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From founding to operation to expansion and growth, capital, interactions and support are critical success factors in any enterprise. They are even more important in social enterprises, that is, entrepreneurial organizations that solve societal problems through innovative products and services. Social enterprises seek to achieve a balance between profit and continually addressing the social challenge. Hence, their operations are hinged upon successful identification and deployment of innovations.
Innovation depicts changes in products and processes that define and drive improvement in organizations, communities and the world at large. Most social enterprises thrive on open innovation, or what we call social open innovation. Social open innovation essentially describes a situation whereby members of the society are actively involved with technology in the processes of developing, deploying and evaluating products and services that are aimed at solving social problems.
A study of over 1,300 companies across the manufacturing and service sectors of Nigeria’s economy has shown that companies in the two sectors introduce non-technological innovations differently. Organizational innovation, an example of non-technological innovation, includes the introduction of new or improved business methods in the operation of a company.
Non-technological innovations are crucial facilitators of companies’ competitiveness. Specifically, organizational innovations do not directly lead to physical products that are placed on the market, but they affect the creation and marketability of products and services offered by companies. In fact, organizational innovation is sometimes considered as a prerequisite for technological innovation.