HEVA Fund has confirmed receipt of 76 eligible out of the 430 applications that were submitted for its East Africa Creative Business Fund (EACBF). HEVA, which was established in 2013, prides itself in being Africa’s pioneer creative economy catalyst program.
So far, the fund has offered financial assistance to businesses in various fields of the creative economy such as Fashion, Film, Photography, Digital Creation, Live Music & Cultural Festivals, Home Design, Craft, and Cultural Food just to mention a few.
The East Africa Creative Business Fund (EACBF), which is one of HEVA’s projects is a loan facility created to offer debt investment of between USD 20,000 to USD 50,000, over a maximum period of 4 years to creative businesses in East Africa. It is in partnership with the European Union, and Agence Française de Développement (AFD). The call for EACBF submissions was made last year in September, and out of the 430 applications, 248 of them were Kenyan, followed by Rwanda 60, Uganda 59, Ethiopia 33, and Tanzania 30.
The eligibility rules required participants to have businesses that were registered and operational in the East African countries, annual revenues of no less than USD 20,000, and a minimum of one employee on either a part-time or full-time basis. Kenya also led in the number of shortlisted businesses as 40 out of the 76 businesses were Kenyan. Rwanda had 14, Uganda 11, Tanzania 7, and Ethiopia 4.
The selected 76 businesses will undergo various processes such as viability and due diligence assessments and pitch panels to interrogate the businesses further on their alignment to the criteria of the fund. Finally, they will go through a financial modeling stage that will assess the ability of the businesses to absorb the loan amount applied for, before awarding the loans to the finalists.
The EACBF which is worth USD 380,000, is a timely response to the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on small and medium-sized businesses in the creative economy. The fund is hoping to provide financing for creative businesses in order to help restructure interrupted supply chains, increase production capacity, diversify offerings, increase market share, increase integration in local and regional value chains, support transition to digital capabilities, and take advantage of new possibilities.