companies mainly showed hybrid character with dual economic and social missions. They, for example, provide products or services dealing with SDG-originated problems, such as renewable energy (SDG 7), pollution prevention, waste management (SDG 15), accessible food (SDG 2), water availability (SDG 8), and re- sponsible consumption (SDG 12) while surviving as rms. They develop/sell technologies to address SDGs for responsible production (SDG 12) or the development of industry and infrastructures (SDG 9). Some work on solutions for awareness on carbon emissions to ght against climate change (SDG 13). Some others promote the sustainability of cities and communities with IoT or mobility solutions (SDG 11). As SDGs address real problems, these companies primarily target those problems. They carry this out with their products and services, making them socially relevant and commercially feasible. The authors coded ( n= 2004) sustainable entrepreneurs’ businesses using their de- scriptions in CrunchBase and visiting their websites. If they are inactive or their website is not working, the authors recalled the last archived copy of that particular website at the Internet Archive, archive.org. These visits helped researchers understand which sustain- ability issues they addressed primarily. Two authors coded these entities separately using a standard coding scheme (see Figure1). If the business description downloaded from CrunchBase openly mentioned SDGs, the authors coded that SDG (Step 1). On the company websites, the authors checked for the companies’ “mission or vision” statements (Step 2), “About Us” sections that describe who they are (Step 3), “Products/Services” sections that describe what they carry out (Step 4), and other relevant pages (Step 5). While checking these pages, the authors looked for an open mentioning of any SDGs and coded them where available. Otherwise, the authors searched for SDG-identi er keywords on these pages. The authors generated these keywords prior to the coding from the UN’s Global SDG indicator framework [ 64], de ning key performance indicators and metadata for each SDG. The authors extracted nouns and verbal phrases for each SDG and ltered out generic words to use the rest as identi ers in locating and coding SDGs from the company web- pages. The authors performed the coding separately and discussed their coding differences for resolution afterwards. The authors planned to contact the sustainable entrepreneurs on the Internet (via CrunchBase or social media sites such as LinkedIn) if they could not identify any SDGs for a company. However, the coding resulted in no such incidence. Additionally, the coding resulted in no companies for “SDG 17—Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development”. The authors considered this as expected. This category mostly maps with governmental bodies and inter-governmental and global governance institutions, not necessarily registering on CrunchBase. This area also does not match with startups and other entrepreneurial entities. In the content analysis, the researchers did not consider the indirect and consequen- tial outcomes of the business activities. It would arti cially expand SDG identi cation without taking the entrepreneurs’ actual focus. Because of this reason, the researchers speci cally searched for the keywords generated for SDG identi cation in the relevant pages. The researchers also assumed the four focus areas for the coding of the websites would suf ciently cover the business activities of the sustainable entrepreneurs. While the researchers tried to consider the entirety of their websites, this could not be entirely Sustainability 2022,14 , 3864 7 of 21possible for those entrepreneurs with extensive websites. The following section describes the results of the study. Figure 1. Coding scheme for mapping sustainable entrepreneurs over SDGs. 4. Results The research has addressed three fundamental questions about sustainable entrepreneur- ship practices, their coverage worldwide, in the US and other countries, their change over time, their mapping over the SDGs and several results. 4.1. What Is Sustainable Entrepreneurship’s Coverage? The paper examined sustainable entrepreneurs’ keyword co-occurrences over 20 years globally and for the US and other countries for comparisons. It also analysed keyword co-occurrences worldwide for the rst ten years and the second ten years. The analysis of the keywords for all 20 years globally gave a signi cant overall picture showing sustainable entrepreneurship centres around ve interrelated topics: (1) food, agriculture and agritech, (2) retail and consumer goods, (3) e-commerce and fashion, (4) nancial services and marketing, (5) construction, and (6) energy (Figure2). The results indicated that sustainable entrepreneurs clustered consumer goods and retail with agriculture/food-related topics, with nutrition, packaging services, textiles, and food processing. On the other hand, paper manufacturing was related marginally with this cluster as an outlier with relatively weak co-occurrence. While consumer goods and retail also fell into this cluster with shopping and personal health, they linked strongly with the second cluster with the e-commerce and fashion focus. The second cluster was centred on e-commerce and fashion and connected with shopping and retail. Interestingly, these topics also clustered together with the sharing economy, travel, and electric vehicles. The third cluster was more closely knit than the rst two clusters next to information services, human resources, nance, and computers. Organic and aquaculture keywords also clustered together. The last two clusters included construction, smart buildings, building materials and energy, energy management, natural resources, wind energy, and gas.Sustainability 2022, 14, x FOR PEER REVIEW 7 of 23 Figure 1. Coding scheme for mapping sustainable