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An innovative social enterprise: roles of and challenges faced by an arts hub in a World Heritage Site in Malaysia

An innovative social enterprise: roles of and challenges faced by an arts hub in a World Heritage Site in Malaysia

Chan, Jin ORCID: 0000-0002-6275-9763, Chen, Shih-Yu, Piterou, Athena ORCID: 0000-0003-4138-113X, Lean, Hooi Hooi, Khoo, Suet Leng, Hashim, Intan H.M. and Lane, Bernard (2021) An innovative social enterprise: roles of and challenges faced by an arts hub in a World Heritage Site in Malaysia. City, Culture and Society, 25:100396. ISSN 1877-9166 (doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ccs.2021.100396)

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Abstract

This research examines the roles of an arts hub in George Town, Malaysia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Operating largely as a social enterprise, it has fostered links between the local cultural sector, international arts actors, local communities, and tourists. But this innovative approach does encounter some challenges. This research employed a structured questionnaire and in-depth interviews with key persons, to understand the adopted management strategies and innovation practices. The arts hub has converted a derelict bus depot into an arts space serving both artists and local communities. This place-making effort has gained international acclaims for its innovations and community engagement. But it is a “meanwhile” space, precarious in nature due to land development threats as it is located at the edge of the old city centre, just outside of the world heritage site regulated zone. It also faces challenges in financial sustainability; further innovation in its business model is warranted particularly in revenue model innovation and partnership-building with the public sector and the tourism industry. The organisation is the focal point of an extended international and local art community in a mini-entrepreneurial ecosystem. It survives by finding innovative ways, taking some risks to obtain resources, retain and nurture talent, and reach out to the community. The research helps to provide a greater understanding of the potential roles and challenges faced by innovative social enterprises in the cultural and creative sector worldwide.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Creative industries, organisational innovation, network analysis, meanwhile space, gentrification, penang
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Business
Faculty of Business > Department of Systems Management & Strategy
Faculty of Business > Networks and Urban Systems Centre (NUSC)
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 02 Sep 2021 15:10
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
Selected for REF2021: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/33226

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