NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 25 – Enterprises in the creative industry in East Africa are set to benefit from Sh90 million in credit and technical assistance, following a cooperation agreement between East Africa’s Heva Fund and Agence Française de Développement (AFD).
The financing is aimed at unlocking the potential of the creative and cultural economy in the region.
According to the agreement, enterprises will be able to access working capital and asset financing, as well as strengthen their internal systems to enable them to produce at scale and make their business practices more efficient.
This signing marks the beginning of HEVA’s next four-year strategy, looking to drive Sh500 million in growth investments for enterprises in live music and events; fashion/apparel manufacturing retail; film, television and audiovisual content; and gaming, e-sports and entertainment.
Since its inception, HEVA has been at the forefront of helping producers of cultural goods and services in Kenya and in East Africa to build high-value, profitable businesses, where new ideas will come to life and where the highest potential for great profits, great jobs and happy people will be found.
AFD Chief Executive Officer Rémy Rioux said this was in line with the AFD strategy to develop its activities in the cultural and creative industry.
“We support innovation and start-ups, providing mechanisms for financing the creative and cultural entrepreneurship in East Africa to foster job creation in this sector. The creative sector remains under estimated and many potential entrepreneurs in Africa are struggling to access capital, markets and business training,” said Rioux.
The call for applications for HEVA’s new growth fund will be made in the third quarter of 2018.
HEVA Managing Partner George Gachara said the fund will invest in solid players in the industry with a view to nurturing them in sustainable business that seeks to scale.
“The creative industries present a tremendous opportunity to contribute to the much-needed job creation for young people and export our unique cultural identity into the global marketplace, as well as position Kenya as a global destination for tourism, the arts and entertainment. We want to bridge the gap by offering tailor-made, innovative financial and business support solutions to these ventures,” said Gachara.
HEVA Fund invests in the transformative social and economic potential of the creative economy sector in the East African region.
The fund has innovated new financial models tailored for creative industries; provided business development services to over 400 creative entrepreneurs; invested in over 25 creative businesses in five value-chains, and supported the development of a favourable business environment.