entrepreneurs over SDGs. Additionally, the coding resulted in no companies for “SDG 17—Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the Global Partnership for Sustainable Develop- ment”. The authors considered this as expected. This category mostly maps with govern- mental bodies and inter-governmental and global governance institutions, not necessarily registering on CrunchBase. This area also does not match with startups and other entre- preneurial entities. In the content analysis, the researchers did not consider the indirect and consequen- tial outcomes of the business activities. It would artificially expand SDG identification without taking the entrepreneurs’ actual focus. Because of this reason, the researchers spe- cifically searched for the keywords generated for SDG identification in the relevant pages. The researchers also assumed the four focus areas for the coding of the websites would sufficiently cover the business activities of the sustainable entrepreneurs. While the re- searchers tried to consider the entirety of their websites, this could not be entirely possible for those entrepreneurs with extensive websites. The following section describes the re- sults of the study. 4. Results The research has addressed three fundamental questions about sustainable entrepre- neurship practices, their coverage worldwide, in the US and other countries, their change over time, their mapping over the SDGs and several results. 4.1. What Is Sustainable Entrepreneurship’s Coverage? The paper examined sustainable entrepreneurs’ keyword co-occurrences over 20 years globally and for the US and other countries for comparisons. It also analysed key- word co-occurrences worldwide for the first ten years and the second ten years. The analysis of the keywords for all 20 years globally gave a significant overall pic- ture showing sustainable entrepreneurship centres around five interrelated topics: (1) food, agriculture and agritech, (2) retail and consumer goods, (3) e-commerce and fashion, (4) financial services and marketing, (5) construction, and (6) energy (Figure 2). Sustainability 2022,14 , 3864 8 of 21 Figure 2. Sustainable entrepreneurship across the world: 2000–2019 ( n= 2004).When the paper analysed the sustainable entrepreneurship in the US (see Figure3) separate from other countries (see Figure4), the topical map showed general similarities and characteristic differences. In terms of scope, both maps had common clusters and keywords. E-commerce, energy (including clean energy, solar, transportation, and electric vehicles), nancial services, and food (including food processing and nutrition) constituted sustainable entrepreneurship. Figure 3. Sustainable entrepreneurship in the US: 2000–2019 ( n= 770). The study also identi ed differences between the coverage of sustainable entrepreneur- ship in the US and other countries. Additionally, some stand-alone keywords emerged as separate clusters in different regions. For example, e-commerce had differential fashion, shopping, and community emphasis in the US. In contrast, it was more marketplaces, consumer goods, and lifestyle in the other countries. Similarly, the energy cluster had energy storage, automotive, and electronics more frequently noted as topical areas in the US. However, energy ef ciency, environmental engineering, energy management, gas, and natural resources were less frequent in the US than in other countries. The US was focused more on risk management, social media, travel, apps, and mobile at the nancial servicesSustainability 2022, 14, x FOR PEER REVIEW 8 of 23 Figure 2. Sustainable entrepreneurship across the world: 2000–2019 (n = 2004). The results indicated that sustainable entrepreneurs clustered consumer goods and retail with agriculture/food-related topics, with nutrition, packaging services, textiles, and food processing. On the other hand, paper manufacturing was related marginally with this cluster as an outlier with relatively weak co-occurrence. While consumer goods and retail also fell into this cluster with shopping and personal health, they linked strongly with the second cluster with the e-commerce and fashion focus. The second cluster was centred on e-commerce and fashion and connected with shopping and retail. Interest- ingly, these topics also clustered together with the sharing economy, travel, and electric vehicles. The third cluster was more closely knit than the first two clusters next to infor- mation services, human resources, finance, and computers. Organic and aquaculture key- words also clustered together. The last two clusters included construction, smart build- ings, building materials and energy, energy management, natural resources, wind energy, and gas. When the paper analysed the sustainable entrepreneurship in the US (see Figure 3) separate from other countries (see Figure 4), the topical map showed general similarities and characteristic differences. In terms of scope, both maps had common clusters and key- words. E-commerce, energy (including clean energy, solar, transportation, and electric ve- hicles), financial services, and food (including food processing and nutrition) constituted sustainable entrepreneurship. Sustainability 2022, 14, x FOR PEER REVIEW 9 of 23 Figure 3. Sustainable entrepreneurship in the US: 2000–2019 (n = 770). Figure 4. Sustainable entrepreneurship in countries other than the US: 2000–2019 (n = 1234). The study also identified differences between the coverage of sustainable entrepre- neurship in the US and other countries. Additionally, some stand-alone keywords emerged as separate clusters in different regions. For example, e-commerce had differen- tial fashion, shopping, and community emphasis in the US. In contrast, it was more mar- Sustainability 2022,14 , 3864 9 of 21and retail technology cluster. At the same time, the other countries focused more on en- terprise software and marketing. As the