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An environmentally friendly company is just like any ordinary company; it thrives for success

Jacobson, Eric LU (2016) MVEM30 20161
Studies in Environmental Science
Abstract
Purpose: To explore whether the view on Business Models and Value Creation, can explain the lack of Venture Capital investments in green start-ups, by examining how green start-up Entrepreneurs, and Venture Capitalist investors, view these two factors.

Theoretical framework: The aim of this thesis is to address some of the key knowledge gaps in research available today, regarding why there is a lack of investments within the green start-up sector. By applying Behavioral Finance as a tool when examining Entrepreneurs and Venture Capitalist Investors view on certain factors, the goal is to receive a better understanding of the reasoning behind the investor’s decision-making. This case study will concentrate on the two factors, Value... (More)
Purpose: To explore whether the view on Business Models and Value Creation, can explain the lack of Venture Capital investments in green start-ups, by examining how green start-up Entrepreneurs, and Venture Capitalist investors, view these two factors.

Theoretical framework: The aim of this thesis is to address some of the key knowledge gaps in research available today, regarding why there is a lack of investments within the green start-up sector. By applying Behavioral Finance as a tool when examining Entrepreneurs and Venture Capitalist Investors view on certain factors, the goal is to receive a better understanding of the reasoning behind the investor’s decision-making. This case study will concentrate on the two factors, Value Creation, and Business Models, and together with Behavioral Finance these three theories will build up the theoretical framework of this thesis to find answer to the research questions and purpose.

Methodology: This study is a qualitative case study of the view on Business Models and Value Creation with elements of an adductive approach. A theoretical framework was developed and compared to the empirical findings from eight semi-structured in-depth interviews.

Results: To summarize the results, Venture Capitalist Investors view Value Creating and Business Models of green start-ups differently, but a general theme is that investors tend to be aiming more for Profit Maximization. On the other hand, green start-up Entrepreneurs view Value Creation and Business Models out of a Shared Value perspective, but realize the importance of building up an attractive track record. Behavioral Finance can to some extent function as a good tool and theory for explaining the underinvestment in green start-ups. A Skepticism towards the green start-up sector was described by several of the interviewees. The skepticism was grounded in a lack of “success stories” and track record within the green start-up sector and therefore the findings of this case study indicate that the view on green start-ups is to some extent damaged by several bad historical results, previous weak return on investment and lack of strong track records. (Less)
Popular Abstract
An exploring study of why there is a lack of investments in the green start-up sector

For a long time, a transition to an environmental sustainable society has been on the agenda, now more than ever. In late 2015 the UN chief Ban Ki Moon stressed the importance, describing their UN initiative: “Trillions of dollars in public and private funds are to be redirected towards the Sustainable Development Goals, creating huge opportunities for responsible companies to deliver solutions.” 1 Yet there is a lack of investments in the green start-up sector. A qualitative case study has been made to explore the reasoning behind why green-startups have not yet become successful and attractive on the global market.

There is a growing positivity... (More)
An exploring study of why there is a lack of investments in the green start-up sector

For a long time, a transition to an environmental sustainable society has been on the agenda, now more than ever. In late 2015 the UN chief Ban Ki Moon stressed the importance, describing their UN initiative: “Trillions of dollars in public and private funds are to be redirected towards the Sustainable Development Goals, creating huge opportunities for responsible companies to deliver solutions.” 1 Yet there is a lack of investments in the green start-up sector. A qualitative case study has been made to explore the reasoning behind why green-startups have not yet become successful and attractive on the global market.

There is a growing positivity towards building up a sustainable and environmental friendly world. However, an absence of investments has been identified within the green start-up sector. While there are not enough investments, there are not uncommon to find articles in most prominent papers and media with messages such as: “Companies that invest in Sustainability do better financially.” 2 To understand this situation, Entrepreneurs and Venture Capital investors have been interviewed with the purpose to explore whether their view on the Business Models and Value Creation, can explain the lack of Venture Capital investments in green start-ups.

After having interviewed green start-up entrepreneurs and investors, several key findings were found. A skepticism towards the green start-up sector was described by several of the interviewees. The skepticism was based on a lack of “success stories” and track record within the green start-up sector. The findings of this case study indicate that the view on green start-ups is to some extent damaged by several bad historical results and previous weak return on investment.

One of the most apparent findings is how different entrepreneurs and investors view the creation of value. In general, investors tend to aim more for Profit Maximization, while on the other hand, green start-up Entrepreneurs view Value Creation out of a Shared Value perspective. A Shared Value perspective means that you invest or/and create business models that support long term solutions for the society. An other important key finding is that the Pension Fund´s view on Value Creation can be one of the main reasons as to why there is a lack in green start-up investments.

This study is too small to confirm any patterns or leave any certain answers. However, the lack of investments is still a fact. An explanation can be the skepticism towards green start-ups the interviewees indicate, not to be a regular start-up. Therefore, my suggestion is to continue to work on the understanding of green start-ups and illustrate and prove that “an environmentally friendly company is just like any ordinary company; it thrives for success”.



1 Ki- Moon, B. (2015, 26 Sep) Secretary- General's remarks at the United Nations Private Sector Forum. Unites Nations. Accessed, 2016-05-15: http://www.un.org/sg/statements/index.asp?nid=9020

2 Gerrit, H. (2012, 19 Sep). Companies that Invest in Sustainability Do Better Financially. Harvard Business Review. Accessed, 2016-05-15: https://hbr.org/2012/09/sustainable-investing-time-to (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Jacobson, Eric LU
supervisor
organization
course
MVEM30 20161
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Venture Capital, Green start-ups, Behavioral Finance, Value Creation, Business Models
language
English
id
8895369
date added to LUP
2016-12-14 11:46:11
date last changed
2016-12-14 11:46:11
@misc{8895369,
  abstract     = {Purpose: To explore whether the view on Business Models and Value Creation, can explain the lack of Venture Capital investments in green start-ups, by examining how green start-up Entrepreneurs, and Venture Capitalist investors, view these two factors.

Theoretical framework: The aim of this thesis is to address some of the key knowledge gaps in research available today, regarding why there is a lack of investments within the green start-up sector. By applying Behavioral Finance as a tool when examining Entrepreneurs and Venture Capitalist Investors view on certain factors, the goal is to receive a better understanding of the reasoning behind the investor’s decision-making. This case study will concentrate on the two factors, Value Creation, and Business Models, and together with Behavioral Finance these three theories will build up the theoretical framework of this thesis to find answer to the research questions and purpose. 

Methodology: This study is a qualitative case study of the view on Business Models and Value Creation with elements of an adductive approach. A theoretical framework was developed and compared to the empirical findings from eight semi-structured in-depth interviews. 

Results: To summarize the results, Venture Capitalist Investors view Value Creating and Business Models of green start-ups differently, but a general theme is that investors tend to be aiming more for Profit Maximization. On the other hand, green start-up Entrepreneurs view Value Creation and Business Models out of a Shared Value perspective, but realize the importance of building up an attractive track record. Behavioral Finance can to some extent function as a good tool and theory for explaining the underinvestment in green start-ups. A Skepticism towards the green start-up sector was described by several of the interviewees. The skepticism was grounded in a lack of “success stories” and track record within the green start-up sector and therefore the findings of this case study indicate that the view on green start-ups is to some extent damaged by several bad historical results, previous weak return on investment and lack of strong track records.},
  author       = {Jacobson, Eric},
  keyword      = {Venture Capital,Green start-ups,Behavioral Finance,Value Creation,Business Models},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {An environmentally friendly company is just like any ordinary company; it thrives for success},
  year         = {2016},
}