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Archaelogical Business Models to Grow Economic Development

According to Miliken Institute Report, Israel needs to explore archaeological business models to increase its economic development. On Feb. 2, 2011, the economic think tank issued its recommendation with the following preamble: “Two-thirds of Israel’s 64 developed archaeological sites are operating in the red, creating an unsustainable future for the country’s incredibly rich and potentially economically rewarding cultural heritage reserves.”

Miliken Institute is a 501 (c)(3) independent think tan that aims to  promote and “create a more democratic and efficient global economy.”

The report suggests that applying business start-up financing models, such as the community microfinance, venture capital or development bonds, could help preserve and protect the Israel’s thousands of archaeological sites and provide local and national economic growth.

It proposed a number of financial solutions, including:

  • Community microfinance, building on the example of Lawrence Coben’s Sustainable Preservation Initiative, could help local communities leverage loans, philanthropic donations and direct equity to finance targeted development.
  • Israel’s tremendously successful venture capital market is a valuable source of potential funding for culture heritage cluster development, linking archaeological preservation with the tourism, small business, retail and even technology sectors.
  • Relatively low-risk archaeological development bonds provide long-term project financing for preservation and can be funded by a variety of revenue streams, including antiquity leasing, media content and intellectual property and even artisan craft and replica merchandise.

According to the institute’s website, the report is a result of a Financial Innovations LabTM that “pulled together a diverse group of researchers, policymakers, and business, financial and professional practitioners.”