Catholic Relief Services
Jerusalem, West Bank, & Gaza (JWBG)
Small Enterprise Development (SED) Mentorship
Catholic Relief Services is an international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States and has been present in the Jerusalem, West Bank, and Gaza since 1961. The CRS JWBG country program currently supports development/relief programs and activities in the sectors of civil society, humanitarian assistance, youth empowerment, education, and peace & justice. For further information about CRS, please visit: www.crs.org.
The purpose of these Terms of Reference (TOR) is to describe the tasks and responsibilities of the consultant needed to assist CRS-JWBG staff, partners, and volunteers to conduct mentorship for entrepreneurs who received Small Enterprise Development (SED) training, submitted viable business plans, and received start-up grants as a part of the entrepreneurship program which focuses on developing the entrepreneurship skills of women and youth who face particularly high barriers to business start-up.
Since 1943, Catholic Relief Services (CRS) has served over 100 million impoverished and disadvantaged people in more than 100 countries. CRS’ program areas include agriculture, water and sanitation, education, emergency response, health, HIV, microfinance, peace building, and cross-cutting activities that address nutrition, good governance and gender. For each of these sectors, access to finance is critical in supporting the asset protection and livelihood strategies of vulnerable households served by CRS and its partners.
In Gaza, the socioeconomic situation has been in a state of steady decline for the past decade. Six years of intermittent armed conflict with Israel combined with a comprehensive blockade stretching back to 2007, restricted freedom of movement for both people and goods, and nearly annual flooding events have had a profound impact on nearly every person in the Gaza Strip. The most recent armed conflict of July/August 2014 devastated Gaza’s people and infrastructure, exacerbating an already fragile situation. Now more than ever, Gaza’s most vulnerable residents are highly susceptible to frequent man-made and natural shocks. Frequent loss of assets and an inability to self-recover over the years has led to spiraling poverty and heavy dependence on international aid.
In May, 2016, CRS JWBG country program started the implementation phase of Envision Gaza 2020, a five-year $50 million USAID cooperative agreement. The project has two Strategic Objectives: 1) Vulnerable Gazans better cope with ongoing stresses and unexpected shocks: and, 2) “Gazans are engaged in Livelihoods activities appropriate to their skills and experience and prevailing market conditions. Envision Gaza 2020 will build resilience and self-reliance in vulnerable populations through targeted emergency assistance and the expansion of employment opportunities.
Envision Gaza 2020 is built on the premise that if households can meet their basic needs during times of crisis, and have increased livelihoods opportunities, they will become more resilient to the frequent shocks and stresses that define life in Gaza. To maximize sustainability, CRS draws on the experience of local partners and CRS’ proven track record in local partner capacity building. With CRS guidance and support, all activities will be implemented by local organizations, which are best placed to understand community needs and well positioned to quickly respond to emergencies.
To provide vulnerable Gazans with much-needed opportunities to earn income to meet their families’ needs and to recover more fully from shocks, CRS and local partners will implement a multi-track livelihoods program that offers an array of income-generating options. Each year, CRS and partners will offer training and short-term job placements for skilled and non-skilled workers, focusing particularly on vulnerable women and youth. CRS and partners will also provide small capital grants for business owners and entrepreneurship training and start-up grants to stimulate growth and job creation. Through this complement of activities, CRS hopes to build the adaptive capacity of vulnerable Gazans by giving them job and life skills that can be used beyond the life of the program. At the same time, the program will focus on investing in businesses to strengthen their productive assets, workforce, and market competitiveness.
Scope of Work:
CRS seeks to hire 1 consultant to work with CRS and partners to:
- Participate in business plan review sessions for trainees to determine their eligibility to receive start-up grants.
- Conduct regular mentorship sessions with grantees in the form of site visits and phone support to build their business management skills, reinforce the learning from the SED training, and refine business plans.
An anticipated number of planned 6 business plan review and interviews days to select grant recipients will be conducted in the period of September 2017 to September, 2018. Based on the business plans review and interviews results, an anticipated total number of 90 grant recipients are expected to receive start-up grants. The selected grants recipients will receive 2 mentorship sessions. Each grant recipient will receive the 1st mentorship session immediately after receiving the first installment of grant and the 2nd session will be conducted as per grantees’ request but within 6 months of receiving the grant.
Under this consultancy, the consultants will:
A. Participate in business plan review sessions for trainees to determine their eligibility to receive start-up grants. One session per month is expected to take place in one day after each training cohort. The review includes discussing specific aspects of the plan that will help determine whether the entrepreneur should be given a small grant.
B. Conduct coaching and mentorship sessions with grantees in the form of site visits. Each grant recipient is expected to be engaged in 2 mentorship sessions. The mentorship sessions will be provided within 6 months of granting. The mentor shall conduct the first mentorship session with each grantee right after the first grant installment i.e. in the first month of installment. If a business is deemed to need further business support, extra mentorship sessions can be planned and approved by CRS. A mentee shall not attend more than 1 session per month.
C. Identify businesses that need further business support. The identified businesses names will be shared by the consultants with CRS who will approve or reject additional mentorship sessions. The mentor will not focus extra mentorship on entrepreneurs whose businesses are failing because of reasons not related to their business, like lack of motivation and/or misuse of funds. However, mentor will provide business support to clients who will be effectively and efficiently transitioned from potentially failing to succeeding.
