What is a Cultural Enterprise?

Sanjay Anandaram 26 October, 2020


Socrates is supposed to have said “The beginning of wisdom is the definition of terms”. So as the Network of Indian Cultural Enterprises – NICE – launches its inaugural event Aarohana on Oct 31st, it is important for us to understand what we, at NICE, mean by cultural enterprise.

Cultural Enterprise

As always, it is hard to get a definition that is universally accepted and applicable! 

The Aspen Institute says that “cultural enterprises are commercial ventures that connect creators and artists to markets and consumers”. Further, the definition includes the creation of cultural and social opportunities for creators and consumers. It includes nonprofit and for-profit endeavors.

The UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development) defines creative goods as those which meet “the cycle of creation, production and distribution of a tangible product with creative content, economic and cultural value and a market objective”. UNCTAD also goes on to add that the creative economy is a significant and meaningful contributor to national and global GDPs spurring innovation and knowledge transfer. 

At NICE, we have adopted a simple approach: Cultural entrepreneurs are those who (aim to) build successful businesses that deliver branded products and services and are based on India’s cultural traditions, practices, heritage and know-how. For now, we have chosen the categories of health, beauty & wellness, food & beverages, fashion & accessories, home decor & furnishings, and experiential tourism. And successful businesses are those that (aim to be) are at least self-sustaining ie, are profitable. Our focus is therefore on entrepreneurs and businesses with a market and customer focus. Companies like GoCoop, Vahdam Teas, Jaypore, Zouk, Paperboat, Sarva, and many more. 

NICE will work towards creating an ecosystem with the cultural entrepreneurs being central players, assisted by funders, mentors and experts. We believe that these successful cultural businesses will ultimately help build Brand India. Just like how successful Indian IT companies and tech startups did so very well. 

Join the NICE Community

If this vision of NICE sounds like something you want to be part of, join the NICE community. Become a NICE Friend!

Or Register for Aarohana!

Sanjay Anandaram