Artists will now be able to access loans from various lenders, if partnerships between Wabunii Sacco, TransUnion and Stanbic Bank takes root.
TransUnion Chief Executive Officer, Billy Owino, says it will be able to collate alternative data sources to come up with a viable credit score, in order to bridge the financial inclusion gap in the creative industry.
“The traditional assessment of credit worthiness, such as monthly income, contribution to Saccos, and periodic access to mobile loans, will not be suitable in this case. Many artists are locked out of ability to access loans due to the narrow metrics used to assess their credit risks,” he said during the inaugural Art and Finance Conference 2019 that took place at Windsor Golf Hotel and Country Club, Nairobi.
TransUnion a consumer credit reporting agency, will also employ other alternative sources, such as ability to pay monthly rent timely, demographics, intellectual property and collateral, geospatial aspects and insurance.
“We need to empower consumers to have lower risk profiles, enabling improved access to credit,” added Mr Owino.
KenGitau, the Manager in-charge Working place Banking Stanbic Bank, says their have put in place several vehicles to address credit access to artists. Already the bank lends to musicians by assessing how frequent they receive their royalties.
“We will check on inflows for a year, the source of income, get the average, then see how we can lend them,” he said during the conference.
Donald Wangunyi, Executive Director – Head of Commercial Services, says there are various capital raising options available for creative institutions.
“Most Kenyans are young and brilliant. We are offering options for portfolio management, protection of business and angel investing,” he said.
Roy Gitahi, Chief Executive of Wabunii Sacco and Founder of Arts at Work, says there is no reason why artists should not be getting loans.
“If you are an artist, and you earn your money through your artwork, then you should be able to get a loan, or an advanced credit, to be able to scale your work,” he said.
During the conference, Wabunii Sacco also struck a partnership with Nairobi Securities Exchange that will see artworks listed at the bourse, and investors given an opportunity to earn a piece of it.
“Art is a very precious object that can be monetised. For example, one can acquire a piece of art, unitise it, then trade it at the exchange. We will work with Wabunii to set up art assets that can be traded,” said NSE’s Chief Executive Officer Geoffrey Odundo.
First Lady Margaret Kenyatta applauded the NSE for considering the creative industry as a partner in raising capital to expand investment in the country and called for more such partnerships to create the needed convergence between creatives, collectors and investors.
“I encourage our robust private sector to invest in the creative sector, to invest in our youth to help them build robust and sustainable business cases,” she added.
Kenya is increasingly getting recognised as the art hub for the African market, providing an optimal opportunity for investors to capitalise into the largely untapped market.
Africa contributes less than 0.5 per cent of global art sales, which was valued at $50billion in 2017. The demand for Modern and Contemporary African Art has been growing, with a number of auction houses predicting that it will be the next big thing in the next 5 years.
The Art and Finance Conference 2019 brought together local and international government agencies, regulators, investment bankers, financial institutions, private collectors, legal practitioners, accounting, tax and audit experts and firms to discuss how to grow African Art as an alternative form of investment and Asset class.
The Conference discussions were centred around creation of a platform that will enable investors to grow the Visual Arts sector as an alternative form of investment and grow the Arts sector’s contribution to global sales up to 10 per cent over the next 10 years.
Art at Work Limited, the organisers of the Art and Finance Conference 2019, also used the opportunity to establish long term relationships with Auction houses, Art consultants, Galleries, international collectors and Museums to grow the market share of Modern and Contemporary African art on the global market.