nl en

Frugal Innovation and Entrepreneurship


Admission requirements

The course is open for all students that are enrolled in the LDE Minor Frugal Innovation for Sustainable Global Development.


This course is the third thematic module in the LDE Minor ‘Frugal Innovation for Sustainable Global Development’. It builds upon the modules on Development and on Technology, with a focus on how entrepreneurs see opportunities to use frugal technologies to develop new (frugal) business models in resource constrained contexts. An important thread running through the block is the importance of co-creation in frugal innovation, showing that successful entrepreneurs work more and more in flexible networks with people with complementary competences.

The course first introduces characteristics and motivations of different types of individual entrepreneurs. The second part identifies the external environment for entrepreneurs who want to become or are engaged in frugal innovation. We examine what types of value chains they are involved in, what are the requirements of serving distinct market segments like the Bottom of the Pyramid and the new middle classes, the role of the institutional and regulatory environment, and the importance of and challenges of compliance with quality and sustainability standards.

The final part of the block focuses on different business models for frugal innovation, competences required to achieve profitability and their prospective developmental implications, also as s a way to enable students to practice applying the business canvas model to their prospective field assignment

Course objectives

After this course students are able to:

· Reproduce and interpret knowledge about frugal innovation from an entrepreneurship perspective;

· Apply this perspective critically to case studies from different parts of the world;

· Analyze and interpret the potential of frugal innovation for societal transformation/ development from an entrepreneurship perspective;

· Learn from other disciplines, in particular studies on entrepreneurship in Bottom of the Pyramid markets and development contexts, and relate this knowledge to and integrate into their own disciplinary background, and

· Make a constructive contribution to the debate on frugal innovation and sustainable global development.



From 14 October 2020 until 30 October 2020. A detailed timetable will be presented on Brightspace (Leiden University) and Canvas (Erasmus University Rotterdam) and in the syllabus for the minor.

Mode of instruction

Expert lecturers, case studies, online course work

Assessment method

Evaluation of written assignment, in-class assignments and online course work.




Inspection and feedback

Reading list

Scientific and professional papers and teaching cases, to be provided or indicated via Brightspace (Leiden University) and Canvas (Erasmus University Rotterdam).


You register for this course through Canvas (Erasmus University Rotterdam).

Registration Studeren à la carte en Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte.
Registration Contractonderwijs.
Not applicable.


If you have questions, please contact the course coordinator prof. Peter Knorringa,, or send an e-mail to Minor Frugal Innovation

Onderwijsadministratie: Reuvensplaats