South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences, Vol 16, No 5 (2013)

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Innovation and social entrepreneurship at the bottom of the pyramid - A conceptual framework

Taimoor Pervez, Alex Maritz, Anton De Waal

Abstract


The research aims to identify key success criteria for innovations by enterprises targeting the bottom of the pyramid. Innovation, social entrepreneurship and the bottom of the economic pyramid are defined in the light of academic literature and their varied criteria are explored. The two different academic opinions on fortune or opportunity existing in the BOP markets are also contrasted. The research philosophy is based on realism and the research methodology selected is inductive. The data have been collected through secondary sources using case study strategy to present four cases of innovations by social or corporate enterprises at the BOP. The case studies have been chosen from a variable range in terms of BOP countries, social enterprises and multinational companies, for-profit or not-for-profit organisations, and product or business model innovations. Success criteria identified from case studies in the light of academic literature include going beyond selling to the poor, considering BOP groups as producers and BOP engagement. A conceptual framework has been developed from identified criteria and further recommendations for empirically testing the framework to turn it into a model have been provided.

 


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EISSN 2222-3436 (Online)