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CALL FOR PROPOSALS

INVITATION TO CONSULTANCY FIRMS OR INDEPENDENT CONSULTANTS


FROM COMMONWEALTH MEMBER COUNTRIES

Project Reference: X/GHA/043B

PROJECT TITLE: Consultant, SME Business Development Services

LOCATION: Ghana

DURATION: 60 person days over the period April to December


2010.

START DATE: On or about April 2010

PROJECT BUDGET: An all inclusive fee of £31,000 (to cover fees,


airfares, subsistence allowance and incidentals.
Workshop and training expenses will be provided
separately by the Secretariat.)

RESPONSIBLE TO: Director, Special Advisory Services Division,


Commonwealth Secretariat or his nominee

CLOSING DATE: Monday, 22 February 2010

Only consulting firms (registered in any Commonwealth member


country) or independent consultant(s) who are national(s) of a
Commonwealth member country and who possess the required expertise
are invited to submit their proposal which should include a covering
statement of your organization/company’s relevant expertise, if
applicable, and its experience of similar projects and services carried out
in developing countries.

Proposals to be submitted electronically to the attention of Mr James Lek


at j.lek@commonwealth.int or by fax at telephone number +44 (0) 207
747 6520.

(jl/25-Jan-2010)
TERMS OF REFERENCE

A. BACKGROUND

The Commonwealth Secretariat through the Commonwealth Fund for Technical


Cooperation is providing technical assistance to the Government of Ghana to
maximise value creation and build the sustainability and competitiveness of SMEs
through access to new upgraded business development services offered by
Ghanaian Business Development Service Providers.

B. PROGRAMME OBJECTIVE

For background purposes we advise that the Commonwealth Secretariat Strategic


Plan be consulted. The Plan is available on our website1 and the SME work is part of
the Economic Development Programme (Programme 6). This Programme will assist
member states to take advantage of opportunities for economic growth and improve
their ability to manage economic development in an equitable and sustainable
manner. It specifically aims to strengthen policies and systems that support inclusive
and sustainable economic growth in member states. This will allow Member states to
attract capital flows and manage increased levels of investment, including for private
sector development; and create the environment for Member countries to promote
viable competitive enterprises that generate employment, income and reduce
poverty.

The Secretariat’s capacity to provide cost-effective technical assistance and its role
as a ’trusted partner’ and ‘honest broker’ in delivering policy analysis and advice are
highly valued. Indicators particularly relevant to this project include (1) the quality of
policy advice and support for creating an enabling environment for growth and
stability; (2) higher survival rates of SMEs and an increase in the contribution of SME
businesses to GDP; and (3) increased numbers of successful women in enterprise
and greater and more equitable market access for women producers and
entrepreneurs

C. PROJECT INFORMATION

SMEs, regardless of size, sector or stage of growth use external business services to
stay legal, enhance production and marketing capabilities, and maximise their value
creation strategies. The services are delivered by a range of specialist and include
compliance driven services such as accounting, taxation and legal services, strategic
services such as business planning, and many commercial services outsourced such
as advertising, telecommunications, couriers, etc.

The SME development industry recognises the important role that business
development services (BDS) can play to support the growth of SMEs in developing
countries. A ‘market failure’ argument is used to justify intervention to provide these
services to SMEs who cannot pay the full economic cost of the service. A generation
of SME support programmes have been based on providing BDS. The lessons learnt
have brought about a fundamental shift in the premise of BDS provision and BDS
programme design.

1
The website is www.thecommonwealth.org and the document is available in the ‘Strategic
Planning and Evaluation’ section.

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Evaluations conclude that SMEs who access BDS are able to overcome the
limitations imposed by size. SME investments in training, technology adoption, SME
infrastructure, R&D for products and markets, etc that would normally be delayed or
not done at all, have occurred as a result of intervention by governments and donors
to subsidise services. But, the impact of these interventions has been directly related
to the availability of subsidies. When subsidies stop, so do the services. In an effort
to achieve more sustainable impact, SME programme designers are now also
addressing the challenge of how these services are delivered, specifically to find
ways to make them commercially viable and to create markets for BDS in developing
countries.

