• Contract
  • Nigeria
  • TBD USD / Year
  • Salary: TBD

Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund


1.0 About The AECF

The AECF ( is a development institution that supports businesses to innovate, create jobs, leverage investments and markets to create resilience and sustainable incomes in rural and marginalized communities in Africa. Over the past 12 years, AECF has supported 400 businesses in more than 40 value chains and in 26 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. In the agribusiness sector, it has supported businesses across different value chains from improving seed varieties to livestock vaccines and introducing new farming systems and agribusiness models. In the renewable energy and adaptive climate change sector, we have supported businesses across home solar systems, mini and micro-grids, biogas, financial services, and adaptive climate change technologies.

2.0 Investing in Women in Nigeria (IIW-Nigeria) programme

The Investing in Women in Nigeria (IIW-Nigeria) is a 6-year programme funded by Global Affairs Canada (GAC) that seeks to economically empower women working in the agriculture sectors as entrepreneurs, smallholder farmers, producers, and employees and to address the barriers that prevent women from participating in agricultural value chains in Kano State, Nigeria. Women account for 75% of farmers in Nigeria and agriculture is the economy’s second-largest source of employment (36%). Yet women farmers are significantly constrained by restrictive gender norms that limit their mobility, agency, ability to own land and access finance, inputs and technology. Climate volatility further exacerbates these challenges, especially in the North, which is prone to drought and flooding. Through the project, the AECF will launch challenge fund competitions that will award performance-based grants to women entrepreneurs, producer groups, and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) offering employment, products and services that benefit women, that address barriers to women’s participation in agriculture, and are climate smart. It will also provide business advisory services to the companies that are supported with grants, work with micro finance institutions to improve their ability to reach individual women farmers and engage with local community and political structures to support women in agricultural value chains. The initiative seeks to contribute evidence on the effectiveness of funding the private sector to drive and improve women’s economic empowerment along various agricultural value chains.

The project seeks to 1) increase access to finance for women-owned/led companies and those creating economic opportunities for women; 2) increase access to business development services to support the growth of agribusiness that are beneficial to or led by women; and 3) address social norms through community-level and locally gender equality capacity building initiatives, advocacy and awareness campaigns and the recruitment of local champions. The project will support micro, start-up and growthlevel businesses through matching funding and technical assistance, and work to reduce systemic gender barriers to women’s economic empowerment at the grassroots level.

3.0 Purpose and deliverables of this Assignment

The purpose of the assignment is to provide specific technical, environmental, social, and cultural context to the AECF team drafting the IIW-Nigeria project implementation plan (PIP). The PIP is a formal administrative step required by GAC to ensure that the design of the initiative aligns with local realities. It is expected that tasks in this assignment will be based on a human-centred design approach, which includes a high-level market assessment, stakeholder engagement and a gender-based cross-sectoral and value chain analysis process. Assignment deliverables will contribute to the project design validation process to ensure it complies with the donor’s expectations for enhancing gender equality in agricultural value chains in Kano State Nigeria. Stakeholder consultation, gender analysis and market assessment will identify key environmental, and sociocultural issues as well as products and services with the highest potential of contributing to increased economic empowerment of women.

The assignment will be conducted in collaboration with members of the AECF team, both in headquarters in Nairobi and in Kano.

4.0 Scope of Work

The consultant will:

  1. Assess the status of access to finance by women and women-owned/led enterprises, women’s cooperatives and microfinance institutions in Kano and identify value chains and cross-sectoral relationships between value chains where women have the highest potential of participation, and where a market-based approach is possible and needed. This will be achieved through the review of existing research on access to finance in agricultural value chains in Kano State, Nigeria.

  2. Validate the findings of the consultation and analysis process that was carried out during proposal development. The validation will include consultation with the federal government, private sector players, female entrepreneurs, women’s cooperatives and business associations, and donors currently supporting women in the agricultural value chains in Kano State, Nigeria.

  3. Conduct overall market opportunity mapping and documentation of existing as well as potential agricultural value chains[1] in Kano State, Nigeria where the women have the measurable potential for profitability, growth, and decent employment. The assessment must take Global Affairs Canada’s GBA+[2] approach into account and identify at least 30 potential investees across all sectors and all categories (private sector businesses, social enterprises, and women’s entrepreneur associations/women’s group enterprises).

  4. Identify the gaps and opportunities for investments including risk appetites and desire for financial intermediaries to develop products and services applicable to women.

  5. From 3 above, provide the criteria, and identify high-potential value chains/sub-sectors and produce value chain maps of key sectors identified for possible intervention. Based on assessment findings, document possible interventions and approaches to expand sustainable access to economic and income-generating opportunities for women and women entrepreneurs including:

    • Areas for self-employment within the respective value chain(s), expansion of women participation in the value chain, opportunities for gender inclusive innovative approaches to ensure value chain competitiveness. Evaluate constraints and bottlenecks within the value chain and propose possible solutions.
    • An overview of existing financial and business support services as well as regulatory constraints and opportunities for the economic development of the value chains/sub-sectors identified and regulatory constraints specific to women and women-owned/led enterprises.
  6. Conduct a conflict analysis to demonstrate within the Project Implementation Plan an understanding of the conflict dynamics, and how these affects and are affected by the Project. Propose strategies to adapt the Project based this understanding of the conflict dynamics and how to integrate conflict sensitivity considerations throughout implementation, including provisions for ongoing analysis, adaptation and monitoring and evaluation. Include a clear methodological approach for the conflict analysis.

