Efosa Ojomo

Efosa Ojomo

Senior Research Fellow
Lead, Global Prosperity Research
Clayton Christensen Institute
for Disruptive Innovation

The Power of Market-Creating Innovation

Live Keynote: 2:15pm ET – 3:15pm ET on March 7, 2019 (Recording will be available until June 9, 2019)


Innovation is a commonly used buzzword, but it has lost a lot of value because of its ubiquity. What do we mean by innovation? What types of innovation are there? How can understanding the different types of innovation help us do better work?

Market-creating innovations transform complicated and expensive products into products that are simple and affordable so that many more people in society can have access to them. In doing so, these innovations create a new market because they target non-consumers.

Efosa Ojomo explains the critical role of market-creating innovations in not only serving as new growth engines for companies, but also as a foundation for sustained economic development of a region. Using theories and models developed by Professor Clayton Christensen and his team, Ojomo demonstrates how innovations that create new markets impact peoples’ lives, and challenges us to change how we think about innovation in our organizations.

In this presentation, based on Ojomo’s book (with Christensen and Karen Dillon) “The Prosperity Paradox: How Innovation Can Lift Nations Out of Poverty” (Harper Business, January 2019), he offers a new strategy for economic development.


About Efosa Ojomo:

Champion for Creating Economic Prosperity Through Innovation; Leading Authority on Market-Creating Innovations; Co-Author, with Clayton Christensen and Karen Dillon, “The Prosperity Paradox” (2019); Senior Research Fellow at the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation; Co-Founder & President, Poverty Stops Here

How can business tap into unrealized sources of growth and prosperity – all while making the world a better place? Efosa Ojomo, renowned innovation and development expert, says that innovation and entrepreneurs are not just part of the answer. They are the answer. Through his eye-opening keynotes and advisory work, Ojomo equips businesses, entrepreneurs, investors, NGOs and policymakers with a new framework for understanding and addressing the issue of how to create prosperity in emerging markets. And for the companies that embrace this perspective, the opportunities are infinite.

As a senior research fellow at the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation, Ojomo has collaborated with renowned authority Clayton Christensen to formulate a new theory of economic development. At the heart of this new perspective is the transformative power of market-creating innovations. By understanding the many “jobs” that arise in consumers’ lives, entrepreneurs and organizations can better develop innovations that consumers can hire to help them accomplish these jobs. These innovations generate new markets where none previously existed. In the process, they have the potential to uplift entire populations in the form of new jobs, external investment and individual empowerment.

In their groundbreaking new book, “The Prosperity Paradox: How Innovation Can Lift Nations Out of Poverty” (Harper Business, January 2019), Ojomo, Christensen and co-author Karen Dillon reveal actionable solutions to growing sustainable economies. “The Prosperity Paradox” expertly offers cases of successful market-creating innovations, including the Ford Model T, which made cars accessible to ordinary Americans, and Tolaram instant noodles, an inexpensive, convenient food made available to millions of Nigerians, rich and poor. Essentially, what Nigeria and other low- and middle-income countries need (and what America needed when it was still a poor country) is not for well-meaning charities and NGOs to “push” resources into its communities but for innovations to “pull” those resources in. Ojomo provides organizations with a clear framework for spotting and capitalizing on nonconsumption while generating massive gains for the company and the people who live in those regions.

Ojomo’s commitment to shifting the conversation on international development, from providing resources to developing innovations, is deeply personal, and is rooted in his own previous endeavors. Ojomo, who came to the U.S. from Nigeria to attend college, worked as an engineer and in business development for National Instruments for eight years following graduation. Having grown up amid poverty, he soon realized his purpose was much larger than himself. Inspired by a young Ethiopian girl’s story of debilitating poverty, Ojomo started the nonprofit Poverty Stops Here. He soon realized that while charities and non-profits can do incredible work helping vulnerable people, many generally failed to significantly improve people’s lives at scale. At this point he decided to go back to school to get the education he needed to fulfill his goals.