REOI: Mobile Start...

REOI: Mobile Startup Training Course - Strengthening the Business and Technical Capacity of the Caribbean Mobile App Entrepreneurs

As a part of the Entrepreneurship Program for Innovation in the Caribbean (EPIC), the World Bank Group is seeking a qualified firm to design and develop curriculum in order to train early stage mobile app entrepreneurs in the Caribbean in areas of business and app development. It will also be the role of the Firm to train an organization in Jamaica to implement the curriculum developed for the training courses. To respond to this EOI please register your interest no later than 11.59PM EST on December 18, 2013 via the World Bank's eConsult2 system (https://wbgeconsult2.worldbank.org), selection #1129250.

Project Background

The World Bank Group is supporting the innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystems in Jamaica and the Caribbean. In the past, relevant initiatives have included Digital Jam 2.0 and 3.0, pitchIT Caribbean, as well as the CARCIP program.

infoDev, a Global Partnership Program in the Financial and Private Sector Development Network of the World Bank Group, has the strategic goal of promoting the growth of technology enterprises. Currently, it is implementing the Entrepreneurship Program for Innovation in the Caribbean (EPIC – http://www.infodev.org/EPIC), a 7-year, CA$20 million program funded by the Government of Canada which covers 14 CARICOM countries. EPIC is designed to create and grow competitive Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) across the region. Within the program, there are three activity pillars (mobile innovation, climate technology, and women’s entrepreneurship) which are complemented by an access to finance component and capacity building for incubation professionals involved in the program.

Followed by extensive stakeholder consultation and market testing, the Mobile Innovation Program of infoDev (www.infodev/mobile) will be establishing the Caribbean Mobile Innovation Project (CMIP), a two-tiered partnership approach to strengthen the Caribbean mobile innovation ecosystem and to enable sustainable and competitive mobile app enterprises to grow. In order to provide services on the ground, the partnership will include supporting a regional coordinator in the Caribbean, who will work closely with local technology communities in six islands and virtually across the region.

Opportunity

Relatively low technical and business capacity by mobile innovators and promising startup teams is one of the key gaps and challenges of the nascent Caribbean mobile innovation ecosystem. Training activities in infoDev supported mLabs in Armenia (www.mlabeca.com), Kenya (www.mlab.co.ke), and South Africa (www.mlab.co.za) have shown that training, which is directly applied to startup development, has guided and encouraged teams to complete their ideas into marketable products, and it has significantly increased necessary skills (and their employability if entrepreneurship has not been an option). For example, a recent study by University of Nairobi (http://www.ihub.co.ke/blog/2013/06/mlab-east-africa-outcomes-two-years-later/) highlighted the successful outcomes of a training course by the mLab East Africa, which cover two areas of mobile development: business training focused on establishing and building a startup (i.e. monetization strategies, business modeling, and customer relations) and technical training focused on developing mobile apps (i.e. USSD, J2me, and HTML5).

The CMIP will be launching regional startup activities with local partners throughout the Caribbean in spring 2014. Followed by the promising examples with existing mLabs, the activities will include a mobile app startup training course, which will be initially provided to cultivate the top app entrepreneurial talent in Jamaica (to be identified through the Digital Jam 3.0 challenge), and then replicated throughout the region together with the CMIP regional coordinator. The training will follow a curriculum that will need to be developed for the Caribbean context, and it should include the necessary Train-of-Trainers materials that will facilitate an efficient knowledge transfer to Caribbean partner. The curriculum should also allow future revisions to meet the changing needs of the industry.

Project Objectives, Methodology, and Scope of Work

The Firm’s assignment is (1) the design and development of Mobile Startup Training curriculum to match the needs of developers and entrepreneurs in the Jamaican and Caribbean mobile innovation ecosystems and (2) train a Jamaican organization to implement the curriculum.

The curriculum will be focused in two areas of mobile development, business and technical with the goal to support mobile applications (apps) entrepreneurs to move their idea from “mind-to-market”. It is intended that the training course will be a part-time course over three to four months on nights and weekends in order for entrepreneurs who are currently working to attend. There will be pre-requisites for individuals to enter the training program. Since the technical training is highly specialized, individuals will need a basic background in software development / computer programming.

