Cultural Entrepreneurship Project

Learn more about ideas and tools that helps to bring artists, social innovators and entrepreneurship together

Project idea

Cultural heritage, in many cases, may serve not only as a great remind of history, fascinating culture or inspiring objects, but also as an accelerator for creative or social entrepreneurship. It may help in building bridges among different stakeholders, organizations and people in order to facilitate economic growth, cooperation and sustainable development.

Cultural Entrepreneur Project focuses on sharing best practices to help business educators to grow the cultural sector and include a diverse and wide range of people in its development. Sometimes it feels like bringing people from various backgrounds – business, innovators, social sector and creators – could be barely possible. However, teams from United Kingdom, Lithuania and Italy met in Matera in order to share ideas and instruments for how we can combine different sectors and build valuable ideas.

Matera experience – European Cultural capital 2019

Matera is a unique place in Europe and not only because of its incredible landscape, breathtaking old town, many events and exhibitions (definitely the place to visit this year!). 10 years ago everything there looked very different than it is today.

Could you believe that once this place was called ‘the shame of Italy’ by the Italian government? On that day nobody saw a unique old town called ‘Sassi’’, mostly consisting of caves, as a place to develop. It was surrounded by poverty, diseases, low sanitary levels. That is why the town council in the 1950s took a decision to leave the old town abandoned and move all the residents to the suburbs by building new, modern buildings. This is how the most unique place, the ‘Sassi’ was abandoned.

And even though, the place was protected by UNECSO since 1993, this alone wasn’t enough to develop a highly valuable touristic place.

Matera then had a rebirth. 10 years ago group of innovators gathered together to focus on a goal that  in 2019 Matera will become a capital of culture. The main challenge was how to make the community believe that the Sassi could become a modern and unique place for people from all around the world to visit? How could they connect people from different backgrounds – artists, architects, entrepreneurs, activists, government – in order to build and implement new vision of Matera?

Eventually, this was very successful, and the town brought  together many great, creative and innovative initiatives, such that community engagement led to Matera becoming Captial of Culture.  Every weekend thousands of visitors arrive in Matera – population 60,000 – and are delighted by its history, culture and built environment.

Matera HUB – Creative project CANVAS

So in this case – how can we  help creators, artists and business educators to build social innovations? How can we  bring together their ideas with entrepreneurs?

Project partner Matera HUB, has previously developed a great instrument – Creative Project CANVAS. This tool is mostly based on the original Business Model Canvas, but in a way that is simplified and developed as more friendly instrument for artists, social innovators and communities leaders. The methodology also involves guidelines for  how to  build a project concept from a creative idea step by step.

The Creative Project Canvas is available for use in English.

Soon Creative Project CANVAS will be available in Lithuanian.


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