Handbook of Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Development Research
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Handbook of Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Development Research

Edited by Paula Kyrö

Allying and expanding the diverse fields of entrepreneurship and sustainable development research is a modern day imperative. This Handbook paints an illuminating picture of the historic and current understanding of the bond between entrepreneurship and sustainable development. The authors explore the basic contradictions between the two fields and outline the transformative role entrepreneurship can play in achieving sustainable development. More than 50 expert researchers and their research communities from 16 countries across Europe, Africa, Australia, North America, and the Middle East provide original and informative contributions on a variety of issues, from women’s empowerment to climate change and organic farmers to ecotourism.
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Chapter 17: The entrepreneurial contribution of foreign-owned companies to the sustainable development of a small developing host economy

Tõnu Roolaht


The sustainability of development is of ever-growing importance. From one viewpoint, sustainable development ‘is a pattern of resource use that aims to meet human needs while preserving the environment so that these needs can be met not only in the present, but also for future generations to come’ (Sorin and Irina, 2009: 230). In social sciences, the notion of sustainability is often used more generally to imply the viability and continuation of certain trends or development processes (which may incorporate environmental, economic and social aspects) in the future (e.g. see Chaudhury, 2010; Collins and Grimes, 2008). Small economies are characterized by limited resources. The scarce domestic endowments of human capital and sometimes also knowledge resources are compensated for by using foreign resources, especially in the form of foreign direct investment (FDI) (see also Griffith, 2007). In addition to larger international companies, foreign direct investments are provided by foreign entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). These entrepreneurs are likely to have business expertise and knowledge superior to that of domestic counterparts. However, not every investment received contributes to the sustainable development of the host economy. The entrepreneurial culture, which forms the basis for entrepreneurship, has been defined as ‘the composite of personal values, managerial skills, experiences and behaviours that characterize the entrepreneur in terms of a spirit of initiative, risk-propensity, innovative capacity and management of a firm’s relations within the economic environment’ (Minguzzi and Passaro, 2000: 182).

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