Inclusive Innovation Course


It is an exciting time for Inclusive Innovation in the Southern African Development Community (SADC). As international awareness grows on the inclusion of low-income groups in the development of products and services, new business opportunities arise for entrepreneurs that want to combine profit with social impact.

The SAIS Inclusive Innovation training provides you with a unique opportunity to discover the fundamentals of designing and delivering impactful business solutions for underserved communities or the “Base of the Pyramid”.

Why invest your time

In this training course, Inclusive Innovation experts from Bopinc will share inspirational stories from African entrepreneurs, useful tips and practical assignments that allow you to apply new knowledge to your own case. Each course module will build your capabilities to better cope with the challenges that many startups and innovation support organisations experience when entering underserved markets.

What you can expect

The Inclusive Innovation course is best enjoyed in a 14-week period. This gives you 2 weeks to complete each module. Expect to spend approximately an hour to read the module, and another 1 or 2 hours to work on the assignment. That is 2-3 hours per module. While you can follow this course individually, we highly recommend you work in pairs or teams and use the assignments for your own innovation project. In the end, you learn most through practice.

Note that the order of the modules does not reflect their level of importance. All topics are crucial to the success of your Inclusive Innovation and should be considered and revisited throughout your journey.


Each module follows the same format:

  • Introduction & key learnings
  • Podcast featuring inspirational entrepreneurs
  • 2 or 3 theory sections inspired from real cases
  • Quiz to test yourself on new theory
  • Assignment to apply the theory to your own business case
  • Additional reading materials

About this course

7 modules over 14 weeks, 2-3 hours per module
How to pass
Read all modules and complete each quiz
Create a VC4A account to log in and sign up
based on 255 votes

About the course initiator and funder

The Southern Africa Innovation Support Programme (SAIS 2) aims to support the growth of new businesses through the strengthening of innovation ecosystems and the promotion of cross-border collaboration between innovation role-players in the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

SAIS 2 advocates for building capacity of innovation support organisations and their clients. The SAIS 2 Capacity building programmes have been designed to align with the needs of the SAIS 2 Innovation Fund projects funded under three funding windows: Stronger Ecosystems, Scaling Enterprises, and Inclusive Innovation.

For the delivery of the three capacity building programmes for SAIS 2 Innovation Fund grantees, SAIS 2 has teamed up with world class experts. For the design and delivery of the capacity building programme for Innovation Fund Window 3 “Inclusive Innovation”, SAIS 2 has teamed up with BoP Innovation Center.

Creators of this course

Bopinc is an independent foundation with nearly 10 years experience supporting startups and SMEs to go from idea to impact in 15 African countries. For this course, the Inclusive Innovation Experts of Bopinc have selected the most relevant training modules and added new stories and lessons from Southern African entrepreneurs that the organisation worked with.

The content is produced by:
Gerwin Jansen

Gerwin Jansen

The Netherlands

Gerwin is an Inclusive Innovation Fanatic with 10 years experience in supporting entrepreneurs to design and deliver impactful business solutions for the BoP. Given his background in Industrial Design Engineering at Delft University of Technology, he likes to keep an eye on technological breakthroughs and imagines how these might solve the grand challenges in Africa. What he likes best? Getting his own hands dirty and prototype and test new ideas with consumers.

Kenneth Owino

Kenneth Owino


Kenneth is a communication expert with a background in journalism and digital storytelling. Kenneth is a former recipient of the EU funded Erasmus Mundus Scholarship through which he earned a double master’s in journalism media and globalization from Aarhus University in Denmark and the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. Kenneth previously worked as a radio journalist and editor in Kenya and now records podcasts that feature stories of African entrepreneurs.

Saskia Rotshuizen

Saskia Rotshuizen


Saskia is a creative workshop facilitator and a strong advocate for innovation-fueled social impact. Since graduating with a War Studies degree from King’s College London Saskia has satisfied her curiosity by working in a variety of organizations, including a center for leadership and innovation. Since she has been with Bopinc, she leads the development and implementation of training programmes for inclusive business entrepreneurs.