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[Épinglé] March 2023 Anglophone Topic of the Month:Museums and Entrepreneurship

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Nmbure
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A‘museopreneur’ was defined in 2019 by American entrepreneur Brendan Ciecko as someone “who embraces or assumes characteristics of an entrepreneur to advance their museum’s business model and general operations”.

Entrepreneurship, while not being able to solve the problems of young people, appears to be a sustainable solution to the employment crisis in Africa. According to the African Development Bank, 22% of Africa's working- age population are starting businesses, which make Africa the continent with the highest entrepreneurship rate in the world. 

In sectors such as museums where the majority of institutions are nonprofits with a strong adherence to a central and focused mission, monetizing external expertise or other assets, if done in ways that propel a museum’s mission, can be tremendously fruitful and beneficial across the board. It can also constitute a great opportunity for young entrepreneurs to get involved and make positive impact within the cultural world.

Museums and cultural institutions can apply entrepreneurial principles to encourage inquiry, drive innovation, and transform themselves into truly modern organizations that are poised to take advantage of today’s enormous opportunities.

Weeks 1&2

How can museums work with entrepreneurs?

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Tsholo Kenathetswe
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Museums can leverage on the use of entrepreneurs in developing marketing strategies and exhibition designs which entail entrepreneurial principles to encourage inquiry, drive innovation, and transform themselves into truly modern organizations.

For museums to transform, there is a need for effective marketing strategies that will help to attract and encourage the public to frequently visit the museums. In creasing chances of boosting brand awareness and museum attendance are thus vital towards the growth and  sustainability of museum institutions.

Museums can further benefit from the entreprenuership field through exhibition design. Proper exhibition designs will tell the museum's business model, whether the museum is for collection display or non-collection display.

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Zuhura
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@tsholo I agree with you about marketing strategies that museums should use this technique to attract more visitors and other stakeholders to invest in this place. For example, there are different elements in marketing strategies, including product, price, people, place, promotion, etc. So if African museums employ these strategies effectively, the  museums will benefit a lot from the entrepreneurship field.

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Tsholo Kenathetswe
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@zuhura true because visitor experience is important when it comes to museums and i take it that marketing strategic methods will help to influence visitor interactions with museum collections and to continue refining them for improvement. And this will mean museum will be challenged to do thorough and continous research to update their information/records where need be.

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Nmbure
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@tsholo indeed Museums have the opportunity to tap into marketing strategies that they can take advantage of to advance their cause. Exhibition designs is also something that entrepreneurs can help museums grow. 

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Tsholo Kenathetswe
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@nmbure exactly, and we aspire for quality ad exciting visitor experience at our museums so creative ways to arouse the curiosity of visitors is important in the museums.

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Zuhura
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Peter F Drucker once said that Marketing our museums is so essential that it cannot be considered a separate function. It is the whole business seen from the point of view of its final result, from the customer’s point of view. Museums need marketing because they face substantial competition in the leisure-time marketplace (Kotler et al. 2008). In today’s world, the public generally has several choices but not enough leisure time. Museums have turned to market because it offers theory, tools, and skills that will enable them to increase audiences, build relationships with stakeholders, and increase revenue streams. Therefore museums can work with intrapreneurs through the following;

Most African museums experienced a growing pressure to demonstrate that they deliver ‘value for money’(Caldwell, 2005) to become more competitive and self-reliant (Goulding, 2000). In this regard, museum directors had to establish an entrepreneurship base for new financial resources to survive or expand. For example, the Majimaji Memorial National Museum in Tanzania they have created an intrapreneurship environment that will help museums to generate income to run their activities, including; exhibitions, research, educational programmes, fundraising, publications, cultural services, and commercial activities. So, through this, the locals and young entrepreneurs could get involved and make a positive impact within their community and the world at large.

Therefore, to achieve all these, museums should introduce new management techniques incorporating marketing skills that will respond to the good services as a way out of their financial pressures. 

 

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Tsholo Kenathetswe
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@zuhura thanks for bringing out this research findings for they clearly emphasize the existence of todays' museums in  the entrepreneurship-oriented spaces. It means museums need to continously work on their marketing strategies and exhibition design to advance their operations in a competitive market-based environment....and like you mentioning one of the Tanzanian museums' incorporation of entrepreneurship models, it calls for innovative and passion-driven management teams in museums to explore and experiment with techniques from start-ups and technologies.

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Weeks 2
How can museums use their entrepreneurial spirit to enter new business models?

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Tsholo Kenathetswe
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@nmbure 

Museums can use their entrepreneurship spirit to enter new business model by becoming more intentional with raising awareness about entrepreneurship to communities. They need to engage thoroughly with and educate the broader communities on the value of entrepreneurship as an economic development strategy, like they need to bring forth inspirations providing similar or related success stories. The institutions need to work more in understanding local economic development priorities so they know where and how to offer support. This will help the museum institutions to help create solutions that meet the needs of communities.

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Zuhura
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@tsholo

I agree with you about the need for museums to understand the local economy. By doing so, museums can position themselves appropriately in offering services or any support when needed.

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Zuhura
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@nmbure

Museums can use their entrepreneurial spirit to enter the new business by creating a welcoming environment for other entrepreneurs and the locals surrounding it. Museums need to be aware of the internal and external environment to position themselves in a business world and to know their competitors, their customers and what they want so as to fit in their minds.  Museums must employ audience and product-focus approaches to build a robust business model. By doing so, African museums will be in an excellent stage to segment, position and target their customers; hence, they will be able to satisfy their needs and want

 

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(@tatenda)
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@nmbure This is one of the most interesting conversations of the 21st century where, statements like, "Make money make sense" have become the norm. I think it's essential for us to understand and appreciate that museums can be sensitive spaces, as such whenever we talk about entrepreneurship and museums it is important to realize that the word entrepreneurship in museums, to begin with, cannot be treated along general and common "popular standards". The concept of entrepreneurship in Museums should therefore be paired together with sustainability. Unlike in other spaces where sustainability can be a matter of choice or a theoretical issue, Museums dealing with entrepreneurship models should strictly work within the frameworks of sustainability. Before any museum engages in an entrepreneurial model, it is key for it redefines the concept of entrepreneurship in line with its model of operation and its mission statement. Entry into new business models by museums requires these institutions to first have guidelines that do not support elements of, "Business nakedness" as J. Mukusha(2012) advises for corporates. This means that museums should adhere to the principles of Ubuntu given that they are custodians of culture and therefore should have business models which communicate the goodness of doing business with full respect for Good Corporate Government practices where business doesn't have to be wholly dollar driven. Therefore, any entrepreneurial endeavor which upholds Ubuntuism, Sustainability, and Good Corporate Governance is the best way that museums should follow.

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Zuhura
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@tatenda I  agree with you sustainability is critical to what museums are doing.

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 Abba
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Enterpreneuship is the process of crafting, building, and scaling a business to a level where it generates profits, Museums encourage small crafting enterpreneurs of traditional materials by keeping there product in the museums craft shops for Visitors to buy the product this encourage the Young traditional enterpreneurs by adding the value of there product and advertising it internationally.

Museums will enter in to new business by producing and advertising a traditional product and demonstrate how to use the product and after buying it to deliver it world wide.

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