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Defining Demand-Driven Innovation

Client/Funder: The World Bank
Location: Global
Catapult Service Line: Research
Thematic Area: Entrepreneurship


“As the population moves toward the 9 billion mark and the Earth’s climate becomes increasingly variable, we face growing social and environmental problems,” is the opening text for, a new site for the international development community. “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.”

The World Bank brought together GATD, Catapult, and Alana Conner Communications to build a resource to support innovators tackling challenges in low-income and underserved communities. The resources need to share best practices and knowledge on how to apply business practices to international development so customers at all income levels can purchase affordable and well-designed products and services.


Intended for funders, policymakers, and practitioners the site serves as a prompt for discussion around six areas affecting these innovators: customers, products & services, marketing, commercialization, financing, and metrics. Our work included:

  • working collaboratively with two other partners to establish the goal and objectives of the resource
  • conceptualizing communication mediums and selecting an online platform
  • researching and developing content focus and areas
  • launching online resources for innovators


Using stories from on-the-ground innovators interviewed in Rwanda, Kenya, India, Uganda, Ghana, Nigeria, the UK, and beyond, the site illustrates how organizations and individuals successfully (and sometimes not so successfully) overcame the roadblocks in the design and delivery of new products and new services.