Short Term Consult...

Short Term Consultant - supporting women entrepreneurs in the Caribbean

Position advertised - Deadline for submissions September 2, 2012

infoDev is seeking a Short Term Consultant to provide support in ensuring effective implementation of a program to support women entrepreneurs in the Caribbean in growing their businesses. The STC will lead field based stakeholder engagement in all sectors, e.g. business and entrepreneurial community, academic, and government. S/he will coordinate the activities to ensure deliverable milestones are achieved, and will assist in the assessment and selection of an appropriate Regional Partnert to implement the program. The Consultant will work closely with infoDev and the Regional Partner in setting up the program - This will include the recruitment and appointment of Incubation Managers, the implementation of the program on each respective island, and the development of a business plan with a sustainable business model. The Consultant will provide ongoing support to the Incubation Managers, specifically in helping them form linkages with regional experts, coaches and appropriate service providers.

Applications including resume and cover letter should be submitted electronically through The World Bank Group eConsultant2 website(https://wbgeconsult2.worldbank.org/wbgec/index.html).  The selection number is 1080256 and can be found by clicking on the "BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES" tab.

Background

infoDev is a Global Partnership Program, coordinated and served by an expert Secretariat housed in the Finance and Private Sector Vice Presidency (FPDVP) of the World Bank Group. Its strategic goal is to promote the growth of technology enterprises to enhance sustainable inclusive growth, competitiveness, and jobs. infoDev focuses on the following key areas to achieve its goal: (i) assisting in taking technologies to market; (ii) assisting in creating and growing sustainable enterprises that are technology-enabled; (iii) promoting an enabling environment for innovation and adoption of appropriate technologies to promote enterprise growth as well as ensure effective competition so that the market functions to widen access to technology at affordable prices; (iv) disseminating research and best practices to enhance growth and sustainability of enterprises in the technology and technology-enabled space; (v) building capacity to enhance the sustainability of enterprises; and (vi) providing technical assistance to incubators to ensure Access to Finance (A2F) and Access to Markets (A2M).

infoDev is a thought leader in technology-enabled small business incubation. infoDev’s global incubation network encompasses 400 plus business incubators and more than 22,000 small and medium enterprises, and has helped create over 220,000 jobs across 87 developing countries. Within the World Bank Group, infoDev has also been recognized as being cutting-edge in its use of web-based resources to develop, publish, and disseminate its work and facilitate debate and interaction among and between client countries and donors.

Recognizing that the challenges facing entrepreneurs affect both women and men alike, and also acknowledging that women not only experience the challenges differently to men but face additional challenges (e.g. lack of collateral, gender bias), a scoping study was conducted in March 2012 to determine the needs of women growth entrepreneurs in the Caribbean.  Four islands were visited (Antigua, Barbados, Jamaica, and St Vincent and discussions held with women entrepreneurs, business development agencies, export promotion agencies, banks, academia, and government officials.  It became evident that although there are many women business owners in the informal sector including those running micro enterprises, there are indeed few that are growing their businesses to the next level, i.e. small and beyond.  

As it is the growth companies that create jobs and wealth in a country, it is believed that this is where an intervention is required in order to assist these growth businesses to achieve their full potential.   Encouraging women to move beyond the micro enterprise level will be important to create the necessary critical mass of entrepreneurs who will eventually run growth businesses.

A program has therefore been designed for implementation, initially on the two of the four islands of Jamaica, Barbados, Antigua and St Vincent, but with an intention to later raise further funds and expand to all four islands, and eventually roll out to other countries in the region.  This program forms part of a seven year Entrepreneurship Program for Innovation in the Caribbean (EPIC), which is funded by the Canadian International Development Agency to support and grow micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the Caribbean, and implemented by infoDev of the World Bank. 

The program will be managed by a Regional Partner, who will be responsible for the overall implementation of the program, for capturing the learning and making the necessary improvements for successful full-scale implementation across the region.  The Regional Partner will evolve a business model to ensure the sustainability of the program once the donor funding has been fully utilized.   

