Responsible innovation as transformational entrepreneurship by disabled people

Eva Kašperová, Audley Genus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Responsible innovation (RI) has emerged as a powerful idea concerning the effective governance of science, technology and innovation. While much attention has been devoted to understanding and promoting RI within science and research policy addressing grand challenges, far less is known about the nature and implications of RI for business. This paper marshals qualitative insights from UK-based disabled entrepreneurs to examine how comparatively ordinary innovations arising in a ‘bottom-up’ manner can respond more inclusively to otherwise overlooked societal needs. The entrepreneurs initiate three specific innovation types to positively transform the lives of their intended beneficiaries: (1) transforming inaccessible practices within mainstream organisations; (2) enhancing personal powers of disabled people; and (3) changing mainstream societal attitudes towards disability. The paper demonstrates how RI principles can be realised through transformational entrepreneurship, highlighting a myriad of niche and distributed entrepreneurial activities, quite different from high-tech, big science innovations conventionally discussed in RI studies.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2268223
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Responsible Innovation
Issue number1
Early online date26 Oct 2023
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2023

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2023 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


  • Disability
  • inclusive entrepreneurship
  • inequality
  • responsible innovation
  • transformational entrepreneurship


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