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Organizing innovation in base-of-the-pyramid projects

Author: Boer, J. de · Steen, M.G.D. · Posthumus, A.L.
Place: Delft
TNO Working paper series
Identifier: 503102
Keywords: Innovation · Methodology · Business model · Collaboration · Co-creation · Scaling · Capabilities · Strategic alignment · Innovation · Sustainable Chemical Industry · Industrial Innovation · Human Organisation · HOI - Human Behaviour & Organisational Innovations SBA - Strategic Business Analysis · BSS - Behavioural and Societal Sciences


Base-of-the-Pyramid (BoP) inclusive innovation projects aim to design, produce and market products and services for large and relatively poor market segments in developing countries, for example for people who have less than several dollars to spend per day. BoP projects have ‘normal’ goals, deliverables, budgets and timelines. In addition, there are six guidelines that are ‘special’ for projects in a BoP context. ’Special’ as they might be different from how they are dealt with in regular innovation processes. Based on a literature review a conceptual framework is proposed following six guidelines: 1) Collaboration building and cooperation; 2) Business models and financing; 3) Scaling-up innovation; 4) Co-creation, active participation and social embeddedness; 5) Institutions, policies and strategic alignment; and 6) Focus on capabilities and evaluation. These guidelines are plotted on the phases of a typical inclusive innovation project, as a first attempt to support practitioners to practically apply the suggested guidelines.