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Crafting Sustainable Development Solutions: Frugal Innovations of Grassroots Entrepreneurs

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  • Mario Pansera

    () (Department of Management, University of Exeter Business School, Rennes Drive, Exeter EX4 4PU, UK
    Academy of Business in Society, Brussels 1050, Belgium)

  • Soumodip Sarkar

    () (CEFAGE-UE and Department of Management, University of Évora, Évora 7004-516, Portugal
    Asia Center, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA)

Abstract

A shift in the entrepreneurial landscape is taking place brought about by grassroots innovators with little formal education and technological knowhow, living and working in penurious environments. This research represents an emerging third wave of literature on Bottom of the Pyramid innovation, where products are offered for and by the underserved. Using primary and secondary data derived from four cases of grassroots entrepreneurs in the Indian Subcontinent, the study explores the phenomenon where resource scarce entrepreneurs craft solutions that are environmental friendly, with low overall ownership costs, and use locally available material. We argue that the grassroots phenomenon can be fruitfully exploited to achieve the new Sustainable Development Goals proposed by the UN as a post-2015 strategy for the future of global governance. These innovations might have a tremendous impact not only in terms of serving unmet and ignored consumer needs, but also longer term impacts through enhanced productivity, sustainability, poverty reduction and inclusion promotion.

Suggested Citation

  • Mario Pansera & Soumodip Sarkar, 2016. "Crafting Sustainable Development Solutions: Frugal Innovations of Grassroots Entrepreneurs," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(1), pages 1-25, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:8:y:2016:i:1:p:51-:d:61840
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

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    2. Felix Ouko Opola & Laurens Klerkx & Cees Leeuwis & Catherine Kilelu, 0. "The Hybridity of Inclusive Innovation Narratives Between Theory and Practice: A Framing Analysis," The European Journal of Development Research, Palgrave Macmillan;European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI), vol. 0, pages 1-23.
    3. Purevdulam Altantsetseg & Alaleh Dadvari & Tsevegjav Munkhdelger & Gerelt-Od Lkhagvasuren & Massoud Moslehpour, 2020. "Sustainable Development of Entrepreneurial Orientation through Social Drivers," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(21), pages 1-1, October.
    4. Anja Hansen & Jörn Budde & Yusuf Nadi Karatay & Annette Prochnow, 2016. "CUDe —Carbon Utilization Degree as an Indicator for Sustainable Biomass Use," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(10), pages 1-17, October.
    5. Ana Venâncio & Inês Pinto, 2020. "Type of Entrepreneurial Activity and Sustainable Development Goals," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(22), pages 1-1, November.
    6. Stephanie D. Maier & Tabea Beck & Javier Francisco Vallejo & Rafael Horn & Jan-Hendrik Söhlemann & Trung Thanh Nguyen, 2016. "Methodological Approach for the Sustainability Assessment of Development Cooperation Projects for Built Innovations Based on the SDGs and Life Cycle Thinking," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(10), pages 1-26, October.
    7. Eugenia Rosca & Jack Reedy & Julia C. Bendul, 2018. "Does Frugal Innovation Enable Sustainable Development? A Systematic Literature Review," The European Journal of Development Research, Palgrave Macmillan;European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI), vol. 30(1), pages 136-157, January.
    8. Ben Zhang & Lei Ma & Zheng Liu & Ping Wang, 2019. "Sustainable Technology Innovation Path Recognition: An Evaluation of Patent Risk of International Trade," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(18), pages 1-17, September.
    9. Lubna Rashid, 2019. "Entrepreneurship Education and Sustainable Development Goals: A literature Review and a Closer Look at Fragile States and Technology-Enabled Approaches," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(19), pages 1-23, September.
    10. Matthias Filser & Sascha Kraus & Norat Roig-Tierno & Norbert Kailer & Ulrike Fischer, 2019. "Entrepreneurship as Catalyst for Sustainable Development: Opening the Black Box," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(16), pages 1-18, August.
    11. Sergio Belda-Miquel & Victoria Pellicer-Sifres & Alejandra Boni, 2020. "Exploring the Contribution of Grassroots Innovations to Justice: Using the Capability Approach to Normatively Address Bottom-Up Sustainable Transitions Practices," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(9), pages 1-1, April.
    12. Mónica Ramos-Mejía & Alejandro Balanzo, 2018. "What It Takes to Lead Sustainability Transitions from the Bottom-Up: Strategic Interactions of Grassroots Ecopreneurs," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(7), pages 1-20, July.
    13. Rakhshanda Khan, 2016. "How Frugal Innovation Promotes Social Sustainability," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(10), pages 1-29, October.
    14. Shaphali Gupta, 2020. "Understanding the feasibility and value of grassroots innovation," Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Springer, vol. 48(5), pages 941-965, September.
    15. Rosca, Eugenia & Bendul, Julia C., 2019. "Value chain integration of base of the pyramid consumers: An empirical study of drivers and performance outcomes," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 162-176.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    grassroots entrepreneurs; sustainable development goals; frugal innovation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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