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Artskeeper as a Social Enterprise

I have spoken about Artskeeper being a Social Enterprise. Let me explain:

On the one hand, Milton Friedman claimed that returning value to shareholders was the primary responsibility of business and suggested that “Greed is Good.” Shareholders, of course, could invest their money in whatever causes they desired, but Friedman believed companies should focus their own efforts on creating value for shareholders by increasing its profits. On the other hand, the alternative nonprofit model talks about a nonprofit company having its prime responsibility to society. For this reason, the government supports a nonprofit enterprise by giving investors (called donors) tax benefits for investing or donating to a nonprofit. 

A Social Enterprise strikes a balance in the middle. It sees its responsibility to society, the company itself, its employees and to shareholders.  At the intersection of the private and volunteer sectors, social enterprises seek to balance activities that provide financial benefits with social goals, such as housing for low-income families or in our case, support for artists and the arts. 

While earning profits is not the primary motivation behind a social enterprise, revenue still plays an essential role in the venture's sustainability. Sustainable revenue differentiates a social enterprise from a traditional charity that relies on outside funding to fulfill its social mission. This goal does not mean social enterprises cannot be profitable. Instead, it's simply that their priority is to reinvest profits into their social mission, employees, rather than fund payouts to shareholders. Some money or benefits still flow back to donors and sponsors (instead of dividends and tax breaks).

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) identifies social enterprises as being highly participatory, with stakeholders actively involved and a minimum number of paid employees.

We want to improve the situation of the artist and the arts in society. Our slogan is “help the arts flourish and artists thrive”. The problem: artists are not paid a decent wage. Shelley claims that "Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of mankind". The key word is "unacknowledged." Unappreciated, not paid properly. 

ArtsKeeper's solution: encourage artists of all kinds, support them as much as possible, enable them to get most of the profits of their talents and works instead of giving it to the middleman, help solve their problems, the most important of which are services, exposure, community and income generation. 

How we earn money:

  • Funding: by selling goods and services to consumers. ArtsKeeper takes a lower commission than traditional retailers or middlemen

  • Through donations, sponsorships and grants.

  • By having advertising on ArtsKeeper 

  • By giving services at a beneficial price


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