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Orchestrating entrepreneurial ecosystems in circular economy: the new paradigm of sustainable competitiveness

José Castro Oliveira (University of Minho, Braga, Portugal)
João M. Lopes (Miguel Torga Institute of Higher Education, Coimbra, Portugal) (University of Beira Interior, Covilhã, Portugal) (NECE - Research Unit for Business Sciences, Covilhã, Portugal)
Luís Farinha (Polytechnic Institute of Castelo Branco, Castelo Branco, Portugal) (CIPEC - Research Center in Heritage, Education and Culture, Castelo Branco, Portugal) (NECE - Research Unit in Business Sciences, Covilhã, Portugal)
Sónia Silva (Centre for Research in Economics and Management (NIPE), Braga, Portugal) (School of Economics and Management, University of Minho, Braga, Portugal)
Mónica Luízio (Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa, Lisboa, Portugal)

Management of Environmental Quality

ISSN: 1477-7835

Article publication date: 29 April 2021

Issue publication date: 11 January 2022




The Paris agreement for climate changes brought new attention to the themes of reduce carbon emissions, green ecosystems, the circular economy and the need to ensure the emergence of sustainable entrepreneurial ecosystems. This study aims to investigate entrepreneurship from the perspective of circular economy and waste collection in the Portuguese context.


Following a quantitative approach, the sample comprises 2,690 firm-year observations related to 354 firms from different industries within the waste from electric and electronic equipment (WEEE) scope.


The results show that a large part of SMEs started to comply with waste management regulations as of 2006 and are still not prone to innovation. Regulatory compliance is expected to have a positive impact on innovation, with a significant and positive change in the number of patents and the value of intangibles after companies comply with the waste management regulation.


This paper is original because it addresses equally to entrepreneurial ecosystems and circular economy (studies that address these two aspects are rare), with the Portuguese context in an embryonic stage with an extensive path to follow in the applicability of circular economy to business.



This paper is financed by National Funds of the FCT – Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology within the project “UIDB/03182/2020”.


Castro Oliveira, J., Lopes, J.M., Farinha, L., Silva, S. and Luízio, M. (2022), "Orchestrating entrepreneurial ecosystems in circular economy: the new paradigm of sustainable competitiveness", Management of Environmental Quality, Vol. 33 No. 1, pp. 103-123.



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