Opportunities to Learn

Our HEVA Forum program provides opportunities for learning, international exchanges, special skill training workshops, master classes and networking opportunities to help you learn something new.

Since the launch of the program in 2014, HEVA Forum has hosted classes on sound production, public relations, photography, garment manufacturing as well as hosting exchanges, symposia to facilitate networking.


Ota Business Strategy Workshops: The Mombasa Edition

Ota, HEVA’s programmatic focus on women in creative enterprise (read more about Ota here!) is proud to present our first workshop, in partnership with the Urgent Action Fund - Africa, which will be held in County 001!

The Business Strategy Workshop will be held from 22nd to 24th July, at the MombasaWorks Coworking Space at the Avenue Building in Nyali, Mombasa. Attendance will be free of charge! The workshops are open to Mombasa and Coast based businesses, owned or led by women, in the following areas:

  • Fashion and Apparel Manufacturing

  • Digital Content

  • Film and TV

  • Decorative Home

  • Live Music and Cultural Events

  • Natural Cosmetics and Beauty

The workshops will have the following format:


Interactive Learning Sessions - Every evening from 6 to 8pm, an expert will take the group through key strategies for success in areas that have been challenging for upcoming creative enterprises:

Monday 22nd July - Social Media and Marketing

Tuesday 23rd July - Creative Strategy and Product Development

Wednesday 24th July - Financial Management for Creative Businesses

Businesses that are interested in an individual deep dive into these areas will have the opportunity to register after each workshop for the one on one session with the business expert, which will be held the following day.


One on one sessions - The day after every workshop, each expert will host one day of one on one meetings, each half an hour long, from 9.30am to 3.30pm.

(For example, after the Social Media and Marketing Workshop on Monday 22nd July at 6pm, the Social Media and Marketing One on One sessions will follow on Tuesday 23rd July from 9.30am.)

12 half hour sessions will be available each day to those workshop attendees who registered first the day before. In these sessions, the business owner and the expert will tackle a particular challenge or question the business owner is facing, and work with them to map possible solutions. The expert will then follow up after the workshop in the months afterward with the business owner, to discuss ways to increase the impact of these implemented solutions even further.

We’re excited about this introduction to the dynamic creative community from the coastal region! Register for The Mombasa Edition of our Ota Business Strategy Workshops on Eventbrite or using the links above

Highlights from Past Sessions

PR in the Music Industry Workshop

May 2017

Anyiko Owoko, a premier Kenyan entertainment publicist, led a session on PR in the Music Industry. She shared her expert views and opinions from her experience with building brands, and offered essential insights for musicians who wanted to do DIY campaigns.

Creative Finance Symposium

March 2017

We held a two day symposium on Finance for the Creative Sector on the 8th and 9th of March 2017 to address how businesses in the creative and cultural industries could capitalize on the opportunities available in the market.Key insights from the gathering included the urgent need for research and analysis of nuanced quantitative and qualitative in the creative sector, the key role of financial literacy in the growth of creative entrepreneurships, the mixed model approach necessary to shift the creative sector from aid to trade and the possibilities for city-to-city transitions.

Ubunifu Photography Masterclass in Machakos

February 2017

Sound Production Workshop

November 2016

Tim Rimbui - Kenyan music producer and sound engineer - took participants through key considerations in recording, mixing and mastering audio. He also put strong emphasis on how to optimally use whatever tools were at hand, and on ensuring the right hardware set-up before recording vocals or instruments. Participants also had the opportunity to describe each of their studio set-ups, and each received personalised troubleshooting and improvement advice.

Garment Production and Sewn Product Manufacturing Workshop

October 2016

Led by Wagura Kamwana, founder of Textile Loft, and Kepha Maina, fashion designer and creative director of the design house ‘Kepha Maina’, this interactive workshop took designers through the main steps to producing a high quality garment that will sell. Some of the topics covered in the session included the importance of planning, product sampling, market research and pricing.

Creative Studio Lighting and Image Retouching Workshop

September 2016

Thandiwe Muriu - known for her stunning portraits as well as strong fashion, beauty and wedding images - led a practical session where she personally assisted each attendees to photograph a model on set. She then shared a comprehensive guide on the post-production techniques she uses to achieve beautiful, crisp images.  

UNCTAD Creative Economy Dialogues

July 2016

In partnership with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Hivos East Africa, Forum Syd, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the East Africa Trade and Investment Hub, HEVA hosted the Creative Economy Dialogues - a side-event at the 14th United Nations Conference on Trade and Development that was held in Nairobi. The symposium designed guided conversations that sought to amplify the contributions of the creative economy and industries towards the achievement of equitable, inclusive and sustainable development in Kenya and East Africa.

Skills Exchange with Creative Industry Finance (UK)

March 2016

With the support of the British Council, HEVA organised a skills exchange with the good folks at Creative Industry Finance over a period of 3 days. The CIF business advisors and investees facilitated interactive sessions that touched on planning, growing and branding creative enterprises, focusing specifically on making profits, and on the importance of solid, informed planning.