Resilience and scarcity: the role of SME’s in co-creating innovations

Whose knowledge really counts?

African SMEs show capacities to be resilient under conditions of scarcity or volatility. How to include their proven and knowledgeable practices in the co-creation of transformative sustainability pathways? During the Africa Knows! conference, CFIA affiliated panelists tried to outline a research agenda in which the knowledge of SMEs really counts.

Africa is full of local initiatives by knowledgeable change agents showing resilience and contributing to transformative sustainability pathways. How to capture, use and share this knowledge in the co-creation of innovative practices that cope with or overcome resource constraints, be it in water, housing, energy, health, or food provision. The panelists argued that a promising pathway is to start from established business practices of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that expose proven adaptive capacities to navigate and respond to harsh conditions.

Whose knowledge really counts?

This panel aimed to advance our understanding of the resilience of these business practices. Revealing these capacities shows how SMEs, as change agents, cope with shocks and disturbances and how they navigate scarcity or volatility related to changing weather patterns or social conflict.


Read the panel report in the Africa Knows! conference magazine


This panel was hosted as part of the Africa Knows! conference and organised by the KTI group (WUR), 2SCALE programme and their African business partners, the Partnerships Resource Centre, The Centre for Frugal Innovation in Africa with African partners

- Greetje Schouten
- Andre Leliveld
- Peter Knorringa
- Elsie Onsongo
- Sietze Vellema

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