This paper will critically analyze the green energy company Ecotricity in the context of appropriate theoretical frameworks, and will make recommendations to address the constraints imposed by the size, style, and nature of the business. …
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The paper tells that globalisation and the associated changes in the business environment greatly encouraged both cross border trade and small business enterprises. A small business represents a privately owned and operated business venture having small number of employees and comparatively low sales volume. Small business is fondly termed as ‘mom and pop store’ in the United States. In the view of Fay, generation definition of an SME can be stated as “a small firm is one that has only a small share of its market, is managed in a personalised way by its owner or part-owner and not through the medium of an elaborate management structure”. Hence, a small firm does not have access to capital market for the issuance of public securities because of its insufficiency in size. As Macgregor and Vrazalic point out that the UK Companies Act 1989 does not allow a small business enterprise to be the subsidiary of any other company. The legal definition of a small business enterprise varies from country to country mainly in terms of annual turnover and number of people employed. The emergence of the concept ‘small business’ greatly stimulated entrepreneurs to commence their venture with minimum investment and labour. Low and MacMillan have defined entrepreneurship simply as the formation of new enterprises. Ecotricity was founded by Dale Vince in 1995 using a single wind turbine. Within 15 years, the venture grew into notable heights. As Loveless (2011) reports, Ecotricity was selected as one of the twenty five British small business firms in the first phase of the European Business Awards in 2011. Dale Vince is an innovative entrepreneur who is very different from other contemporary entrepreneurs including James Caan and Steve Jobs. The Telegraph reports that Dale Vince “is a professional hippy of the kind the establishment used to deride” (Telegraph). He was a former new age traveller and had protested against cruise missiles before he arrived at Gloucester. He always had his own interests and views but never paid attention to external suggestions. Although this trait irritated the credit lending institutions and other concerned parties, his strong decisions were evidently the keys to his success. Vince was never willing to accept failure and this attitude assisted him to overcome threatening troubles with equanimity. Start-ups The push and pull theory clearly describes the concept of entrepreneurship. This theory claims that people are motivated to create innovative ventures by external factors. However, the external factors can be either positive or negative. As Dana (2004, p.134) opines, newly arising opportunities and potential elements of the industry are some of the positive factors that would inspire individuals to create new ventures. In contrast, an individual may also be motivated by negative factors to start a new business (ibid). For instance, unemployment is a negative motivational factor. The push-pull theory also contends that an individual’s family background can be a strong motive for starting a new business. Experiences show that poor and troubled family relations persuade people to be independent and this need leads them to innovations. The first wind farm established in Cornwall was the major inspiration for Dale Vince, the founder of the Ecotricity to create his own venture. Referring to the push-pull theory, Vince was attracted to
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