An Incredibol! study visit in Bologna

  • culture

Bologna hosted a study visit as part of the Culture for Cities and Regions initiative on supporting local cultural entrepreneurs.

On 28-29 October 2015 the city of Bologna hosted visitors from Aarhus (Denmark), Cesis (Latvia), Chemnitz (Germany), Denia (Spain), Irun (Spain), Magdeburg (Germany), Porto (Portugal), Pordenone (Italy), Sofia (Bulgaria) and Utrecht (Netherlands), together with experts Philippe Kern (KEA European affairs) and Peter Inkei (Budapest Observatory) for a study visit organised as part of the Culture for cities and regions project. The study visit focused on supporting local creative entrepreneurs. Initiatives such as Incredibol! were presented and discussed.

Incredibol! is a project launched in 2010 and based on a network of 23 public and private partners and designed to boost the local cultural and creative sector. Young entrepreneurs in the cultural and creative industries (CCIs) are offered a range of financial and in-kind benefits to help them establish and grow their businesses. In doing so, Incredibol! aims at retaining the region’ s creative talents and promoting the CCIs as a driver for innovation.

Every 12 or 18 months, Incredibol! launches an open call for innovative projects in the CCI sector. Partners of the network select those presenting a long term vision and a sustainable approach that could best benefit from support during their start-up phase. Winning cultural and creative professionals receive from the partners tailor-made advice on managerial and legal issues as well as training and consulting assistance to cope with the general lack of entrepreneurial skills in the sector.

Winners also benefit from free spaces and/or buildings (usually small offices, studios, workshops) owned by the municipality and which are not in use; they only pay for running costs. Spaces are normally assigned for 4 years; if spaces need renovation, they can be assigned for a longer period. This is a case of strategic use of the local public heritage; the city can not afford renovation costs, and in times of economic recession it is difficult to rent certain spaces. Providing such spaces for free to local creative people is a way to support them while micro-regenerating some areas of the city.

Since 2010, a fast growing creative community is developing in the city and region and 64 creative projects have beneficiated from Incredibol!’s support. The increasing number of applications (an increase of more than 30% in 2014) emphasises the creative and cultural sector’s growing interest in and awareness of Incredibol! It also reveals the relevance of the initiative in relation to the needs of CCIs locally.

For more information on Incredibol, please visit:

Our second call for cities and regions to participate in study visits is open until 4 December! More information is available here.

EUROCITIES staff contact

Cecile HoupertProject support officer

EUROCITIES staff contact

Julie Herve