The Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund (HQ)

Consultancy Services to Create a Business Management Application and Train SMEs on the Platform

Last update: Mar 22, 2023 Last update: 22 Mar, 2023


Application Deadline: 31 Mar, 2023 Deadline has passed and no more applications are accepted
Location: Somalia Somalia
Category: Consulting services
Status: Closed
Sectors: Information & Communication Technology, SME & Private Sector
Languages: English
Contracting Authority Type: Development Institution
Type: Organisation
Budget: N/A
Date posted: 15 Mar, 2023


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Request for Proposal – Terms of Reference for consultancy services to create a business management application and train SMEs on the platform – March 2023

Job Title: Request for Proposal – Terms of Reference for consultancy services to create a business management application and train SMEs on the platform – March 2023

Closing date: 31/03/2023

1. About 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 400 businesses in 26 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, impacted more than 30 million lives, and created over 27,000 direct jobs,

2. About the Finance for Inclusive Growth Somalia
Funded by European Union, Finance for Inclusive Growth in Somalia (FIG – Somalia) is a pilot programme component under the European Union’s Inclusive Local and Economic Development (ILED) programme, whose objective is to contribute to stability in Somalia by extending state authority and services, promoting local reconciliation and peacebuilding, creating inclusive economic opportunities, and protecting the most vulnerable.

The specific objectives of the FIG Somalia programme are:

  • Facilitate access to finance for women and youth in business and producers1 at the financial institution and enterprise levels using the revolving loan fund and the partial guarantee facility with selected partner financial institutions.
  • To enhance access to relevant business development services, mainly through training and business mentorship
  • Build the capacity of the partner financial institutions to increasingly provide appropriate financial services for a wider scope of customers, including those living in rural and decentralised areas in Somalia.
  • To design and offer appropriate and sustainable products and services to clients through Somali Financial Institutions and ensure targeted clients are growing and becoming more bankable.

Both Partner two financial intermediaries have so far provided Shariah-compliant financing to over 4,000 clients in Banadir (Mogadishu), Jubaland (Kismayo), Southwest State (Afgoye), Galmudug (Dhusamareeb & Adado), Hirshabelle (Beledwayne & Balcad), Puntland (Bossaso, Garowe &Galkaio), and Somaliland (Hargeisa, Borama, Gabilay, Wajale, Berbera, Bur’o, Erigavo, Las’anod and Buhodle).

2.1 Activity Background:

Access to finance for small-scale businesses owned by Women, Youth and producer groups has been an issue in Somalia. Financial institutions consider small businesses as being too risks because of ;

a) Lack of business data (Inventory control, balance sheet, profit, and loss information)

b) Most small business are not formally registered.

c) Lack of business management capacity, owner Identification and grantor or collateral.

3. Scope of Work

FIG programme Somalia seeks to find a sustainable solution for business information management for these small business with the goal of enhancing their capacity, mainly Women, youth, and producer groups. As such we are looking at a BDS firm to create or further develop an existing simplified online Business bookkeeping mobile platform and test it among existing client in the FIG programme partner MFIs and the Somali Micro-Finance Association (SOMMA) members.  The ultimate goal is support the local SMEs to increase efficiency and have a transaction history to ease financing by MFIs.

3.1 Responsibilities: 

  • Create or improve the existing business management book (application). The app shall be customized, simplified and in the Somali language to allow users to navigate without challenges.
  • Comprehensive application report with sample screengrabs; after the contract, the BDS shall provide an inception report with an updated work plan and business management application overview.
  • The firm shall train 3,000 AECF FIG programme-supported end clients and SOMMA member clients; the support includes downloading the application on clients’ phones, business data migration, bookkeeping usage and management.
  • App must-have business coaching section, BDS firm to maintain the application to provide maintenance and management, firm to upload customised business coaching videos every week to solve users’ skills gap.
  • Submission of the final report of the assignment, with future action plans and sustainability plans.

3.2 Deliverables

  • Inception report outlining the approach for the assignment.
  • A comprehensive application report and end clients’ coaching work plan.
  • Develop a Somali language business management application.
  • Application to be available in both the Playstore and I and app stores.
  • Up to 3,000 FIG end clients trained and dully using the application.
  • Clear sustainability plan of the application.
  • Application system design, complete coding, testing, deployment of an integrated system for usage with IT infrastructure, and a user guide.

4. Duration of Services

The assignment should be completed by September 2023.

5. Reporting

The BDS will be accountable to the FIG programme team and shall submit monthly assignment reports.

6. Qualifications

The selected BDS firm should meet or exceed the following minimum qualifications:

  • Deep understanding of access to finance challenges for Women, Youth, and producer groups in Somalia with substantial experience in private sector development.
  • At least three years of practical experience creating applications and databases, training and capacitating local SMEs.
  • Good knowledge and understanding of the Somalia SMEs and financial sector.
  • Good knowledge and understanding of SME finance and solutions to increase access to finance for youth and women-owned/led businesses.

7. Proposal Submission

Interested and qualified BDS firms are invited to submit their proposal(s) comprising the following:

  • An understanding of the consultancy requirements.
  • Methodology and work plan for performing the assignment.
  • Relevant services that have been done in the past years.
  • Letters of reference from 3 previous companies/assignments.
  • Registration and other relevant statutory documents.
  • The technical and financial proposals are to be submitted separately.
  • The financial proposal clearly shows the budgeted cost for the work to be conducted by the BDS under the scope of work above.

8. Pricing

Dependent on the contracting mechanism, 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 regard to provisions of Kenya tax legislation when developing their proposals.

9. 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 an event, the evaluation committee may consider such clarifications in evaluating proposals.

In deciding the final selection of qualified bidders, 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.


Evaluation Criteria Marks
Legality Registered and allowed to operate in Somalia 10
Understanding of the Terms of Reference 10
Methodology and work – plan for performing the assignment 25
Demonstration of experience in similar work 25
Financial proposal; clarity, relevance, reality to market of value/ value for money of cost for the assignment (inclusive of any applicable tax).  30

10. 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.

  • The AECF invites qualified firms to send a proposal to marked “CONSULTANCY SERVICES TO CREATE A BUSINESS MANAGEMENT APPLICATION AND TRAIN SMES ON THE PLATFORM” 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 31st 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

11. Disclaimer

AECF reserves the right to determine the structure of the process, the 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.