How to pursue innovative ideas that combine impact with profit and evaluate the opportunities in your market
Inclusive innovation is on the rise in the Southern African Development Community (SADC), creating exciting opportunities for both established firms and new entrepreneurs to venture into these underserved markets with their innovations.
International awareness on the need for the inclusion of low-income groups is growing fast, which creates a favorable environment for inclusive innovation. Never before have entrepreneurs faced such low barriers to engage with impact investors, innovation incubators and (non) governmental programs, all seeking to alleviate poverty through innovative business solutions.
The transition from aid to trade – or: selling your offering to the Base of the Pyramid instead of giving it away for free – is however full of potential setbacks when not approached and executed in the right way. In the previous module we already talked about why inclusive innovators need to have a particular skill set.
In this module, we will focus on why a timely evaluation of the business potential of your innovation is important. This should help you make your best educated guess on whether the inclusive innovation journey you are about to embark on can lead to something that is viable.
Complete this module and you will understand why:
- Inclusive innovations can only create lasting impact if they also generate profits.
- Ideas come from everywhere, but those ideas are not innovations until they reach individuals.
- It is crucial to make an early and modest estimation of the number of individuals you can serve to judge if your idea can be translated into a viable business case.
- Although scaling is not your immediate primary goal, the success of low-margin businesses at the Base of the Pyramid does rely on their potential to grow.