Request for Proposal- Pre-Qualification of Investment Readiness and Facilitation Consultants, May 2022

1.  About AECF

The AECF is a development institution that builds the resilience of rural and marginalized communities by catalyzing innovative private sector business models with patient capital and growth support services across Sub-Saharan Africa.

The AECF is one of the largest Africa-based institutions and has mobilized US$ 422 million to date and leveraged US$ 754 million from the private sector, supporting 375 companies across 26 Sub-Saharan African countries, in more than 40 value chains in our focal sectors of agribusiness and 10 renewable energy technologies. Our experience has demonstrated the power of this approach to achieve direct impact, touching 28 million lives and supporting over to 26,000 jobs.

2. Objectives of the Assignment

The AECF portfolio continues to grow by the day, and the need for our growth support services has increased over time. Aligned to our mandate and strategy to increase our impact among the rural and marginalized communities in Africa, there is a need to increase follow-on commercial capital for every concessional dollar invested to support SMEs to grow and scale. To facilitate this, our growth support services on investment readiness and investment facilitation, play a key role in strengthening the governance, operations, and financial performance of our portfolio companies towards increasing the capacity and capability of SMEs to attract and receive commercial capital.

The objective of this assignment is to increase AECF’s capacity to provide the much-needed growth support services in the areas of investment readiness and investment facilitation for our portfolio companies. We are, therefore, seeking consultants with the capacity and with similar experience to support us in the delivery of these services with the objective of closing investment rounds for our portfolio companies.

3.  Scope of Work

We are seeking a partner to support the investments team increase the investor-readiness profile of our portfolio companies and facilitate the fundraising of commercial capital. The envisioned scope of work for the two service areas is as follows;

3.1  Investment Readiness

Delivery of Investment Readiness interventions which include, but are not limited to:

  1. Inception report and work plans following the onboarding of the companies
  2. Needs assessment for investment readiness
  3. Develop and execute investment readiness improvement plans focusing on key business areas: strategy, operations, financial management, impact measurement and team.
  4. Develop analysis and financial models for decision-making and planning.
  5. Develop investment teasers and pitch decks for investor engagement.
  6. Develop training manuals and execute training on key business areas.
  7. Coach/mentor companies on investor interaction/engagement, pitching to investors and managing deal rooms.
  8. Prepare an assignment report highlighting the process, lessons and insights, and improvement suggestions to assist the company in subsequent capital raises and AECF to increase its efficiency in the delivery of similar assignments.

3.2  Investment Facilitation

Delivery of Investment Facilitation interventions which include, but are not limited to:

  1. Inception report and work plans following the onboarding of the companies
  2. Draft all necessary transaction marketing materials for investor engagement: teasers, pitch decks, historical analysis and financial models, et al.
  3. Set up and manage data room for investor engagement.
  4. Identify and understand the capital needs of assigned companies and advise companies on the various capital structures and options available
  5. Provide a shortlist of suitable investors and lead engagement with potential funding partners.
  6. Coordinate the due diligence process with identified Investors, negotiate or assist in the negotiation of any proposed transaction and execution of the closing agreements (non-legal).
  7. Train and coach the management team of the company on the fundraising process, what to expect and how to close deals.
  8. Prepare an assignment report highlighting the process, lessons and insights, and improvement suggestions to assist the company in subsequent capital raises and AECF to increase its efficiency in the delivery of similar assignments.

4    Duration of the Pre-Qualification

Pre-qualified consultants will remain in our database for two (2) years within which they will receive assignments from the AECF as and when they arise through a Statement of Work. The pre-qualification period is expected to commence on 1st August 2022. In case you are already on our pre-qualified list, please do not re-apply.

5.  Qualifications and team profile

We anticipate that the individual consultant(s) or firm will possess the following skills and experience.

  1. Investment readiness
    • At least 7 years of experience working with SMEs in sub-Saharan Africa in various capacities like coaching, mentoring, business development services, business improvement/scaling and investment readiness.
    • Demonstrated experience in supporting SMEs in the Renewable Energy and/or Agribusiness sector(s) with a solid understanding of the end-to-end impact investing and venture building process.
    • Experience in developing investment readiness training material, which could include: business strategy, unit economics, financial management, operational efficiency, financial modeling, developing pitch decks, enhancing corporate governance, et al.
    • Experience in training and coaching of Senior and Middle Management teams for SMEs.
    • Solid track record in working with SMEs in Sub-Saharan Africa, including the Sahel region and other fragile economies.

