The Social and Cultural Entrepreneur
By Giselle Carr
Issue 8 Summer 2011
It is said that entrepreneurship makes something take a new direction; new angles are found and developed. Lotta Levkall, Director of Nätverkstan, a Cultural and Civil Society Organization based in Göteborg, Sweden, is working with cultural and civil society organizations in Sweden which focus on just that.
At Nätverkstan and Kulturverkstan, a training project for “makers of culture”, creative professionals learn how to realize ideas and projects which change the world.
In the traditional sense, an entrepreneur is often described as curious, creative, positive, optimistic, visionary and quite stubborn. If the meaning of entrepreneurship is ”taking action”, it is easy to see that culture and civil society are built on entrepreneurs. Designers, artists, writers, poets, dancers, actors and cultural practitioners are known for being exceptional in their ability to grasp new possibilities, or making something new out of what is perceived as an empty physical, psychological or virtual space. Not always is this combined with a sustainable economy, though.
The market for cultural and artistic activities may be small depending on location, as there is often a lack of economic resources. How do you build a creative and viable organisation in a structured, project-based business world paradigm? How can infrastructure be built to support entrepreneurial initiatives within culture and civil society? What are entrepreneurial initiatives and what helps them grow? How can these initiatives connect with each other to create social innovation? The culturalentrepreneur.se blog explores these questions, as well as entrepreneurship from a social and cultural point of view.