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Sustainable development through innovation diffusion via an entrepreneur in rural western Kenya : Progress and related challenges

Ness, Barry LU and Åkerman, Ann LU (2015) In Sustainability: Science, Practice, & Policy 11(1). p.53-63
Abstract
This article presents the accomplishments and challenges of a rural sustainable development initiative in Nyanza Province, Kenya. Our focus is on the sale and financing of a simple technology — an improved cookstove — by a local entrepreneur. The theoretical basis of the research is innovation systems and (social) entrepreneurship. We first de­fine the major challenges of the diffusion process encountered throughout the initiative’s early years, with special concentration on maintaining the working capital to sell and finance additional innovations. We next present the measures to address the challenge, including detailed written contracts, a modest fee for late payments, a contract-signing witness, and money-transfer options by mobile... (More)
This article presents the accomplishments and challenges of a rural sustainable development initiative in Nyanza Province, Kenya. Our focus is on the sale and financing of a simple technology — an improved cookstove — by a local entrepreneur. The theoretical basis of the research is innovation systems and (social) entrepreneurship. We first de­fine the major challenges of the diffusion process encountered throughout the initiative’s early years, with special concentration on maintaining the working capital to sell and finance additional innovations. We next present the measures to address the challenge, including detailed written contracts, a modest fee for late payments, a contract-signing witness, and money-transfer options by mobile telephone. We subsequently present repayment rates for up to one year after implementing the changes, which show a general pattern of improvement. Finally, we discuss the sustainability of the technology, repayment rates, innovation systems, and entrepreneurship in sub-Saharan Africa. The main message of the research is that the major challenge is not creating more sustainable technologies, but overcoming difficulties in diffusion processes. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
innovations, small businesses, socioeconomic aspects, technology, financing, rural areas
in
Sustainability: Science, Practice, & Policy
volume
11
issue
1
pages
11 pages
publisher
Proquest
ISSN
1548-7733
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
54b6d4ca-250a-4379-9880-66fbc122f481
alternative location
https://sspp.proquest.com/sustainable-diffusion-of-sustainable-technologies-98ca08b6439f#.cu6nzhua3
date added to LUP
2016-05-11 13:14:25
date last changed
2016-09-19 11:50:47
@misc{54b6d4ca-250a-4379-9880-66fbc122f481,
  abstract     = {This article presents the accomplishments and challenges of a rural sustainable development initiative in Nyanza Province, Kenya. Our focus is on the sale and financing of a simple technology — an improved cookstove — by a local entrepreneur. The theoretical basis of the research is innovation systems and (social) entrepreneurship. We first de­fine the major challenges of the diffusion process encountered throughout the initiative’s early years, with special concentration on maintaining the working capital to sell and finance additional innovations. We next present the measures to address the challenge, including detailed written contracts, a modest fee for late payments, a contract-signing witness, and money-transfer options by mobile telephone. We subsequently present repayment rates for up to one year after implementing the changes, which show a general pattern of improvement. Finally, we discuss the sustainability of the technology, repayment rates, innovation systems, and entrepreneurship in sub-Saharan Africa. The main message of the research is that the major challenge is not creating more sustainable technologies, but overcoming difficulties in diffusion processes.},
  author       = {Ness, Barry and Åkerman, Ann},
  issn         = {1548-7733},
  keyword      = {innovations,small businesses,socioeconomic aspects,technology,financing,rural areas},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {04},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {53--63},
  publisher    = {ARRAY(0xbb3ac48)},
  series       = {Sustainability: Science, Practice, & Policy},
  title        = {Sustainable development through innovation diffusion via an entrepreneur in rural western Kenya : Progress and related challenges},
  volume       = {11},
  year         = {2015},
}