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Sustainable development goals in business opportunity recognition

Anna Hankimaa, Anette Kairikko,
Olli Laintila, Mariitta Rauhala, Annariikka Rosendahl & Päivi Saariaho
Julkaisuvuosi: 2024


The mainstream of the training efforts of the sustainable development goals (SDGs), still focus mainly on awareness building, and not enough on business opportunity recognition related to the SDGs. We hope that our effort in the SDG4BIZ project and the quality of this material will motivate other educational institutions and organizations to adopt the training content.

The material is intended for higher education institutions in entrepreneurship education, but can also be used in secondary education or by companies and actors of various kinds to train personnel.

The training material was created in the Erasmus+ Knowledge Alliance for Business Opportunity Recognition In SDGs ‐SDG4BIZ project during autumn 2021 and spring 2022. It is mainly the result of the work of entrepreneurship education experts and researchers from two higher education institutions in Finland, but is most certainly directly and indirectly influenced by the views and expertise within the SDG4BIZ project partnership.

Project partners were Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences, brainplus , Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava, itslearning, FENICE Green Energy Park, Tknika, Yasar University.

Unless otherwise specified, the training material is under the courtesy of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International license.

Learning goals

This training material is divided into an introduction (0) and five sections (1‐5) containing actual learning support materials. Each section is worth approximately one ECTS credit.

At the completion of each section

  • Orientation: the learner knows the overall structure of the training material and how to utilize the learning diary.
  • Sustainable growth (SDGs): the learner understands the relevance of SDGs in business.
  • Context: the learner is able to identify and analyze factors and stakeholders
    influencing sustainable development of businesses.
  • Motivation: the learner is able to reflect and evaluate motivational drivers to recognize
    sustainable business opportunities.
  • Resources and networks: the learner recognizes different networks influencing sustainable value creation and the learner understands how to use resources in a sustainable manner.
  • Business modelling: the learner is able to identify sustainable business opportunities and the learner understands the process of business modelling and the use of underlying tools.

How to use the material

The structure of the training material is chosen specifically to help build an online course using this material. The package can also be used in the classroom although in that case, the pedagogical material, such as workshop manuals or lecture notes, must be further developed.

The SDG4BIZ training material is designed for a self‐study course and thus, the learning diary and multiple‐choice questions play an important role in verifying learning. Same questions may be repeated in the self‐tests and in the Actions to finalize the course -test. Poll questions have an orientating function and can be used in the classroom with discussion questions and reflection exercises.

The training package

Editing: Marianne Wegmüller

Picture: Shutterstock