Work Plan
The Environmental Colours of Microfinance
5. Technological Innovation at the Micro-Enterprise Level

This section celebrates creative technology, energy sources and productive methods found at the micro-entrepreneurial level. We are encouraged by the recent developments in small scale applications of renewable energy, the growing focus on sustainable agricultural practises, and other trends related to the development of environmentally benevolent small scale technologies.

Technological based approaches have long been promoted as a solution to the economic and environmental problems faced by small scale producers. Those involved in these endeavours will readily admit that many errors have been made over the years.

It is now understood that with a technological based approach, as much if not more attention must be paid to the social organisation supporting the introduction of the technology as to the technology itself. Promoting technologies developed in a laboratory setting, or a different region or cultural setting can be highly problematic. Equally risky are innovations that are not economically viable.

When introducing new technologies good environmental, community development and business practises must be adhered to. The ideas found throughout Environmental Colours regarding the participation of micro-entrepreneurs and community development practises should be helpful in this regard. As well, the section on "Finding Economically Viable Solutions to Environmental Challenges" offers some insights on how to promote technological innovation.

It is not the intention to encourage people to try and replicate verbatim the technologies and approaches found in this section. Quite the contrary. The examples are only meant to inspire and provide a better sense of what is possible from a technological point of view.

We would like your contribution (email addresses are listed below). Send us a description (two pages maximum) of any interesting and successful technologies or process that you are aware of. Please include a description of the project/micro-enterprise, the name of the executing organisation, the process used in developing and implementing the technology, its positive impact from both a business environmental standpoint and if possible lessons learned. We want to provide visitors to this section with the best possible understanding of the context in which the technologies/innovations have been developed and are being used. Feel free to enclose pictures.


Additional resources:

Plan 1

Plan 2

Plan 3

Plan 4

Plan 5

Plan 6

 If you have resources to suggest, project descriptions or activities, lessons learned or internet links with related contents, please send an email to Hari Srinivas - hsrinivas@gdrc.org or Dean Pallen - dean_pallen@ccigate.acdi-cida.gc.ca. Pictures/photos and drawings of innovative technologies are particularly welcome. These will be included in a Picture Gallery.

Return to Environmental Colours of Microfinance

Hari Srinivas - hsrinivas@gdrc.org
Return to the Virtual Library on Microcredit