EFI is currently partnering with the African Fashion Fund on the development of The Impact Fund for African Creatives (IFFAC). Launched in late 2018 at the Paris Peace Forum, the Fund has a target of €100.0 focused on mobilising private capital for investments into the creative and cultural industries in Africa.
IFFAC seeks to address the gap between public intervention and business reality in the creative and cultural sectors of Africa. This significant ‘funding gap’ within the creative and cultural industries in Africa is due to perceived high risks and/or low estimated returns for private investors. However, such investments are often ideal for blended finance arrangements where donors and public stakeholders contribute with technical assistance, risk coverage etc., in order mitigate risk and facilitate more predictable and risk adjusted rates of return for private investors on the part of their impact investments.
The Fund’s main objectives are:
• Identify top talent in African creative industries and improve the success rates of these creative entrepreneurs by providing much needed 1) capital and funding support for the creative ecosystem and 2) access to industry knowledge, education in skills like leadership/management, entrepreneurship and supply chain as well as mentorship;
• Provide extra support for women entrepreneurs to promote a gender balanced programme;
• Contribute to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals;
• Create high-quality jobs for Africa’s youth by supporting businesses in the creative ecosystem;
• Improve global positioning and integration of African artists through participation in major global events;
• Highlight and export Africa’s rich and diverse culture and artistry that continues to be underrepresented on the world stage.
• Achieve risk-adjusted market rates of return while creating significant social and environmental value.
As one of the first funds of this type and scale, definitions of the legal structure and mechanisms of the Fund are still being defined diligently by our teams, and news on the advancements of the Fund will be shared in due course. Our team is also in the process of raising the Fund’s capital from institutional investors including development finance institutions, impact investors, high-net worth individuals, family offices and foundations.
In parallel with IFFAC, we are developing an Accelerator Programme to facilitate the growth of a first pool of African brands, with the potential for these brands to become beneficiaries of IFFAC at a later stage. To launch the Accelerator, we will shortly be issuing a call for interest to select approximately 6-8 brands to take part in a fashion show in an international fashion capital, alongside some of the biggest names in the industry.