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Alt text: Mind the gap: Why we need value sensitive entrepreneurship education

NS: Hello and welcome to our podcast.

My name is Namrata Sethi and I’m a project manager at Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences. And today we will continue talking about SDG’s, cultural value and business opportunity recognition.

And this is a three part podcast and we are on the 3rd part.

This podcast is a part of a project SDG4BIZ co funded by Erasmus Plus, where experts of Haaga Helia have had an important role

To know more about the project activities, please check out the website in our podcast description.

AR: Thank you, Namrata.

Hi my name is Annariikka Rosendahl and I work at Haaga-Helia University applied Sciences as a project manager, project designer and project facilitator, and I’ve been involved in the SDG4BIZ project since its kick-off.  The project is ending at the end of this year and…  It has been an opportunity to grow and learn while developing relevant learning material to others.

NS: You and Doctor Anette Kairikko have written an interesting article in which you reflect on how cultural values should be better taken into account, especially when talking about business, innovation and sustainable development in the same sentence.

AR: The article was published in SDG4BIZ Book and even Anette couldn’t make it the studio today, I’ll be happy to tell you more about it.

NS: Yeah. And we started to talk a little bit about entrepreneurship in our previous podcast

And entrepreneurship Indeed, is the change engine in the economy and therefore introducing the mindset of sustainable development goals in the context of business opportunity recognition plays a fundamental role while creating sustainable businesses.

Today. I hope we wrap up all the three episodes.

AR: Are we ready?

NS: yes, we are. And let’s start by, how would you sum up sustainable entrepreneurship?

AR: Well, in theory, sustainable entrepreneurship is based on the triple bottom line approach. It’s refers to social, environmental and economic impact.

Were all these three dimensions are equally involved or equally important.

Similarly, a model of sustainable business opportunity recognition not merely based on entrepreneurial knowledge or economic motivation, but it’s also covers knowledge of the natural and communal environment, motivation, perception of the threat of the natural and communal environment, and altruism towards others.

Sustainable business models identify solutions that go beyond the economic value and generate value for broad range of stakeholders.

NS: Hmm.

The practical challenge how to combine the elements from this business opportunity recognition and the impact of environment people and profit.

In other words, the three main dimensions of sustainability, environmental, social and economic sustainability.

On the other hand, business opportunity recognition is influenced by several factors outside and inside of the company and at the individual and organizational level.

AR: The SDGs are a challenging issue and without the commitment of the local communities, they will be impossible to achieve. Values as argued by for example, Schwartz are the basis of  motivation.

Motivation is present as a driving force in all human activity.

Value based motivation is especially required when solving challenging problems that affect many people significantly and others only remotely, and therefore if we want entrepreneurial training to contribute to achieving SDG’s, we should consider:

What value sensitive entrepreneurship education is in general, and in particular (regarding SDGs).

What kind of value sensitivity is needed in context where the aim is to innovate new businesses or internalize the entrepreneurial mindset in a way that takes into account all the three dimensions relevant to SDG’s, environment, business, and economy.

NS: Hmm

Approaching SDG’s and sustainability thinking from the business opportunity recognition viewpoint has great potential.

If I understood correctly in the article you and Doctor Anette Kairikko have has said that adding the component of cultural sensitivity would in your viewpoint even increase the impact of such entrepreneurial education activities.

And we have thoroughly discussed through various models focusing on cultural values in our previous podcast.

Also you believe, that cultural sensitivity in entrepreneurial education related to SDG’s, deserves to be on the agenda of educators, business managers and entrepreneurs, as well as its policymakers.

Let’s also further discuss the implications of various target groups.

AR: Overall, we came to the conclusion or more like hypothesis, that educators and lecturers, especially when they operate outside of their own cultural area, should be more aware of cultural sensitivity when implementing international entrepreneurial courses, especially when they are connected to SDG’s and aiming to a positive impact on social, environmental and economic dimensions.

However, we have not verified this yet.

NS: Business professionals benefit from the awareness of cross cultural differences when striving for SDGs in the process of recognizing business opportunities and developing novel, sustainable business models.

Yet, successful sustainable business models are required in order to solve the wicked problems of the century.

AR: I would success that the policymakers should include cultural sensitivity, education and SDG’s in business opportunity recognition into the priorities of funding programs.

NS: Cultural values, play role when implementing entrepreneurial training in the context of SDG’s and when developing training contents for business, for business opportunity recognition in SDG’s, in a cross cultural actual settings.

However, in order to exploit cultural sensitivities on the basis of scientific knowledge in the field of entrepreneurial training, further understanding is needed and I’m on board with your viewpoint.

AR: SDG’s as policy goal do not correspond to the large scale data driven value dimensions developed in cross cultural research.

However, they are intentions to build bridges between them and further explore this area.

An interesting question is how the aspects of sustainable Business Innovation in environmental, societal, and economic aspects are linked to the cultural value dimensions.

NS: Cultural models build understanding across large groups such as nations, and as you pointed out earlier, the models are not applicable to an individual level.

In that case, the groups of learners of an entrepreneurial course represent too small populations to apply the theoretical models in a direct manner.

Professionals who teach on entrepreneurial courses based on SDG’s would require best practices.

How to take into consideration the perspective of cultural values while encountering individuals and small groups consisting of different cultural backgrounds?

AR: Absolutely right! Yet the designers and developers of the educational content related to the SDG’s and Business opportunity recognition would benefit from culturally sensitive approaches when striving towards sustainable business model innovation.

NS: The attempts to link any of the value dimension theories presented earlier are not numerous.

On the contrary, if I have understood correctly a possible scientific debate on the ways in which cultural value dimensions could be used in the pursuit of SDGs and the Agenda 2030 has just started, as SDG’s are to a great extent, a value driven expression of what world leaders want from the world. The question emerges how local cultural values are reinforced or are in conflict with SDGs, and how this ratio affects the progress towards achieving sustainable development goals locally or globally.

From the perspective of an enquiring and curious mind, one would expect these questions to be of interest and those studying cultural values.

Please do read the article and don’t forget to check out the website for SDG4BIZ.

Remember to sign up and log in on the SDG4BIZ course. The enrollment is free for everybody till the end of 2023.

AR: Yes, until the end of this year, the enrollment is free!

Thank you for listening!

NR: Thank you.