Understanding the diffusion modes of grassroots innovations in India: A study of Honey Bee Network supported innovators

Journal Article

In this paper we examine the outcomes and connections of preferences of the non-formal innovators identified by the Honey Bee Network (HBN) in India. The chosen mode of diffusion of each innovation has been correlated to socio-economic backgrounds, origins of knowledge of the innovators, their motivations, the fields and domains of knowledge application, and product designs characteristics. Evidence indicates that an overwhelming majority of innovations did not seem to require significant financial or technical investments and were of the kind that would be diffused through open sharing far more easily. Further, while some innovators had chosen to be innovator entrepreneurs, the scope of their business remains local and confined to the same village, town, or nearby areas in most cases. Only a handful of innovator entrepreneurs chose to expand their business outside their own locality. The authors conclude that policy makers should try to incorporate in their incubation strategies the principles of cooperation and collective participation among the grassroots innovators in their own respective places to accelerate the impact of grassroots innovations on the economy and society.