INCREDIBOL!-Bologna’s Creative Innovation is a project to promote creative and cultural activities, supporting the creative and innovative professions and firms
The INCREDIBOL! project is coordinated by the Municipality of Bologna and supported by the Emilia-Romagna Region, in conjunction with public and private players.
It aims at supporting and stimulating the growth of the entrepreneurial dimension of the CCIs sector, through specific actions and tools. It intends to retain, attract and support creative professionals, during the start-up phase of their business project, by providing the tools they need to develop their idea, in a sustainable manner with a business-driven mindset.
The opportunities offered by the project can be summed up in 3 words: small grants, services and spaces.
In particular, the project offers: a yearly call to select business projects; a consulting desk service for the creative talents of the region; workshops and events to receive updates on the CCIs sector; economic contributions for activities related to the internationalization of regional enterprises; pilot projects in collaboration with its partners and other European institutions to encourage exchanges between the creative and the traditional economic sectors; diffusion of opportunities and in-depth information; internship opportunities in collaboration with the University of Bologna.
The project is supported by a network of public and private partners, including the local University, Academy of Fine Arts, Chamber of Commerce and many private partners like entrepreneurs, consultants,
incubators, training providers, which offer free services.

Resources needed

Financial: € 150,000 from Emilia-Romagna Region and € 56,000 from Municipality of Bologna
Human: about 52,000 for enhancement of staff of the Municipality of Bologna, 4 people dedicated to the project and other professionals for specific functions
Other: around 150,000 in real estate valuation

Evidence of success

The project had positive effects in terms of social and urban regeneration, thanks to the establishment of creatives in abandoned spaces.
It has selected 82 winners, aged under 40, through 5 calls for entrepreneurial projects; assigned 27 public buildings to creative professionals and companies; supported small urban regeneration projects, giving assistance to more than 100 beneficiaries per year. The mortality rate of its winners, after 3 years, is 4% of the total

Difficulties encountered

Fragmentation of the sector made up of SMEs and associations, mainly freelancers
Lack of national update on the CCI sector
Resistance to innovation at the bureaucratic level
Difficult dialogue between CCIs and traditional companies

Potential for learning or transfer

Despite being a "top-down" project (the Municipality of Bologna), INCREDIBOL! has the characteristics of a bottom-up initiative, adopting an informal approach and presenting itself as a real reference point for the creative community. It has an approach more horizontal, informal and flexible and less dependent on high budgets (the average financial budget per year is 100.000 Euros, but the global value of the project has been estimated in 500.000), and also able to speak the language of the community of creatives and to shape the identity of the project according to their needs. It’s an example of 'frugal innovation', a demonstration of how small-scale projects can generate bigger impacts with a win-win approach.
Since the administrative level is closer to the company, some barriers
are overcome: many creators have difficulty in approaching administrative practices, management contents or business tools.

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Main institution
Municipality of Bologna
Emilia-Romagna, Italy (Italia)
Start Date
January 2010
End Date


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Good Practices being followed by

Ronan Gingles

Cork City Council