At the forefront of frugal innovation

The University of Leicester School of Business (ULSB) is leading the way in drawing attention to frugal innovation - an emerging field that centres on the creation of affordable products that are easily accessible to consumers.

ULSB is hosting a two day Frugal Innovation Workshop from 28-29 June at College Court, Leicester.

The workshop will bring together an international and interdisciplinary audience of 30 academics, policymakers and practitioners interested in frugal innovation, poverty alleviation, entrepreneurship, business and development to discuss, debate and work together to shine a light on this emerging field, and the inspirational stories found within it, in the world of business.

At the workshop, Dr Winfred Onyas, Lecturer in Marketing at ULSB, who has been instrumental in organising it, will work with colleagues she is collaborating with at Makerere University Business School, Uganda, to share several case studies. One striking example focuses on a social and ecological frugal innovation enacted by ARV-Power, a Community Based Organisation (CBO).

Dr Onyas carries out research focused on the functioning of markets and money in developing countries, and in particular, on how low income actors contribute to shape markets.

She said: “We explore inspirational frugal innovations such as Joy’s to understand the nature of practices involved in enacting and sustaining the social venture. Hence, we examine and recommend a supportive actor-network (including government, customers and suppliers) that enables the creation of a responsive ecosystem to sustain and enhance the frugal innovation."