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Christina Hertel, Project Manager at LEVO, Swisspreneur Podcast

EP #295 - Christina Hertel: Responsible Entrepreneurship

Christina Hertel

February 2, 2023

13:31 - Defining a Sustainable Business

23:14 - How to Measure Success as a Company

29:08 - Changing Governmental Sustainable Policies

35:26 - Dealing with Climate Change Deniers

37:19 - The Circular Economy

About Christina Hertel:

Christina Hertel is the project manager at LEVO, at the Enterprise for Society Center (E4S), a joint initiative from 3 institutions of renowned excellence: the University of Lausanne, the Institute for Management Development and the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne. Christina graduated from the Technical University of Munich with a BSc in Marketing, Strategy, and Leadership and an MSc in Sustainable Resource Management. She then went on to earn her PhD in Sustainable Entrepreneurship. In 2019 she founded LEVO to assist startups in incorporating sustainability in the early stages and to investigate how businesses can use entrepreneurship to address societal problems.

Christina has always been interested in sustainability, but entrepreneurship had not always piqued her curiosity. However, she met a group of founders at an event, and after learning about their startup, she became intrigued. She started working with them as an intern. During her internship, she enrolled in a research program at a university. Working with a startup that integrated sustainability and pursuing research on sustainability confirmed her ideas that entrepreneurship can be used to solve societal problems.

From her research and experience, she learnt that a company's success should be based on a number of factors, including its social and environmental contribution, in addition to its profitability. Additionally, organizations should avoid delaying assessing their sustainability until they are large enterprises. Starting as soon as possible will lay the proper groundwork and guarantee the best outcome.

Although responsible entrepreneurship is crucial, Christina has found that many organizations still do not recognize the advantages of sustainability. Some businesses don't view sustainability as a critical component of their business model that should be non-negotiable and given top priority, but rather as a task to be completed. Nevertheless, the future of entrepreneurship is promising, as more and more businesses start integrating sustainability and as the world moves toward a more sustainable future.

Memorable Quotes:

“Entrepreneurship is one of the most effective tools to address societal issues.”

"Responsible entrepreneurship involves evaluating where you are and identifying areas for improvement."


LEVO - provides startups with a free operational sustainability assessment

Fairphone - a sustainable phone company

flip - A German magazine investigating sustainability claims of startups

If you would like to listen to another conversation on sustainability, check out episode EP #151 with Oliver Marchand.  

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