Jennie Cederholm Björklund, M.Sc., The Rural Economy and Agricultural Society, Lilla Böslid 146, 305 96 Eldsberga, Sweden telephone; +46 705845599, e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Sweden’s agriculture industry has faced many challenges in recent years. Among the most severe challenges are the decrease in the number of small and medium-sized farms, the decrease in the number of people employed in agricultural activities, and the increase in governmental regulations and legislation governing such activities. At the same time, the demand that agriculture contributes to sustainable social and ecological development has increased. Although research shows that sustainable business model innovation (SBMI) contributes to the creation of sustainable businesses and to the development of a sustainable society, Swedish agriculture has not been at the forefront in the use of SBMI. The purpose of this paper is to examine the barriers to SBMI in Swedish agriculture in order to understand why farmers seldom engage in SBMI. This qualitative study follows the Gioia methodology and data for the analysis were acquired in semi-structured interviews with entrepreneurs at six family farms in Sweden. The paper makes a theoretical contribution to the research on SBMI with its focus on sustainable entrepreneurship in the Swedish agricultural industry. The paper concludes that the barriers to SBMI are external, internal, and contextual.

Keywords: sustainable business model innovaton, barriers, agricultural entrepreneur, sustainable entrepreneurship.