The Role of Frugal Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship in Supporting Socioeconomic Life in Emerging Markets
Some studies highlight frugal innovation as the product of research and development by multinational corporations (MNCs), prompted by opportunity in new markets and underserved customers. Other studies suggest frugal innovation emerged originally by poor people with the aim of achieving economic outcomes for themselves. Frugal innovation emerges in the context of resource scarcity and institutional voids, with the motive to provide the low-cost, accessible and handy solutions for underserved, bottom-of-the-pyramid (BoP) population. There is a parallel stream of literature on social entrepreneurship, which explores innovation by BoP communities directed towards achieving socio-economic outcomes. Frugal innovators and social entrepreneurs are common study population because both appear to face the challenge of needing innovation in an extreme context and both share a common motive of serving BoP customers. The study will explore frugal innovation and social entrepreneurship, from small business perspective – nano, micro and small enterprises (NMSEs) – in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and India. The study will aim to identify antecedents to innovation, enabling and constraining factors in the respective emerging markets, and the respective impact of such innovations. The study will be based on an inductive examination of live experiences of innovators and entrepreneurs across the two developing economies, with the intention to develop theory related to frugal innovation and social entrepreneurship from a small business perspective, and attempt to chart the potential impact of these approaches on the local community, associated businesses and the wider economy.
Keywords: Frugal Innovation, Social Entrepreneurship, Emerging Markets, Socioeconomic Status