German Green Startup Monitor 2020

The Borderstep Institute for Innovation and Sustainability has published the Green Startup Monitor 2020. It provides insight into the growing role of green startups in the German entrepreneurship ecosystem and their role in the Green Economy.

Title Page - Green Startup Monitor 2020

The report defines green startups as businesses that:

  • Are younger than 10 years
  • (very) innovative and/or
  • have a significant employee/turnover growth
  • contribute to the environmental objectives of a Green Economy

With these characteristics Green Startups can be considered a subgroup of ecopreneurial ventures. There main criteria making them a subgroup is the age restriction, which excludes inner-organisational ecopreneurship (such as ecologic intrapreneurship), and the strong growth motivation which excludes some of the grass roots ecopreneurial ventures that value local embeddedness and subscribe to the small is beautiful philosophy.

Another interesting finding is that Green Startups are as profit oriented as commercial Startups, which seems to break with ecopreneurial attitudes to profitability. This raises the question whether Green Startups are challenging the status quo and working towards a sustainable economy or perpetuate a neo-liberal mindset under a green label.

The publication is only available in German, but the key facts are summarised in English.