The field of cultural entrepreneurship is a fledgling-but-growing field. In that spirit, CLU presents this introductory guide for social entrepreneurs.
As someone who started teaching cultural entrepreneurship this past fall, I have been approached countless times from peers wanting to know: what is cultural entrepreneurship?
My favorite explanation of cultural entrepreneurship comes from a 2011 Harvard Business Review article, which explains that cultural entrepreneurs “solve problems by disrupting belief systems.”
At the heart of cultural entrepreneurship are the cultural and creative industries.
This area spans across sectors that center on culture, arts, or heritage. This encompasses traditional professions, such as artists, writers, musicians, actors, dancers, advertisers, curators, and architects, as well as the newer professions of game developers, TV/music producers, bloggers, and graphic designers.
One of the largest misconceptions about the cultural and creative industries is its global economic impact.
According to a 2015 UNESCO report, these industries collectively generate $2.25 billion in revenue, representing a work force of 29.5 million (or 1% of jobs worldwide).
These industries are known as one of the economic areas that appeared to be “recession-proof,” in that this sector grew despite the challenges of the recession.
With such a powerful global impact, are cultural entrepreneurs good social impact partners?
Cultural entrepreneurs are often great partners for social entrepreneurs hoping to have a local social impact.
In fact, cultural entrepreneurs can be drivers of social development through leveraging community engagement or through positioning the arts as a gateway to transformational change.Cultural entrepreneurs can drive social development through community engagement. Click To Tweet
The distinction between cultural and social entrepreneurship can become blurry when considering their synergistic potential. Similar to the relationship between social entrepreneurship and traditional, for-profit forms of entrepreneurship, cultural and social entrepreneurs are both finding inspiration and value in the approach, engagements, and impact of one another.
The strength of cultural entrepreneurs rests in their ability to create cultural meaning.The strength of cultural entrepreneurs rests in their ability to create cultural meaning. Click To Tweet
Because culture is the lens through which we see our world, social entrepreneurs would benefit tremendously from the cultural entrepreneurs’ unique perspectives and ideas of how to meaningfully involve the community in the change process.
Seeking out community cultural entrepreneurs can prove to be a powerful opportunity to make community in-roads and form synergetic, fruitful partnerships.
Claremont Lincoln University offers the following graduate degree programs: