TERMS OF REFERENCE TO HIRE AN INDIVIDUAL CONSULTANT TO CONDUCT A FEASIBILITY STUDY AND DESIGN AN IMPLEMENTATION PLAN FOR A WOMEN INVESTMENT FUND
RWANDA CHAMBER OF WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS
The Chamber of Women Entrepreneurs (CWE) was established in 2005 as an umbrella organization under the auspices of the Rwanda Private Sector Federation (PSF) with the mission to improve the socio-economic status of women entrepreneurs in both urban and rural areas by creating opportunities for their development through enhanced economic participation. This mission is delivered through advocacy, networking, capacity building, market access facilitation and other business development support services.
CWE continues to play a significant role in promoting women entrepreneurship and gender equality, all critical pillars of Rwanda’s national development agenda. This will in turn have immense positive individual, family, community and national socio-economic benefits and advantages. For CWE to play this transformative role, it is establishing itself as the premier institution offering targeted services to women entrepreneurs across different economic activities as well as in different partners of the country, both rural and urban.
CWE seeks to establish a Women Investment Fund to support its current and future members to access tailored financial products and services that will increase the competitiveness of their businesses. The Women Fund will mobilize financing from relevant sources, develop and design tailored financial products and services and deploy these products and services in an effective and integrated approach that will reach more women in a timely and efficient manner.
CWE is cognizant of the fact that there are other funds that are available in the market currently and does not seek to duplicate these funds but to rather complement existing funds. It seeks to facilitate the flow of funds to a more diversified group of women entrepreneurs as well as ensure women entrepreneurs have the capacity, information and motivation to access funding. The Fund will also leverage a signaling effect to influence different partners to provide additional resources to support Rwanda women entrepreneurs in general and members of the Chamber of Women Entrepreneurs specifically.
The challenges to the financial inclusion of women have been well documented in various literature with emphasis on the continuous disconnect between available funds and needs of these women entrepreneurs. Some of the documented challenges include:
- Limited availability of financial products and services tailored to women and youth
- Limited financial literacy
- The limitations of collateral based lending with high intrinsic values
- Inadequate co-ordination of different initiatives
- Belief that their applications will eventually not be accepted, limiting any possibility for eventually obtaining funds
- High interest rates
Finscope 2020 determines a funding gap of 7% between women and men led MSMEs in accessing and using formal financial services. Meanwhile, the 2016 Finscope report ‘Women and Financial Inclusion in Rwanda’ has more detailed analysis on the constraints faced by Rwandan women both on the demand and supply side of access to finance.
In terms of access to formal financial institutions 24% women are banked whilst 74% are unbanked. According to the report, due to the irregular nature of their income women prefer to use the informal sector and prefer to save with informal Village Savings Groups. They find the cost of formal banking too high and prefer the ease of access with the informal sector. Whilst this maybe the case, 84% of women own or have access to mobile phones but according to the 2020 report 34% of the adult population do not have access to mobile accounts.
A TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) 2018 capacity needs assessment of women owned/led businesses in Rwanda highlighted key gaps and challenges facing women entrepreneurs. These challenges were unearthed in a study that comprised of a survey to 301 women entrepreneurs as well as focus group discussions and key informant interviews with women entrepreneurs and relevant professionals in the sector in all the districts of Rwanda. Lack of capital is perceived as the most perceived severe obstacle for business for women entrepreneurs in both the product and service sectors.
III. OBJECTIVES OF THE ASSIGNMENT
The general objective of this assignment is to conduct a feasibility study and design an implementation plan for the setup of a Women Investment Fund to be set up with and by the Rwanda Chamber of Women Entrepreneurs.
- Conduct a situation analysis on relevant national and regional initiatives and highlight existing opportunities and gaps to inform the setting up of the Women Investment Fund;
- Determine the feasibility of setting up a Women Investment Fund and prepare a concept note with recommendations on key aspects/flagships of such a Fund, including, institutional set-up, operational model and long-term sustainability;
- Develop a realistic implementation plan for how CWE should go about setting up and administering the investment fund and recommend appropriate entry points and institutions that CWE should leverage;
- Outline detailed cost estimates related to the implementation plan and propose a high level resource mobilisation strategy for the Women Investment Fund.
IV. SCOPE OF WORK
The consultant will be responsible for the following key tasks:
- Conducting a market analysis and mapping of the existing women financing ecosystem in Rwanda and the region, with the main focus of identifying the gaps and opportunities for further support to develop the Women Investment Fund and key stakeholders both in Rwanda and the region, to enable outreach activities and potential partnerships;
- Conducting a review of the legal, regulatory, and tax policy frameworks in Rwanda and identification of gaps including risks and mitigation strategies required to establish a Women Investment Fund, including recommendations on “quick-win actions”;
- Conducting a feasibility study of and developing of a roadmap for setting up the Women Investment Fund including proposed financing models and funds mobilization strategies and appropriate management model/institutional framework for the operations of the Fund;
- Prepare a concept note, assuming the feasibility of the Women Investment Fund with analysis and description of the conditions under which such a Fund would be feasible and provide a framework and recommendations for next steps including for the long term sustainability of the Fund.
V. KEY DELIVERABLES
The assignment key deliverables will include;
- An inception report that includes a methodology, background information, understanding of the assignment and a realistic work plan within which the assignment will be accomplished. The Report is to be presented within seven (7) days after signing the contract by both parties;
- Within 2 weeks of start – first interim report of the mapping of the women financing ecosystem with gaps and opportunities to be leveraged;
- Within 4 weeks of start – second interim report with the legal, regulatory, tax policy and risk management mechanism;
- Within 8 weeks of start – final business plan and implementation roadmap for setting up the Women Investment Fund including operational set up, outreach and partnership strategy as well as fund mobilization strategies.
VI. DURATION OF THE ASSIGNMENT
The assignment will be implemented within a period of two (2) months
VII. QUALIFICATIONS, EXPERIENCE AND COMPETENCIES OF AN INDIVIDUAL CONSULTANT
The qualifications and experience required for an individual consultant include but are not limited to the following:
- A proven masters’ degree in Policy and Strategic Development, Economics, Finance and Banking, Gender Studies, Development Studies, Management, project management;
- The company/partners or the individual must have at least seven (7) years working experience with the financial sector;
- Sound knowledge of financing frameworks at national, regional and international level;
- Proven experience in designing similar project and implementation of similar funds regionally and internationally.
- Knowledge of gender & women economic empowerment
- Ability to work with a range of gender stakeholders, including high level policy makers, government officials, and civil society and private sector;
- Familiarity and passion for gender equality and women entrepreneurship empowerment;
- Excellent communication, presentation and reporting- skills.
- Excellent command of English, both spoken and written is mandatory.
VIII. REPORTING AND WORKING ARRANGEMENT
The Selected consultant will be reporting to the designated.
IX. WORKING LANGUAGE
English will be the medium of communication during the entire period of the assignment
X. PAYMENT MODALITY
Fees will be paid upon delivery of the following:
- Validated Inception report 20%
- Validated Second Interim report 40%
- Validated Business Plan and Implementation Roadmap 40%
XI. SUBMISSION AND PREPARATION OF BIDS
The proposal shall be prepared in the English Language and comprise of two separate
- Technical component
- Financial Component