Request for Expres...

Request for Expressions of Interest (EOI): Piloting virtual incubation services in East Africa

Grant Award
infoDev, a donor-funded ICT for development agency hosted by the World Bank, together with Hivos and DFID Africa, has commissioned research on interventions that may benefit SMEs in the ICT Sector in East Africa. As part of the follow-up to this project, infoDev seeks to commission a pilot program on virtual incubation services in East Africa, through a grant award.

For the complete Terms of Reference, please see:

TOR Virtual Incubation Pilot, East Africa

This call for expressions of interest (EOI) concerns catalyzing virtual incubation in the developing world and in particular the development of a pilot to test virtual incubation in East Africa as a tool for reaching growth-oriented rural entrepreneurs. As the implementing agency for the program, infoDev seeks proposals from for a grant of up to US$180’000 to pilot virtual business incubation.  The pilot will need to be completed by mid-2013. A similar pilot is currently being carried out by infoDev in Vietnam as well as an analytical study of best practice worldwide in Virtual Incubation.

The objectives of the pilot are to:

  1. Pilot virtual incubation in East Africa, to take the benefits of business incubation beyond the major cities to rural populations.
  2. To explore the use of different tools and business models that can lead to future sustainability for virtual incubation initiatives.
  3. Assess the impact and cost-effectiveness of virtual incubation and, by way of a strong M&E component.
  4. Build upon and leverage the new business incubator, funded by infoDev in Tanzania, the regional mobile applications laboratory (mLab East Africa), based in Nairobi, and mobile social networking hubs being established by infoDev in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.

The primary recipient and beneficiary of this Grant should be physically located in East Africa (Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda), and it is expected that this EOI will mainly be of interest to existing business incubators, pre-incubators or similar organisations. However, respondents may consider partnerships with other organizations, inside and outside East Africa.

Responses will be evaluated and shortlisted companies will be invited to respond to a more detailed request for proposals. At this stage, important evaluation criteria include entrepreneurial experience and a commitment to innovation, experience with SME finance, understanding of the needs of rural East Africa and a capability to work there, existing incubation experience and a willingness to work with other recipients of World Bank/infoDev grants and loans. Applicants should propose a strong methodology to deliver an innovative virtual business incubation pilot, to support a minimum of 8-10 virtual incubation clients over the course of the pilot.

To respond to this EOI, please send a profile/charter of your organisation and a covering letter by email to, with a copy to, no later than 11.59 pm ET on
August 15 2011. Please include "East Africa Virtual Incubation Pilot" in the subject line.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

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