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6.1 Introduction

How to capture sufficient revenues from your innovation to get to a profitable business case that can sustain and grow

Inclusive innovations need a business model that will help them thrive in the challenging conditions of low-income markets. This means that as an inclusive innovator you need strong business and entrepreneurship skills so that you can make the difficult decisions and face the tough risks that come with launching your own business. In module 1 we introduced the DNA of an inclusive innovator and, in the modules after that, you practised with the design and validation of your business idea. In this module, we will guide you further in finding your business acumen. A fundamental part of this is that you know how to generate sufficient money from your innovation.

When selling to BoP consumers with limited purchasing power it is essential to think creatively about the price point and payment method for your product or service. You can improve your odds of business success greatly through clever revenue models that establish a stable profit. Therefore, we will first look at how to select the revenue model that is most suited for your innovation. In the second half of this module, you will be introduced to a preliminary financial assessment exercise which will help you project your finances and evaluate the viability of your business idea.

Complete this module and you will understand why:

  • Innovators are not necessarily entrepreneurs. In order to launch and grow your ideas, you need to develop a business acumen. Financial capabilities are key.
  • Traditional direct cash sales models have limitations in BoP markets. You will require innovative pricing and revenue models to circumvent consumer finance barriers.
  • Selecting the right revenue model(s) for your business increases your chances of financial viability on the longer term.
  • There are various approaches for growing your business but each approach has risks. You may not want to rush into scaling but focus on making your innovation a success in your current market first.
This module is part of the Inclusive Innovation Course course.
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inclusive innovation online course

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
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