last cluster, the US’s sustainability entrepreneurs frequently mention biotechnology, chemicals, and packaging for food, food processing, and nutrition. Nevertheless, the other countries tackle agriculture and agritech, wellness, and food delivery. Figure 4. Sustainable entrepreneurship in countries other than the US: 2000–2019 ( n= 1234). While construction was a keyword in the other countries, it emerged as a separate cluster in the US with smart buildings and real estate. Water puri cation was also a popular topic. However, it became a separate cluster with personal health, consumers, subscription services, organic food, and farming. Similarly, transportation, electric vehicles, mobile, and the sharing economy received more attention. It became a separate cluster for the other countries (see Table1). Table 1. The scope of sustainable entrepreneurship practice, 2000–2019. Coverage Focus Areas * Global CONSTRUCTION, smart buildings, building materials E-COMMERCE, FASHION, retail, shopping FOOD, AGRICULTURE, AND AGRITECH, consumer goods, nutrition, food processing, paper manufacturing ENERGY, energy management, natural resources, wind OTHER: Financial services, marketing, HR, information services The US E-COMMERCE, fashion, shopping, and community ENERGY, clean energy, solar, energy storage, transportation, automotive, electric vehicle, electronics FINANCIAL SERVICE, risk management, social media, travel, apps, mobile , retail technology FOOD, BIOTECHNOLOGY, chemical , nutrition, food processing,packaging CONSTRUCTION, smart building, real estate Water puri cation, personal health, consumer, subscription service, organic food, farmingSustainability 2022, 14, x FOR PEER REVIEW 9 of 23 Figure 3. Sustainable entrepreneurship in the US: 2000–2019 (n = 770). Figure 4. Sustainable entrepreneurship in countries other than the US: 2000–2019 (n = 1234). The study also identified differences between the coverage of sustainable entrepre- neurship in the US and other countries. Additionally, some stand-alone keywords emerged as separate clusters in different regions. For example, e-commerce had differen- tial fashion, shopping, and community emphasis in the US. In contrast, it was more mar- Sustainability 2022,14 , 3864 10 of 21 Table 1. Cont. Coverage Focus Areas * Rest of the World E-COMMERCE, retail technology, marketplace, lifestyle, consumer goods ENERGY, energy ef ciency, environmental engineering, clean energy, energy management , solar,gas, natural resource , water puri cation Financial service, marketing, construction, enterprise software FOOD, AGRITECH, AGRICULTURE , food processing,wellness, nutrition, food delivery Transportation, electric vehicle, mobile, sharing economy * High-frequency keywords in CAPITAL LETTERS and keywords added in boldletters. 4.2. How Sustainable Entrepreneurship Coverage Has Changed?In order to detect how sustainable entrepreneurship had shifted in business, the study analysed and compared the rst and the second ten years distinctively. The results indicated early coverage of sustainable entrepreneurship at the end of the 2000–2009 period (see Figure5). The food, agriculture, and agritech cluster in this map did not appear in the rst 10-year period. Only agriculture appeared strongly in the e-commerce cluster with consumer goods, fashion, food processing, and retail. As a keyword, the beverage keyword was signi cant in this cluster in this period. As agriculture grew into a separate cluster, the remaining keywords mainly changed to the e-commerce and fashion cluster identi ed in the rst step. The software keyword also appeared as a cluster of the rst ten years co-occurring with risk management, enterprise software, SaaS, education, non-pro t, and recycling. The construction cluster also appeared early, including the building materials. The other keywords were in two sparsely populated clusters, most probably due to the immaturity of sustainable entrepreneurship in the rst ten years. Figure 5. Sustainable entrepreneurship worldwide: 2000–2009 ( n= 476). Analysing 2010–2019 helped the researchers to identify recent trends in sustainable entrepreneurship (see Figure6). E-commerce and fashion entered sustainable entrepreneur- ship in this period, together with energy, energy ef ciency, and clean energy, as a neigh- bouring cluster to construction. Food and agriculture keywords started with food delivery, nutrition, and farming. A signi cant trend registered was the emergence of biotechnologySustainability 2022, 14, x FOR PEER REVIEW 11 of 23 identified in the first step. The software keyword also appeared as a cluster of the first ten years co-occurring with risk management, enterprise software, SaaS, education, non- profit, and recycling. The construction cluster also appeared early, including the building materials. The other keywords were in two sparsely populated clusters, most probably due to the immaturity of sustainable entrepreneurship in the first ten years. Figure 5. Sustainable entrepreneurship worldwide: 2000–2009 (n = 476). Analysing 2010–2019 helped the researchers to identify recent trends in sustainable entrepreneurship (see Figure 6). E-commerce and fashion entered sustainable entrepre- neurship in this period, together with energy, energy efficiency, and clean energy, as a neighbouring cluster to construction. Food and agriculture keywords started with food delivery, nutrition, and farming. A significant trend registered was the emergence of bio- technology with wellness and water purification, which diluted into overall agritech and food clusters in Figure 2. The second trend was the emergence of transportation, travel, electric vehicles, and apps. Financial services also emerged in this period. Sustainability 2022,14 , 3864 11 of 21with wellness and water puri cation, which diluted into overall agritech and food clusters in Figure2. The second trend was the emergence of transportation, travel, electric