Designing Platforms for Micro and Small Enterprises in Emerging Economies: Sharing Value through Open Innovation
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DescriptionWhile innovation is essential for sustainable development, micro, small, and mediumsized enterprises (MSMEs), which account for more than 90% of firms in Latin America, face the challenge of benefiting systematically from innovation due to capability and negotiation asymmetries when compared with large organizations. In this context, open innovation holds promise to enable shared-value creation in terms of developing MSME capabilities, operations, and the organization of activities, especially when mediated and supported by public sector actors. It may also hold promise for the development of MSMEs when there is a lack of well-developed ecosystems with multiple central actors, as is the case in many less-developed Latin American countries, such as Nicaragua. Open innovation ecosystems support platforms that form the delivery vehicles for the offerings of firms, providing a framework of processes, rules, and policies for the purpose of co-creating value. These platforms also offer a development gateway for the participating MSMEs, impacting the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) created by The United Nations. Despite the potential for open innovation and its application in entrepreneurship ecosystems, few cases document the essential elements for designing these supporting platforms. In this case study, we aim to provide a framework for mediated, shared-value open innovation platforms by applying design science and case study approaches. Our work contributes to the field of knowledge-based ecosystems and open innovation platforms and considers best practices that can be applied in similar contexts.