Craft & Design Business Incubator

Project period: April 2011 – April 2013

Project website:

Funding: Karelia ENPI CBC Program

The overall objective of the project is to establish an innovative creative sector of economy in the Republic of Karelia.

The project aims at:
– Creating a System of state support of the representatives of the creative industries sector by adjusting European technologies that support the creative industries development and by supporting innovativeness and business skills of the representatives of the creative industries (design, craft, fashion, textile, etc.) through new concepts and facilities;

– Developing an effective model for creating special handicraft points in culture centers as Craft & Design Business Incubator’s branches, for training in business skills and craft technologies to provide rural population with self-employment along with income rise and improvement of living standards. The model was tested in Sortavala and Pitkyaranta pilot regions.

Main results:

– The creative economy support infrastructure of the Republic of Karelia was created and technically equipped; it includes the Art Slobodа creative incubator, a new exhibition site on the premises of the Traditional Crafts Center, and a Studio for artists-in-residence program.

– 3 crafts grounds were created in pilot regions, which are both the production and development centers.

– The Design Center of Karelia concept was developed, aiming at modernization of Center of Cultural Initiatives, a project partner.

– Over 200 local craftspeople and creative industries representatives took part in various workshops and seminars and had entrepreneurship basics and crafts industry technology training.

– New lines of crafts and souvenirs products were developed; Karelian crafts products were introduced to the new markets.

– Promotion of the new brand image was realized through a complex of marketing activities: participating in 3 exhibitions, publishing catalogs, creating an on-line product catalog, etc.