vehicles, and apps. Financial services also emerged in this period. Figure 6. Sustainable entrepreneurship worldwide: 2010–2019 ( n= 1340). Comparing the topical maps worldwide between 2000–2009 and 2010–2019 reveals essential shifts in sustainable entrepreneurship. The study observed that fashion increased prominence between those periods. In terms of co-occurrence frequency, intelligent build- ings, shopping, and paper manufacturing are emergent issues. An entirely new energy cluster added energy management, natural resources, and wind. While these clusters increased their emphasis, beverages, analytics, electronics, innovation management, archi- tecture, management consulting became weaker than the other topics. The software cluster, involving risk management, enterprise software, SaaS, education, non-pro t, electronics, and recycling, was dissolved into other clusters. A similar change happened to software, as it became the basic infrastructure of many different initiatives and solutions (see Table2). Sustainable entrepreneurship included e-commerce and fashion with shopping, com- munity, mobile apps, social networks, and organic keywords in the last ten years. Financial services, marketing, and management consulting appeared as a tightly-knit, dense cluster. Similarly, topics of energy, energy ef ciency, and clean energy received a strong following. Food, agritech, and agriculture topics received high interest in nutrition, food delivery, organic food, farming, and food processing. Biotechnology also received high interest, co-occurring with wellness, water puri cation, and infrastructure. In this period, the com- mercial estate keyword joined the construction cluster. Additionally, transportation and travel emerged with electric vehicles and related apps (see Table3).Sustainability 2022, 14, x FOR PEER REVIEW 12 of 23 Figure 6. Sustainable entrepreneurship worldwide: 2010–2019 (n = 1340). Comparing the topical maps worldwide between 2000–2009 and 2010–2019 reveals essential shifts in sustainable entrepreneurship. The study observed that fashion increased prominence between those periods. In terms of co-occurrence frequency, intelligent build- ings, shopping, and paper manufacturing are emergent issues. An entirely new energy cluster added energy management, natural resources, and wind. While these clusters in- creased their emphasis, beverages, analytics, electronics, innovation management, archi- tecture, management consulting became weaker than the other topics. The software clus- ter, involving risk management, enterprise software, SaaS, education, non-profit, electron- ics, and recycling, was dissolved into other clusters. A similar change happened to soft- ware, as it became the basic infrastructure of many different initiatives and solutions (see Table 2). Sustainability 2022,14 , 3864 12 of 21 Table 2. The global shifts in sustainable entrepreneurship practice, 2009–2019 *. 2000–2009 2000–2019 Shifts CONSTRUCTION, building materials E-COMMERCE, consumer goods, fashion, BEVERAGE, food processing, AGRICULTURE, retail SOFTWARE, risk management, enterprise software, SaaS, education, non-pro t, recycling OTHER 1: analytic, nance, electronics, innovation management, gas OTHER 2: marketing, architecture, management consulting CONSTRUCTION, smart buildings, building materials E-COMMERCE, FASHION, retail, shopping FOOD, AGRICULTURE, AND AGRITECH, consumer goods, nutrition, food processing, paper manufacturing ENERGY, energy management, natural resources, wind OTHER: nancial services, marketing, HR, information services Smart buildings Shopping Paper manufacturing ENERGY, energy management, natural resources, windFASHION BEVERAGE SOFTWARE, risk management, enterprise software, SaaS, education, non-pro t, electronics, recycling Analytics, electronics, innovation management, architecture , management consulting* High-frequency keywords are in CAPITAL LETTERS. Keywords with increased emphasis are bold letters, whereas keywords with decreased emphasis are italicletters. Table 3. Trends in sustainable entrepreneurship practice, 2010–2019. Focus Areas Higher Frequency Keywords Other Keywords Consumer/Customer Products and Services E-COMMERCE, FASHION Shopping, community, mobile apps, social network, organic Financial services, marketing, management consulting Energy ENERGY Energy ef ciency, clean energy Health and Food FOOD, AGRITECH, AGRICULTURE Nutrition, food delivery, organic food, farming, food processing Transportation BIOTECHNOLOGY Transportation, travel, electric vehicles, mobile applications 4.3. How Sustainable Entrepreneurship Practice Serves SDGs The study analysed which SDGs these sustainable entrepreneurs target, identifying their distribution over SDGs and revealing areas with less interest. The results noted that the focus on one or few SDGs was relatively high. More than 70.6% of the companies in the sample targeted primarily one SDG, whereas 26.2% targeted two or more SDGs. The study observed that some SDGs attracted the majority of the interest among sustainable entrepreneurs. In contrast, some other SDGs followed the leading group. Some lagged behind the rst two, and few received meagre interest (see Figure7). Among all SDGs, “SDG 12—Responsible Consumption and Production” received the most signi cant attention, with 33% ahead of the other SDGs. This category spanned con- sumption and production involving B2C and B2B companies with sustainability-conscious products and services. Entrepreneurs primarily focus on a speci c range of products or ser- vices as their core focus. Sustainable entrepreneurs in this group typically had products or services addressing a sustainability issue without a designated SDG. The analysis classi ed them in this group. While they followed the leader SDG from a distance, the other leading SDGs were highly popular with relatively marginal percentage differences. Among