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Capturing the Sustainable Impact of Early-stage Business Models: Introducing esSROI

Karina Cagarman 1,†,* , Kristina Fajga 2,† and Jan Kratzer 1,†
Department of Technology and Management, Technische Universität Berlin, Straße des 17. Juni 135, H76, 10623 Berlin, Germany
Centre for Entrepreneurship, Technische Universität Berlin, Hardenbergstraße 38, 10623 Berlin, Germany
These authors contributed equally to this work.
For correspondence.
Academic Editor: Fausto Cavallaro
Highlights of Sustainability, 2023, 2(3), 171–184.
Received: 13 May 2023    Accepted: 3 August 2023    Published: 7 August 2023
This article is part of the Special Issue Capturing the Sustainable Impact of Early-Stage Business Models.
In this paper, we present an early-stage Sustainable Return on Investment (esSROI) measurement tool to evaluate the impact of early-stage business models. The main objective for developing the tool is to capture the holistic sustainability-related impacts of the incubation process from start-ups already during the conceptualization and pre-seed phases. An early, holistic impression of sustainable potential offers many opportunities to iteratively improve the degree of potential sustainable impact. The scope of designing and alternating business models is the widest early in the process before narrowing it down. This very early application differentiates esSROI from other tools that are used later in seed phases. Applying the tool in the conceptualization phase might make it even more usable already among (student) teams before incubation/acceleration. The quantitative measurement tool esSROI consists of a questionnaire design and follows a triangulation and long-term approach that includes three measurement points that capture the iterative progress. A preliminary study has been conducted in 2022 and shows that the tool is easy to use and accepted by founders.
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Copyright © 2023 Cagarman et al. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use and distribution provided that the original work is properly cited.
The Leapsome software is part of the “Science & Startups - Sustainable City” project funded by the European Union/European Social Funds and the State Berlin.
Cite this Article
Cagarman, K., Fajga, K., & Kratzer, J. (2023). Capturing the Sustainable Impact of Early-stage Business Models: Introducing esSROI. Highlights of Sustainability, 2(3), 171–184. https://doi.org/10.54175/hsustain2030013
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