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On this website we would like to explore entrepreneurship from a cultural and social point of view. Or rather put forward entrepreneurial initiatives within these two fields. The word ”entrepreneurship” is a heavily used word these days, you find it everywhere and it is often put forward as a solution to many of society’s different problems. Going back to the basic meaning of the word you can find ”the ability to identify possibilities and create recourses to take access of these possibilities” (wikipedia.org/swedish). It is said that entrepreneurship makes something take a new direction; new angles are found and developed. The Economist Joseph Schumpeter (b 1883) got known for his ideas of innovation and what he called ”creative destruction”. Radical innovation destroys old structures, a necessity to let new knowledge, ideas and structures grow he argued. 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. Artists, writers, poets, dancers, actors and cultural practitioners are all exceptional in their way of grasping possibilities, seeing an empty physical, psychological or virtual space and make something new out of it. Not always is this combined with a sustainable economy, though. The market for cultural and artistic activities is small; it is a constant lack of economic resources. How do you build a creative and viable organisation in a project world order? How can infrastructure be built to support entrepreneurial initiatives within culture and civil society? What are entrepreneurial initiatives and where do they grow?
Here we will try to focus on these questions and others, explore entrepreneurship within culture and social sector, from different angles and a wide definition we will collect initiatives we find during our everyday work and life at Nätverkstan, a cultural organisation placed in Gothenburg, Sweden. From this spot we run projects and training programs, bookkeeping and workshops, distribution and marketing of cultural journals and international networking and activities together with our twelve other colleagues.
The website started as part of the project Kläcka Ägg/Ramp, a project supported by Stiftelsen framtidens kultur.
LOTTA LEKVALL is Director of Nätverkstan, a Cultural and Civil Society Organization based in Göteborg, Sweden. Nätverkstan provides services and projects within the small-scale cultural and civil society field, main focus is training and education, bookkeeping and subscription services, Medialab with a workshop area for artists and development projects. The organization run several international projects and workshops. Entrepreneurship within arts and culture and how viable art organizations can be built within this field has been a focus area for ten years and has resulted in several reports and documentations, the most well-known in Sweden being ”Den ofrivillige företagaren” (The Reluctant Entrepreneur) together with co-writer David Karlsson. She has been active in several focus and reference groups in this area and together with the team of Nätverkstan developed and run new educational ideas, such as the International Project Management Programme, Globalverkstan; the two-year programme Project Management within Culture, Kulturverkstan; as well as the latest together with the University of Göteborg and the Academy of Music and Drama on ”The Art of living on Art”. Since start, Nätverkstan has been active on the international scene, invited to several conferences, seminars and discussions, but mainly running projects and workshops in countries like Georgia, Kenya, India and others. Lotta Lekvall is a Boardmember of Innovatum AB and in The Royal Swedish Opera. She has former positions as a Boardmember in The Arts Grants Committee in Sweden, the European network Encatc, and a member of the Swedish Council of Cultural and Creative Industries under the Ministry of Culture and Ministry of Enterprise, Energy and Communication between 2010–2012.
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