them, food indus- try startups identifying with sustainability, involving alternative sources of protein and the betterment of the food value chain, made “SDG 2—Zero Hunger” the second most popular category with 12.80%. In addition, sustainable entrepreneurs in the agriculture and farming industry predominantly contributed to this category. Similarly, “SDG 9—Industry, Inno- vation and Infrastructure” (12.30%) and “SDG 7—Affordable and Clean Energy” (11.60%) had similar popularity. These groups mainly received sustainable entrepreneurs from deep- tech initiatives, infrastructure technologies, innovation-related sustainability incubators, Sustainability 2022,14 , 3864 13 of 21accelerators to the former, clean and alternative energy rms to the latter. As an essential part of the sustainability debate originating from the carbon emission and the natural impact of the energy industry, alternative energy companies made the latter a popular SDG, among others. Similarly, “SDG 11—Sustainable Cities and Communities” was the fth most popular SDG (8.80%), with sustainable entrepreneurs working on smart cities, the construction and the architecture elds, electric vehicles, and related products and services targeting smart cities. Sustainable community initiatives and related social innovation entities were also in this group. Figure 7. Pareto diagram of sustainable entrepreneurs’ focus on SDGs. Follower SDGs’ percentages ranged between 4.50–3.10%. These were “SDG 15—Life on Land” (4.50%), “SDG 16—Peace, Justice and Stronger Institutions” (4.20%), “SDG 13— Climate Action” (3.30%), and “SDG 6—Clean Water and Sanitation” (3.10%). While they were far behind the leaders’ group, they were still at multiple interest levels of the lagging and de cient SDG groups below them. In this group, life on land interest was mainly from sustainable entrepreneurs related to recycling, land lls, and forest protection. Climate action-related sustainable entrepreneurship mainly covered startups related to controlling and reversing carbon emission to the atmosphere and other initiatives about decreasing carbon footprints or increasing related awareness. SDG 16 received the most interest from the NGOs and social enterprises for building better societies and promoting sustainability.Sustainability 2022, 14, x FOR PEER REVIEW 15 of 24 Figure 7. Pareto diagram of sustainable entrepreneurs’ focus on SDGs. Among all SDGs, “SDG 12—Responsible Consumption and Production” received the most significant attention, with 33% ahead of the other SDGs. This category spanned consumption and production involving B2C and B2B companies with sustainability- conscious products and services. Entrepreneurs primarily focus on a specific range of products or services as their core focus. Sustainable entrepreneurs in this group typically had products or services addressing a sustainability issue without a designated SDG. The analysis classified them in this group. While they followed the leader SDG from a distance, the other leading SDGs were highly popular with relatively marginal percentage differences. Among them, food industry startups identifying with sustainability, involving alternative sources of protein and the betterment of the food value chain, made “SDG 2—Zero Hunger” the second most popular category with 12.80%. In addition, sustainable entrepreneurs in the agriculture and farming industry predominantly contributed to this category. Similarly, “SDG 9— Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure” (12.30%) and “SDG 7—Affordable and Clean Energy” (11.60%) had similar popularity. These groups mainly received sustainable entrepreneurs from deep-tech initiatives, infrastructure technologies, innovation-related sustainability incubators, accelerators to the former, clean and alternative energy firms to the latter. As an essential part of the sustainability debate originating from the carbon emission and the natural impact of the energy industry, alternative energy companies made the latter a popular SDG, among others. Similarly, “SDG 11—Sustainable Cities and Sustainability 2022,14 , 3864 14 of 21Lagging SDGs’ percentages ranged between 1.50–1.10%. These were “SDG 8—Decent Work and Economic Growth” (1.50%), “SDG 3—Good Health and Well-being” (1.30%), and “SDG 4—Quality Education” (1.10%). For example, only fteen companies provided decent work conditions and sustainable economic growth as their primary target. The last group of SDGs had a de cient level of interest. These SDGs ranged between 0.80–0.40 per cent and required urgent policy action and impact investment backing to increase mobilisation. These SDGs were “SDG 1—Poverty” (0.80%), “SDG 14—Life Below Water” (0.70%), “SDG 5—Gender Equality” (0.60%), and “SDG 10—Reduced Inequality” (0.40%). The results also indicate whether sustainable entrepreneurs focus on these SDGs individually or with other SDGs. A major portion of sustainable entrepreneurs focusing on the leading SDGs, namely “SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production”, “SDG 2—Zero Hunger”, “SDG 9—Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure”, “SDG 7—Affordable and Clean Energy, and “SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities”, perform this as their single focus area. The second groups of SDGs have an uneven focus from the sustainable entrepreneurs. For “SDG 15—Life on Land”, the level of interest balances between single- focused and multiple-focused sustainable entrepreneurs. For “SDG 16—Peace, Justice and Stronger Institutions” and “SDG 6—Clean Water and Sanitation”, more sustainable entrepreneurs focus on them as a single focus area. For “SDG 13—Climate Action”, most sustainable entrepreneurs focus on this SDG and other SDGs. One should be cautious when considering the results about the focus of sustainable entrepreneurs in the lagging and de cient groups because the frequencies are very low. However, “SDG 4—Quality