Exploring Entrepreneurial Innovation in Ethiopia

Christopher Williams, Atsede Tesfaye Hailemariam, Gayle Allard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We explore the process of innovation as experienced by entrepreneurs in Ethiopia in order to gain new insights from a challenging setting for innovation that has been under-represented in the literature. Guided by two streams of literature – the contextual view of entrepreneurial innovation and the innovation process literature – we examine the accounts of entrepreneurial selection and strategic choices as narrated by 15 Ethiopian innovators pursuing diverse opportunities. Analysis of 77,000 words of text offers a rich data structure that adds substantive detail to the contextual view of entrepreneurial innovation. An emerging process model not only emphasizes economic with societal outcomes but also national citizenship reinforcement at the level of the individual entrepreneur. Policy recommendations are presented to deal with contradictions between government proclamations to encourage innovative new start-ups, and the actual accounts of the entrepreneurs as they deal with obstacles in different contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Article number104599
Number of pages19
JournalResearch policy
Early online date19 Aug 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

© 2022 Elsevier B.V. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy.


  • Entrepreneurial innovation
  • Context
  • Innovative process
  • Ethiopia

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