Project Description: A vibrant small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) sector is a vital ingredient for a healthy market economy. As such, supporting small enterprises is an integral part of the work of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development ("EBRD" or the "Bank"). As a bank, the EBRD provides financing both directly and through intermediary financial institutions; however, finance alone often cannot overcome the challenges that small and medium-sized businesses face. They also need access to know-how to improve their performance, grow and compete internationally. The EBRD mobilises a range of advisory services through donor-supported projects to SMEs across 26 countries in Southern and Eastern Europe, North Africa and Central Asia (the "Programme"). Working with local consultants and international industry experts, this know-how helps small businesses transform their businesses and grow.
As part of the Programme, the EBRD has successfully enabled SME enterprise management to travel to other countries to explore business matching opportunities, creating linkages with other companies in the same industry, facilitating exchange of knowledge and fostering potential import/export links, as well as franchising opportunities. Other opportunities include visits to trade fairs and expos. These business matching trips have provided valuable opportunities for companies by equipping them with international best practices and developing business links.
The information and communications technology ("ICT") sector is playing an increasingly important role in the economic growth of EBRD countries of operations. Over recent years most EBRD countries of operations have made progress in developing their information infrastructure and developing relevant legislation. Further development of ICT is essential to support economic diversification, innovation competition and access to international markets. While ICT's influence on the global economy is growing at an ever increasing rate, there is a concern of a growing digital divide within the EBRD region. The Bank recognizes the importance of attracting entrepreneurs and businesses based on skills that are critical to maintaining a growing ICT sector, which in turn is critical for narrowing the digital divide. The Bank promotes small companies and new entrants to the market that are source of innovation and new products.
Reflecting Taipei's world-leading achievements in the ICT sector, it is a natural partner for the EBRD in this endeavour. From 2012 to 2015, 5 business matching trips ("BMTs") were organized successfully. 142 delegates representing ICT executives and managers from 24 EBRD countries of operations visited Computex, one of the largest ICT exhibitions in the world. They also met local ICT businesses and government agencies. The delegates valued the business matching opportunities highly, as they gained new skills and knowledge and created successful business networks and partnerships as a result.
Assignment Description: The Bank now intends to select up to 15 senior-level executives from leading ICT organisations (hardware assembly, software development, retail, IT association and academia) and/or local ICT associations annually as participants for business matching trips to be conducted over a 3-year period. Over this period up to 45 delegates will be sent on business matching trips to Taipei. The business matching trips will be led by two ICT Team Coordinators.
The overall objective of the business matching trips is to promote business matching activities of small businesses in ICT, by assisting them to access new markets, know-how and non-financial business development services to help them develop and grow.
Specific objectives of the initiative are to:
- Exploit business opportunities for cooperation and forming partnerships with leading Taiwanese ICT companies;
- Emulate the Taiwanese public-private partnership in ICT;
- Provide access to information on new products and the latest development of ICT technology;
- Transfer knowledge of Taipei’s innovation and ICT strategies to participants to encourage information sharing to delegate country authorities;
- Promote inter- regional trade by sending varied companies.
The Bank now intends to engage a consulting company (the "Consultant") to assist with arranging the business matching trips (the "Assignment").
The expected outcome of the Assignment is to successfully arrange business matching trips to promote business matching activities of small business in ICT.
The selected Consultant is expected to provide the following services:
- Organise logistics and accommodation for the delegation that includes pre-trip arrangement such as landing visa application;
- Organise venue hire and hospitality;
- Work with appointed ICT Team Coordinators to identify potential partners and stakeholders and provide a list of potential partners in advance of the visit(s);
- Work closely with appointed ICT Team Coordinators to build a demand-driven training curriculum;
- Create training manual and materials incorporating global best practice;
- Prepare a final report of the training and the visits in general.
Status of Selection Process: Interested firms or groups of firms are hereby invited to submit expressions of interest.
Assignment Start Date and Duration: It is currently envisaged that the Assignment will take place in June of each year from 2016 to 2018. The duration of the Assignment is 3.5 years (41 months) including 6 months for reporting after the final trip.
