TERMS OF REFERENCE FOR DELIVERY OF TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE TO FINANCIAL SERVICE PROVIDERS TO DEVELOP FINANCIAL PRODUCTS & SERVICES TARGETED TO WOMEN OWNED ENTERPRISES IN THE BLUE ECONOMY IN KENYA
- About The AECF
AECF (Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund) is a leading non-profit development organisation that supports innovative enterprises in the agribusiness and renewable energy sectors with the aim of reducing rural poverty, promoting resilient communities and creating jobs.
We catalyze the private sector by surfacing and commercializing new ideas, business models and technologies designed to increase agricultural productivity, improve farmer incomes, expand clean energy access, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve resilience to the effects of climate change. We finance high risk businesses that struggle to access commercial funding; we are committed to working in frontier markets, fragile contexts, and high-risk economies where few mainstream financing institutions dare to go.
To date, we have supported over 375 businesses in 26 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, impacted more than 30 million lives, created over 27,000 direct jobs, and leveraged US $771 million in matching funds.
2.0 Investing in Women in the Blue Economy in Kenya
The Investing in Women in the Blue Economy in Kenya (IIW-BEK) project aims to contribute to enhanced economic empowerment of women and young women-owned enterprises and their suppliers and producers along key supply chains where women are discriminated against in the blue economy in Kenya with the following intermediate outcomes:
- Increased performance and sustainability of women and young women-owned micro, small and/or medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the blue economy.
- Improved environment and reduced systemic gender inequalities, discriminatory social norms, and barriers that women entrepreneurs and their smallholder producers/suppliers, including informal workers, face in the blue economy.
The blue economy in Kenya generates approximately US$1.78 billion and provides a source of income for over two million people along the Indian Ocean and Lake Victoria coasts. Women-owned enterprises in the blue economy, including women suppliers, face disproportionate challenges compared to men in access to finance, business skills, financial literacy, and access markets. Although several African countries, including Kenya, have in the past decade evolved as centres for impact investing, the level of capital available in these markets remains extremely low, and only 6% goes to women-led businesses. In the blue economy sector, financing institutions are often hesitant to lend to women due to their limited knowledge of the sector’s potential, lack of understanding of the cash flow patterns and perceived higher risk of women-owned enterprises. Thus, most private investments in the blue economy are geared toward male-dominated large-scale, specialized businesses.
IIW-BEK will seek to address these challenges to financially empower women and increase their representation in male-dominated, higher-value segments of the blue economy sector, as well as their voices in decision-making. More specifically, it will attract financing and grow more women and young women owned MSMEs in non-traditional market segments, including those related to conserving and sustainably using coastal and lake biodiversity.
IIW – BEK seeks to work through participating financial service providers to bridge the financial gap that women and young women-owned early and growing businesses face in Kenya’s blue economy sector. The programme thus seeks to provide technical assistance and capacity building to financial service providers to enable them to develop and offer innovative financial products and services that are targeted at women and young women owned MSMEs and customized to individual women to enhance affordable access to finance. The IIW-BEK programme seeks to recruit a competent financial inclusion consultant to support the AECF in providing the technical assistance and capacity building to the financial service providers.
3.0 Purpose and deliverables of this Assignment
The purpose of the assignment is to provide technical assistance and capacity building to partner financial service providers – SACCOs and MFIs in the IIW-BEK programme to enable them to develop and offer innovative financial products and services that are targeted at women and young women owned MSMEs and customized to individual women to enhance affordable access to finance.
The financial products and services are anticipated to be accessible and affordable, directly benefiting women entrepreneurs. The technical assistance should enhance the finance service providers capacity in addressing the funding gap through adoption of fintech with a focus of increasing financial literacy and knowledge of financial products and services. The technical assistance provider should be an expert with experience in design and promotion of financial inclusion products and services.
4.0 Scope of Work
The consultant will
- Facilitate the five (5) pre-selected (Financial Service Provider) FSPs to assess the existing systems, tools, and skills to bring efficiency, effectiveness and competitiveness in outreach, sustainable operations and decision making geared towards accelerating gender-inclusive financing in the blue economy.
- Conduct training for the FSP staff on gender-inclusive financial products and services development.
- Support the FSPs to develop gender-inclusive financial products and services development – (market definition, market research, product prototype, costing and pricing, pilot testing, rollout, marketing, lifecycle management, and so forth) targeted to women entrepreneurs in the blue economy.
- Facilitate design of effective end client financial literacy and fiscal management aimed at increasing uptake of gender-inclusive financial products and services by women entrepreneurs in the blue economy.
- Conduct a Training of Trainers for the FSPs to build their capacity to train and coach target beneficiaries in the following areas: Financial literacy, Fiscal Management, Group Dynamics, and such other areas that will be deemed necessary for the success of the women-owned enterprises.
Delivery of technical assistance and capacity building will require a mixed approach – training, consulting, and coaching to achieve the desired results.
