Jip Leendertse is a junior researcher and lecturer at Utrecht University. His research focuses on sustainable entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial ecosystems, energy transitions, and institutional entrepreneurship. 

Building the conditions for sustainable entrepreneurship to flourish

Sustainable entrepreneurs attempt to create win-win situations by pursuing a dual goal of business performance and climate impact. Besides building a successful business these entrepreneurs aim to also contribute to climate mitigation and/or adaptation. In his research Jip studies these sustainable start-ups. He does so from an entrepreneurial ecosystem as well as a firm level perspective.

At the level of entrerpeneurial ecosystems Jip and his colleagues have developed the metrics to measure the quality of entrepreneurial ecosystems in Europe and use this to understand the founding of (sustainable) entrepreneurship in the form of start-ups, scale-ups, and unicorns. 

At the firm level Jip studied how technology characteristics influence the performance of sustainable start-ups along two performance dimensions, climate and business. The results show that there is a trade-off between these performance dimensions but that technology is an important factor that can sometimes mediate the paradox between them.

In order to create sustainable entrepreneurial ecosystems it is important to understand how actors can influence the growth and evolution of these systems. Therefore, part of this research focuses on how actors shape the development of the institutions (rules of the game). In particular Jip is working on a project that investigates how incubators influence the regulations, societal values, and culture of their region. Through this incubators can learn when and how they can influence the system.

Besides research Jip teaches and coordinates a course on Innovation Strategies for Firms and Entrepreneurs to over 100 third year bachelor students. Furthermore he is involved in a course to teach students about the Sustainable Development Goals and their interactions. In this course we teach students how the SDG's can function as a policy tool.  Furthermore, Jip is responsible for organizing the Utrecht chapter at the Climate-KIC Journey. This is a summerschool which teaches a over 400 students from all over the world how to further the transition to tackle climate challenges.