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Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 51;

Crafting Sustainable Development Solutions: Frugal Innovations of Grassroots Entrepreneurs

Department of Management, University of Exeter Business School, Rennes Drive, Exeter EX4 4PU, UK
Academy of Business in Society, Brussels 1050, Belgium
CEFAGE-UE and Department of Management, University of Évora, Évora 7004-516, Portugal
Asia Center, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Vincenzo Torretta
Received: 16 September 2015 / Revised: 18 December 2015 / Accepted: 31 December 2015 / Published: 7 January 2016
PDF [846 KB, uploaded 7 January 2016]


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. View Full-Text
Keywords: grassroots entrepreneurs; sustainable development goals; frugal innovation grassroots entrepreneurs; sustainable development goals; frugal innovation

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Pansera, M.; Sarkar, S. Crafting Sustainable Development Solutions: Frugal Innovations of Grassroots Entrepreneurs. Sustainability 2016, 8, 51.

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