Working around the Gender Gap in Intellectual Property Regimes: Empowerment of Women Beadworkers through Open, Inclusive Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa July 27, 2020525 0

Abstract : This case study explored the empowerment, innovation, entrepreneurship, and intellectual property (IP) dynamics at play in the work of a group of women beadworkers participating in the Woza Moya project of the Hillcrest AIDS Centre Trust in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The study found that open, collaborative, and inclusive innovation practices, and social entrepreneurship modalities, appeared to generate significant empowerment for the craftspeople, regardless of the fact that the IP system does not offer women easily accessible economic benefits. Inclusive innovation and social entrepreneurship thus appear, in this case, to be effective mechanisms for working around the “IP gender gap” that is set forth in this paper.

African Innovation Research