Market-creating innovations transform complicated and expensive products into simple and affordable ones so more people in society can access them. These innovations have the potential to unlock wealth for the masses, and in doing so can significantly accelerate economic development. In short, market creating innovations are necessary to create prosperity.

Oftentimes we look to governments to accelerate economic development, but most governments have limited resources to make the necessary investments to spur development. However, they can foster an environment that cultivates market creating innovations. That’s why we’re introducing the MCI bootcamp for policymakers.

The MCI Bootcamp for Policymakers

In late April we had the opportunity to conduct a Market-Creating Innovation (MCI) Bootcamp with the Minister and staff at the Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation in Uganda. Working alongside the government didn’t only provide an incredibly inspiring experience, but it also served as the first steps to the establishment of an enabling environment that can spur more MCIs in the country. 

Although market creation can be exceptionally impactful, it is not easy, does not happen overnight, and success is often hard to measure in the near term. That is why establishing a culture that values market creation is of utmost importance. 

As a result, the first two days of the policymakers bootcamp is dedicated to understanding and building market-creating innovations. In the innovation sessions, participants learn about management theories and strategies that underpin the process of market creation – contextualized into participants’ local environments. Specifically, some of the theories and frameworks discussed are, the prosperity paradox, the power of nonconsumption, Jobs Theory, and Business Models. In addition, participants are introduced to the virtues necessary for successful market creators. 

Understanding the virtues necessary to develop market-creating innovations is one of the most important sessions. Successful market creators such as Mo Ibrahim, Amadeo Gianini, and Madam CJ Walker overcame many obstacles to grow their businesses and create access for many. Without these virtues, it is impossible to successfully create new markets.

For example, Mo Ibrahim invested in some of the poorest countries globally that lacked the infrastructure needed to grow a telecommunications market. Amadeo Gianini took it upon himself to change the business models of banks by launching a financial inclusion campaign during a time when banks strictly lent to large businesses and wealthy clients. Madam CJ Walker was the first of five siblings to be born outside of slavery and was later orphaned at seven years old so her prospects at a young age were dim. Yet she succeeded in developing a line of cosmetics and hair care products for Black women that made her wildly successful and influential in the United States. 

When profiling these and other market creators they all seem to have certain virtues in common: love, faith, humility, and systems thinking. Love for a person, place, process, or product. Faith in their innovation. Humility to accept and learn from their failures. And the ability to identify and implement systematic solutions. 

The last day of the MCI Bootcamp for Policymakers is dedicated to participants leveraging the innovation theories to develop market-creating innovation strategies for their groups. Each team then presents their learnings and intended strategies to the entire group and receives feedback.

In Uganda, after each presentation participants challenged each other and asked hard questions anchored in the theories they just learned: Is your innovation focused on solving a struggle? What job are you actually addressing? What is my role as government? Does this fall under your group’s jurisdiction or ours? 

One of the highlights of the MCI Bootcamp for Policymakers is that participants learn a new and common language that helps them better communicate ideas. This is important especially when groups are designed like the Uganda STI Ministry. The Ministry is divided into eight groups, or bureaus. But often the responsibility to solve problems falls under multiple bureaus and this requires collaboration. Having a common language and way to frame a problem goes a long way in developing viable solutions.

Earlier I noted that market-creation is life changing but it isn’t easy, it doesn’t happen overnight and success is hard to measure. As such, creating an ecosystem of people promoting market-creating innovations is a great first step in making this process possible.

If you or your organization are interested in the Christensen Institute’s MCI Bootcamp for Policymakers, it is now available for all. Please contact for more information.


  • Sandy Sanchez
    Sandy Sanchez

    Sandy Sanchez is a research associate at the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation, where she focuses on understanding and solving global development issues through the lens of Jobs to Be Done and innovation theories. Her current work addresses how individuals can use market-creating innovations to create sustainable prosperity in growth economies.