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Sustainable Development and Entrepreneurship

Whenever anyone talks about entrepreneurship, the image that appears in most people’s minds is that of people starting their own businesses. Although that image is compatible in part with the concept of sustainable entrepreneurship, there is a slight difference. Entrepreneurship is nothing more than the power to make things happen. According to this concept, an entrepreneur is anyone capable of generating results in any area of human activity.

Sustainability has as its base a way of living that is capable of guaranteeing a continuity of life for all. Sustainability implies solidarity, a strong sense of the collective, and the most elevated notion of ethics: the search for the common good. Sustainability means, fundamentally, a way of living in its totality that makes possible the best conditions of life for everyone (without exception or any type of exclusion) at all times.

Sustainability means living a balanced life today, a healthy way of living in which no one lives at the expense of anyone else (situations in which, for example, some have an excess of food while others have none). For those who have nothing, life is not sustainable.

Sustainability also means a way of life lived by the whole of society that considers the needs of future generations. On the one hand, a way of life that is not sustainable in the short term will only lead to deterioration in the long term (unless there is something strategic and very well planned about it that calls for sacrifices today in order to achieve benefits for everyone in the future—something that is very difficult to do, since those who have much today will be reluctant to surrender their advantages in order to share with others in the future.) On the other hand, although the way of life may be balanced today (something that is obviously not the case), it may be a case of “borrowing against the future” to achieve this balance in the short term. And we would not have sustainability in the long run.