Creatives are best defined as individuals who portray originality in thought or in inventing. Most creative artists include people in the areas of fashion, music, writing, art and digital content producers depend on their talent and their ability to concentrate on the art to grow. Just like any other industry, the creative industry demands a certain amount of financial support to fully develop. Getting monetary support is essentially a dire issue in this industry. The emergence of financial sponsors has helped the creative industry to grow considerably.
The Kenyan creative industry has been growing steadily but despite the growth in the creative industry, many start-ups and entrepreneurs are still struggling to get capital. Even in light of the industry’s ability to provide solutions for many African problems, it still remains underestimated.
Creatives in Kenya now have a reason to smile after Heva Fund LLP, an East African fund that invests in the transformative social and economic potential of the creative economy sector in the East African region signed a cooperation agreement with Agence Française de Développement (AFD) to advance credit and technical assistance in a project worth Ksh. 90 million (EUR 800,000). The main aim of the financing is to give creatives in Kenya a chance to unlock their full potential. The money will go to live music and events; fashion/apparel manufacturing retail; film, television and audiovisual content; and gaming, e-sports, and entertainment. These enterprises will not only be able to access working capital and asset financing, but also strengthen their internal systems to enable them to produce at scale and make their business practices more efficient.
HEVA has been at the forefront of helping producers of cultural goods and services in Kenya and in East Africa since 2013. Their focus has been to build high-value, profitable businesses, where new ideas can come to life, and where the highest potential for great profits, great jobs, and happy people will be found. The signing of the agreement marks the beginning of their next 4-year strategy. HEVA is looking to drive Ksh. 500 million in growth investments for enterprises.
AFD’s chief executive officer Mr Rémy Rioux said this was in line with the AFD strategy to develop its activities in the cultural and creative industry. He expressed their support on innovation and start-ups, providing mechanisms for financing the creative and cultural entrepreneurship in East Africa to foster job creation in this sector.
HEVA has not been around for too long but they have managed to innovate new financial models tailored for creative industries. It has also provided business development services to over 400 creative entrepreneurs; invested in over 25 creative businesses in 5 value-chains and supported the development of a favourable business environment.
HEVA Managing Partner Mr George Gachara said the fund will invest in solid players in the industry with a view to nurturing them into a sustainable business that seeks to scale. This is with consideration to the fact that the creative industries present a tremendous opportunity. It has the ability to contribute to the much-needed job creation for young people and export the local and unique cultural identity into the global marketplace. It can as well position Kenya as a global destination for tourism, the arts, and entertainment. The aim is to bridge the gap by offering tailor-made, innovative financial and business support solutions to these ventures.
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