Demand-Driven Innovation means understanding customers in underserved communities and paying attention to the channels that move goods and services to these markets. Because demand-driven innovation responds to the “pull” of demand rather than the “push” of supply, it helps:

  • Underserved customers access better products and services;
  • Donors make larger impacts on social and environmental problems;
  • Governments serve their citizens;
  • Corporations and local businesses reach new markets and build sustainable value chains;
  • Nonprofits and charities deliver on their missions.

As the population moves toward the 9 billion mark and the Earth’s climate becomes increasingly variable, we face growing social and environmental problems. Our old ways of working cannot keep pace with increasing hunger, illness, illiteracy, malnutrition, environmental degradation, and other challenges.

Solving these problems entails understanding what low-income communities need and want. Developing solutions to tackle these global problems requires thinking early about how the product or service will get to market, how the private sector might get involved, and how to leverage different sources of finance.