Home | Grants | HEVA East Africa Creative Business Fund (grants upto $380,000 USD)

HEVA East Africa Creative Business Fund (grants upto $380,000 USD)

HEVA Officially Opens Applications for the East Africa Creative Business Fund

In partnership with the European Commission, and Agence Française de Développement (AFD), HEVA Fund has opened applications to the East Africa Creative Business Fund – an additional facility to the existing growth fund. This will see an additional investment of USD 380,000 go to creative businesses that are registered and operational in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania and Ethiopia. 

The East Africa Creative Business Fund is a patient loan facility that will be made available to successful applicants through debt investments of between USD 20,000 and USD 50,000, given for a maximum of 4 years. This fund is designed to provide financing for creative businesses to: restructure interrupted supply chains; increase production capacity; diversify offerings; increase market share; increase integration in local and regional value chains; support transition to low-touch and digital capabilities; and take advantage of new opportunities. 

Enterprises under any of the following creative economy value chains will be eligible to apply: fashion; crafts and handmade items; furnishings and decorative home; cultural tourism; creative and cultural education; cultural food and cuisine; cultural infrastructure (spaces, equipment, platforms etc); events; digital media; film and television; photography, and music production and distribution. 

Through this new East Africa Creative Business Fund, as well as the active growth fund facility, HEVA aims to: build on the increasing contribution to the regional GDP by the cultural and creative industries to the region’s economy; grow dynamic, youth-led creative enterprises; increase creative business ownership, management and leadership among women, especially young women; and contribute to the growth of the East African cultural footprint in regional and international markets. 

Eligibility And Requirements

Key requirements for each application are:

1. Your business must be registered and operational in one of the listed countries: Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Ethiopia. At least 51% of company shareholders must be citizens in any of these countries.

2. Your business must be able to demonstrate a resident team (permanent or part-time). The business must have a minimum of one (1) permanent employee.

3. You must have valid financial statements or audited accounts for a minimum of one (1) year.

4. Your business must demonstrate that it has been operating for at least two (2) years.

5. Your enterprise must be in any of the following creative economy value chains:

Crafts and Handmade Items
Toys (including board games and children’s toys), traditional crafts (including dhow making, door carving, musical instruments, soapstone, beads, sculptures), candle makers, gifts and stationery.

• Creative and Cultural Education
Relevant programming in sector-aligned schools and colleges, development of relevant educational online and mobile applications, courses, masterclasses and more, art schools, programs and centres (including child and adult lessons for music—vocal and instruments training, visual arts, drama, dance, crafts and more).

• Cultural Infrastructure
Upgrading and renovating and equipping production capacity, including at-home production, recording, rehearsal and performing space-making for relevant physical and online use, exhibition space-making, work in/ around archives and libraries, co-working spaces, making and improving of online marketing and distribution platforms, including video-on-demand and streaming platforms, and e-commerce marketplaces.

• Cultural Tourism
Curated physical and digital experiences, guided tours, such as city tours, cycling tours, walking tours, night tours and more.

Decorative Home
Designers, makers and manufacturers of decorative home furnishings (including furniture, lighting, mirrors, made-to-order furniture and more).

Digital Media
Content production and distribution (including in the arenas of entertainment, gaming/e-sports, sector-aligned podcasts and vlogs), translation (subtitling and voice-over recording), literature publishing (e-books, digital magazines and other online applications), edutainment, including children’s and adults learning content (in all relevant languages), relevant online presentations, tutorials, masterclasses and more.

Digital/virtual and physical event renditions (including music and cultural events, festivals), events supplies (including decor, sanitation, tents, flooring and accessories, sound and lighting, pyrotechnics and more), event planners.

• Fashion
Textile manufacturers, fabric and garment/ apparel wholesalers and retailers, designers, makers and manufacturers of leather goods, garment producers including industrial apparel or personal protective equipment (PPE), makers of accessories (bags, wallets, belts, hats and more), jewellery (using beads, precious metals/gems, natural materials and more), menswear, womens-wear, baby/ junior/ childrenswear, lingerie and intimates, school uniforms, industrial uniforms, occasions and bridal/wedding wear, traditional/cultural garments, and more.

Film, TV and Photography
Archiving, commercial film production and distribution, co-financing commissioned work.

Food and Cuisine
Cultural food offerings (including innovative approaches to food, food trucks, food and dining experiences, non-alcoholic beverages, and more), culture-centric cooking classes, courses and food vlogging, indigenous food preparation, preservation and presentation, makers and distributors of spices, condiments and preserves (such as jams, pickles, sauces and more), locally made and culture-centric sweets, confections and snacks, food event and festival curators, cultural wellness explorations (remedies, herbs, teas, honey and associated products, fermented non-alcoholic drinks, and more).

• Music Production and Distribution
Record labels, digital distributors etc.


Apply for funding here.

Deadline: Ongoing

For more information visit HEVA East Africa Creative Business Fund

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