How to adopt the right mindset and increase your chances of success as you plan for your inclusive innovation journey
In recent years, inclusive innovation has emerged as a valuable approach in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) for developing market-led solutions to the challenges faced by underserved communities, including those living at the Base of the Pyramid (BoP).
Inclusive innovation differs from other innovation processes as it includes these communities in the design early on and embeds inclusive business principles as a priority from the get-go. This approach can lead to highly unexpected and effective solutions that get adopted more rapidly by the target beneficiaries since they took an inherent part in the design process.
Nonetheless, many entrepreneurs will agree that this is easier said than done. Inclusive innovation relies on more than process alone, it relies on a set of very specific traits that any entrepreneur should have when aspiring to do business with low-income communities in underdeveloped markets: we call this the Inclusive Innovator DNA.
In this first module we hope to set the stage and help you understand that:
- Inclusive innovation is an entrepreneurial activity to develop something new that has a positive impact on the lives of underserved communities.
- A good inclusive innovation mixes Impact, Desirability, Viability, Feasibility, and Suitability, and will likely not succeed if you neglect any of these during your design process.
- Inclusive innovators are entrepreneurs that exhibit a strong coping mechanism for the uncertainties and complexities that low-income markets bring.
- Although we can generally distinguish 4 phases (Discover, Define, Develop, Deliver), no inclusive innovation process is linear and most require many iterations.