Edited by John R. McIntyre, Silvester Ivanaj, Vera Ivanaj and Rabi N. Kar
Chapter 14: Sustainability through Africapitalism
The term ‘sustainability’ can be narrowly defined as the maintenance of natural resources such as water, soil, and air such that future generations are not robbed of an opportunity to live in a healthy environment. Alternatively, sustainability could refer to overall business and management strategies focused on long-term positive impacts on not just the natural environment but also communities. This is likely to be achieved when the private sector engages in sound decision-making with an emphasis on the bottom line along with the well-being of employees, the community, and, of course, the natural environment. It is important to note that the defining characteristics of sustainability in the industrialized world vary from that of developing nations. For instance, the concept of ‘frugal innovation’ has been popularized by the private sector in India to define the approach of serving the needs of the poor through commerce (Radjou and Prabhu, 2014). As Radjou and Prabhu (2014) indicate, frugal innovation is not simply about catering to the cost-conscious but more so about ‘doing better with less’. Put another way, Radjou (2010) promotes a ‘disruptive’ concept of ‘more for less for more’ (M4L4M) – a reactive model of innovation built on a framework of creating more value at a lower price point for more people.
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