The expected output and deliverables of this assignment is not limited to but include:
- Validated Assessment Report including Gaps, Recommendations and Action Plan on FSPs existing systems, tools, and skills to bring efficiency, effectiveness and competitiveness in outreach, sustainable operations and decision making geared towards accelerating gender-inclusive financing. This will include, but not be limited to, support legal framework, policies and procedures, comprehensive needs assessment, and institutional analysis.
- Deliver training of trainers for the FSP staff on gender-inclusive financial products and services development.
- Training Reportcomprising needs assessment, training content and list of participants of FSP staff on gender-inclusive financial products and services development.
- Implementation road map for the gender-inclusive financial products and services developed for each FSP.
- Model end-client financial literacy and fiscal management toolkit targeting women and young women entrepreneurs in the Blue Economy. The toolkit should be guided but not limited by the following delivery channels
- Individual customer
- Group customers
- Electronic/mobile banking,
- Agent-based banking
- Self-help group/village-savings and loans associations
- Training of Trainers report comprising needs assessment, training content and list of participants of FSP staff on the deployment of capacity to train and coach target beneficiaries.
- Lessons learnt report on gender-inclusive product(s) and service(s) development support provided to FSPs.
6.0 Duration of Service
The assignment will be conducted over the course of 6 months. Commencing not later than April 2023. Given the scope of the assignment, it is expected that this assignment will be conducted by a consultancy firm or a small group of individual experts, provided skills on gender-inclusive financing are present.
The consultant will be accountable to AECF, Programme Manager IIW-BEK
- Master’s degree in Business Administration, Finance or Economics.
- At least 7 years of experience in financial inclusion with a minimum of 15 years of experience in MSMEs banking and the financial industry, of which a significant portion should be in the East Africa region.
- Experience in training, organizational development, and business development.
- Experience working with the private sector and in developing gender-inclusive financial products and services targeting women entrepreneurs.
- Experience in conducting sectoral analysis and value chain analysis to develop financial products and services.
- Monitoring and coaching experience for start-up businesses/financial service providers – SACCOs and MFIs;
- Extensive and proven track record in financial institution administration and operations. Knowledge of Islamic banking is an added advantage.
- Fluency in English with strong written and verbal communication skills; and
- Knowledge of Swahili is an asset.
9.0 Proposal submission
Interested and qualified (individual or institutional) consultants are invited to submit their proposal(s) comprising the following:
- An understanding of the terms of reference requirements.
- Methodology and work plan for performing the assignment.
- Detailed reference list indicating the scope and magnitude of similar assignments.
- Relevant services undertaken in the past three (3) years.
- Letters of reference from three (3) previous assignments.
- Registration and other relevant statutory documents (applicable to firms).
- The Technical and Financial proposal to be submitted separately.
- Financial proposal clearly showing the budgeted cost for the work to be conducted by the consultant under the scope of work above.
- CVs of the proposed team
AECF is obliged by the Kenyan tax authorities to withhold taxes on service contract fees as well as ensure VAT, at 16%, is charged where applicable. Applicants are advised to ensure that they have a clear understanding of their tax position with regards to provisions of Kenya tax legislation when developing their proposals.
11.0 Evaluation Criteria
An evaluation committee will be formed by the AECF and shall include employees. All members will be bound by the same standards of confidentiality. The vendor should ensure that they fully respond to all criteria to be comprehensively evaluated.
The AECF may request and receive clarification from any Vendor when evaluating a proposal. The evaluation committee may invite some or all the Vendors to appear before the committee to clarify their proposals. In such event, the evaluation committee may consider such clarifications in evaluating proposals.
In deciding the final selection of qualified bidder, the technical quality of the proposal will be given a weighting of 70% based on the evaluation criteria. Only the financial proposal of those bidders who qualify technically will be opened. The financial proposal will be allocated a weighting of 30% and the proposals will be ranked in terms of total points scored.
The mandatory and desirable criteria against which proposals will be evaluated are identified in the table below.
Understanding of the Terms of Reference
Methodology and work – plan for performing the assignment
Demonstration years of experience in similar work
Detailed reference list indicating the scope and magnitude of similar assignments and at least 2 signed reference letters .
Financial proposal; clarity, relevance, reality to market of value/ value for money of cost for the assignment (inclusive of any applicable tax).
AECF reserves the right to determine the structure of the process, number of short-listed participants, the right to withdraw from the proposal process, the right to change this timetable at any time without notice and reserves the right to withdraw this tender at any time, without prior notice and without liability to compensate and/or reimburse any party.
How to apply
13.0 Application Details
The AECF is an Equal Opportunity Employer. The AECF considers all interested candidates based on merit without regard to race, gender, colour, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, disability, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law.
- AECF invites qualified consultants/firms to send a proposal to email@example.com clearly marked “TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE TO FINANCIAL SERVICE PROVIDERS” The AECF shall not be liable for not opening proposals that are submitted with a different subject.
- The proposal should be received no later than 17th March 2023, by 5.00 pm East Africa Time (GMT +3) addressed to: The AECF, Procurement Department. All clarifications and or questions should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org .