Education” (in the lagging group) and “SDG 1—Poverty” (in the de cient group) received relatively higher focus than other SDGs in the same group (see Table4). Table 4. Sustainable entrepreneurs’ focus on SDGs. SDGs Single Multiple % Leading SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production 509 152 33.0% SDG 2: Zero Hunger 215 41 12.8% SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure 172 75 12.3% SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy 147 89 11.6% SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities 113 64 8.8% Following SDG 15: Life on Land 44 46 4.5% SDG 16: Peace, Justice and Stronger Institutions 63 22 4.2% SDG 13: Climate Action 25 42 3.3% SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation 49 13 3.1% Lagging SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth 15 14 1.5% SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being 15 12 1.3% SDG 4: Quality Education 18 5 1.1% De cient SDG 1: Poverty 13 3 0.8% SDG 14: Life Below Water 6 8 0.7% SDG 5: Gender Equality 9 4 0.6% SDG 10: Reduced Inequality 2 6 0.4% 5. Discussion 5.1. Sustainable Entrepreneurship Coverage The results highlighted critical topics and changing trends in sustainable entrepreneur- ship. According to the keyword maps of this study, energy, construction, nancial services, agriculture/agritech, food, consumer goods, and retail/e-commerce/fashion industries appeared as major verticals with sustainability activity worldwide in the last 20 years. In the rst ten years of this era, sustainable entrepreneurship emerged from software, construction, agriculture, and e-commerce verticals and changed into a more encompassing structure. The energy industry has appeared strongly with transportation during the last ten years. Additionally, the software domain in sustainable entrepreneurship has predomi- nantly turned into e-commerce and augmented fashion-related activities. The food vertical Sustainability 2022,14 , 3864 15 of 21has diversi ed with nutrition, farming, organic food, and food delivery and expanded towards biotechnology and wellness. The keyword maps are relatively similar for the US and the other countries. However, biotech-related sustainable entrepreneurship is more substantial outside the US. In contrast, transportation is closer to energy initiatives, and construction is weaker in the US than in other countries. The study analysed the coverage and the trend worldwide, in the US and the other countries separately. The study analysed the US separately due to its leading global role of Silicon Valley as a model ecosystem and its top-ranked position at the global entrepreneurship index (GEI) [ 79]. Therefore, it identi ed keyword networks at the modern world-system’s centre and the periphery [ 80,81]. Mapping the US and the other countries separately showed that the US is missing some popular topics in other countries, such as biotechnology and fashion. These topics moved forward in the world as secondary keywords. At the same time, environmental engineering in the US stood out as a keyword. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the employment of environmental engineers to grow 8 per cent from 2016 to 2026 in the US [ 82], to address issues such as water availability, quality, and water-use ef ciency. The treatment of the world, the US, and other countries separately also helped unpack the emergent global division of labour among different topics and verticals. Researchers can further develop this line of inquiry to scrutinise how the developed world and the develop- ing world have divided activities and responsibilities in sustainability across the globe. The dependency theory [ 80,81] may help understand how global dependencies between the US and the other countries diffuse with “imitation” or “followership” trends and differentiate over time. The intensity of entrepreneurs leading to high market activity and technological expertise and resources developed a leadership position for the US at the centre of the world system. In this context, the study presents a landscape analysis to elaborate on the dynamics of sustainable entrepreneurship as a contemporary interpretation of the science and technology dynamics mapping introduced by Callon et al. [ 83]. Entrepreneurs play a signi cant role in introducing and deploying the “creative destruction” to solve the climate crisis and overcoming sustainability challenges of the Anthropocene [ 23,34,84]. However, different policies and actions are required to reshape the technology and business paths towards a balanced structure beyond the current polarised centre-periphery landscape. As other countries challenge this leadership and SDGs set the global agenda, alternative developmental paths appear in the other parts of the world, different from the centre, as outlined in the results. The analysis identi ed various clean energy clusters, clean food, electric vehicles, and agriculture, focusing on environmental goals. Therefore, results disagree with Shnay- der et al. [ 36] and Tiba et al. [ 12], who pointed out that the responsibility-oriented activities of companies tend to be more engaged in social issues than environmental focus. In ad- dition, it contrasts to van der Linden [ 37] in arguing that green products are less likely to facilitate a scalable business. However, the study identi ed an e-commerce cluster worldwide. Hence, it supports Kwon [ 38], concluding that sustainability entrepreneurs prefer focusing on consumer-focused technologies to scale. The rise of e-commerce as a cluster in the sustainable entrepreneurship landscape in other countries also needs further elaboration. Previous research proved causal relations between entrepreneurship orientation and e-commerce adoption, especially in emerging and fast-growing economies such as China and emerging economies such as Indonesia and India [ 85–88]. Hence, this nding is in