5.1 Conclusions of the sustainable entrepreneurship sub-system

In this chapter we will summarize the main findings of each of the chapters' analyses as well as the proposed design for the future system.

Chapter 1: Exploring the entrepreneurship subsystem

1.07.Scheme now.jpg
In chapter 1, a very thorough theoretical analyses of the entrepreneurship subsystem was done, looking at 4 different domains interacting with the entrepreneurs (policy, market, culture and finance & support) and differentiating different types of entrepreneurs and placing them on the S-curve framework. Importantly, a concept of “sustainable entrepreneurship” was defined as a business, caring not only about its financial profit, but also about its the environmental and social impact. Moreover, such must be done in a manner that the business sustain itself. The main obstacles of turning creating sustainable entrepreneurship were defined as financial need for startups and knowledge and willingness to change for the established entrepreneurs. Moreover, it was concluded that different transition strategies towards self-sufficiency should be adopted for different markets. Sustainability was also viewed from the perspective of the consumer, where we may conclude that sustainability in itself in products or services cannot be perceived as the selling point, it needs to accompanied with other qualities, fulfilling the consumer's basic needs: price, comfort, functionality and intangible value (e.g. prestige).

Several initiatives and platforms gathering the entrepreneurs already established or incipient in Texel were analysed as part of the subsystem. TOP-Texel, JONT, LTO Noord afdeling Texel, TexLabs or Stichting Duurzaam Texel were described and their potential role in the future transition of entrepreneurship was acknowledged. Moreover, an overview of the current Texel entrepreneurs was done, from which it is possible the read the most important markets in Texel.

Chapter 2: Changing the daily life

2.06.Scheme future.jpg
Chapter 2 discusses mostly the social side of sustainability, the current and future presence in our subsystem. In order to understand the daily life of entrepreneurs, the value chain with the prevailing goals of each of the actors was discussed. Each party of the value chain was discussed both in its current state as well as envisioned in its future. As customer (demand side) being in the middle of the interest of entrepreneurship, YUTPA diagram was presented for the relationship between entrepreneur and customer.

In this chapter we also looked at various already established sustainable projects and initiatives in Texel in order to see, what is possible to learn from the current situation on Texel.

Most importantly, the design gap between now and then was redefined and for such the future subsystem was sketched more in detail. Several important concepts of the future subsystem were pointed out and viewed, how they may work in the Texel context:

  • sustainability awareness of entrepreneurs and customers
  • collaboration and knowledge sharing
  • independence

Chapter 3: Transitions are made by people

Chapter 3 discussed the most important current and future trends relevant to our subsystem of entrepreneurs. These were:

  • green banking
  • crowdfunding
  • (open) patents & knowledge sharing
  • importance of ICT in business
  • lean management
  • decentralization & community initiatives
  • demographical changes, in case of Texel youth leaving the island

These trends were firstly discussed in length in general and afterwards envisioned in the Texel concept while seeing, which of these trends go in the direction of the envisioned future of our subsystem. As we consciously picked trends relevant to entrepreneurs, all of them were further used in our designed pathways in chapter 4.

Chapter 4: Design pathways

In chapter 4 two different pathways were described, both emerging from the trends described in the previous chapter. First pathway was named as “business pathway” which requires a high level of participation from the side of the municipality of Texel in order to reach the island self-sufficiency and the other as “hippie pathway” putting a lot of importance on Texel community regarding financing as well as sharing the entrepreneurial knowledge.

Moreover, various innovative technological solutions, changing the presence in the future subsystem were mentioned, such as importance of Internet, apps for serious gaming engaging the community and customers in sustainable self-awareness, augmented reality, etc.

further questions

There are some things which we seek to clarify during the bubble week in Texel, because of the difficulties we experienced in answering these without being actually present in Texel. Several questions were formed, however we believe that more will be formed in the discussions with other research groups:

  • What is the perception of the Texelaars towards the mainland and their dependence on it? Do the Texelaars prefer local / sustainable products over the common ones?
  • How is the value chain organised regarding most of the Texel entrepreneurs? Are the suppliers local or outside from Texel?
  • What is the perception of the established local entrepreneurs about self-sufficiency of Texel? Do the current entrepreneurs care about self-sufficiency?
  • What are the main pitfalls of turning the current Texel businesses into sustainable businesses?
  • How are the starting entrepreneurs in Texel financed?
  • What is the willingness of the locals to participate in the entrepreneurial activities of the island?  
  • How are the knowledge platforms (JONT, TOP Texel, etc.) working in practise? Where are the windows of opportunity for the future of these platform?