Innovating Through Artistry

For Profit or Not-for-Profit?

In The Idea on November 6, 2007 at 5:48 am

For those of you who took the time to read my post Art, Business and Community Unite about Beehive Co-Op- a retail for-profit franchise concept, do you think that it is possible to profit in the arts while providing educational and entrepreneurial support in the competitive world of retailing?

Beehive Co-Op claims to be the antithesis of the franchise concept, but, is in fact, a franchise. Frankly, this concept has me intrigued. This might be the first time I have ever seen a business concept that truly seeks to provide educational and entreprenurial support to its “vendors” by nurturing their spirit as a for-profit venture, instead of a not-for-profit cause.

The irony in all of this, to me, is that arts entrepreneurial incubators are starting to spring up around the country. Many of them have a lot to offer and some of them even compete with Beehive’s concept. All of these are running as not-for-profit ventures opting to raise money instead of borrowing it.

What do you think about Beehive’s concept?

Would you invest 100K in this concept, which includes a franchise fee of $30,000, but does not include the cost of leasing retail space? Does this concept seem like it belongs as a for-profit or not-for-profit given the number of arts incubators popping up across the country?

The first Beehive Co-Op was sold not long ago for less than 100K claiming cash flow of just over 50K annually. The founder is going on to build the second Beehive Co-Op in New York City. But is this enough of a profit for the 3 years of work it took for her to build the Beehive Co-Op in Atlanta, the first one, to justify a 30K franchise fee for this business-in-a-box?

Take a look at some of these programs and concepts springing up. Do you think Beehive Co-op made a mistake becoming a for-profit franchise instead of a not-for-profit cause? Tell me what you think.

(For those of you in a hurry, if you only have time to look at one of these, check out Studio 1219 first)

The Madison Arts Incubator
Arlington Virginia Arts Incubator
Kansas City Arts Incubator
Cincinnati Arts Incubator
Studio 1219

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