The Regional Partner will appoint and manage Incubation Managers who will be reside on each island respectively, and who will be responsible for developing and implementing an appropriate service offering and developmental program for the women growth entrepreneurs on their island.  This will include facilitating peer-learning discussion groups; identifying and contracting with local business coaches, and subject matter experts; and developing access to export assistance programs, in order to build a network of knowledge partners and enabling organizations that will support the entrepreneurs.  The Incubation Managers will further provide the following intensive support for the entrepreneurs in their program: sourcing quality and reliable raw materials; lowering transportation costs for their products by aggregating incoming and outward-going products; sourcing appropriate technical assistance; facilitating access to testing facilities; forming linkages with the Diaspora in order to create market opportunities; accessing concessions and existing, relevant local business development services; training early stage entrepreneurs wishing to start growth businesses.  The Incubation Managers will also be responsible for building a strong supportive network of women entrepreneurs across the islands that they represent, with a view to expanding this across the region.  They will be stationed at “host institutions”, identified and selected by the Regional Partner, on the basis of their reach and engagement with entrepreneurs on the respective islands.  The activities of the host institution should be complimentary to those of the Incubation Manager and vice versa.

The expected outputs of the program over a 6 year period, should be in the order of 40 – 70 women entrepreneurs who have successfully grown their businesses into competitive, sustainable entities creating tax revenues and jobs.  In addition there should be a sustainable pipeline of potential growth entrepreneurs to feed into the incubation programs on each of the islands.  Finally, there should be a replicable model that can be implemented on other islands in the region.

Scope of Work

infoDev is seeking a Short Term Consultant (STC) to support the program HQ team in Washington D.C. in ensuring effective implementation. The STC will be expected to lead field based stakeholder engagement in all sectors, viz: business and entrepreneurial community, academic, and government.  S/he will coordinate the activities in the region to ensure deliverable milestones are achieved.  The Consultant will assist in the assessment and selection of the appropriate Regional Partner.  Thereafter the Consultant will work closely with infoDev and the Regional Partner in setting up the program.  This will include the recruitment and appointment of the Incubation Managers, the implementation of the program on each respective island, and the development of a business plan with a sustainable business model.  The Consultant will provide ongoing support to the Incubation Managers, specifically in helping them form linkages with regional experts, coaches and appropriate service providers.

The Consultant will:

Support infoDev  HQ  in the development and implementation of the program to;

o   Assist with the assessment of the most appropriate Regional Partner to implement and manage the program.

o   Provide support to the Regional Partner in developing and implementing the program, including developing a business plan with a sustainable business model.

o   Providing support and assistance to the Incubation Managers by leveraging contacts throughout the region and networks within the sector including academia, entrepreneurs, financiers, industry, NGO’s and government to compile a list of relevant stakeholders in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

o   Collaborate with the other infoDev programs in the region also conducted under EPIC (e.g. the Climate Innovation Centre, and the Mobile Innovation Program), mapping the early-stage finance environment, local business and market conditions, and policy and regulatory environments.

o   Assist business development and fund raising using the business plan to secure local and international donor, public and private money to implement the expansion of the program. 

o   Liaise with local World Bank staff and assisting Task Team Leader in the coordination of activities with local World Bank and IFC staff.

o   Work with infoDev to allocate the budget and ensure that the program delivers the results within the expected timeframe and resource allocations.

The Consultant will also assist the EPIC team in global activities including:

o   Contributing input to reports, publications, presentations, analytical products, other business plans, and business development/marketing/outreach materials.

o   Assist infoDev with other duties related to the Women Entrepreneurship Development programs globally.

Qualifications

  • Demonstrated understanding of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Caribbean to identify key players/stakeholders in the public, private, non-governmental, academic and donor communities.
  • Experience working on entrepreneurship and SME development in developing countries, and specifically in the Caribbean.
  • Knowledge of the entrepreneurship and innovation support system throughout the Caribbean including availability of early-stage finance, regulatory frameworks and concessions, product testing and certification facilities, R&D and/or university institutions, public policies, local market landscape, established export channels e.g. via the Diaspora, and other ongoing local and international initiatives.
  • Excellent interpersonal, verbal and written communications skills that will result in stakeholder participation and buy-in through stakeholder introductions, interviews, workshops and telephone interactions.
  • Experience with organizing workshops and focus groups.
  • Evidence of strong project management skills that will lead to on-time delivery of expected outcomes.
  • Demonstrated ability to take initiative and work independently.
  • Experience working in a multicultural team.
  • Fluency in English is required.
  • At least 5 years relevant professional work experience.
  • At least a Bachelors Degree in Commerce, Business Science, or Science.
  • Caribbean-based candidates strongly preferred.

Expected Scope and Duration of Assignment:

The consultant will be hired for up to 110 days during the period of October 2012 through June 2013.

Application deadline is September 2, 2012.


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