infoDev is an integral part of the World Bank Group’s Trade and Competitiveness Global Practice. It promotes competitiveness of the digital, clean technology and agribusiness sectors by supporting the startup and growth of innovative enterprises. This support is provided via incubators, accelerators, networks that bring together investors, mentors, and entrepreneurs, startup financing programs, and research, including lessons from pilot projects, market analyses and studies of entrepreneurship ecosystems.
According to the European Commission, the “digital economy […] is the single most important driver of innovation, competitiveness and growth, and it holds huge potential for […] entrepreneurs.” Countries around the world are increasingly recognizing the value of a systemic approach to spurring entrepreneurship, but must design customized interventions to strengthen their particular entrepreneurship ecosystems. An entrepreneurship ecosystem consists of mutually reinforcing components (“domains” in the figure below), including a skilled labour force, well-functioning markets, an encouraging policy environment, availability of financing, an entrepreneurship-friendly culture, and supporting institutions and initiatives, including startup incubators, accelerators, networks, and mentorship schemes, among others.
Ecosystem components specific to digital entrepreneurship include:
- Availability of reliable infrastructure, such as electricity, broadband Internet and mobile networks;
- Existence of a skilled labour force, with technical (e.g. software and hardware) expertise and business acumen, from which startup founders and mentors can emerge;
- Availability of early-stage and growth capital from investors familiar with high-tech industries;
- Access to local, regional and global markets and value chains in the ICT industry;
- An enabling policy environment for R&D, technology transfer and innovation in services and products.
Figure: Components of an Entrepreneurship Ecosystem (Babson Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Project)
Digital Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Diagnostics: Purpose and Methodology
To assist clients with strengthening digital entrepreneurship ecosystems, infoDev is developing a customizable diagnostics tool to identify:
- the opportunity for the startup and growth of innovative digital technology enterprises; and
- activities and policies that could support digital technology entrepreneurs in a particular location.
The methodology will be customized for each client. In each case, it will include:
- a selection of indicators combining information on the digital economy and environment for entrepreneurship, which will vary with the overall goals of client and data availability. To ensure timely implementation, indicators from existing databases related to entrepreneurship, innovation and digital/ICT sector development will be used.
- a qualitative assessment, based on customized research questions relevant to the client. Examples of such questions include the following:
- What is the economic opportunity for digital entrepreneurs, expressed in terms of market size, demand and trends in adoption of digital products and services? What barriers to participation in local and global markets have entrepreneurs experienced to date?
- What comparative advantages exist for the digital industry in the local and global markets?
- What are the gaps in technical and business skills necessary for the growth of digital startups?
- What financing sources are available for product development, R&D, commercialization and business expansion?
- What opportunities exist for partnerships between entrepreneurs and established private sector companies or public institutions?
- What is the potential for sustainability of entrepreneurship support programs (in terms of stability of the business environment, attractiveness of existing and potential investment opportunities, investor confidence in the country or sector, etc.)?
Once the customized methodology for the country is designed, it will be applied to assess the digital entrepreneurship ecosystem.
Scope of Work
infoDev is seeking a firm to assist with the development and testing of a methodology for analyzing opportunities and constraints for growth-oriented digital entrepreneurs in various parts of the ecosystem.
The focus will be on the ecosystem for early stage, growth-oriented enterprises in the digital/ICT sector. The level of analysis is likely to be sub-national (e.g. city- or municipality-based), although this will be decided in the design stage of the activity.
It is expected that the methodology will be simple enough to enable quick data collection and analysis, and that it will combine literature reviews, interviews and/or surveys, and secondary (existing) sets of relevant quantitative data.
The main deliverables will be:
1. A set of diagnostics tools, including:
- guidance on the selection of indicators, combining information on the digital economy and environment for entrepreneurship, which may vary by country, depending on overall goals and data availability; wherever possible, indicators from existing databases related to entrepreneurship, innovation and digital/ICT sector development should be used.
- a protocol for the complementary qualitative assessment.
2. A report template, covering
A “map” of the key entrepreneurship ecosystem components, including:
- Major ICT sector players (including mobile network operators, hardware manufacturers, and services companies);
- The regulatory, policy, and business environment;
- Early-stage financing and mentorship opportunities for product development, R&D, commercialization and business expansion;
- Human capital in terms of potential startup founders and employee talent pool;
- Technical infrastructure necessary for digital products and services adoption in the market;
- Entrepreneurship infrastructure (innovation spaces, tech hubs, incubators, accelerators, mentorship schemes, technology transfer and commercialization programs, etc.);
- Prominent startups; and
- Other possible entrepreneurship “anchors” (such as research institutes, established private sector firms universities, etc.).
- Assessment of market size for digital products and services. This is accompanied by an analysis of strategic areas of focus for digital entrepreneurs in domestic and foreign markets.
- Recommendations for supporting digital entrepreneurs.
- A two-page infographic summarizing findings and recommendations.
3. A short (3-5 page) instruction manual for applying the diagnostics tools to assess the current state of a digital entrepreneurship ecosystem and derive recommendations on ways to support the growth of innovative enterprises.
Once the deliverables are submitted, infoDev will test the diagnostics tool in 1-2 countries in order to further improve the methodology, while providing support clients in the assessment of digital entrepreneurship ecosystems.
May-June 30 2015: Selection of firm and award of contract
August 3, 2015: First drafts of deliverables submitted to infoDev
August 7, 2015: Feedback on first drafts provided by infoDev
September 4, 2015: Second drafts delivered to infoDev
September 18, 2015: Feedback on second drafts provided by infoDev
October 2, 2015: Final deliverables submitted to infoDev
The consulting firm should be able to demonstrate evidence of successful completion of similar assignments involving the development of promotion materials, placing of press releases and events planning. The consultant should also demonstrate the ability to collect data, analyze and report on it. A tertiary qualification or certificate in public relations is required and a certificate in market research will be an advantage. The consultant should be able to demonstrate open and collaborative communication style with excellent interpersonal skills, as well as financial and legal ability for contract and budget management.
The World Bank now invites eligible firms to indicate their interest in providing the services. Interested parties must provide information indicating that they are qualified to perform the services (brochures, description of similar assignments, experience in similar conditions, availability of appropriate skills among staff, etc.). Please note that the total size of all attachments should be less than 5MB. Applicants may associate to enhance their qualifications.
Expressions of Interest should be submitted, in English, electronically through World Bank Group eConsultant2: https://wbgeconsult2.worldbank.org/wbgec/index.html, Selection #: 1183738
Deadline: May 30, 2015, 11:59pm EST
 European Commission. The importance of the digital economy. ec.europa.eu/growth/sectors/digital-economy/importance/index_en.htm http://ec.europa.eu/growth/sectors/digital-economy/importance/index_en.htm