Author(s): Dr. Iva Peša
Publication date: forthcoming in 2018
Title: The Developmental Potential of Frugal Innovation among Mobile Money Agents in Kitwe, Zambia
Cite this article as: Peša, I. Eur J Dev Res (2018) 30: 49.
Keywords: mobile money, entrepreneurship, frugal innovation, Zambia, agents, inclusive development
Existing conceptual debates on frugal innovation have either welcomed its contribution to development or have stressed its exploitative capitalist underpinnings. Based on a qualitative survey among 52 mobile money agents and tellers in Kitwe, Zambia, the developmental potential of frugal innovation will be empirically assessed. Can the frugal innovation of mobile money become an inclusive innovation for the agents and tellers in Kitwe? This question will be tackled by focusing on entrepreneurship and labour relations. It is argued that mobile money can indeed generate employment and foster entrepreneurship, but that it can simultaneously contribute to informalisation and create new socio-economic inequalities. Empirical studies, thus, provide an opportunity to reach a more nuanced understanding of the relationship between frugal innovation and development.