The AECF (Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund) is a non-profit institution supporting early and growth-stage businesses – through the provision of patient capital – to innovate, create jobs, leverage investments and markets to create resilience and sustainable incomes for rural poor and marginalised communities in Africa.
AECF’s strategy is focused on agribusiness/agriculture and renewable energy sectors with increased support to climate technologies, deepened focus on gender, youth, and employment, aimed at attaining the institution’s vision of ‘A Prosperous and Enterprising Rural Africa’.
Since 2008, AECF has invested in 268 businesses across sub-Saharan Africa focusing on Agribusiness, Renewable Energy and Climate Technologies. As of 2018, we have impacted more than 17 million lives, created over 12,000 jobs and leveraged over US$ 750 million in matching funds from the private sector.
AECF is headquartered in Kenya with offices in Cote d’ Ivoire and Tanzania.
2.0 The REACT window
The Renewable Energy and Adaptation to Climate Technologies (REACT) window supports the private sector in bringing clean energy technologies to Africa’s rural communities. Through its investees, it has contributed to providing over 6.5 million people with access to low cost, clean energy from solar home systems, mini-grids and clean cooking solutions. The support focuses on reducing risk, stimulating advances in technology, testing alternative business models and financial services, and addressing other constraints that inhibit market development with products and services that specifically target the rural poor. Initial investments from the AECF have been concentrated in East Africa but subsequent funding has expanded this geographical reach to cover West and Southern Africa. REACT is currently implementing two flagship programmes:
2.1REACT HS Programme
The REACT Household Solar programme, funded by the by UK Department for International Development (DFID), delivers financial and technical support to companies offering Solar Household System (SHS) products and services in the form of grants, repayable grants and technical assistance to accelerate access to modern electricity for 450,000 households. The first round of the programme is being implemented in Malawi, Sierra Leone, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The second round of the programme will be implemented in Somalia, Ethiopia, Ghana, Senegal and Nigeria.
3.0 Purpose and objectives of the assignment
The purpose of this assignment is to assess the strategies that REACT HS R1 investees in Southern Africa (Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe) have adopted for collection of periodic payments from their customers, and especially for those selling through Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG), and to come up with strategies on how these companies can improve their collection rates.
The study will assess and compare the socio-economic situation in the respective countries that affect collections, and propose realistic solutions that these companies may adopt in order to improve their repayment collections from their customers, most of whom are rural and peri-urban residents whose economic activities have also been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The consultant will be expected to benchmark any recommended strategies with other strategies that are working in other countries outside those being covered by the assignment.
Specific duties include, but are not limited to:
a) Conduct a customer analysis on the sales and customer payment strategies for 9 REACT HS investees in Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe, profiling the same based on level of income, region (rural/ peri-urban etc), occupation etc, considering the PAYG model.
b) Identify key target markets and mapping of customers with the aim of strengthening companies customer identification and developing a collection plan to achieve collections that are commensurate to sales targets.
c) Develop an operational collections strategy that may be adopted by companies to meet more ambitious collection targets and gain the first mover advantage.
d) Advise the company on how to manage their working capital to ensure liquidity and continued operation
4.0 About the Assignment
Through this request for proposals (“RFP”), the AECF intends to support its investees to assess the strategies currently being implemented for collections from their customers, and propose ways of improving the same.
5.0 Outputs and reporting requirements
Comprehensive TA delivery report, detailing:
a) A customer analysis based on discussions with REACT HS investees in Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
b) Sales,marketing and distribution strategy, plan and targets for investees’ teams.
c) Operation and customer repayment plan.
d) Collection strategy based on assessment of the above, with a summary assessment of the firm-level insights, proposed recommendations and adoption strategies that may work for the companies.
e) Working capital management strategy.
The consultant will also be expected to prepare a presentation and deliver a training on the same.**
6.0 Duration of services
The duration of the service will be over a period of 2 months. This service is expected to commence on 12 April 2021.
