Your browser has javascript turned off or blocked. This will lead to some parts of our website to not work properly or at all. Turn on javascript for best performance.

The browser you are using is not supported by this website. All versions of Internet Explorer are no longer supported, either by us or Microsoft (read more here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/windows/end-of-ie-support).

Please use a modern browser to fully experience our website, such as the newest versions of Edge, Chrome, Firefox or Safari etc.

Ann Åkerman. Photo.

Ann Åkerman

Deputy Director

Ann Åkerman. Photo.

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

Author

  • Barry Ness
  • Ann Åkerman

Summary, in English

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.

Department/s

  • LUCSUS (Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies)

Publishing year

2015-04-01

Language

English

Pages

53-63

Publication/Series

Sustainability: Science, Practice, & Policy

Volume

11

Issue

1

Document type

Journal article

Publisher

Proquest

Topic

  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary

Keywords

  • innovations
  • small businesses
  • socioeconomic aspects
  • technology
  • financing
  • rural areas

Status

Published

ISBN/ISSN/Other

  • ISSN: 1548-7733