Kenyans Dominate Ignite Culture’s Inaugural and Cut-Throat Shortlist

Ignite Culture has announced its grant applicant shortlist of 20 businesses and Kenyans are leading yet again. This project is an ACP EU Culture Programme that offers support to creative and cultural industries in 14 Eastern African countries.

The culture programme is a project by HEVA Fund and the British Council with the financial contribution of the European Union. Additionally, it receives support from the Organisation of ACP (African, Caribbean, and Pacific) States. For this inaugural edition, Ignite Culture is happy to commit a total of €2.5 Million to the final shortlist. 

Call For Applications & Review

Since launching its inaugural call for applications in August 2021, Ignite Culture has encouraged creative talents with registered and operational businesses to apply. The grants receivable are up to a maximum of €180,000 per application. Ignite Culture’s target countries include Kenya, Burundi, the Comoros Islands, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Mauritius, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda.  

Since making the call, the fund received and reviewed a total of 379 applications from the eligible countries. Out of the applications submitted, Kenya was leading in the number of submissions at 134. Uganda and Rwanda follow with 58 and 53 applications respectively.

Without a doubt, the organizers are proud of the impressive response to this call. Commenting on this shortlist, British Council Kenya Country Director Jill Coates noted, “The incredible response we received from across East Africa has demonstrated the wealth of creative talent and ideas present across the region. We are thrilled to be working with our partners at HEVA and the EU to offer this vital programme for the creative sector in the region.

During the applications’ review, all Ignite Culture applicants were subject to a rigorous 6-step process. A selection process that includes 2 review panels, pitch meetings, due diligence, and finally a financial and capacity assessment. Successful applicants were shortlisted, invited to review and execute their grant contracts, and are currently at the final stage.

Kenyan Shortlisted Businesses

Out of the 20 shortlisted businesses, 8 are from Kenya. They include:

  • Book Bunk Trust. A social impact firm that works to restore public libraries.
  • Za Kikwetu Productions Ltd. An audio-visual production house in Nairobi, that focuses on cultural heritage and podcasting.
  • Avandu Vosi Studio. A group of artists who tell stories through comics, illustrations and animations.
  • Saba Studios. A design lab and manufacturer of indoor and outdoor furniture, inspired by the rich history of Swahili furniture and culture.
  • Bomas of Kenya. A state agency that works to preserve, maintain, educate and promote the diverse cultures of various ethnic groups in Kenya.
  • BlackRhino VR. A virtual reality production company that develops online content through the power of virtual reality technology.
  • Standup Collective. An organization aiming at growing a comedy club culture in Kenya, in order to create a community of comedians and comedy lovers.
  • Muthoni Music Entertainment. A company that focuses on music performance and training.

The final grantees will be announced on the official ACP EU Culture Programme – Ignite Culture website and social media pages soon.

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