A local organization in Jamaica will need to be trained in order to implement the curriculum first in Jamaica and at a later stage in various Caribbean islands. The Firm is expected to support the local organization during the first course, when participating mobile application startups as well as the Jamaican enabler are expected to significantly increase their skills and capacity related to key mobile app development aspects.  Feedback during the project implementation will need to be systematically collected and analyzed.

All responsibilities will be overseen by the World Bank Group, including external communications and PR, as well as monitoring and evaluation activities.

The estimated amount of work for the Firm is 60 days.

Deliverables

The curriculum creation and training is expected to include the following parts:

Part 1: Design and Development of Content

Preparation of detailed curriculum, along with a plan to train the organization implementing the curriculum.

The responsibilities of the Firm will include in particular (but not limited to):

·         Detailed Inception Report for the whole project

·         Consult with infoDev’s existing mLabs to understand the training curriculum used in other projects

·         Consult with Jamaican and Caribbean Stakeholders in order to understand local market and needs of the mobile app entrepreneurs

·         Design and develop curriculum based on the findings from the consultations, targeting the needs of mobile app entrepreneurs for the following topics:

o   Mobile App Business Development (i.e. lean methodology, business model canvas, monetization, access to finance)

o   Mobile App Technical Development (i.e. USSD, Android, J2me, SMS)

·         Package the training in a Train-the-Trainer format so that it can be used in the future by local training organizations to deliver the curriculum in the Caribbean.

·         With assistance from the World Bank Group, design monitoring and evaluation surveys and methodology to be used throughout the training (both for entrepreneurs and the local Jamaican organization)

Part 2: Train-the-Trainers

Train a local organization in Jamaica to implement the curriculum. The World Bank Group will select the local organization.

The responsibilities of the Firm will include in particular (but not limited to):

·         Support the local training organization with the development of a project plan to when and how the training with be delivered

·         Train the organization virtually over the course of 1 month in preparation of training in March-June 2014

·         Virtually support the local training organization to implement the first training course in Jamaica during March-June 2014

Part 3: Monitoring and Evaluation Activities

Together with the local training organization review the training and its outcomes in order to see areas which need to be updated and/or improved (this could be from the curriculum and/or the training provided to the local organization)

The responsibilities of the Firm will include in particular (but not limited to):

·         Interview both targeted participants and the local organization about the curriculum and structure of the training

·         Complete a report analyzing the outcomes of the training which includes suggestions for areas of improvement

·         Improve the Train-the-Trainer materials based on the analysis. The revised materials will be used to train local Training Coordinators on other Caribbean islands

Timeline

·         January, 2014: Inception Report; Design and development of curriculum.

·         February - March, 2014: Virtual training of training organization

·         March 17-June 13, 2014: Support the implementation of the training to startup teams

·         June - July, 2014: Monitoring and Evaluation; Refine and update the Train-the-Trainer curriculum in advance of expanding it across the Caribbean; Submission of Final Project Report and Final Training Curriculum.

Submitting Expressions of Interest

To respond to this request for EOI, interested Firms must provide information indicating that they are qualified to perform the services (description of similar experience and track record, staff profiles, experience and networks across developing markets and mobile technology industries, etc).

Important qualification criteria include demonstrated expertise and experience in the following areas:

o   Experience designing and delivering course curriculum and implementing training activities; Preferably in the developing world and emerging markets context

o   In-depth knowledge and experience with mobile business and app development

o   Strong understanding of operating and business environment of – and preferably experience in working with – enterprise enablers, such as mHubs/mLabs, startup accelerators, and business incubators in developing countries and emerging markets

o   Ability to build the capacity of local organizations (experience with “Training the Trainers”)

o   Capacity to work virtually including holding virtual consultations with local and regional stakeholders

o   Knowledge of and connections within both the Jamaican and Caribbean mobile innovation ecosystems (preferred)

o   Open and collaborative communication style with excellent interpersonal skills

o   Understanding of the World Bank Group's mission, development objectives, and how they align with the expertise of the mobile application developer community

Based on responses to this request for EOI, a shortlist of applicants will be invited to submit a full technical and financial proposal based on a detailed request for proposals. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.


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