Nova Cvernovka, Facebook picture, 12.08.2020
External Finance: Grants, fundraising, Polish social bank loan backed by European Easi guarantee and loan from Slovak commercial bank, Supplier loan.
Internal Finance: Rented studios, entry fees bars and rents to external productions
Values: Social, Cultural, Environmental and Economic
Key takeaways of this inspiring case: Nova Cvernovka’s ability to engage with its community and to diversify its income streams has been key in realising its path to sustainable growth and financial resilience. The profound community involvement has brought Nova Cvernovka long-term financial benefits, as well as innovative social and cultural projects.
Understanding financing needs: Initially, the Nova Cvernovka founders were searching for funding to renovate their new building. After managing to gather loans from a Polish social bank and Slovak commercial bank group, they realised they needed to generate stable cash flows, in order to be able to repay their loans and stay resilient.
The importance of community support and diversified income streams: Through community support, they were able to achieve this objective: local community members invested their skills, time and financial means in the renovation, enabling the completion of a great part of the work, while also boosting financiers’ trust in their project. The creatives and organisations who helped in the reconstruction, subsequently rented the renovated studios. This reinforced the sense of social engagement and community building, which was in turn further strengthened through the renters’ direct involvement in the development of creative initiatives within Nova Cvernovka. Renting out the studios also ensured a constant income stream and allowed for diversification of income sources: while public grants and fundraising support Nova Cvernovka’s cultural and educational programmes, the studio rents finance the creative centre.
Nova Cvernovka as a source of inspiration on adaptive re-use to strengthen regional growth: From then on, Nova Cvernovka has shaped its strategy around collaborative values by building partnerships with the community and the local government. Nova Cvernovka has also been recognised as a source of inspiration regarding the adaptive re-use of public buildings in the region as a driver for regional development. This is also clearly elaborated in the Nova Cvernovka book “Don’t Sell – Revitalize” on best practices in the field, also containing an overview of possible financing options to repurpose public buildings.
A clear mission and vision to strengthen future partnerships: Nova Cvernovka’s project for the future is to make their values and visions explicit, so to have a clearer internal and external communication strategy. This will be an important step to build even stronger partnerships and reach out to its own community, other financiers, regional public bodies.
Interview with Branislav Cavoj co-funder of Nova Cvernovka on 17/09/2020