SME Online Portal Design, Development and Promotion in Ukraine



Business sector:


Project number:


Funding source:

ESMU00 - EC SBS in Ukraine

Contract type:

Consultancy Services

Notice type:

Invitation for expressions of interest (CSU)

Issue date:

24 Sep 2018

Closing date:

18 Oct 2018   at  18:00   London

Access eSelection

Two-Stage Open Competitive Selection

The deadline for submissions has been extended to 18 October 2018.

Clarifications issued on 10 October 2018:

Question: Does that project focus on the technical realization including UX as the "concept which has already been developed“ is available - what kind of pre-work do you see as necessary/ existing? For our staffing we would need to understand to which extend we need additional consulting resources.

EBRD Answer: Yes, the project includes the production stage (technical realization) of the full-fledged marketplace portal of business support services for SMEs. After the selection of the short-listed candidates, they will be invited to a meeting where further details of the project will be presented to all candidates, as per EBRD procurement procedures.

Question: Could you please highlight the process and key stakeholders in Ukraine in EBRD London, maybe other organizations?

EBRD Answer: Please note that the client in this project is EBRD by itself.

Question: We would like to create a valuable and sustainable marketplace not only for the period mentioned (end Aug 2020) but long-term. What kind of input is required from our side, how will that project be handled after completion?

EBRD Answer: A proof of the portal’s sustainability will be a set of designed deliverables and reached KPIs, which will be introduced to the shortlisted companies at the second stage of this selection process. Nonetheless, the following minimal KPIs by the end of the project shall be reached: 30,000 unique visitors per month, 5,000 registered SMEs and 200 registered private accounts of business support organizations (BSOs).

Project Description:

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) supports the economic transition to an open market economy by fostering the enterprise change in small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and developing the local consultancy market to achieve a sustainable support structure of business advisory services in its countries of operation. Advice for Small Businesses Programme (the “Project”) supports the process of economic reforms by transforming economic entities into potentially profitable micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as facilitating the creation of sustainable business consulting and infrastructure in its e countries of operations.

In 2016, the EBRD signed an Agreement with the European Commission to provide business advice, information, training, and other support to SMEs in Ukraine under the EU4Business Programme. One of the delivery mechanisms envisaged in the Programme is the establishment of a dedicated online portal for the purposes of information dissemination for SMEs in Ukraine. Such online portal will provide SMEs with information on business services providers from various regions and industries, available training and advisory services, business development and export promotion opportunities.

There are many players in the SME ecosystem in Ukraine, most of whom deliver information and services via their own resources, websites, or through other established communication channels aimed at SME development in Ukraine. In such a situation, there is a risk of a communication vacuum, in which SMEs do not have a single channel for obtaining information about opportunities available in the market, because business support organizations (BSOs) deliver their messages inadequately.

There is therefore a need to develop SME online portal that will bring together all players whose activities are aimed at developing and supporting SMEs, as well as all relevant services and programmes for SMEs in one place and will enable SMEs to receive quality information about the opportunities of their development in one place.

The portal will be a marketplace on which any BSO in Ukraine including, but not limited to, business support centers, business associations, industry associations, and relevant public and commercial organizations such as consulting companies can offer information about their respective business services. Through this marketplace, SMEs will be able to easily and efficiently find information and interact with BSOs on the portal.

The scope of the Project includes design, development and promotion of marketplace-type online portal based on the concept which has already been developed. The scope includes full technical, marketing and other support during until August 2020.

Assignment Description:

In the context of the Project and in order to solve the limited access to professional business development services by SMEs, the EBRD intends to engage a consultant ("Consultant") for the design, development, promotion and support of SME online portal in Ukraine (“Assignment”).

The main objective of the project is to strengthen the infrastructure of SME support in Ukraine by improving access to information about business services for SMEs and to increase the capacity and reach of the business support organizations (BSOs), by developing an online marketplace portal where relevant information will be consolidated in an organized and accessible way. To succeed, it will be necessary to reach the following minimal KPIs by the end of the project 30,000 unique visitors per month, 5,000 registered SMEs, and 200 registered private BSO accounts.

The overall objectives of the project include:

· Analyze the concept UX Architecture[1], portal concept reports, functional requirements and other concept materials;

· Design all front-end UI and other design elements for the portal based on, but not limited to, concept recommendations;

· Develop and launch a MVP [2] on the public domain and further enhance the MVP via consecutive iterations using agile development processes;

· Develop marketing and other visual materials such as a logo and visual brand identity elements of the portal etc.

· Develop the back-end of the portal using technical tools that ensure technical sustainability based on, but not limited to, concept recommendations.

· Create and moderate the required content until the end of the project

· Test and deliver working parts (releases) of the portal in general access to the internet - based on, but not limited to, the concept recommendations from the concept project plan.

