The Uganda creative industry is still under lockdown and people in the creative industry have resorted to other business ventures as another avenue for survival.
The Government of Uganda has done its part in giving them stimulus packages but it’s not enough. Well, the East Africa Creative Business Fund (EACBF), a patient loan facility is being made available from 2021 onwards to successful applicants through debt investments of between USD 20,000 and USD 50,000, over a maximum period of 4 years.
The fund, which is a timely response to the loss of resources and opportunities for creatives during the COVID-19 pandemic, has announced a receipt of 76 eligible applications out of a total of 430 applications from Kenya (248), Uganda (59), Ethiopia (33), Tanzania (30) and Rwanda (60).
All the aforementioned applications were submitted between September and October 2020, when the call for EACBF was officially opened. 76 of all the 430 applications are eligible for the fund, having met its specific requirements: a business’s annual revenue of no less than USD 20,000, and a minimum of one employee (part-time or full time).
All the eligible applicants are registered and operational in the East African countries as follows: Uganda (11), Kenya (40), Ethiopia (4), Tanzania (7), and Rwanda (14).
Out of these firms, 28 are female-owned or run, while 43 are owned/run by men. 5 applicants preferred not to state their gender. The value chain distribution was as follows: Crafts (3), Cultural Education (4), Cultural Infrastructure (3), Cultural Tourism (4), Digital Media (10), Events (1), Fashion (21), Film and Photography (9), Food (7), Interior (3), Live Music (4), Music Production (6) and Hair and Beauty (1).
The successful applications will undergo several stages: the business panel to look at the viability of these businesses; a creative panel that will look at the products and market fit; and then a pitch panel that will interrogate the businesses deeper to better understand their alignment to the criteria of the fund.
These businesses will then undergo a due diligence process to review their compliance, and then go through a financial modeling stage that will assess the ability of the business to absorb the loan amount applied for. The final stage shall be contracting and then announcements of the finalists.
The East Africa Creative Business Fund, worth USD 380,000, is additional financing to HEVA’s existing Growth Fund, designed to provide growth capital to medium-sized creative businesses in Kenya (2019), and now East Africa, over the next few years. The fund is providing financing for creative businesses to help restructure interrupted supply chains in the wake of COVID-19, as well as: 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.
The funds are set to consistently grow dynamic, youth-led creative enterprises over the coming years, with a further focused vision of increasing creative business ownership, enterprise management, and general sector leadership among women (especially young women). This is set to contribute to the growth of the East African cultural footprint in regional and international markets. Value chains tapped for creative economy value chain investment by these funds include craft, cultural education, cultural infrastructure, cultural tourism, digital media, events, fashion, film, photography, food, interior, live music, music production, and hair and beauty.
Don’t want to miss out on any story? For updates on all Sqoop stories, follow this link on Telegram: https://t.me/Sqoop