1.0 The African Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF)

The Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF) transforms lives by providing investment funding and technical assistance to commercially viable businesses that improve the lives of rural communities. It mobilizes donor funding to support early and growth-stage businesses in agriculture and renewable and clean energy sectors, with a focus on improving incomes and employment for rural and marginalized groups. It is a non-profit organization, with its headquarters in Nairobi and operational centres in Somalia, Ethiopia, Dar-es-Salaam, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Sudan, and Côte d’Ivoire.

Since our launch in 2008 at the World Economic Forum, AECF has built the resilience of rural and marginalized communities by catalysing innovative private sector business models with patient capital and growth support services across Sub-Saharan Africa.

2.0 Investing in Women in the Blue Economy in Kenya

Investing In Women in the Blue Economy in Kenya (IIW-BEK) is a five-year gender equality and economic inclusion programme (February 16, 2022, to August 31, 2026) being implemented by AECF with the generous support of Global Affairs Canada (GAC). The programme contributes to unlocking the potential for positive socio-economic and environmental outcomes in Kenya’s blue economy in Lake Victoria and Indian Ocean regions.

The main goal of IIW-BEK is to contribute to enhanced economic empowerment of women and young women-owned enterprises, their suppliers, and those that produce for them along key supply chains where women are discriminated against in the blue economy in Kenya. More about the programme

3.0 Scope of work:

AECF is seeking a team of consultants who will be responsible for assessing and evaluating the bankability of applicant small businesses, managing grant award, and ensuring compliance with AECF’s grants selection policies and procedures. The ideal team of consultants should have a strong understanding of financial analysis, risk assessment, and excellent communication skills to interact effectively with small businesses and internal teams.

3.1 Specific duties and responsibilities (the “Services”) of the consultant:

The estimated duration for this assignment is a maximum of four months. However, timelines and scope of work may be adjusted during the initial discussions. The consultant’s responsibilities include:

  • Carry out detailed due diligence exercise of up to 40 applications with a view to evaluate financial and operational capacity of the business and its owners through thorough financial data analysis, credit reports, assessment of the business as a going concern, succession management, business model viability and other relevant information.
  • Review and process grant award proposals ensuring accuracy and completeness of documentation.
  • Make recommendations for approval, denial, or further review.
  • Assess absorption capacity of small businesses, develop milestones for implementation and make recommendations for budget adjustments as needed.
  • Collaborate with AECF teams to gather necessary information and provide guidance on environmental, social governance, gender equality and programme matters.
  • Maintain accurate and up-to-date records of grant award recommendations, investee interactions, and relevant correspondence.

3.2 Key deliverables:

  • Screening of the estimated 500 received applications to shortlist 80 small businesses that will be consider for grant award.
  • Investment memos prepared for 40 small businesses as per agreed template.
  • Appraisal of small business applications -review, shortlisting, and selection.
  • Document recommendations made for the selected small business applications.

4.0 Reporting

The consultant will report to the Investing in Women in the Blue Economy in Kenya Programme Manager.

5.0 Qualifications:

The team of consultants should demonstrate the following qualifications.

  • Bachelor’s degree in finance, Business Administration, or a related field.
  • The lead consultant should have at least 7 years of experience in similar assignments.
  • Proven experience as a Credit Officer, Credit Analyst, or similar role within the financial industry.
  • Strong knowledge of financial analysis, risk assessment, and credit evaluation techniques.
  • Proficiency in using credit scoring models and tools.
  • Excellent attention to detail and ability to analyse complex financial data.
  • Effective communication and interpersonal skills to interact with clients and internal teams.
  • Ability to make sound credit decisions within established guidelines.
  • Familiarity with relevant laws and regulations related to credit and lending.
  • Proficiency in using Microsoft Office Suite and other relevant software.

6.0 Proposal submission:

Qualified consultants are invited to submit a proposal that includes the following:

  1. Qualification and experience of the team.
  2. Approach and methodology to undertake this assignment underpinned by a demonstration of value for money.
  3. Previous experience in similar assignment(s) on micro-small businesses, including if any, those in credit and grant making segments.
  4. A detailed financial budget (in Kenya Shillings) and work plan.
  5. Technical and financial proposal should be submitted as separate documents
  6. As per evaluation criteria

The technical and financial proposals will need to be submitted as separate documents.

7.0 Pricing:

The Client operates a Kenya resident for taxation purposes and is obligated to withhold taxes on consultancy services as well as ensure VAT, is charged where applicable. Applicant firms are advised to ensure that they are well versed on their tax obligations as regards the prevailing taxation regulation when submitting financial proposal for this assignment.

8.0 Evaluation Criteria:

An evaluation committee will be formed by the AECF and may include employees of the businesses to be supported. 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 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 70% 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 30% and the proposals will be ranked in terms of total points scored.



Weighted Award



An understanding of the terms of reference

Demonstrate understanding of the assignment and expected outcomes.


Methodology and work plan that will deliver the best value on the assignment

Methodology and work – plan for performing the assignment.

Relevance of the methodology proposed to the needs of the assignment. Adequacy of the work plan, including key deliverables and capacity to deliver within a realistic timeline based on the consultancy days designated for the task


Qualification and Experience

Relevant services are undertaken by the bidder in past engagements with evidence of LPO/LSO, letter of engagement, completion certificate


Qualification and experience of the consultant/team and evidence of relevant certification including at least 2 signed reference letters indicating the scope of work covered.


All the required registration and certification document and at least three signed reference letters of similar work done


  1. FINANCIAL PROPOSAL: Detailed showing level of effort of the team, Clarity, relevance, and reality to market value/ value for money of cost for the assignment (inclusive of any applicable tax, reimbursable, and travel where applicable).


Total Score


How to apply

  1. Application details

The AECF is an Equal Opportunity Employer. The AECF considers all interested candidates based on merit without regard to race, gender, colour, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, disability, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law.

  • AECF invites qualified consultants to send a proposal to marked “CONSULTANCY SERVICES TO APPRAISE SMALL BUSINESSES FOR GRANT AWARD
  • *INVESTING IN WOMEN IN THE BLUE ECONOMY IN KENYA”*** The AECF shall not be liable for not opening proposals that are submitted with a different subject.
  • The proposal should be received no later than August 29th, 2023, by 5.00 pm East Africa Time (GMT +3) addressed to: The AECF, Procurement Department. All clarifications and or questions should be sent to

10.0 Disclaimer

AECF reserves the right to determine the structure of the process, 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.

The AECF does not charge an application fee for participation in the competition and has not appointed any agents or intermediaries to facilitate applications. Applicants are advised to reach out directly to the AECF.

For more information, please visit our website as per the link below.

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