Grassroots innovation and its role in entrepreneurial success | The Oxford Review - OR Briefings

Grassroots innovation and its role in entrepreneurial success

Research Briefing

Keywords: innovation, grassroots innovation, entrepreneurial success, entrepreneurial orientation, frugal innovation

The idea of grassroots innovation has been attracting increasing amounts of research and organisational interest over the last 10 to 15 years. Grassroots innovation refers to a process of solving sustainability problems that exist for communities through a network of activists and organisations. In effect, grassroots innovations are bottom-up creative and original solutions that solve a community’s or organisation’s problems through indigenous knowledge, skills and experience. Further, the solutions need to be economically viable, sustainable and actionable at a local level. Grassroots innovations are usually low cost, highly efficient novel solutions that are generated in situations where people have access to limited resources.

Grassroots innovations tend to arise through the interaction and activities of loose networks of individuals in the community within which the problem and solution will be enacted. Whilst grassroot innovations are usually the preserve of communities of people who are facing a similar real-life problem, organisations and researchers have started to get increasingly interested in these types of innovations due to their immediacy, speed of implementation, cost effectiveness, inventiveness and practicality.

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