STRENGTHENING COOPERATION WITH PRIVATE INVESTORS
Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) due to its uniqueness and incomparability on a regional and country scale, requires an individualized approach, which also refers to the financing aspects of ICH manifestations. It is, therefore, important to look for unconventional ICH financing solutions that match the specific project. The answer to the needs of ICH creators and operators is establishing cooperation with private investors who are open to support extraordinary projects, with development potential, with an innovative approach, projects that do not always meet the guidelines for obtaining public or EU funding.
Engaging private investors depends mainly on the originator's commitment to the implementation of the ICH project and a good pitching strategy. The pitch process should start at the very early stage of looking for the investors, long before the ICH originator meets the potential investor to present him the project. The approach to each type of investor/form of private investment should be slightly different, depending on its specificity. Therefore cooperation with private investors requires good understanding of how they operate and on what basis they make investment decisions, in order to be able to interest them in a particular ICH idea.
The form and scope of private financing in each of Central European countries may differ, that is why it is important to make sure of what kind of funding is possible and what the legal and tax regulations related to investments of persons or entities in our ICH undertaking are. Due to the uniqueness, diversity and "intangibility" of ICH projects very often it is a good solution to use the financial assembly so-called "financial mix" combining financing from various sources, including financial support from private investors, with public financing, traditional bank loans and alternative financial tools such as crowdfunding. The key issue is to find the right financing combination for certain ICH project.
The important role of the ICH Desks in each region in this subject area was on the one hand to encourage and support local actors in changing the way they perceive private investors, to raise their awareness about the potential of cooperation these type of investors, and on the other hand attracting and engaging private investors to finance ICH ventures, and to promote the idea of private investments for the development of ICH initiatives. For this purpose, the project partners organized individual and group meetings and significant local events aimed at cultural creators and private investors to help both groups strengthen cooperation and also to present that investing in ICH has an impact not only on the positive image of investors brand but it can also generate profits for both sides.