This paper focuses on paths towards innovation and considers different types of innovation. It develops a new framework to analyze the internal and external factors that influence the types of innovation and their relationships with business performance in the manufacturing sector. A proposed theoretical model is tested and used to evaluate the process of innovation by country (Peru and Chile) and companies by size, type of industry, financial aspects and level of patenting. In Chile, the driver is technological innovation in processes, whereas in Peru, it is non-technological innovation. Companies with high perceptions of financial constraints exhibit a preference for the development of marketing innovations to substantially improve production performance; if a company perceives few financial barriers, it increases innovation resources and process innovation to significantly improve market performance. Small businesses increase non-technological innovation by investing in staff to manage the social networks. Moreover, the participation of foreign capital may overcome the institutional voids and lack of support systems. Furthermore, the combination of process and organizational innovation increases export performance, and the effect of the cooperation depends on the type of industry. Finally, we note the limitations and propose future research.