  7. Collect baseline data values for the project performance indicators accompanied by a qualitative narrative explanation of how the baseline data was collected, analysed, and validated. The explanation should also clearly indicate baseline data limitations. AECF will provide a copy of the Performance Measurement Framework (PMF).

  8. Conduct a gender-based analysis plus (GBA+) to assess roles, power relations, impacts and experiences of diverse men and women in the selected agricultural value chain. The report will include an intersectional lens examining barriers that women entrepreneurs, workers, suppliers, and traders face in the identified value chains and value chain nodes.

  9. With the AECF team, conduct a stakeholder meeting/workshop to present a snapshot of initial findings of the value chain analysis and discuss specific recommendations for the IIW-Nigeria

5.0 Deliverables

  1. Inception report (no more than 10 pages) outlining approach, including tools to be deployed and stakeholder engagement processes, and a work plan.
  2. A comprehensive report covering:
    • A market assessment and value chain analysis that includes key findings on the scope of work focus areas, duly integrating economic, social, and environmental complementary analysis.
    • A gender-based analysis (GBA+) complete with a detailed barriers analysis, gender analysis, and stakeholder analysis.
  3. A Conflict analysis report documenting the applied methodology and with recommendations for the project.
  4. A Baseline report with specific values for all indicators in the Performance Measurement Framework (PMF).
  5. Possible program design options that best represent the IIW-Nigeria program objectives.
  6. Stakeholder workshop report and a detailed list of stakeholders consulted.

6.0 Duration of Service

The assignment will be conducted over the course of two months. Given the scope of the assignment, it is expected that this assignment will be conducted by a consultancy firm, or a small group of individual experts provided skills on gender equality and market-systems approaches are present.

7.0 Reporting

The consultant will be accountable to AECF, Head of Agribusiness

8.0 Qualifications.

The selected consultant(s) should meet or include the following qualifications:

  • A value chains specialist with 8-10 years’ extensive experience in value chains analysis and gender sensitive research design, or gender and development and project monitoring, with a preference for substantial experience in private sector development in conflict sensitive environments.
  • At least 5 years of practical experience in conducting market assessments, stakeholder, and data analysis; stakeholder consultations, human-centred design, and programme design in the development sector.
  • Previous experience in completing the PIP process for GAC is highly desirable and applicants must detail their understanding of GAC’s Feminist International Assistance Policy.
  • Good knowledge and understanding of Kano’s economy and attendant agricultural sub-sectors as well as influencing factors such as security.
  • Very good understanding of the gender-related challenges facing women in agriculture in Kano.
  • Good knowledge and understanding of SME finance and solutions to increase access to finance for women-owned/led businesses in Kano.

9.0 Proposal submission

Interested and qualified (individual or institutional) consultants are invited to submit their proposal(s) comprising the following:

  • An understanding of the consultancy requirements.
  • Methodology and work plan for performing the assignment.
  • Detailed reference list indicating the scope and magnitude of similar assignments.
  • Relevant services undertaken in the past five (5) years.
  • Letters of reference from 3 previous companies/assignments.
  • Registration and other relevant statutory documents (applicable to firms).
  • The Technical and Financial proposal to be submitted separately
  • Financial proposal clearly showing the budgeted cost for the work to be conducted by the consultant under the scope of work above.
  • CVs of the proposed team

10.0 Pricing

AECF will contract this assignment out of its US operational offices and applicants are therefore expected to reflect the tax implications of this in their pricing where necessary.

11.0 Evaluation Criteria

An evaluation committee will be formed by the AECF and shall include employees. All members will be bound by the same standards of confidentiality. The vendor should ensure that they fully respond to all criteria to be comprehensively evaluated.

The AECF may request and receive clarification from any Vendor when evaluating a proposal. The evaluation committee may invite some or all the Vendors 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.

The mandatory and desirable criteria against which proposals will be evaluated are identified in the table below.

Evaluation Criteria


Understanding of the Terms of Reference


Methodology and work – plan for performing the assignment


Demonstration years of experience in similar work


Detailed reference list indicating the scope and magnitude of similar assignments


Financial proposal; clarity, relevance, reality to market of value/ value for money of cost for the assignment (inclusive of any applicable tax).




12.0 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.

[1] Guidance Note on the Review of Sustainable Agri-Food Value Chain (SAFVC) Analyses Common guidelines and reference documents for implementing agri-food value chains in support of Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy (will be provided upon request).

[2] See:

How to apply

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/firms to send a proposal to [email protected] clearly marked “MARKET ASSESSMENT AND VALUE CHAIN ANALYSIS FOR THE INVESTING IN WOMEN IN NIGERIA PROJECT” 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 4th January 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 [email protected] .

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

Request for Proposal – Terms of Reference – Consultancy services to conduct a market assessment and gender focused value chain analysis of agricultural value chains in Kano State, Nigeria – December 2022 – AECF (