Approval of subsequent trips over the duration of the Assignment is subject to the successful implementation of the first trip in June 2016.
Cost Estimate for the Assignment: EUR 141,708 (exclusive of VAT). Subject to availability of funding, the performance of the selected Consultant and the specific needs of the Bank the Assignment may be extended beyond the current scope.
The Consultant must determine whether any VAT would be chargeable on the services and the basis for that determination, without taking into consideration the special status of the Bank as an IFI and state this to the Bank in their response to the Invitation for Expressions of Interest. To the extent that a Consultant incurs input VAT on goods and services purchased in connection with the provision of services (e.g. VAT on airline ticket) which is not otherwise recoverable by the consultant from the local tax authority, the gross cost to the consultant of such expenses shall be treated as a reimbursable expense.
Funding Source: It is expected that the Assignment will be funded by the Taiwan Business - EBRD TC Fund. Please note selection and contracting will be subject to the availability of funding.
Eligibility: There are no eligibility restrictions.
Consultant Profile: Corporate services are required. The Consultant will be a firm or a group of firms preferably with previous project experience related to:
1.Organising and facilitating training events and delegation visits to local companies and governments;
2. Experience in conference and event management and possessing a relevant network of local MSME institutions and stakeholders;
3. Experience in the ICT sector and working with IFIs and development organisations with micro and small sized enterprises in the region or similar regions;
The Consultant’s expert team is expected to include key experts as follows:
a Key Expert No 1 (Project manager) with preferably 10 years of previous professional experience in the ICT sector working in event management and facilitating training events and delegation visits to local companies and governments and possessing a relevant network of local MSME institutions and stakeholders also with experience working with IFIs and development organisations and local micro and small sized enterprises in the region or similar regions.
b Key Expert No 2 (Project facilitator) with preferably 5 years of previous professional experience in event management and organising conferences with local MSME institutions and stakeholders in the region or similar regions.
c. Key Experts No 3 (Pool of Additional Experts) with experience in event management and organising and facilitating training events and delegation visits to local companies and governments with experience working with IFIs and development organisations and local micro and small sized enterprises in the region or similar regions.
Submission Requirements: In order to determine the capability and experience of Consultants seeking to be selected for this Assignment, the information submitted should include the following:
1. Company/group of firms’ profile, organisation and staffing (max. 2-4 pages).
2. Details of previous project experience or similar assignments particularly undertaken in the previous five years, including information on contract value, contracting entity/client, project location/country, duration (mm/yy to mm/yy), expert months provided (if different from duration) , main activities, objectives.
3. CVs of key experts who could carry out the Assignment detailing qualifications, experience in similar assignments, particularly assignments undertaken in the previous five years, including information on contracting entity/client, project location/country, duration (mm/yy to mm/yy), expert months provided, assignment budget, main activities, objectives.
4. Completed Consultant Declaration Form and Contact Sheet, the template for which is available from the following web-link:
The above information should not exceed 20 pages excluding CVs and contact sheet.
The complete expression of interest (including CVs, Consultant Declaration and Contact Sheet) should be submitted, in English electronically through e-Selection, to reach the Bank not later than the closing date. The expression of interest shall be one file (pdf). The EBRD reserves the right to reject applications of firms submitting more than one file. Only if the permissible file size is exceeded (4MB), the Consultant may split the expression of interest into further files.
Bank Contact Person:
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
One Exchange Square
London EC2A 2JN
Tel: + 44 20 7338 6885
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org (submissions should be sent through eSelection and NOT to this email address)
1. The selection will normally be made from responses to this notification only. Consultants will not be asked to submit a proposal. The highest-ranked Consultant will be selected from a shortlist and be invited to negotiate the contract, subject to availability of funding.
2. The shortlist criteria are:
(a) Firm’s previous project experience in organising and facilitating training events and delegation visits to local companies and governments (40%)
(b) Firm’s previous project experience in the ICT sector working with IFIs and development organisations with micro and small sized enterprises in the Bank's countries of operation or similar regions with a relevant network of local MSME institutions and stakeholders (20%)
(c) CV of Key Experts (40%)