· Establish and analyze the portal and market KPIs in order to understand possible problems and avenues of development.

· Generate product-development and ideas to grow the number of SMEs and BSOs visiting the portal for further design and development for maximum effectiveness and efficiency of the portal.

· Develop and implement marketing strategies based on, but not limited to, concept models for user acquisition and retention. This includes creating marketing materials and running marketing campaigns so as to provide full marketing support. To provide ongoing support for both technical and user functionalities. This is accomplished by ensuring maximum workability of the portal by finding and fixing bugs, managing the portal by moderating users and content, communicating with users, and solving problems associated with the marketplace.

· Create a separate business intelligence (BI) module[3], accessible on the separate public domain, to accumulate and visualize key information, related to users behavioral patterns and portal performance.

The overall scope is aimed at the development of the full-fledged marketplace portal of business support services for SMEs, its promotion, and full support of its use. It consists of the following 6 phases; diagnostics, design and initial copywriting, production, marketing and content creation, statistics and reporting and online-portal management and support.

Status of Selection Process: Interested firms or groups of firms are hereby invited to submit expressions of interest.

Assignment Start Date and Duration: The Assignment is expected to start in December 2018 and has an estimated overall duration of up to 18 months.

Cost Estimate for the Assignment: EUR 500,000 (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: The expected source of funding for this Assignment is the European Commission under the EU4Business Ukraine Initiative. Please note selection and contracting will be subject to the availability of funding.

Eligibility: There are no eligibility restrictions based on the consultant's country of origin.

Consultant Profile: Corporate services are required. The Consultant will be a firm or a group of firms with previous project experience in:

- Design and copywriting for complex marketplace-type online portals

- Production/development of complex marketplace-type online portals

- Digital strategies and promotion of complex marketplace-type online portals

- Management and support of complex marketplace-type online portals

- Usage of Business Intelligence (BI) modules for collection and interactive visualization of relevant data, collected via online portals

The Consultant’s expert team is expected to include key experts (the “Key Experts”) as follows:

a. Key Expert No 1 (Project Leader) with preferably 10 years of previous professional experience in project management, particularly in design, development, promotion and support of marketplace-type online portals, Fluency in both Russian and English is essential;

b. Key Expert No 2 (Digital Strategist) with preferably 5 years of previous professional experience in the development of digital strategies, web-site concepts, Terms of Reference and functional requirements for the development and promotion of online portals.

c. Key Expert No 3 (Technical Team Leader) with preferably 5 years of previous professional experience in managing developers’ teams for the creation of complex online portals and their technical support.

d. Key Expert No 4 (Marketing and promotion manager) with preferably 5 years of previous professional experience in online marketing and running versatile campaigns for promotion of web-site with national coverage.

e. Key Expert No 5 (Reporting Specialist) with preferably 5 years of previous professional experience in reporting, forming KPIs on real-time data, generated by online portal, creation of BI modules, placed on separate sub-domains with interactive dashboards showing behavioural patterns of users and overall portal performance

Non-Key Experts (Pool of Additional Experts) are expected to include consultants, developers, specialists who will support and promote online portal etc. Fluency in English is essential; Ability to communicate effectively in Russian will be an asset.

Submission Requirements: In order to determine the capability and experience of Consultants seeking to be shortlisted for this Assignment, the information submitted should include the following:

1) Company/group of firms’ profile, organisation and staffing.

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. The Consultant project experience should be accompanied by a summary table showing the consultant’s relevant experience for each of the headings in the Consultant Profile section above.

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 15 pages excluding CVs and the Consultant Declaration Form 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:

Sanda Jugo

Procurement Operations and Delivery Department

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

One Exchange Square

London EC2A 2JN


1. Following this invitation for expressions of interest, a shortlist of qualified firms will be formally invited to submit proposals. Consultant selection and contracting will be subject to availability of funding.

2. The shortlist criteria are:

· Firm’s previous project experience design and development of marketplace-type online portals as described in the Consultant profile section above preferably in Ukraine – (25%)

· Firm’s previous experience in promotion and support of marketplace-type online portals, including the creation of digital strategies, management of the platform and usage of Business Intelligence (BI) modules for data collection – (25%)

· Key Experts’ CVs – 50%

[1] UX (User experience design) is the process of enhancing user satisfaction with a product by improving the usability, accessibility, and pleasure provided in the interaction with the product. It is a more analytical and technical field

[2] A minimum viable product (MVP) is a development technique in which a new product or website is developed with sufficient features to satisfy early adopters. The final, complete set of features is only designed and developed after considering feedback from the product's initial users.

[3] Business Intelligence (BI) modules/applications provide historical, current, and predictive views of business operations. Common functions of business intelligence applications are reporting, OLAP, analytics, Data Mining, business performance management, benchmarks, text mining, and predictive analytics