Pro-Poor, Entrepreneur-Based Innovation and it’s Role in Rural Development

Lina Sonne


Innovation spurs economic growth and development. Pro-poor innovation in rural areas is more likely to occur through small-scale ventures and entrepreneurs than industrial research and development. Whilst previous rural development policies have focussed on small-holder agriculture, the fact is that most rural poor are landless poor and therefore unlikely to benefit greatly from agriculture-based policies. Instead most poor are entrepreneurs, running micro ventures, often at subsistence levels in both agriculture related and non-farm sectors. Though most rural poor are entrepreneurs out of necessity, a few are opportunity entrepreneurs pursuing a profitable business, innovating and looking to grow. These are the growth focussed entrepreneurs that are likely to have a large indirect effect on the poor by providing employment opportunities as well as improved good and service. This paper discusses the concept of propoor entrepreneur-based innovation (PEBI) by reviewing existing literature on rural development, innovation and entrepreneurship.

Keywords: Pro-poor innovation, entrepreneurship, rural development

JEL Codes: O18, O31, Q18, R51

UNU-MERIT Working Papers ISSN 1871-9872

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