USAID/Restoring Efficiency to Agriculture Production (REAP) Project
The USAID Restoring Efficiency to Agriculture Production (REAP) Activity in Georgia implemented by CNFA, aims at increasing incomes and employment in rural areas by delivering firm-level investment and technical assistance to agribusiness enterprises. REAP is to address gender inequalities and carry out activities to ensure equitable participation of women.
Specific tasks to be performed
In order to support the development of women-owned agribusinesses, REAP wishes to a) identify high potential women agribusiness entrepreneurs; b) train women in developing bankable business plans; c) select the best resulting business plans for REAP grant consideration; and d) assist successful grant applicants in applying for commercial loans, including for the subsidized loans under the Government of Georgia’s Cheap Credit program; e) and assist the remaining participants in improving their business plans for further grant or bank loan consideration.
Through this solicitation REAP seeks proposals from local business service providers (BSP) to work in up to four regions of Georgia. These BSPs must demonstrate their ability to a) identify qualified local women entrepreneurs (apart from those already identified by REAP; the list will be provided to the selected consortia), b) develop a training program for them leading to bankable business plans, c) deliver the training, d) identify the best business plans, and, e) identify the elements needed for those business plans not-selected to be brought to bankable levels. All activities are to be carried out in close cooperation and guidance of REAP.
In their responses to this Expression of Interest (EOI), Business Service Providers:
• Can propose to work in a specific region or in more than one region.
• May propose a consortium to implement the program.
• Are encouraged to include local affiliates.
• Will identify women participants who meet REAP grantee criteria (equal distribution across REAP’s grant types is to be ensured - please refer to Annex A2 for more information on REAP’s grants program). This includes some business experience, entrepreneurial promise based on relevant skills, resources beyond a REAP grant to invest in the venture, and a credible business idea.
• Will propose training design and staff able to accomplish project goals.
• Must provide a detailed budget.
BSPs are encouraged to partner with local rural NGOs. In order to achieve sufficient quality of the proposal, inclusion of a gender and agriculture and / or gender and economic development expert (either an individual or an organization) is highly recommended and encouraged.
Milestone accomplishment and compensation scheme
To ensure decent BSP applications, payment/compensation for this work will be performance based as follows:
1) Upon award, selected BSP(s)/consortia (consortium) will receive 20% of the bid price to mobilize and start-up.
2) Upon demonstrating that at least 15 women entrepreneurs identified to participate in the training meet the given criteria, as judged by REAP grant staff, 20% of the bid price will be paid.
3) Upon completion of the proposed training program, 25% of the bid price will be paid.
4) Upon producing at least five participants from the group that qualify for REAP grants, as judged by REAP grant staff, 15% of the bid price will be paid. 5) Upon drafting recommendations to the remaining participants on improving their business plans, 10% of the bid price will be paid.
6) Upon acceptance (based on the application screening and field assessment) by REAP’s C1 Component of at least two candidates out of five submitted applications, the remaining 10% of the bid price will be paid.
BSPs successfully implementing these programs will be given first consideration in providing continued direct technical assistance to REAP’s grantees who have completed the program and are seeking further technical support.
Project is carried out by Export Development Agency(EDA) in partnership with Georgian Farmers’ Association(GFA) and Regional Development Association(RDA). EDA will be responsible for management and supervising of the project and also relations with the Donor. GFA is responsible for communication support, thus it will contribute its own telephone-information center to this project and will connect participants of the project with agricultural experts who are members of GFA. Regional Development Agency will be responsible for mobilization and gathering business-ideas beforehand; thus will contribute its regional office and facilitates coordination in the region. Project will be carried out in three steps, mobilization, trainings and consultations. All three steps will be conducted by Consortium excluding specific consultations, which can be done by hired consultants in case it will be required.
During the projet, Consortium is planning to choose 20 active women in regions of Samegrelo and Zemo Svaneti, and offer them help in obtaining grant or specific funding – by giving them information, motivation and necessary skills.
Consortium thinks that the most effective way to choose 20 women during the project would be usage of local strengths in the mobilization phase, which will be fully supported by a member of Consortium – Regional Development Association(RDA). RDA’s office in Samtredia is full of experienced, professional local working personnel, who have unique experience in mobilization of Agricultural and Regional Development projects(including programs ENPARD, NEO, EPI and etc.) in Georgia.