Date of Conferral



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


Business Administration


Lisa Cave


The low-carbon-energy transition from the sociotechnical perspective involves citizen engagement at a grassroots level to develop renewable energy systems. Leaders of community energy cooperatives (CECs) who do not use business models driven by innovative ecosystems and new ventures miss opportunities to create value. Grounded in the theoretical triangulation of sustainable entrepreneurship and the quadruple helix innovative model, the purpose of this qualitative multiple case study was to explore strategies that community energy business leaders employ to create value through business models driven by innovative ecosystem and new ventures. The participants included leaders from 6 community energy companies in the United Kingdom who successfully created value through business model innovation. Data were collected through semistructured interviews, annual reports, mission statements, and field reports. Thematic analysis identified 5 emergent themes: purpose-driven entity with actions to multiply impact, collaboration and partnerships, opportunity identification and realization, growth focused and commercial venturing, and innovation and shared knowledge. The implications for positive social change include the opportunity for community energy leaders to promote sustainability and reduce carbon emissions by setting up local renewable energy systems driven by innovative business models.

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