On Thursday 21st of June 2018 we signed a credit investment agreement with Agence Française de Développement (AFD) to advance credit and technical assistance for creative industries in Kenya. This is a project worth KES 90 Million (Euro 800,000), and is a significant part of our 2018/2022 strategy. We shall be offering the financial support to businesses based in Kenya and the technical support to businesses based in the wider East African region.
AFD’s Chief Executive Officer Mr. Rémy Rioux was present to sign the agreement at the HEVA offices. During his brief speech, he noted that HEVA is the first creative industry investment that AFD has made in Africa, and that AFD was proud to sign this commitment towards the Kenyan creative industry. He also remarked that HEVA’s work in the East African creative economy since 2013 had proved to be strongly aligned with the new AFD strategy to develop its activities in the cultural and creative industry in Africa. “We support innovation and start-ups, providing mechanisms for financing creative and cultural entrepreneurship in East Africa to foster job creation in this sector.”
This game changing investment will go towards the new growth fund. Our Finance and Investment Manager Maureen Njuguna spoke about this during her speech at the HEVA AFD contract signing event. “We are aiming at driving KES 500 million in growth investments over the next few years to businesses in the following value chains: live music and events; fashion/apparel manufacturing and retail; film, television, and audiovisual content; and gaming and entertainment.” She also added, “This fund will invest in businesses with at least 5 permanent members of staff, and annual revenues not exceeding KES 50 million, which are looking to increase production capacity, enter new markets and deepen product ranges with a focus on promoting cross-border trade in the East African region.”
During the signing our managing partner George Gachara emphasized the tremendous opportunity that the creative industry presents “...to contribute to the much-needed job creation for young people, export our unique cultural identity into the global marketplace, and position Kenya as a global destination for tourism, the arts and entertainment.” He emphasized HEVA’s commitment to offer tailor-made, innovative financial and business support solutions to these worthy ventures.
Also present at the signing event were a number of our investees. Wangari Nyanjui, the founder and creative director of Peperuka Limited, showcased her work and spoke about the lasting impact that HEVA’s investment has so far made in her business. Thomson Ncube who is part of our commercial photography value chain, and Katungulu Mwendwa, Ogake Mosomi and Wazawazi who are under our fashion umbrella also displayed their work and interacted with other guests.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our guests, AFD, our other partners and friends, and most importantly our investees, for being part of this wonderful occasion. We believe that this is a turning point for us and the community of creative enterprises in Kenya who are looking to produce and operate at scale, and hope that several more such investments will be directed to the sector in this country and the wider East African region. This will substantially contribute to the greater national and regional economy by building 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.