Sustaining businesses in China through green entrepreneurship
Green entrepreneurship (also known as Eco-preneurship) can be defined as a “modern form of business activity which corresponds to the needs of firms for profitability and development and simultaneously also takes care of the environment dimension” (Nikolaou et al, 2011; Rodgers, 2010; Zisis, 2003). The concept of green entrepreneurship is an emerging concept which is due to the green demand of the society. This type entrepreneurship is more environmental friendly and sustainable development which is an important element that highlights the importance of natural environment and its protection (Hall et al. 2010; Taylor and Walley, 2004).
Green entrepreneurship in China
Growing population and rapid urbanization lead to exploitation of the limited natural resources available in world. China is no exception, as it has the world’s highest population 1,393,339,178 as of September 2013 (World Population Review, 2013). As per the UN’s report (2011), the population in China will keep growing which will lead to greater demand and consumption of natural resources. Studies suggest that in order to save natural resources in China, they will have to adopt green policies and strategies. The energy conservation policies were initiated in China from 1980 which were aimed at improving the energy efficiency in the country (The Central People’s Government of the People’s Republic of China, 2012). Researchers also believe that India and China are the two main countries who need to focus on green entrepreneurship as their demand for natural resource is skyrocketing (Woddy T., 2013).
The Green Business Options Training Scheme has recently been implemented in China which trains the young entrepreneurs to develop skills in order to acquire skills which will help them in developing feasible green business ideas (ILO, 2013-14). Another project which was initiated 6 months by the Climate Group, which was the China Youth Project that was initiated to promote the youth to develop green business ideas (The Climate Group, 2013). There are a number of green entrepreneurs who are passionate in promoting green benefits and sustainable practices. Some green entrepreneurs are selling environmentally friendly products (Evans A., 2013) while others are working towards protecting the natural heritage and environment (Xinhua, 2013). A recent study conducted in China focused on how green buildings can be developed in China (Liu Y., 2012).
The way forward
Although a number of efforts have been made to promote sustainable business practices and green entrepreneurship, however the efforts are not enough. Some recommendations are provided which can further promote green entrepreneurship in the country:
- Clear business standards with comprehensive coverage of each and every aspect of business practice should be defined. This will exert the pressure on existing entrepreneurs to adopt green practices.
- Education and promotion regarding green entrepreneurship should be further strengthened through seminars, conferences, advertisements, print ads and fellowship programs among the population of China.
The government of China should give a layout of affordable strategies which can be adopted in the current scenario so that the entrepreneurs don’t feel the burden of incorporating such practices.
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- Hall, J., Daneke, G., Lenox, M., (2010). Sustainable development and entrepreneurship: Past contributions and future directions, Journal of Business Venturing, Vol.25, pp. 439–448.
- International Labor Organization (2013-14). [Online] China: Skill Development for Green Entrepreneurship. Available at: http://www.ilo.org/global/topics/green-jobs/projects/asia/WCMS_218881/lang–en/index.htm.
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- UN 2011. World Urbanization Prospects, the 2011 Revision: Data on Urban and Rural Populations. 1950-2050. http://esa.un.org/unpd/wup/CD-ROM/Urban-Rural-Population.htm: United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs.
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- World Population Review, (2013) China Population: 2013 Available at: http://worldpopulationreview.com/countries/china-population/.
- Zisis, I., (2003). Green Entrepreneurship Minister of Environment Land Planning and Public Works, General Secretariat of Programming and Works, Hellenic Network of Ecological Organizations publications, Athens.