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    First of its kind MACC Fund to raise R10.2bn to transform creative industry

    The Marketing, Advertising and Communications Sector Charter (MACC) and eQvest Limited have formed a Public Private Partnership (PPP) to create the MACC Fund, the first of its kind.
    (L to r:) eQvest CEO, Nathaniel Bricknell, MACC Chairperson Angelo Tandy, Mathe Okaba, MACC Charter deputy-chairperson, and Rudy Kruger, CEO of the accelerator project at the launch of the MACC Fund
    (L to r:) eQvest CEO, Nathaniel Bricknell, MACC Chairperson Angelo Tandy, Mathe Okaba, MACC Charter deputy-chairperson, and Rudy Kruger, CEO of the accelerator project at the launch of the MACC Fund

    Introduced in Johannesburg recently, the Fund aims to raise R10.2bn as a catalyst for the transformation of the creative and cultural industries, particularly the film and television sector.

    The Fund is the answer to the countrywide cry for funding says MACC chairperson Angelo Tandy.

    “When we conducted our public hearings across the country, we heard the same cry, from Gauteng to the Western Cape: please help us access funding,” he explains.

    Businesses in the sector have traditionally found it difficult to access funding from traditional sources as the compliance is so stringent.

    The traditional finance sector has dropped the ball maintains eQvest CEO, Nathaniel Bricknell.

    “South Africa has one of the most incredible platforms when it comes to films and series production, but the barriers to entry for these particular sectors, because they are misunderstood, is problematic."

    Bricknell adds that at the same time, there are many vehicles in this country that are transformative but don’t have access to funding.

    “We see ourselves filling this gap through this PPP.”

    Sustainability element to the fund

    Two percent of the funds generated through the vehicle will be put back into the MAC Charter.

    “This is to ensure the sustainability of this particular vehicle, as it has a very fundamental role to play in transformation. It also ensures that this vehicle is the mouthpiece in government that can speak for the sector. It is important that there is a sustainability element to this project,” explains Bricknell.

    In addition, five percent of the revenue generated will go to community media such as community radio stations, TV and newspapers.

    “Community media plays a vital role in the country, and unfortunately these media rely heavily on government funding, and they are also not equipped to be sustainable and while well intended they are not commercially minded,” says Bricknell.

    Equity for investors

    The minimum investment is R10,000.

    The MACC Fund offers investors a rate of return of 14 % per annum.

    Institutional investors can earn B-BBEE equity equivalent scoring by investing in the MACC Fund.

    “The fund is structured with government as a unique fund with the intention of offering equity equivalent,” says Bricknell.

    He explains that any institutional investment that meets a particular threshold within the fund will be able to get equity equivalent on their investments.

    “This is focusing primarily on local institutional investments, we are unpacking a strategy for international institutional investments.”

    Accelerator programme

    While funding is a hurdle, so are business skills so the Fund has an accelerator programme attached to it.

    The accelerator will equip businesses that do not meet all the criteria for Charter funding, to qualify.

    “We do not want to close the door on applications who do not meet the criteria. Instead, they can go through the accelerator programme to ensure that they then do meet the requirements for funding,” says Tandy.

    “Getting the money is one thing, but then you need to know what to do with it. This accelerator programme will walk with small businesses to give them the skills they need,” he says.

    Tandy adds that this is a breakthrough for the sector, all of us in the industry.

    Rudy Kruger, CEO of the accelerator project says no business should fail. “ This nine out of 10 failures is nonsense. Let’s get businesses to the point where they can access funding and succeed.

    Still talking transformation

    “We want to transform the sector, but to transform it in the right way by levelling the playing fields,” says Tandy.

    Mathe Okaba, MACC Charter deputy-chairperson, adds that any talk on transformation needs to be cognisant that it has been 30 years, and we are still talking transformation.

    “We should be transformed by now. We need lots of young businesses functioning in our industry,” she says.

    When Black people fail they are seen as incompetent, but we were not raised with silver spoons in our mouths, or in big conglomerate families where money has always been there.

    “We are starting off our families by setting up our own legacies for our families, and in setting up these legacies, let’s set them up right. That’s why the accelerator is so important. Let’s show our children how to get into business right and operate right and the accelerator is a critical component of success.”

    About Danette Breitenbach

    Danette Breitenbach is a marketing & media editor at Previously she freelanced in the marketing and media sector, including for Bizcommunity. She was editor and publisher of AdVantage, the publication that served the marketing, media and advertising industry in southern Africa. She has worked extensively in print media, mainly B2B. She has a Masters in Financial Journalism from Wits.
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