Activists' and social entrepreneurs' approaches towards consumer culture: Providing a protective space for sustainability transitions

Margo P. M. Enthoven*, Hendrik N. Thelken

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

3 Citaten (Scopus)
12 Downloads (Pure)


Social entrepreneurs and activists can contribute to sustainability transitions by influencing consumer culture. This can provide a protective space to shelter new sustainability solutions from market pressures until they are ready to scale to the mass market. We study how social entrepreneurs and activists within a sustainable market niche attempt to influence consumer culture. Using grounded theory, we analyse interviews with 26 activists and social entrepreneurs in the market for alternatives to animal products in the Netherlands. We find a synergy where social entrepreneurs' strategies pull consumers into sustainable consumption while activists' strategies focus push consumers out of unsustainable consumption. These strategies contain four tactics: connecting to, showing contrast with and broadening consumers' connection to values associated with sustainable consumerism and a radical innovation tactic. We show how strategies for consumer culture change interact on the niche level of sustainability transitions to create a protective space for sustainability solutions.

Originele taal-2English
TijdschriftBusiness Strategy and the Environment
StatusE-pub ahead of print - 18-apr.-2022

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