Developing a sustainable business

Creatives is eXpression Umeå's incubator program. In the programme, you as a creator with a business are offered help to develop this further into a sustainable business. The help consists of business coaching, workshops with area experts, a helpful and safe community of other creators and much more.
The goal of the programme is to develop you into a sustainable creative with strong self-leadership and resilience and your business into a sustainable business with recurring revenue.

Programme content

The content of the programme is tailored to your company's individual needs. That said, all companies have access to: 

In the incubator programme, you will be assigned a lead business coach. This person will support you through the programme and, through structured coaching sessions, help you achieve the goals you set for your business.

As a Creatives participant, you will have access to several templates to help you structure your business. The archive includes templates and tools for business plans, budgets, business model canvases, shareholder agreements, cooperation agreements, etc. Talk to your business coach and they will help you.

Office space in a creative environment at a reduced rent. We have three variations of office space to match your needs. Cleandesk, private desk or studio. If at any point during the programme you need to change, speak to your business coach.

We know that you get stronger together. That's why generosity, respect and curiosity are at the heart of our work. As part of the incubator programme, you are an important part of this community. Take the opportunity to broaden your network, be inspired and learn from others in the community. Lectures and events are organised to promote the community. Feel free to contact other members of the community, or make suggestions on how we can strengthen the community.

In order to promote your entrepreneurship and your company, eXpression organises several training courses in sales, pricing, branding, business modelling, etc. Choose which training courses you would like to attend from eXpression's range, or make a suggestion about which training courses or other business development activities you would like to participate in. Together with your business coach, you will draw up a plan for the training courses that will most effectively help you and your business move forward.

In eXpression Umeå's premises on the artistic campus there are prototype workshops available. The purpose of these is to make it more efficient for you to develop prototypes of new products. The workshops include 3D printers, laser cutters, advanced sewing machines and tufting machines. To use the workshops, you need to obtain a driving licence, which is free of charge.  

Each company in the incubator is allocated annual financial support to develop the company. These funds can be used, for example, for training, purchase of a specific service/consultant, travel costs, fair participation/exhibition fees or mentor/shadow board fees.

The support must be linked to the activities/objectives in the company's presented action plan and the responsible business coach must approve costs before the company can use the support. 

If the company operates in an international market, it may be offered additional funds for travel support and internationalisation activities.

We can help your company appoint a mentor or shadow board to support you in your work. We call this a SPARK mentor, like a spark (English kick) and a kick forward in the right direction. 

What is required to apply

To apply for the Creatives incubator programme, we want you to have started a business in the artistic, cultural and creative industries. You are working at least 20h/week with the company and that the aim is to develop it into a sustainable business. When applying, we also want you to have done the following: 

Sound interesting? Do not hesitate to apply to the programme by contacting one of the programme officers.


Not quite there yet? 

Developing a sustainable business can be complex and take time. That's why we're here for you. Want help developing your business and meeting the criteria above? Then we recommend our pre-incubator programme, eXpress. 

Read more about that programme here.

Ongoing application

Click on the button below and apply.


We are looking for driven creators with ideas, innovations or businesses in the artistic, cultural and creative industries. Our ambition is to enrich Umeå, Sweden and the world with more innovative ideas.

If you want to know more about us as an incubator, you can find it on the page About us.

If you are interested in how we can help you, read about our offers here.

This is not a requirement for you to apply to us. But of course we'd be delighted if your heart beats a little bit extra for our local area as it's an important part of our business.

However, in order to assimilate some parts of our programmes, you will need to be in Umeå. Sometimes for longer periods. If you have any questions about a specific programme, please contact the programme coordinator, whose contact details you will find together with the information about the respective programme. And the programmes can be found here.

Our core offering consists of our business development programmes. The programmes are tailored to suit creators with ideas, innovations and businesses in the artistic, cultural and creative industries.

The programmes give you, as a creator, the opportunity to test your entrepreneurial skills and become part of a community of other creators who want to develop sustainable businesses.

Read more about the programmes and see which one is right for you here.

Our experienced business coaches are happy to help you find your next step. Contact one of them for advice. We cherish your ideas and apply full confidentiality to everything you discuss with us.

You can find our contact details here.

Participation in the eXpression Umeå programme is free of charge. What we require from you is your time and commitment*.

However, it is important that you secure an income during your time in the incubator. If you lack employment or income from your business, you can contact our business coaches for advice on financial support. You can find their contact details here.

*In the Creatives incubator programme, we charge for your office space.

In our Creatives incubator programme, you can choose between three different office locations:

  • Cleandesk
  • Your own desk
  • Studio

The other programmes include a cleandesk seat and the possibility to rent your own desk or studio.

To get access to an office space, you must apply and be accepted to one of our programmes.

For creators who have applied and been accepted to our business development programmes, we have the opportunity to help creators in a number of ways, through workshops with experts in certain areas such as marketing, sales, manufacturing process, IPR, etc. In addition, we have so-called internationalisation vouchers with the aim of promoting international trade.

We can also help you as a creator to navigate the funding jungle and explore possible funding solutions for your idea, innovation or business.

All business coaches and programme participants at eXpression Umeå have signed confidentiality agreements so your innovation is safe with us. In addition, we have several knowledgeable lawyers in our network who will be happy to help you seek relevant protection for your innovation.

All business coaches and programme participants at eXpression Umeå have signed confidentiality agreements so you can feel safe discussing business secrets with us.

Programme officers



Business coach, programme manager eXpress



Business Coach, Program Manager Creatives

Planned workshops

Sustainability Workshop
20/5 2021

Sustainability Workshop

Sustainergies sustainability students help your company develop an action plan to achieve relevant global goals.
Business model
22/4 2021

Business Model Workshop

Get help to create an initial Business Model canvas for your company.
Social media icons
11/3 2021

Workshop - Brand building in social media

Master social media and reach out to your stakeholders.
Cover image Pricing and Calculation Workshop.
25/2 2021

Workshop Pricing

Get expert help to strategically price your products.
Cover image brand workshop
4/2 2021

Branding workshop - identifying your values

Develop your company's values, a first step towards a strong brand.
24/9 2020

Workshop - Financing

Workshop for participants of Creatives in finding the best financing solution for your business idea or company.

Other programmes

Creatives is eXpression Umeå's incubator program. In the programme, you as a creator with a business are offered help to develop this further into a sustainable business. The goal of the programme is that you develop into a sustainable creator with strong self-leadership and resilience and your company into a sustainable business with recurring revenue.
For many creators, the programme is the first entry point to eXpressions business support. During the programme, you will be given tools and models to test your idea, innovation and entrepreneurship.
eXpression Design
The programme is a collaboration between eXpression Umeå and the creative network High Coast Creative in Örnsköldsvik. As a participant, you will have access to a platform with lectures and workshops in the process from sketch to finished product on the market.
Future Retail Lab
The Future Retail Lab is aimed at new entrepreneurs and owner-managed companies in the retail sector, as well as companies at the interface between retail, hospitality and experience. The programme will help you create growth, develop new business models and forms of collaboration.
Summer eXpression
For one summer, young creators will have the chance to take their design from idea to finished product in collaboration with skilled producers in the Umeå region.
The 3D Lab at Curiosum
Our offers
eXpression Umeå's core offering is our business development programmes but we have more to offer. Read more about our offerings and environments here.