Sources of income of Linnalabor

Keiti Kljavin & Kadri Koppel

I think because we have the status that we get to be quite independent in what we do and we really get to follow our passion and bring our ideas to the organization then the money issue is always a big question. It is not a big surprise. We do have projects throughout years that Linnalabor has been active that have been funded by public money through different funds, cooperation funds as well as the civic society funds.

So we can say that basic model is still a largely project-based. But we have established a small-scale social entrepreneurship. So that brings some income. So we do these Urban Walks that are a bit different in their content. The Urban Walks are not guided by the so-called guides but really the experts or the activists or the people behind these stories in the city. So this is a kind of service that we provide for example for study groups from all over the Europe.
Also some projects that we have done the one I mentioned before the 18-month long project together with a municipality that was kind of also we were offering our service. So it was not a project. It was us as specialists consulting and organizing events to put together this idea of the new city center. A kind of the model can be that we would like to go to be a kind of start-up. So we do not have a financial specialist. We learn while we do. So it can involve more services in the future. But right now we are more concentrated on what we would like to do, what we as urbanists would like to do. And we just figure out where the money comes from, is it a project, is it a municipality, is it a entrepreneur that depends.

But we also do see a need actually to have a more steady income. So we know that we have to work on finding some sponsors as well. But a finding sponsors this is a pretty hard. Let’s see. Yes, it is. To be really convinced about that. Because in Estonia it is not really common. How you approach an established entrepreneur, go and say we want to make cities better? He maybe will not understand. You know, he might be confused. What is the thing you are giving to me? So we have to work on that level I think.

Also it does not have to be always a finding sponsor as finding organizations to cooperate or co-work with. So it does not always have to be money that you get out of this cooperation. But I think this is one of the areas that we have not really worked on that much yet. And we always know that we need to look at. We are really kind of scared as well because it is not going to be easy. But just to say again it is definitely not a part of no ones land. We do not say that being an independent does not mean that you cannot have a money from rich people.

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