What Impact Does Innovation and Sustainable Entrepreneurship Have on Competitiveness?

What Impact Does Innovation and Sustainable Entrepreneurship Have on Competitiveness?

Cristina Isabel I. Fernandes (University of Beira Interior, Covilhã, Portugal), Pedro Mota Veiga (Universidade Portucalense, Porto, Portugal), Marta Peris-Ortiz (Universitat Politècnica de València, Valencia, Spain) and Carlos Rueda-Armengot (Universitat Politècnica de València, Valencia, Spain)
DOI: 10.4018/IJSESD.2017070104
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Abstract

Sustainable development and entrepreneurship are increasingly high profile issues and matters of importance to different international agendas. Alongside this interest, there have emerged studies on entrepreneurship and innovation that point to their driving positive impacts at the level of regional development. With their research the authors intend to bridge the gap that exists in the literature on the relationship between innovation and sustainable entrepreneurship, in the sense that innovation does not have to imply actions that suppose a growth of entrepreneurship without any planning. The objectives of this research involve contributing towards the literature on this field of study in terms of knowledge about which environmental and innovation variables best foster the greatest impact of entrepreneurial activities. To this end, the authors deployed aggregate data at the national level gathered by the Environment, Population, International Trade, Labour and National Accounts Statistics, from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) for the years between and including 2005 and 2012 and for the 35 member states of this organisation. They correspondingly verify that environmental patents do have a positive impact on Real GDP.
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1. Introduction

Entrepreneurial activities, as well as all of the factors underpinning their existence, and their influence on regional economic development, have all been the subject of study by various different authors (Birley 1985, Kirchoff and Phillips 1988; Storey, 1994, Lafuente, 2010; Ferreira et al. 2016). Similarly, the question of regional development has awoken the interest of a diverse range of national and international researchers (Cooke, 2002; Farinha et al, 2014). Entrepreneurship correspondingly seems to have emerged as a factor contributing to regional development (Parrish, 2010). In terms of the relationship between entrepreneurship and economic growth, Wennekers and Thurik (1999) conclude that understanding how entrepreneurship takes place is an essential factor for economic growth. The NCOE (National Commission on Entrepreneurship) White Paper (2001) maintains that the greatest contribution made by entrepreneurship at the local level stems from its innovation. Thus, innovation combined with entrepreneurship drives the following benefits at the local level: 1) quality of life; 2) generating new employment; 3) fostering economic competitiveness; and 4) boosting economic growth and wealth. Acs and Varga (2005) developed their research based upon two relationships: geography and technology, and entrepreneurship and technology with the argument that these relationships are fundamental to any explanation of economic development. They conclude that the effects of agglomeration on technological change, or should we prefer, on innovation, are positive and statistically significant. The interest of our research encapsulates contributing to the literature on this field of study approaching just how environment and innovation variables foster a greater impact on entrepreneurial activities. To this end, we applied aggregate data at the national level gathered by thee Environment, Population, International Trade, Labour and National Accounts Statistics, by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) between 2005 and 2012 for its 35 member states. Our research findings convey how total patent numbers hold a statistically significant effect on Real GDP growth. As regards the three types of environmental patents, we may report that environmental management patents and environmental patents hold a statistically significant positive effect on Real GDP growth.

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