afd, hevaThe Agence Française de Développement (AFD) on Friday signed a cooperation agreement with HEVA Fund to advance credit and technical assistance in a project worth Sh.90 million in a bid to unlock the potential of the creative and cultural economy in Kenya.

This signing marks the beginning of the fund’s next four-year strategy, looking to drive Sh.500 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.

These enterprises will be able to access working capital and asset financing, as well as strengthen their internal systems to enable them produce at scale and make their business practices more efficient.

Speaking at the signing of the partnership agreement, AFD’s 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,” he said.

“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.

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Since its inception, the fund 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.

In this short time, HEVA 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 5 value-chains; and supported the development of a favorable business environment.

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