In Ghana it is estimated that MSMEs employing between 1-20 people account for
60% of the total formal and informal employment within the manufacturing,
construction and transport sectors. With an export per capita of less than $150,
Ghanaian firms have limited exposure to competition, with low levels of productivity,
investment and technology. With a pre-dominant informal sector, 70% of Ghanaian
enterprises are micro (employing less than five people) and are not registered.

The experience of policy reforms in Ghana points to the fact that reforms by
themselves are not sufficient to stimulate growth in the private sector. What is
required to complement policy measures is the development of a strong institutional
support infrastructure that will provide well-defined and targeted services to SMEs in
order to affect their growth and enhance their capacity. The project will contribute to
this objective.

Additional Information

Information available to the successful Consultant will include internal project files
containing the Project Appraisal, Logical Framework and Budgets. The Consultant
will also work closely with the Adviser responsible for the project.

D. CONSULTANCY

Problem

The Government has assessed that they need to update and modernise BDS
products and services offered to SMEs. There is a growing recognition of the need
for new BDS that deal with new emerging business challenges, including those linked
to developments in modern communications and technology.

Specific issues to be addressed

The technical assistance is likely to include analysis of current BDS initiatives,


detailed interviews with informed persons, review of SME Business Development
Support Providers (BDSP) and development of new BDS products and services.
Specific issues which need to be factored into the assignment are:

Analytical work based on a market assessment using appropriate methods to


determine the need and suggested solutions for new BDS products and
services. Included in this could be a small survey, interviews with industry
experts, focus group sessions with SMEs, etc.

Consultations with SMEs through their relevant business Associations will


take place to ensure that their views are accommodated and acted on.

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Consultations with Women’s Empowerment Groups and Institutions to ensure
that gender issues are adequately dealt with and specific challenges of
woman owned enterprises are incorporated in all outputs.

Development or enhancement of a Train-the-Trainer course and its


associated SME Training Course.

Development or enhancement of a minimum of 5 other highly demanded


products and services such as business linkages, market research, standards
advice, etc, including guidelines and manuals to assist BDSPs to
operationalise these.

Delivering a train-the-trainer course to at least 10 staff of BDSPs

Overseeing the delivery of SME training course to at least 45 local MSMEs to


test and refine the new training product; and ensure trainers have achieved
required level of competency.

Providing support for 2 workshops in conjunction with the Comsec Adviser


and Local Counterpart. These are a project inception workshop and a
Strategy Workshop.

Deliverables

Report on the status of BDS provision in Ghana, which inter alia identifies the
most needed services and options for responding to these needs

Training course manuals and guidelines for a Train-the-Trainer Course and its
related SME Training Course.

Guidelines and operational details of 5 other BDS.

Report on the Train-the-Trainer Course for 10 staff of BDSPs

Report on SME Training Course for 45 SMEs conducted by new Trainers

E. METHODOLOGY

The Consultant will develop a methodology and design a work programme identifying
the activities to be undertaken, which will be discussed with the Commonwealth
Secretariat and approved before the commencement of the assignment.

F. QUALIFICATIONS FOR CONSULTANCY

The Consultant will be a national of a Commonwealth country with at least 10 years


experience in designing, implementing and evaluating SME development
programmes at a National and Regional Level.

In addition to demonstrating all round capability in key areas such as MSME


programme design, business development services and MSME finance, we require

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the Consultant to demonstrate specific work experience in Business Development
Services Programmes/Projects with entrepreneurial and/or small business training as
a key output.

G. LEVEL OF EFFORT, REPORTING AND PAYMENT TERMS

The Level of Effort (LOE) of this consultancy is estimated at 60 person days,


commencing April 2010 to December 2010.2.
Up to 42 days of this LoE is estimated to be in Ghana.
The indicative all inclusive fee for this assignment is £31,0003, while
consultancy related expenditure, such as workshops and training expenses,
will be provided by ComSec.

H. PROPOSAL

The proposal outlining the assignment to include the following:

A Workplan with milestones and indicators for each main output;

Financial plan outlining how funds are to be disbursed throughout the period
of the assignment;
The level of support needed from Ghana in order to execute the plan; and
Any other information that may impact on the attainment of the project
objective.

I. CLOSSING DATE

The deadline for receipt of proposals is Monday, 22 February 2010.

(jl/25-Jan-2010)

2
Comsec will not liable for delays occurring due to unforeseen circumstances like natural disasters.
3
Comsec bears no liability to pay any taxes, including VAT, if applicable, on this contract.

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