Abstract

Sustainability entrepreneurs are seen as key actors in facing contemporary structural problems and supporting the creation of a more sustainable society. How these entrepreneurs recognize, develop and exploit venture opportunities represents an important research question. While researchers have addressed this issue by applying models of opportunity recognition derived from studying “traditional” entrepreneurs, there remains a gap in terms of the role of non-economic considerations. This paper addresses this gap by highlighting the role of moral intensity (MI) in the recognition and pursuit of sustainability-oriented entrepreneurial opportunities. We argue that current conceptions overlook the nature and magnitude of the sustainability issue in question. In the absence of high levels of MI, entrepreneurs may not activate their knowledge relevant to the issue at hand and, furthermore, may not find it compelling to address the issue in the name of sustainability.

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