HEVA’s East Africa Creative Business Fund (EACBF) is a loan facility being rolled out in 2021 onwards to successful applicants through debt investments. The investments are valued at between Ksh. 2.15 million ($20,000) Ksh. 5.375 million and ($50,000) over a maximum period of 4 years.

The fund has announced a receipt of 76 eligible applications out of a total of 430 applications from Kenya (248), Uganda (59), Ethiopia (33), Tanzania (30) and Rwanda (60). All the applications were submitted between September and October 2020, when the call for EACBF was officially opened.

76 of all the 430 applications have been declared eligible for the fund, having met its specific requirements. All the eligible applicants are registered and operational in East Africa. Uganda (11), Kenya (40), Ethiopia (4), Tanzania (7) and Rwanda (14). Out of these firms, 28 are female-owned or run, while 43 are owned or run by men. 5 applicants preferred not to state their gender. The value chain distribution included Crafts (3),Cultural Education (4), Cultural Infrastructure (3), Cultural Tourism (4), Digital Media (10), Events (1), Fashion (21), Film and Photography (9), Food (7), Interior (3), Live Music (4), Music Production (6) and Hair and Beauty (1).

The successful applications will undergo 3 stages

  • The business panel to look at the viability of these businesses.
  • A creative panel that will look at the products and market fit.
  • A pitch panel that will interrogate the businesses deeper to better understand their alignment to the criteria of the fund.

These businesses will then undergo a due diligence process to review their compliance, and then go through a financial modelling stage to assess the business’ ability to absorb the loan amount applied for. The final stage shall be contracting and then announcements of the finalists.

The East Africa Creative Business Fund, worth Ksh. 40.85 million ($380,000) is additional financing to HEVA’s existing Growth Fund. The fund is designed to provide growth capital to medium sized creative businesses in Kenya and East Africa.

Through the new fund, as well as the active Growth Fund Facility, HEVA aims to build on increasing contribution of the creative and cultural industries to the regional GDP and the region’s economy.

Wakiuru Njuguna, HEVA Partner and Investment Manager says, “HEVA is committed to allocating capital to the creative sector, and we are particularly excited about being able to expand to the rest of East Africa especially at a time like this when availability of capital is limited. We are cognisant of the particular challenges that businesses in this sector face,and a result, we hope that the impact of this facility will be a testament to more capital allocation to East African businesses in the creative sector. Our goal is to commit more capital, as we are looking to raise 20M USD for the regional sector in the next three years.”

HEVA is facilitating the East Africa Creative Business Fund debt investments in partnership with the European Union, and Agence Française de Développement (AFD). Both fund facilities cater to creative businesses that are registered and operational in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania and Ethiopia.