Request for proposal from local incubators and business inno...
Request for Proposal (RFP)
Assignment Ref: (Com. 3: 05, 2020)
Request for proposal from local incubators and business innovation hubs to design and launch Renewable Energy Innovation Funds that will serve the agribusiness sector.
- BACKGROUND: ABOUT COWATER
With more than 35 years of experience, Cowater International is Canada’s global leader in management consulting services specializing in international development. We have managed the implementation of over 800 projects in more than 80 countries around the globe for clients such as DFID, DFAT Australia, the World Bank and Global Affairs Canada. We work with governments, partner organizations, communities and civil society to design and implement sustainable solutions that generate lasting social, economic, and environmental impacts. Our adaptive approach to management has led to our award-winning work and recognition as one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies in 2017 and 2018. Cowater International Inc. (lead), in collaboration with the Palestinian Businesswomen’s Association (Asala), is implementing a 4-year project that aims to enhance economic empowerment and increase prosperity for low-income women and youth in the West Bank.
- GENERATING REVENUE OPPORTUNITIES FOR WOMEN AND YOUTH IN THE WEST BANK (GROW)
The goal of the GROW project is to enhance economic empowerment and increase prosperity for low-income women and youth, particularly female youth, in the West Bank. The project seeks to achieve this by adopting a gender transformative approach aimed at recognizing, formalizing, and amplifying women’s existing roles in key value chains whilst promoting women’s increased decision-making and control over income, assets, and productive resources. This project will focus specifically on value chains, where significant potential exists to empower women, including female youth, to move beyond their essential but largely unrecognized roles, ultimately contributing to their increased agency in both economic and social spheres.
The project focuses on three inter-related intermediate outcomes: I) reduced barriers to entrepreneurship faced by women; II) enhanced opportunities for women entrepreneurs to successfully establish and/or grow sustainable businesses; and, III) enhanced opportunities for female entrepreneurs, particularly female youth, to support the adoption of renewable energy in the olive and agro-food processing value chains. To achieve these outcomes, the project will address several key challenges impacting women’s entrepreneurship in the West Bank, including the prevalence of socio-cultural barriers and their associated impacts on women’s household, community, and economic roles and status; and, women’s limited access to finance, business development support services, technology, reliable and affordable energy, skills development opportunities, and markets.
- GENERAL overview on GROW’s renewable energy component
GROW’s integrated design of interventions aims to contribute to addressing barriers women’s active participation and integration in the different levels of the renewable energy value chain as follows:
- Technical Employees at RE enterprises: skilled technical employees who are capable of designing, installing, and maintaining solar PV systems.
- Adopters of RE solutions: through project support, productive women-led enterprises will be supported to transition to the use of clean energy, particularly, solar PV systems. Hence, they will be promoted as early adopters and consumers of clean energy.
- Entrepreneurs and Innovators: technical and financial support to young males and females who innovate solutions to energy challenges or hope to create start-ups in the RE sector. Their innovations and entrepreneurship will be made visible and gauged gradually to maximize their chances of success.
- BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE ASSIGNMENT
In order to stimulate greater penetration and adoption of renewable energy as an alternative energy source, GROW is aiming to facilitate the piloting of renewable energy innovations to address the specific needs of producers within the targeted value chains. This will be done through a call for proposal process aimed at local incubators and business hubs to design and launch a process through which female and male youth will be invited to participate in a multi-day Renewable Energy Hackathon to identify, solidify and compete with ideas that address energy challenges and needs of women-led MSMEs/co-ops in the olive, dairy products and agro-food processing value chains. This will be followed by awarding the top 4-5 innovations which will benefit from a seed stage incubation and funding. All procedures and selection criteria will be prepared to facilitate the selection of youth participants with the most relevant ideas, skills, and motivation to confront pressing energy constraints.
- SCOPE OF WORK
GROW is aiming to work with the most suited incubator or hub to test, replicate, and scale up innovative renewable energy and clean-tech solutions for Palestinian women-led MSMEs/ cooperatives which will create economic benefit for both youth and enterprises, while minimizing environmental impact by decreasing energy and/ or water use.
GROW in partnership with the selected incubator or hub will extend support to innovative renewable energy ideas and solutions by youth through the following process:
Phase one: Selection of youth participants
Stage I: Identification of Energy Challenges and Needs in the agribusiness sector (agri-food processing, sheep and goat dairy, and olive by-product value chains).
- Sector intelligence will be captured to prioritize energy challenges and needs
- Agribusiness and energy stakeholders, including women-led enterprises, will be invited to validate the identified priorities/challenges in a participatory manner
- A Renewable Energy expert will lead these sessions with the stakeholders and the public audience to help capturing the challenges and define the key ones that will be introduced to youth participants in the hackathon.
- A summary of the priorities and challenges will be used in the call for youth to apply for the fund in the second stage.
Stage II: Outreach and Selection of Participants
- Outreach to female and male youth will be implemented through:
- Social media advertisements
- Workshops in universities
- Relevant student and professional organizations such as the engineers’ union, etc.
- First round of filtration of online applications; received applications will be filtered through a selection process based on set criteria to identify the top 50 – 60 applicants.
Stage III: Hackathon
- A Hackathon that will take place over several days will be organized with the most suitable incubator or hub with the ability to bring together talent from inside and outside the energy industry and create powerful opportunities to develop unique and disruptive solutions.
- High-caliber, innovation-driven, national, and international (Canadian) RE, Environment, Clean Tech experts will be mobilized.
- The Hackathon will have thematic days to engage and educate the participating youth on relevant topics.
