References | Africa, south of Sahara

Support to Formulation of a Programme on Entrepreneurship and Financial Inclusiveness


Employment, Market Development, Private Sector Development

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End date

The overall objective of this assignment is to assist the Government of Malawi and the EUD formulate a new programme on Entrepreneurship Development and Financial Inclusiveness, for measures in favour/support of CSOs/and to propose feasible modalities for EU support for the benefit of entrepreneurs and TVET graduates in Malawi.


The specific objectives of the assignment are as follows:

a. To analyse the legal and regulatory barriers that hamper MSMEs in Malawi in line with the objectives of the National Employment and Labour Policy (NELP).

b. To identify plausible and feasible modalities of EU support to be channelled towards not-for profit business incubators, with a specific focus on entrepreneurship development.

c. To investigate various options of linking Financial Inclusiveness to the entrepreneurship and TVET sectors, and come up with a concrete proposal for a Financial Inclusiveness Fund, with the aim of ensuring that EU support in the sector is delivered in a way that addresses bottlenecks to successful MSMEs development, and that EU support complements initiatives of other DPs.


The consultants will provide the aforementioned services, in consultation with the EU Delegation, the Government of Malawi, development partners and stakeholders to ensure the successful undertaking and conclusion of the identification and formulation process. In particular the consultants will be guided by the following questions for the respective components:

Support to Entrepreneurship/Business Development Services Component:

a. EUD proposes that the Business Incubators (BIs) provide support on business skills, marketing, accounting, taxes and administration, development of business plans, negotiation skills, access to markets advice and support, etc. What additional services would be offered? What additional services are needed by the business community?

b. At the moment, there are few small BIs in the country. Should the proposed programme aim to scale them up? (all, some, or one?) and make sure they become sustainable over time? How could the programme do that? Which players are more deserving of support? Or should the programme do an open call to open up financing to a broader set of players, e.g. with experience from other countries, that can offer similar services? Should the programme encourage through such Call for

Proposals established providers to partner up with organisations that can bring experience from other countries?

c. Existing BIs are not linked up. To what extent should the programme support them to join forces and establish linkages or even a Foundation or Trust that reunites them all (or most of them) under a single umbrella?

d. Depending on the answer to c, should the programme support this umbrella organisation? And what would be the best way to support Business Development Services (BDS) providers? Should the programme launch a call for proposals and focus support on those offering the best services and best value for money? (An open call for proposals would also open up the possibility for other organisations, e.g. NGOs, to propose offering similar type of services opening up the space and

diversifying the offer of service providers) Or should the programme try a direct grant, assuming there is an umbrella organization established and capable of managing EU funds?

How many centres around the country should this BI or BIs count? Would the BIs all offer the same services or have different sizes? (bigger in bigger cities, smaller in the regions, or in some districts but not others?) Should they have specific “antennas” or offices dedicated to TVET graduates?

f. Please explain success stories of other business incubators and BDS providers, ideally in the continent, and what lessons can be derived from them? Has the consultant come across any examples of EU-supported Business Development Service provision for MSMEs that the programme can build on?

g. At least one third of the funds (5 million out of 15) should support primarily TVET graduates. How could the programme ensure that the BIs offer support to any interested youth or entrepreneur, but also that a third of the support is channelled to TVET graduates. Should the intervention have specific centres close to specific TVET training institutions? Should the

intervention include requirements that the BDS are actively promoted in such centres? How do the services primarily required by TVET graduates differ from those offered to other clients of BIs? Should the programme ask the BIs offering these services to set up dedicated departments for TVET? Or should the intervention have a completely separate arrangement for this type of

beneficiaries (e.g. through a separate call for proposals, separate providers, like NGOs or the TVET training institutions themselves)?

h. MSMEs suffer from various bottlenecks and an informality syndrome. What are the key legal and regulatory challenges that present business hurdles to MSMEs establishment and growth, and thus leading to the large informal sector? The consultant is expected to make a presentation to government and public bodies on the results of this enquiry, building on a review of available literature.

i. The government has issued a National Employment and Labour Policy (2018). How will the BDS providers/BIs liaise with government and public bodies in order to seek to address the challenges identified under question h? How could/should (or should not) the programme help address such challenges? Are the existing BIs and business associations like Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI) and the SMEs Chamber of Commerce currently effectively representing the interests of MSMEs and engaging Government on making the enabling environment more conducive to MSME growth? If not, could/should the programme do something about it under this intervention (in a sustainable manner)?

j. What would be the communication around this programme? Should the intervention include visibility campaigns/national competitions, like pitch nights for instance? Other better ideas?

k. Very important: What would be the link to the Financial Inclusiveness Component? How can the programme ensure maximum synergies between both components?

l. The consultant is expected to make a budget proposal for this 15 M EUR operation.

m. How long should this operation be?

n. What would be the indicators for success of this component? The consultant is required to develop a logframe.

Financial Inclusiveness Component

a. What implementation modality would be the most suited for the programme to execute this component? The consultant is expected to investigate implementation options. Explore modalities and scope of Growth Accelerator recently launched by UNDP. Although it has a different angle, would it be an option to collaborate with them or launch a separate facility within the same umbrella programme? Or should we rather seek to set up a completely different structure with another implementing partner?

b. The Fund proposes to offer seed capital and credit guarantees (to access commercial loans). Are these financing options suitable? Is there anything we are missing and which would be feasible within the EU Financial Regulation and PRAG? How would they work in practice? How should the budget of this component be allocated through the years?

c. What would be the structures and modalities for the Fund to select grantees, amounts and types of support provided and the modality and requirements for beneficiaries to access the services of the fund?

d. What would be the link between the Support to Entrepreneurship/Business Development Services component and this component? Who would be responsible for what? What would be the division of labour between the implementers of the two components? Should this Fund offer any kind of financial advice? Or should this be the sole responsibility of the 'Support to

Entrepreneurship/Business Development Services Component'?

e. Banks in Malawi are unwilling to lend to MSMEs as they see them as too risky. Under which kind of platform should these BIs, on behalf of MSMEs, seek to address these challenges with the banks?

f. The consultant is expected to make a budget proposal for this 10 M EUR operation.

g. What should be the duration of this operation?

h. What would be the indicators for success of this component? The Consultant is required to develop a logframe.