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Finance for the creative sector: HEVA Forum

The two day symposium at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Upper Hill was insightful and compelling. With a focus on topics around how businesses in the creative and cultural industries could capitalize on the opportunities available in the market, the key sessions chaired by Dr. Njoki Ngumi had a candid approach that challenged the audience to come out of any ‘it comes easy’ mindsets.

The first session addressed how the government is spending on the creative sector.Emphasis was put on the ability of the sector to generate youth employment and contribute, in masses, to the economy.Following was a description the changing landscape and exploration of the transition from a predominantly donor-supported creative sector under the “aid to trade” framework under the topic ‘After Grants,what next?’. This marked the end of the first day.

The second day began as boldly as the first with the initialising session  headlined as ‘Private Capital and Corporate Parnterships. This topic shed light on the fact that the finance industry in Kenya is mobilising more and more private capital investment.It also looked at successful strategies to create effective operate partnerships for the creative sector.The break away sessions came right after.

They created room for specialisation on the main topic but from different interests and creative fields. The three sessions grouped the audience into:

  1. Understanding the on-demand content distribution; if it is an opportunity for film and music.
  2. If there is a winning strategy for future proofing the Kenyan creative business.
  3.  What comes next, after mitumba (used clothes), for the East African fashion business prospectus.

Lastly but not least was a final session that wrapped the two days into a direction. The topic was ‘Path to investment: A conversation on preparing for finance. As a major function HEVA aim to assist SMEs in attaining financial ease. In their summary,external investment can enable a business to scale up production, enter new markets, create employment by increasing its workforce and boost existing operational funds.

The panel list were a group whom have built creative businesses that have attained comfort with commercial finance.The advise and lessons shared felt personal and hence were very relatable. The entire forum made a topic deemed tough in the mind of a creative,to be fun but more importantly ,attainable. All in all, a big thank you to the efforts behind it, a partnership with The Nest Collective, Forum Syd Kenya, The Royal Danish Embassy in Kenya, The British Council in Kenya and the Embassy of the Netherlands in Kenya.

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