The best projects will be announced by mid-September 2020 where each one of the 30 winning projects will be awarded with Rwf 10,000,000 seed funding. The grant will be disbursed in two instalments. The second instalment will be disbursed upon evaluating the performance of how the first instalment was used.
A total of 668 project proposals have been pitched and submitted to Imbuto Foundation seeking funding from the recently launched Cultural and Creative recovery grant.
Launched in July, the recovery fund is a financial grant initiated by the Ministry of Youth and Culture and Imbuto Foundation to support young artists with seed funding and business training to implement innovative projects and overcome challenges caused by Covid-19.
Application was open to all Rwandans, either individuals or enterprises that have artistic and innovative projects with the potential of creating job opportunities and skills development in the Cultural and Creative Art Industry.
Eligible applicants for the funding vary from individual artists, an organisation in the creative and cultural industry and an organisation in another sector (ICT, multimedia or e-commerce) that aims to support artists in the creative and cultural industry.
Joel Murenzi, the Youth Empowerment Unit Coordinator at Imbuto Foundation, told The New Times that they are looking for projects that have the potential of creating jobs, projects that can support skills development gaps or ideas and tools that can facilitate/boost commercialization of Made in Rwanda art products.
"The selection criteria will be based on the originality and relevance of the project, its target population and expected impact, observed research made on the subject (if applicable), the creativity expressed in its presentation as well as the business plan," Murenzi said in an interview.
The grant winners will be selected by a panel of judges with an expertise in Cultural and Creative Industry, entrepreneurship and innovation.
The assigned panel of judges is currently pre-selecting the best 60 projects, from which the 30 top winners will be selected from a pitching phase.
The best projects will be announced by mid-September 2020 where each one of the 30 winning projects will be awarded with Rwf 10,000,000 seed funding.
The grant will be disbursed in two instalments. The second instalment will be disbursed upon evaluating the performance of how the first instalment was used.
Whoever misuses the grant will be investigated and charged by relevant authorities, the official said.
Prior to receiving the funding and during the implementation of their projects, successful applicants will undergo a boot camp training to fine-tune their projects as well as an intensive training on financial management.
The training will be part of a six-month coaching that will be provided by Business Professionals Network (BPN).
The creative industry is among the hardest hit sectors since the first case of the novel coronavirus was reported in Rwanda in mid-March.
However, given the high demand and the loss that was experienced by the key players in the industry, Murenzi believes the grant will play a significant contribution to the sector's recovery so that it can bounce back from the crisis caused by the pandemic and promised to advocate for more opportunities that can contribute to the recovery of the industry.
"We are hopeful that the best projects to win this grant will stand a chance to get more funding and support from various financial institutions, the government and the private sector," he said.
The 'Cultural and Creative Industry (CCI) recovery plan' is a partnership between ArtRwanda -Ubuhanzi project, Imbuto Foundation, the Ministry of Youth and Culture, and the Rwanda Language Academy of Language and Culture (RALC).
The grant targets to achieve new job services supporting Covid-19 response, technical and entrepreneurship skills in the cultural and creative industry, increase revenues for artists, digital commercialization targeted at the industry and create new solutions for formalization of the cultural and creative industry.