Innovative business ideas examples

The concepts of small business and start-up are often used interchangeably. And they are really similar in many ways. But they are not the same thing. In the article we will tell you why not every entrepreneur is a startup, we will understand the intricacies of concepts, we will describe the characteristic features and 10 fundamental differences between a startup and a small business.

Everything You Need to Know About Small Business

Small businesses include enterprises with 16 to 100 employees and a total annual income of up to 800,000 rubles. This includes all individual entrepreneurs and most of the legal entities. This is a small farm, a hairdresser, a sewing workshop, and a bakery around the corner.

Small Business Traits

What startups are there

There are two understandings of the term startup:

  • This is a business built on some innovative idea, designed for quick start and development.
  • This is the initial stage of development of any kind of business.

Here we will consider the first version of the concept - an innovative business.

Startup Traits

Innovative startups are:

Startups usually exit from:

  • business incubators. Where the authors of the idea (residents) are taught the intricacies of doing business, present the premises and equipment for starting, financially and legally support;
  • business accelerators. Here, startups undergo accelerated training in several months (courses, seminars, etc.), consult with experts in business and - go free floating;
  • technology parks. Startup training takes place on the basis of scientific and industrial complexes aimed at developing and implementing innovative technologies. In addition to business training, there is a powerful research base for conducting experiments.

Of course, not everyone is helped - ideas are carefully selected and the likely risks are calculated. The most potentially successful projects receive support.

Everything about small business, everything for small business


Indeed, in the minds of most people, small business does not fit in with innovative projects. How can a small business with a few employees drive innovation? They also require serious investments, both financial and intellectual. At the same time, many do not really understand what is hidden behind this term. In their view, innovation is something global, large-scale and very costly.

And innovations in small business seem to some either a mockery or a boast of businessmen employed in small knowledge-intensive businesses. Others consider any high-tech projects to be innovations, incl. and in small business.

Therefore, first, let's figure out what it is - innovation.

What is innovation

I want to say right away that there are quite a few definitions of this concept. This is how Wikipedia defines the term.

"Innovation is an implemented innovation that provides a qualitative increase in the efficiency of processes or products in demand on the market."

I would like to draw your attention to the fact that one of the key words in the definition of innovation is the word "embedded". And the most important criterion for recognizing a particular solution as innovative is a fundamental improvement of a particular product, technological or managerial process during its implementation. It should be added that innovation is not just any innovation or innovation, but only one that significantly increases the efficiency of existing processes.

So, let's highlight the characteristics of an innovation that distinguish it from a simple innovation or invention. These are scientific and technical novelty, industrial applicability and commercial feasibility. It is the commercial component that makes innovation an economic necessity, realized through the needs of the market.

The term “innovation” comes from the Latin “novatio”, translated into Russian “renewal” and the prefix “in”, which is translated from Latin as “in the direction”. When translated literally "Innovatio" means "in the direction of change."

Author: Your Mentor. Date of publication: April 08, 2021.

Harold McAlindon once said, "World leaders in innovation and creativity will also be world leaders in everything else."

Organizations today have to work very hard to stay competitive and survive in the marketplace. But just surviving is not enough. Companies want to grow, they want to increase returns for their shareholders, but the ways to do this are rather limited. The only correct, sustainable and practically unlimited source of new growth for any organization is an innovative business.

We are going to look at a method of generating ideas called Systematic Inventive Thinking or SIM, which was founded by Dr. Jacob Goldenberg. In his research, he noticed that innovation follows a set of patterns that can be reused to invent new products and services.

The main goal of innovation is to make the world a better place. We will share with you key concepts that will help you develop skills that will help you identify and use innovation in your business.

How does an innovative business work?

Systematic inventive thinking is characterized by a set of patterns that apply to any product, service, or process. What is in these patterns guides your imagination process. They open up your imagination so you can innovate in your work.

There are many examples of people who, following a certain pattern, remained at the pinnacle of success for a long time. One of them is Agatha Christie. She has written over 60 novels and sold more books than anyone else. At the same time, she followed a certain pattern, but knew how to creatively beat it.

Surprisingly, most of the innovative products and services produced recently can be explained by five models:

  • Subtraction. This is the elimination of a key component that, at first glance, seemed important.
  • Division. When a component or the product itself is split in some physical or functional way and then returned to the product.
  • Multiplication. Many innovative products copy a specific component and then modify it in some illogical way.
  • Combining tasks. When a component of a product has been assigned an additional task for which it is not intended.
  • Dependency. When a product has a relationship between two properties of both the product itself and its environment. When one property changes, another changes.

What's the first thing that comes to your mind when you say "small business"? Most likely, you imagine a small kiosk selling any useful and not so little things, an inexpensive hairdresser without any frills, or, at worst, a freelance designer. But what small business does not fit in in any way is with science-intensive industries and innovative projects.

Indeed, how can a tiny firm with a dozen professionals on staff promote innovation in a country? They also require serious investments, both financial and intellectual. Innovation is something large-scale, all-embracing ... By the way, what is behind such a "fashionable" term today? You can hear it from almost every iron, but almost no one can give it a clear definition.

Some experts even believe that the very terms "innovation" or "innovative" today need to be used with great care. Many consumers, as well as business representatives, have already formed a certain immunity to everything that is supposedly innovative. Many associate these words with the banal bragging of so-called startups and a poor marketing strategy, but not high-tech technologies. Therefore, do not rush to call innovation any development, at least somehow related to the field of IT. You should see the difference between innovative development or manufacturing and just a technology-driven business.

The main features of innovation are novelty and direct relation to science

It is difficult to unequivocally answer the question of whether small business can be innovative, since the criteria for innovativeness are very vague and subjective. However, many agree that small business today may well become both a "conductor" of innovation, actively mastering new technologies, and a direct creator of innovative products. The last thesis is proved by the experience of Western countries, where small business is quite successfully working with innovations.

Innovation and small business with them and with us

The phrase "innovative small business" in Western countries, as well as in some Asian countries, has not seemed like an oxymoron for a long time. Thus, in Europe, it is small businesses rather than large enterprises that are more often the “conductor” of innovations.

For example, in Germany there are hundreds of thousands of small and medium-sized engineering companies that work together with giants: they produce individual parts for Daimler, BMW and Volkswagen cars, or electronics for Siemens. The same companies single-handedly bring projects to the market in the fields of IT, biotechnology, etc. and often have a significant weight in a particular industry.

A similar picture is observed in other European countries. Until a decade ago, small firms in Finland, Denmark and Ireland were much more likely to promote innovation than their counterparts - medium and large enterprises

The reason is simple: in Europe since the 1970s. active work is underway to support innovative entrepreneurship.

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