- Participating youth will have a choice to participate with their ideas as individual entrepreneurs or in small teams of 3- 5 young males and females. Participants will come with preliminary innovative ideas which they can present, build on, harness, or change during the Hackathon and with support from dedicated coaches.
- The hackathon will tackle:
- Energy challenges and needs in the agribusiness sector.
- Innovating realistic and effective solutions for the identified energy challenges.
Stage IV: Business Plans
- Participating teams or individuals in the Hackathon will submit a business plan and have a chance to pitch their ideas before a qualified panel of judges.
- The panel will be composed of qualified industry and business experts.
- The panel will evaluate every business plan idea based on clear criteria which will be set and approved by the project.
- The Panel will evaluate and score all submitted applications and will announce up to 10 top innovative ideas as semi-finalists. From the semi-finalists, the top 5 innovations will be awarded as champions based on highest scores achieved. The aim of announcing the top 10 innovations is to provide visibility as semi-finalists who have potential ideas and plans that can benefit from additional support. Therefore, this will open opportunities for them to work to further harness their ideas through reaching out to existing incubators and hubs. The project will consider organizing a networking event for those who qualified to the semi-final stage.
Phase two: Seed Funding, Incubation, Networking and Linkages
Stage V: Seed funding and incubation
- Selected teams/ individuals will have an agreed number of collective or individual coaching days depending on the needs of each incubated business idea.
- Professional technical supervisors and coaches will work with the groups in order to work on implementing the winning innovations to produce prototypes.
- Winning ideas will be financed through seed stage funding ranging from USD 5,000 to USD 20,000 based on the type of innovation.
- The fund will be granted based on milestones and deliverables.
- Testing of prototypes and adjustment will be done under the supervision of expert mentors and coaches and in close collaboration with industry experts and enterprises.
Stage VI: Networking and Linkages
The incubation program will provide a networking service linking graduates from the seed stage to local investment funds, and business stakeholders. The project will facilitate such business relationships through networking events and Business to Business (B2B) meetings.
- APPROACH AND METHODOLOGY
Interested specialized incubators and hubs with relevant experience in organizing hackathons, capacity building and mentoring of young entrepreneurs are expected to propose a convincing and high quality approach and methodology for undertaking the assignment ensuring compliance with highest standards of gender equality, sensitivity towards and inclusiveness of targeted male and female participants needs, including awareness of activity, suitability , convenience, and accessibility of venues, language/translation, timing of activities, and transportation.
- PROPOSAL CONTENT
GROW Project invites eligible innovation incubators or hubs to indicate their interest in providing the services. Interested incubators or hubs must provide information indicating that they are qualified to perform the intended services, the proposal should include the following:
- Technical Proposal:
- Abstract of your proposal.
- Approach and methodology for carrying out the assignment: Provide a comprehensive and detailed methodology on how the assignment will be designed and delivered. Detailed approach to carrying out each phase, description of activities and sub-activities, including , awareness raising of targeted youth and stakeholders about the activities before, during, and after completion and communication and public relations means to be used, and monitoring and evaluation arrangements (documentation, success stories, lessons learnt, etc.)
- Detailed work plan and timelines of conducting each item.
- Official registration from relevant authorities.
- Deduction at source certificate.
- Proof of good financial statement (report financial statement or bank recommendation letter, etc.)
- Organizational profile including experience and description of similar assignments.
- A list of NGOs/company references (clients, donors, NGOs, etc.) including contact person, mobile number, and email.
- Company staff resumés as well as trainers/coaches who implement this assignment and their role, a mixed team covering technical, management and other aspects including RE specialist/s will.
- Proposed team structure including tasks and responsibilities for each team member.
- Financial Proposal:
This should include the total budget for conducting the assignment. A detailed breakdown of the budget should also be provided as follows:
All prices should be in the Canadian Dollar (CAD). Please note that we are not obliged to take the overall package proposed by the bidder.
- EXPECTED IMPLEMENTATION PERIOD
Start Date: July 2020
End Date: July 2021
DESIRED QUALIFICATIONS OF THE INCUBATOR/HUB:
- Minimum of 5 years of experience in providing service in innovation and entrepreneurship training in West Bank.
- Proven experience in innovative business incubation, business plan development, networking, linkages with local or international investors, mentors, etc.
- Highly creative, innovative, and inspiring teams, approaches, and venues.
- Evidence of highly expert and innovative teams, detailed resumes of the trainer/coaches/experts who will implement the assignment specifying at least 10 deliveries of similar innovation projects.
- Advanced skills in quantitative and qualitative data collection, analysis, and presentation. Demonstrated ability to deliver high quality trainings, consulting assignments, and well written, informative reports.
Service provider(s) will be selected in accordance with the procedures set out in GROW’s policy and below selection criteria:
- Organization’s good governance. (mandatory)
- Organization’s past experiences in related fields. (20%)
- Competency of the organization’s team of trainers/coaches/experts. (30%)
- Technical Proposal: Methodology and technical approach, detailed workplan (20%)
- Financial offer (30%)
- SUBMISSION OF PROPOSALS
To apply, please send your proposal consistent with the abovementioned content requirements to [email protected], no later than 20th of June 2020 before 4:00 p.m.
You can apply by indicating your interest in this assignment (please state in the email subject): Assignment Ref: (Com. 3: 05, 2020), Request for proposal to design and launch RE innovation funds to serve the agribusiness sector.
If you have any questions or inquiries, please contact us at Tel: 02-2951656 or [email protected]
We thank all applicants. However, only the successful candidates will be contacted.