Date of Conferral

2015

Degree

Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)

School

Management

Advisor

Tim Truitt

Abstract

Brazilians create an average of 1.2 million new registered enterprises annually, but some struggle to keep their business in operation. Thirty percent of the new ventures are unable to survive the first year, and 58% go out of business after the first 5 years. The goal of this phenomenological study was to explore the perceptions of Brazilian women entrepreneurs concerning the strategies needed to build sustainable business organizations in Brazil. The individual concepts of sustainable development, sustainability, business strategies, and business models served as the theoretical foundations for the study. Data were collected via in-depth interviews with 20 women entrepreneurs engaged in a range of sustainable or green businesses in Brazil. Moustakas' modified van Kaam analysis method was used to analyze the data. Major themes identified were sustainability trends, health concern solutions, environmental and social distress solutions, cooperatives, and institutional support. Results are significant to all small business communities and entrepreneurs of Brazil because of the high rate of business failures and the need for sustainable business practices. Findings indicated that implementing value-added business strategies through sustainability may increase the likelihood of continued business financial capability. The implications for positive social change are the potential benefits to small business entrepreneurs in the developing world. By learning and implementing the economic, social, and environmental principles of sustainability, entrepreneurs could increase revenue from improved business practices and extend the life of their companies.