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The Role of Quadruple Helix in Fostering Social Innovation through Women’s Entrepreneurship: A Case Study of Sri Lanka


In the aftermath of the Tsunami disaster in 2004 and the current COVID-19 pandemic, developing nations have faced high economic disparities. Sri Lanka, an island nation in South Asia, has faced the same economic hardships that many economies face globally. The hardest-hit segment of this economic incongruence has been the marginal communities. Post-Tsunami disaster development scenarios have revealed female entrepreneurs of marginal communities as social innovators. The said women entrepreneurs have managed to develop village economies and empower local society. However, as the international aid reduced over time, lack of empowerment, economic hardships, and domestic abuse, female entrepreneurship has decreased throughout the nation. Currently, prominent support to empower women's entrepreneurship has been via non-governmental organisations, which have induced limited collaborations between government agencies, industries, and universities. Yet, there is a lack of transparency and lack of partnership within these actors. Throughout the study, I portray that by creating a knowledge economy via strengthening the quadruple helix, it is possible to increase female entrepreneurship skills, thus leading social innovations in marginal communities. Moreover, based on the findings of this research, I propose practical policy implementations by the creation of regional incubators which are accessible to marginal communities. I bring forward that regional incubators will act as a collaborative agent between government agencies, various industries, regional universities, and civil society. Furthermore, they will function as knowledge transfer offices. An innovative hub of this nature will undertake as a beacon of female entrepreneurship and forefront of social innovation.

Keywords: Social Innovation, Female Entrepreneurship, Quadruple Helix, Entrepreneurial Ecosystems, Regional Incubators, Knowledge-Driven Entrepreneurship