Document Type

Conference Paper


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Business and Management., *pedagogy

Publication Details

European Council for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (ECSB) 3E conference, Cork, Ireland, May 10-12, 2017


“Entrepreneurship education is essential not only to shape the mindsets of young people but also to provide the skills, knowledge and attitudes that are central to developing an entrepreneurial culture” (European Commission, 2016, b p. 9). The recent financial crisis has focused our attention more on the importance of ethics in business and management. EntreComp, the European Commission Competence Framework (2016) defines entrepreneurship as a transversal competence. The research question has to do with whether the European Commission is right in proposing ethical and sustainable thinking as an entrepreneurial competence. What support is there in the literature for putting forward an ethical mindset as important for the entrepreneur?

The paper suggests that in the light of developments in the economy, technology, legislation and other developments, the European Commission is justified in putting forward ethical and sustainable thinking as an entrepreneurial competence. The foundation and driving force for sustainability rests on ethical foundations, as well as entrepreneurial engagement. The positive contribution of a sustainable approach to business is highlighted.

This paper has implications for policy, training, educators as well as for the field of ethics in business. In relation to sustainability, effective management encompasses how business affects human development and looking at sustainability “through a holistic view of its economic, social and environmental dimensions. This means seeking not only economic results but also positive impacts on society and the environment” (Mele, 2012, p.12 ).


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