Expression of Interest Consultancy

Central, Eastern, and Lusaka provinces, Zambia, Consultancy June 4, 2022

Short Term Technical Assistance
Access to Finance Consultant
USAID Zambia Enterprise Development and Growth Enhanced (EDGE) Activity
Funded By
Cooperative Agreement #: 72061120C00006
Performance Period: June 20, 2022 – September 16, 2022
Approximate Level of Effort (LOE): 60 days
Application submission deadline: June 4, 2022
Location: Central, Eastern, and Lusaka provinces, Zambia
Based in Washington, D.C., ACDI/VOCA is a nonprofit international development organization that delivers technical and management assistance in agribusiness, financial services, enterprise development, community development, and food security to promote broad-based economic growth and vibrant civil society. For more information, go to
The USAID Enterprise Development and Growth Enhanced (EDGE) Activity seeks to increase the profitability of agricultural small and medium enterprises (SMEs) by addressing their key constraints including limited business management skills, use of technology (including IT), access to local and regional markets, and affordable finance. EDGE targets SMEs that work in Central, Eastern, and Lusaka provinces in the following value chains: horticulture (to include annual fruits and vegetables), honey, poultry (to include layers, broilers and village chickens), aquaculture, groundnuts, animal feed (maize, soya beans, sunflower). EDGE’s key performance contract targets are: 1) Increase sales by at least 20% by June 2023 and another 20% from June 2023 to June 2025; 2) Increase profitability by at least 15% by June 2023 and another 15% from June 2023 to June, and 2025; 3) EDGE SMEs must independently access finance.
EDGE seeks support in providing capacity building and technical expertise to project-linked SMEs so that they may better access the financing opportunities available to them. The work will focus on supporting SMEs with already-developed growth strategies, working with them to identify specific/unique steps to take to access the required financing. This may include linking them with EDGE-partner financial service providers (FSPs) – banks, MFIs, value chain actors, etc. – or it may require specific efforts on already-identified areas of collaboration, as expanded under specific tasks below.
1.Develop financing strategies for the SMEs that have well-articulated growth strategies for which they need financing. Though EDGE has currently over 370 SMEs identified, the number of SMEs paired to a consultant(s) with will be agreed upon at the assignment’s onset. The strategy should identify, among other things, the purpose of financing, timing, frequency (if applicable), amount, duration/repayment period, the interest rate that the SME can afford given its return from the proposed investment, grace period, the FSP(s) that have interest and capacity to provide this financing (i.e., commercial bank, MFI, VSLA, equity investor, value chain actor, donor, etc.) The strategy must be realistic, taking into account profits, collateral and current capacities versus unattainable or fanciful wishes and wants. The consultant(s) will be encouraged to use the tools from the Value Chain Finance Guide developed by ACDI/VOCA, which will be provided for this assignment.
2. Develop appropriate products (including rough, notional and concept level) for consideration by an appropriate FSP. This may not have to be a radically new product. It may be a variation of an existing product, a little more tailored to the needs of SMEs (and clusters of businesses) that EDGE is working with (i.e., amounts needed, repayment schedule, grace period, security, disbursement and collection method/channel, etc.).
3. Provide tailored support to project-linked SMEs. The consultant(s) will be paired with an EDGE partner company to assist with the development of a scoring mechanism and encourage an FSP to use this mechanism to lend to farmers within a company’s supply chain. The aim is to equip FSPs to finance said company, for them to, in turn, on-lend to its farmers, based on the same scoring mechanism.
4. Identify financing opportunities for other large SMEs for whom EDGE can encourage lending to their supply chain or encourage them to lend to their suppliers based on this scoring mechanism.
5. Support SMEs in understanding the financing options available to them and which meet their needs.  This includes enhanced comprehension of interest rates (monthly vs annual breakdowns), tenure, short-term financing vs. long-term asset finance, etc.
6. Support FSPs in developing the proposed products. This work may include making FSPs better understand the risks and returns of the proposed investments and developing products commensurate with this risk/return profile.

A degree in finance, economics, business studies, entrepreneurship, development studies, or other relevant qualifications
At least 5 years of relevant experience
Ability to collect and analyze information, review business plans/cases write reports, and advocate on behalf of SMEs
Strong experience in facilitating investments for SMEs, including making tailored pitches to FSPs
Previous experience working with the small, medium, and large businesses with various skills, needs, and potential for growth
Experience in agricultural lending and familiarity with common financial products on the market
Ability to provide a sample of previous work in this area will be an added advantage

The consultant will report to the COP and shall work closely with the Objective 1 team lead, Access to Finance Specialist, and relevant EDGE team members.
The interested consultant should submit the following to [email protected]  by June 4, 2022.
1.      CV specifically responding to required qualifications
2.      Cost proposal – Professional fee daily rate
Only shortlisted candidates considered for an interview will be contacted. ACDI/VOCA is an equal opportunity employer. Women, minorities, and people from diverse groups are encouraged to apply.
Remark: The consultant will be bound by terms and conditions of ACDI/VOCA upon contract signing.

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