line with the expansion of e-commerce in the world. As entrepreneurship ecosystems grow in different geographies, the total entrepreneurship activity of developing countries may exceed the developed ones and the US by 2021 [ 89]. In parallel to this trend, one may expect a rise in sustainable entrepreneurship’s diffusion and popularity in different parts of the world. The emergence of e-commerce and energy clusters has signi cantly changed over the last 20 years. The energy cluster, including energy management, natural resources, and wind, illustrates an expanding scope of energy in sustainable entrepreneurship worldwide. Sustainability 2022,14 , 3864 16 of 21Historically, innovations in the energy sector have developed slowly, and entrepreneurial rms played a relatively minor role [ 89,90]. However, the energy market has started chang- ing due to cost and performance improvements due to the sustainability agenda, especially with renewable energy investments and technologies. There has been a sharp decline in patenting and startup activity from about 2010 onwards in the US in clean energy [ 90]. This phenomenon possibly depended on the enabling technologies generated in other sectors. Therefore, this study’s ndings partly contradict Popp et al. [ 90], identifying energy as a sustainable entrepreneurship topic for the US. The difference between the trends of energy entrepreneurship in the US and the other countries needs in-depth analysis and further scrutiny. Biotechnology also emerged as an important keyword from the study. The Asia–Paci c region was the rst, and North America was the second-largest region in the biotechnology services market in 2021 [ 91]. Therefore, the Asia–Paci c area is worth exploring for its impact on sustainable entrepreneurship with biotechnology. 5.2. Sustainable Entrepreneurship and SDGs The study provides a solid picture of the orientation of sustainable entrepreneurship towards SDGs. As results indicated, some SDGs have received higher interest, and others received less or negligible interest levels. However, the underlying dynamics in how sustainable entrepreneurs map over SDGs might have a more complex structure, calling for further analysis with more comprehensive research. For example, representational differences between industries may be shadowing the popularity of “SDG 7—Affordable and Clean Energy” and “SDG 11—Sustainable Cities and Communities”. Further analyses may reveal the deep-seated differences between how sustainable entrepreneurship has a differential orientation towards SDGs. According to the results, some SDGs received a more dedicated focus. In contrast, some SDGs received some degree of focus with other SDGs. For example, sustainable entrepreneurs targeting “SDG 13—Climate Action” also target other SDGs. These SDGs might be receiving this focus because they require dedicated focus. These issues are harder to address in an issue portfolio. 5.2.1. SDGs with Lagging Interest from Sustainable Entrepreneurs “SDG 8—Decent Work and Economic Growth”, “SDG 3—Good Health and Well- being”, and “SDG 4—Quality Education” are the lagging groups with minimal interest from sustainable entrepreneurs. For “SDG 8—Decent Work and Economic Growth”, only fteen companies provided decent work conditions and sustainable economic growth as a primary focus in this study. This nding aligns with Startus Insights’ results for SDG 8, with a worldwide startup portion of 0.012% working for “decent work” [ 92]. On the other hand, as a part of socially responsible investment, decent work has always been among the principal areas of venture investing [ 93,94]. However, decent work as an entrepreneurial focus has remained radical. ILO’s “Declaration for the Future of Work” [ 95] provides a roadmap for this SDG, referring to sustainable entrepreneurship as a remedy. As a policy institution, ILO may also concentrate its effort on “supporting the role of the private sector as a principal source of economic growth and job creation by promoting an enabling environment for entrepreneurship and sustainable enterprises, in particular micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as cooperatives and the social and solidarity economy, in order to generate decent work, productive employment and improved living standards for all” [94] (pp. 4–5). For “SDG 3—Good Health and Well-being”, researchers argue that startups frequently offer sustainable health/tech products and services for health and well-being [ 12]. Therefore, this difference calls for further exploration. Potentially, the health industry has limited promotion and diffusion of sustainability agenda due to its intimate relationship with human survival. This SDG focuses on specific topics within healthcare. Revenue models of healthcare Sustainability 2022,14 , 3864 17 of 21startups may also be limiting their sustainability focus. The health industry attracts a high level of entrepreneurial attention, and they may rarely identify with sustainability. For “SDG 4—Quality Education”, the study results indicate an exciting phenomenon due to the growing rate of EduTech startups [ 82]. EduTech is a popular startup topic. How- ever, education-oriented startups remain only 1.1% of total startups. For example, in Startus Insights [ 92], the share of EduTech have remained 0.015%, with 323 companies. This con- tradiction may be due to the EduTech companies’ rare identi cation with the sustainability agenda. They might be offering a limited contribution to improving human development index performance in most countries where educational opportunities worsen [ 96]. This observation may also indicate lower sustainability promotion and ownership levels in these industries. Education startups also lack the attention they deserve, indicated by the decrease in the human development index in most parts [96]. 