2. Investment Facilitation

      • At least 10 years of experience working with SMEs in Sub-Saharan Africa and demonstration of how this experience has translated to success for the companies supported (include specific, measurable outcomes where applicable).
      • Demonstrated experience in supporting companies in the Renewable Energy and/or Agribusiness sector(s) to increase their level of investment readiness or facilitated the fundraising of commercial capital from local and foreign investors.
      • Track record in supporting SMEs raise concessional capital (grants and zero-interest loans) and commercial capital (pre-seed, seed, series A and Series B), showcasing engagements and deals closed.
      • Solid track record in working with SMEs in Sub-Saharan Africa, including the Sahel region and other fragile economies.
      • Elaborate understanding of the impact investment space in Sub-Saharan Africa, with a network of active investors in the ecosystem.

6. Evaluation Criteria

The individual consultant(s) or firm will be evaluated based on the below preferential point system scoring.

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 consultant should ensure that they fully respond to all criteria to be comprehensively evaluated. The AECF may request and receive clarification from any consultant when evaluating a proposal.

The evaluation committee may invite some or all the consultants to appear before the committee to clarify their proposals. In such an event, the evaluation committee may consider such clarifications in evaluating proposals. In deciding the final selection of qualified bidders, the technical quality of the proposal will be given a weighting of 80% 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 20% and the proposals will be ranked in terms of total points scored.

  1. Only the financial proposal of those bidders who qualify technically will be opened.
  2. The applicant with the highest total number of points and/or with a recommendation from our technical evaluation panel will be awarded the contract at the discretion of AECF and subject to pre-contracting negotiations and scoping;
Key areas for Evaluation/ Assessment Weighted Award
Technical Evaluation

Project relevance

• Relevance of the proposal to the scope

• Detailed methodology and approach in implementing the project

• Demonstrated experience in similar assignments for Agribusiness and Renewable Energy SMEs across Sub-Saharan Africa.


Capacity to deliver

·        Demonstrated capability and capacity to deliver on the assignment

·        Detailed CV and Certification of the consultant(s)

·        At least three references letters that are signed for similar assignments;

Letters of reference from past customers or associates to the Specialist, clearly indicating the Investment Readiness support provided and the value and impact on the business supported.


Experience and expertise

·        Previous relevant experience supported by the portfolio of work for a similar assignment

·        Evidence of a minimum of three contactable references signed

·        Provide all relevant registration and statutory  documents















Financial Evaluation

• Reality to market/value for money of the budget estimate for supporting one company in the area of assignment (inclusive of any applicable tax).




7.    Proposal Submission

Interested and qualified individual consultant(s) or firms are invited to submit their proposal(s) comprising of the following:

  1. An understanding of the consultancy requirements
  2. Methodology and approach for performing the assignment with success stories
  3. Demonstration of capacity to deliver similar assignments, indicating scope and magnitude of assignments and project team (attaching CVs of team).
  4. Detailed reference list indicating the scope and magnitude of assignments.
  5. Registration and other relevant statutory documents required
  6. Financial proposal clearly showing the financial budget estimate (in US$) and sample work plan for the delivery of the service(s) for one company (to be submitted in a separate document from the technical proposal).
  7. The preferred format for the submission is PowerPoint and Word.
  8. Technical and Financial proposals will need to be submitted as separate documents. Financial proposals will not be opened until the conclusion of the technical evaluation and then only for those proposals that are deemed qualified and responsive.

8. Pricing

AECF is obliged by the Kenyan tax authorities to withhold taxes on service contract fees as well as ensure VAT, at 16%, is charged where applicable. Applicants are advised to ensure that they have a clear understanding of their tax position with regards to provisions of Kenya tax legislation when developing their proposals.

9.  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.

  • Interested consultancy firms and individuals are requested to submit their technical and financial proposals to by 11:59 PM EAT on 26th June 2022.
  • The Subject of the email should read “Pre-Qaulification for Investment Readiness and Facilitation Consultants 2022”. The AECF shall not be liable for not opening proposals that are submitted with a different subject.
  • All Questions and clarifications should be sent to Please share your questions by 15th June and we shall respond to all questions by 20th  June 2022

10.  Disclaimer

AECF reserves the right to determine the structure of the process, the 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. In case you do not hear from us in a month, please consider your application unsuccessful.




About AECF

The Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF) is a leading development finance organisation that supports businesses to innovate, create jobs and leverage investments in order to create resilience and sustainable incomes in rural and marginalised communities in Africa. Launched in 2008, AECF has invested in 292 businesses across more than 40 value chains and 26 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. We focus specifically on agribusiness, renewable energy and climate technologies, while also addressing the cross-cutting themes of gender, youth and fragile contexts. In just over a decade, we have impacted more than 27.7 million lives, created close to 24,000 jobs, and leveraged over US $740 million in matching funds. AECF is headquartered in Kenya, with offices in Côte d’Ivoire and Tanzania.