D. Guide and direct grantees to continuously update or refine their business plans, enforce the financial management tools, and review completed financial records. The mentor will advise the entrepreneur on how to utilize the allocated grant efficiently and effectively and assist entrepreneur in analyzing startup’s opportunities as well as threats. The mentorship session is expected to:
- Build entrepreneurs’ business management skills
- Reinforce the learning from the business training and refine business plans.
- Identify problems that might be impeding the success of the entrepreneur’s business
- Brainstorm potential solutions to address identified problems and other opportunities to grow the business
- Strengthen entrepreneurs’ critical thinking and problem solving skills.
E. Provide phone support to the assigned mentees requiring urgent assistance. The mentor shall dedicate days and schedule hours when a mentee can call and seek for phone support. Following each mentorship session, each mentee can seek up to 4 phone support calls for any potential question or enquiry raised by mentee.
F. Consider the different needs of women and men from different societal groups with varying education levels. The mentorship method, tools, and techniques should be appropriate to the local Gazan context and strategically relevant for local small business development.
G. Link entrepreneurs with other first-in-class startups or successful entrepreneurs. And consider other entrepreneurs they could connect with for advice if they identify issues and want additional support.
H. Encourage entrepreneurs to feel comfortable to share sensitive business and financial information and keep fully honest and transparent relationship during the visits.
I. Make recommendations to help entrepreneurs address any identified problems with their business.
The consultant will be responsible for compiling the work done by him/herself. The consultant will ensure the completion of the following deliverables:
1. Mentorship report per each mentorship session. The mentor will use a mentorship session report template developed by CRS. The mentorship report should be delivered after each mentorship visit for the purpose of assessing the progress of each business plan implementation and highlighting business successes and/or challenges. The report should also highlight areas requiring further support and raise recommendations.
2. Business plan review and feedback using project evaluation and scoring template for all trainees who submit business plans to assist CRS staff to best evaluate the suitability of each trainee for the award of a small business grant and for movement to the implementation stage of the business plan. This is expected to take place for one day per month after each training group, approximately 6 times during the agreed TOR time period.
The primary language for the deliverables is English, with an Arabic version also expected for implementation.
Level of Effort and Timeline:
In total, consultant is expected to work as per the time frame described in the scope of work above, to undertake the designated tasks. This includes:
- 8 Business plan review and feedback days (1 full day per every training cohort)
- Mentorship days for 90 grant recipients for 2 sessions per mentee.
The estimated cost per mentorship day includes:
- The transportation per visit.
- The mentorship visit itself.
- The mentorship report writing.
- The phone support.
Needed qualifications of consultants
The consultant must at minimum:
- Have a proven track record of developing and evaluating business plans, and in participating as a jury member.
- Have demonstrated coaching and mentoring skills.
- Come from a small business background.
- Have a minimum of five years’ work experience in SED coaching and mentoring to small businesses and entrepreneurs
- Have Arabic proficiency and working knowledge of English language.
- CRS has the right to request illustrations or modifications/negotiations after awarding decision.
- CRS is not committed to the least price offer, and has the right to cancel or re-advertise this TOR without explicating the reasons.
- Under no circumstance can consultant be current employees of the Palestinian Authority.
- CRS requests that the selected consultant be flexible regarding the timing of mentoring based on the schedules and needs of the entrepreneurs, especially for women who may not be available at certain times of the day. Emphasis should be on accommodation of the entrepreneurs as much as possible.
- Submission deadline: October 26, 2017 by 5pm
- Begin business plans review sessions: November
- Begin mentorship sessions: November/December 2017
How to apply
Interested applicants with relevant experience and education are encouraged to submit an application as follows:
- Application form and complete Terms of Reference
- Submit a technical application that includes 1) Summary of relevant previous experience of the consultant in mentoring and business plans evaluation; 2) CV of consultant, 3) A sample of previously done piece of work in relevant topic; mentoring, coaching, reports, or plans, and 4) a clarification letter of availability and suggested duration/timing of engagement if the applicant cannot accommodate to the proposed timeline mention in this TOR.
- Submit a financial proposal. Prices should be in New Israeli Shekels and must be valid up till 90 days after the submission date. The financial proposal must identify the daily rate for each of the two deliverables: 1) Mentorship Day (including cost of site visits, mentorship reports, and phone support); and, 2) Business plan review and feedback. Candidates should respect the scope of work and timeline mentioned in this TOR. If the candidate’s day rate is different for each deliverable, please make this clear; if the day rates are the same, please note this. (Based on the success of the consultant to deliver complete and quality deliverable and based on the assessment of CRS to the completeness and quality of the described deliverables, the above-mentioned scope of work and the corresponding level of effort and/ or time frame can be extended)
- Please submit your complete application online at:
no later than October 26th, 2017 by 5:00pm
- The successful bidder will sign all donor required documents.
- CRS reserves the right to reject all bids, and to decide not to pursue this procurement. CRS is not obliged to procure the lowest priced offer, when the lowest price does not offer the best overall value, all other factors considered.
- For any questions, kindly contact CRS at firstname.lastname@example.org or Tel: 08-2881167.