5.2.2. SDGs with De cient Interest from Sustainable Entrepreneurs “SDG 1—Poverty”, “SDG 14—Life Below Water”, “SDG 5—Gender Equality”, and “SDG 10—Reduced Inequality” constitute the de cient groups with little interest from the sustainable entrepreneurs. These SDGs may represent sustainability problems that entrepreneurs’ products or services can hardly solve due to their deep-seated historical and social roots. However, researchers still found this de cient result surprising for “SDG 14—Life Below Water” because this SDG is close to sh and marine products as human food. Hence, it deserves signi cant attention due to its total economic value. The production of aquaculture and sheries has been rapidly increasing. In contrast, the percentage of sh stocks within biologically sustainable levels has decreased from 90 per cent in 1974 to 65.8 per cent in 2017, threatening the continuity of supply of this critical human food, as reported by FAO [ 97]. Potentially, problems concerning life below water remained away from the consumers’ eyes to grab enough entrepreneurial interest from the sustainable entrepreneurs. The low and very low levels of interest above might also be due to problems in designing business models where the bene ciaries and the payers are different entities. Governments may take more policy actions to mobilise sustainable entrepreneurship and implement social-security-like schemes to promote sustainability among entrepreneurs and mobilise them towards particular SDGs. 5.2.3. Study Limitations and Further Studies The sampling strategy of this study and the decision to use CrunchBase may have affected its results. For example, social enterprises addressing SDGs might be using other channels and mechanisms to highlight themselves to potential impact investors, unlike regular startups using CrunchBase. Such a tendency might be why some SDGs have meagre popularity in the results. While this study involves the highest possible efforts of the researchers to analyse empirical data and re ect on the research questions, there are some limitations. First, this study was limited to the sustainable entrepreneurs in the CrunchBase database. While it was a comprehensive source, the overall sample has limitations to give representative results for a worldwide phenomenon with a high con dence level. However, it provides a good starting point for future empirical studies. Secondly, the researchers avoided justifying the results with additional evidence to avoid HARKing, providing post hoc explanations or justi cations after knowing the results [98]. Researchers may focus on speci c topics and hypothesise the reasons and mechanisms of change before collecting data in future. The study also used secondary data only. Future studies may develop more in-depth explanations about the substantive content, regional differences, and temporal changes in sustainable entrepreneurship and their mapping over SDGs based on eld studies. Additionally, researchers may also elaborate on how sustainable entrepreneurs select and combine which SDGs to focus on or select an environmental issue corresponding to a single SDG or multiple SDGs. Future research may Sustainability 2022,14 , 3864 18 of 21also focus on the differences in energy policies and sustainability orientation for the US and other countries. Researchers may undertake a content analysis of health startups’ business models, whether they challenge or reverse their sustainability orientation. 6. Conclusions This study illustrated the scope and the areas of sustainable entrepreneurs’ contri- butions to the “sociotechnical transition” [ 11] towards a sustainable future. The study developed several keyword maps for different scopes and periods for entrepreneurial rms and other entities ( n= 2004), identifying sustainability in the CrunchBase database. It anal- ysed these maps individually and comparatively to determine the coverage of sustainable entrepreneurship and how it has changed and shifted in the last 20 years. Additionally, its content analysed how these sustainable entrepreneurs serve different SDGs. This study also illustrated how researchers might employ startup databases such as CrunchBase. Using similar databases in research may help researchers overcome data-access problems in elds such as sustainable entrepreneurship. The study’s ndings may serve actors in entrepreneurial ecosystems, such as sus- tainable entrepreneurs, investors, and policymakers, to critically evaluate their areas of activity and understand startups’ potential capabilities and resources for sustainability. They may also assess the entrepreneurial capacity in their region relatively on each SDG. This approach may help these actors to generate strategies, policies, and roadmaps to- wards empowering relatively underserved areas and leverage the strength of their existing larger clusters for deploying their sustainable entrepreneurship products and solutions worldwide. However, the world needs speci c policies to invite and support sustainable entrepreneurs towards speci c keywords and SDGs in the business landscape. Author Contributions: Conceptualisation, D.T. and N.Y.; methodology, D.T. and N.Y., software, D.T.; validation, D.T. and N.Y.; formal analysis, D.T.; investigation, D.T. and N.Y.; resources, D.T and N.Y.; data curation, D.T.; writing—original draft preparation, D.T. and N.Y.; writing—review and editing, D.T. and N.Y.; visualisation, D.T. All authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript. Funding: This research received no external funding. Institutional Review Board Statement: Not applicable. Informed Consent Statement: Not applicable. Data Availability Statement: Data supporting reported results can be found in the CrunchBase database at the URL:https://data.crunchbase.com/docs/daily- csv- export(accessed on 9 Septem- ber 2021). Con icts of Interest: The authors declare no con ict of interest. References 1. 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