Applicants must be able to illustrate the minimum competencies of:
· At least five (5) years team experience in data collection and analysis, reporting and results verification, report writing and presentations to stakeholders in the off-grid energy space.
· Masters in strategic management and planning, with experience in management consulting and PAYG financing models.
· Experience in undertaking these types of assignments, with strong references.
· Knowledge of the off-grid energy sector and experience working with Solar Home System firms in Africa.
· Experience and qualification in financial management, especially working capital/ liquidity management.
8.0 Proposal Submission
Qualified consultants (individual or institutional consultants) are invited to submit the proposal that
includes the following:
a) Qualification and experience of the individual/institution.
b) Approach and methodology to undertake this assignment.
c) Previous experience in a similar assignment(s).
d) Detailed financial budget (in USD) and work plan/staff resources.
e) Technical and Financial proposals will need to be submitted as separate documents.
The Consultant will report to the Advisory Manager for REACT, with overall oversight from the REACT HS Senior programme officer and the REACT Sector Team lead.
The AECF is obliged by the Kenyan tax authorities to withhold taxes on service contract fees as well as ensure VAT, at 16%, is charged where applicable. Applicants are advised to ensure that they have a clear understanding of their tax position with regards to provisions of Kenya tax legislation when developing their proposals.
11.0 Evaluation Criteria
Evaluation Criteria An evaluation committee will be formed by the AECF and shall include employees. All members will be bound by the same standards of confidentiality. The consultant should ensure that they fully respond to all criteria to be comprehensively evaluated. The AECF may request and receive clarification from any consultant when evaluating a proposal.
The evaluation committee may invite some or all of the consultants to appear before the committee to clarify their proposals. In such event, the evaluation committee may consider such clarifications in evaluating proposals. In deciding the final selection of qualified bidder, the technical quality of the proposal will be given a weighting of 80% based on the evaluation criteria. Only the financial proposal of those bidders who qualify technically will be opened. The financial proposal will be allocated a weighting of 20% and the proposals will be ranked in terms of total points scored. The mandatory and desirable criteria against which proposals will be evaluated are identified in the table below.
CRITERIA FOR ASSESSMENT
A. TECHNICAL PROPOSAL
1. An understanding of the terms of reference
Demonstrate understanding of the assignment and expected outcomes.
5 years of team experience in conducting impact studies, with strong references
2. Methodology and work-plan that will deliver the best value on the assignment
Ability and experience of the consultant in cost-effective and timely methods of conducting data collection and analysis targeted at Off-grid solar products. This includes a sound methodology and workplan, with proposed samples, questionnaires and duration of work
Ability to adopt standardized metrics that can be used to compare impact performance and customer experiences across regions, countries and firms
Experience in working with early-stage Off-grid solar companies to improve their business and impact performance
Geographical Reach: Demonstrate relevant geographical experience, knowledge and reach to effectively carry out the assignment. Our preference is a consultant based in Southern Africa with extensive reach in the countries of study
3. Qualification and Experience
Qualifications and competence of the key staff related to the study Bidders must provide descriptions and Documentation of staff/teams’ technical expertise and experience
B. FINANCIAL PROPOSAL: Clarity, relevance, reality to market value/ value for money of cost for the assignment (inclusive of any applicable tax, reimbursables and travel).**
The AECF reserves the right to determine the structure of the process, the number of short-listed participants, the right to withdraw from the proposal process, the right to change this timetable at any time without notice and reserves the right to withdraw this tender at any time, without prior notice and without liability to compensate and/or reimburse any party. If you do not hear from us after 30days, please consider your proposal unsuccessful.
How to apply
Interested consultancy firms and individuals are requested to submit their technical and financial proposals to firstname.lastname@example.org by 5:00 PM E.A.T on 2nd June 2021.
For enquiries, please email email@example.com The Subject of the email should read *“CONSULTANCY SERVICES – CUSTOMER ANALYSIS AND COLLECTION STRATEGY CONSULTANT.”*** **