International Consultant for Innovation Hub Project Management Support project

Location : Bissau, GUINEA-BISSAU
Application Deadline :03-Oct-22 (Midnight New York, USA)
Time left :0d 2h 41m
Additional Category :Sustainable Development and Poverty Reduction
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
English   French   Portuguese
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
Duration of Initial Contract :6 months
Expected Duration of Assignment :120 working days within 180 days

UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.


UNDP Guinea Bissau intends to capitalize on the society’s inherent entrepreneurial and creative spirit, with the high proportion of economically active women, youth, and the vibrant networks, to build and support start-ups and capacities that will have multiplier effects in the country, with a transboundary linkage to the sub/regional markets. The intervention proposed draws on the economic development approach for creating new value within an inclusive and sustainable market economy. Entrepreneurs and innovators are the dynamic and interactive agents within a broader market structure. Jointly, they constitute a nascent ecosystem of start-ups, small-scale producers, manufacturers, and service providers that have already identified new ideas or projects for value creation, aligned with social and sustainability principles. Unfortunately, these entrepreneurs often lack the requisite financial resources, technical knowledge, or human capacities to bring their ideas to fruition or to scale up their microenterprises. This ecosystem, therefore, requires an enabling structure and environment to better engage with the following fundamental domains: culture and creativity, policies and leadership, financing and capital investment, quality of human capital, market knowledge, and a wide range of institutional as well as infrastructural types of assistance. There are currently numerous initiatives and programmes led by local and international organizations and development partners to support private sector development and, in particular, entrepreneurship and innovation. However, these disparate initiatives are constrained by the limited interaction and collaboration among each other. Bringing together all these individual organizations, initiatives, standalone projects, and fragmented programmes of support into one interactive and interconnected space is expected to foster an environment conducive to collaboration and inspiration within a functional innovation ecosystem. By promoting the next generation of private sector leadership and agents of change, the ecosystem will act as a conduit for economic and social structural transformation for decades to come.

The Project

UNDP, as the thought leader, integrator, facilitator, and provider of technical support will strengthen private sector growth, partnership building and innovative/digital solutions through the creation of an Entrepreneurship Innovation Ecosystem and setting up a SDG Entrepreneurship Investment Fund to promote the spirit of creativity, ambition and drive. The innovation and ecosystem platform will be self-governed and self-sustained. The approach will be anchored in national response and embedded within relevant network linkages including a diverse range of actors to invest and self-sustain the ecosystem. The government, national universities, research centers and private sector associations are key stakeholders.

The project offers key tangible component of a broader Integrated National Financing Framework that seeks to develop an institutional structure that will enable a favourable environment for development finance across public, private, foreign, and domestic dimensions within a consolidated financing strategy to meet GNB 2030. To this end, a development finance assessment is foreseen with emphasis on leveraging private sector development and financing as a key to achieving strategic objectives, within which the start-up ecosystem and innovation communities will play a fundamental role.

The initiative will leverage the ideas, outreach activities, and networks of the Accelerator Lab in Guinea-Bissau and the Leadership Academy to support a system for strengthened social entrepreneurship. UNDP aims to position itself as one of the key building blocks of this development and will invite other UN agencies, development partners, private sector and other relevant stakeholders to accompany its establishment. In particular, the project will build on UNDP’s existing partnerships with local and international organizations/and corporations.

Objective of the assignment

The major objective of the assignment is to support management and implementation of the project through provision of technical expertise and services to ensure on-time delivery of four main components of the Innovation Hub:

Physical Space, including launch event

The physical space of the Innovation Hub will be the physical operating space for the Innovative Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Forum, and it will become the material core of the innovation cluster composed of established local innovators and startups. UNDP will work in collaboration with Impact hub to provide the design of space and a construction company to refurbish the physical space for the Innovation Hub, uniting the different members of the network through workshops and conferences contributing to the exchange of information, joint lessons, networking, connectivity and working and meeting spaces. The center will be suited to organize relatively large events, such as commercial fairs, training workshops and cultural events, making it an especially valuable asset for the creative industries and entrepreneurial sector.  To ensure an exit strategy, the intervention will be anchored within a national structure and a number of practical measures will be guaranteed through planning and the long-term financial sustainability of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Center: relevant stakeholders will be welcome to set up their head offices in the building. Upon the completion of the design and refurbishment of the physical space, UNDP will organize a launch event, where relevant stakeholders, youth and women, startups, commercial banks, and the government entities will be invited to celebrate the launch of the Innovation Hub Physical Space.,

Digital Space

An interactive online platform will be created to connect national and international members of the Innovation Hub ecosystem forum (Physical Space). This platform will have an important role in facilitating knowledge sharing and learning and will catalyze the expansion of the socioeconomic role currently played by the diaspora and foreign investors. A portal will be integrated into the digital platform that will assist entrepreneurs in procurement of intermediate goods and services needed for their businesses and reaching clients, marketing etc. The digital platform will contain a portal that will allow small and medium enterprises apply for loans through existing commercial banks. Together with the creation of this online platform, the Country Office will devise a communication strategy to popularize both the project and the platform. This will inform the relevant stakeholders of the criteria and objectives of the different interventions, catalyzing expressions of interests and requests for support from MSMEs. It will also contribute to increased and improved partnerships by facilitating connectivity to existing partners engage in the development of the private sector in Guinea-Bissau.

Revolving Fund

Innovation Hub project seeks to establish a guarantee fund with one or two of the existing commercial banks in Guinea-Bissau. The fund will serve as a de-risking element, thereby increasing access to finance to small and medium enterprises and startups. The Innovation Hub will guarantee 80% of loans provided. Entrepreneurs will be selected through the digital platform of the Innovation Hub. Members of the Innovation Hub will conduct the first screening of the entrepreneurs’ proposal and the pass the selected candidates to commercial banks for final decision.

Training the trainers on financial literacy

UNDP will provide a small group of the Innovation Hub leaders with trainings on good business practices, business planning and skills development to support increased financial literacy and access to credit for entrepreneurs, with focus on women and youth. The trained leaders of the Innovation Hub will then provide training to the small businesses and startup in a larger scale. The project aims to train more than 300 small businesses and startup owners in the first year of operation.  



Duties and Responsibilities

Duties and Responsibilities

Organize, manage, and operationalize the Innovation Hub’s Physical Space, including launch event

  • Draft MoUs with prospective partners;
  • Management and oversight of refurbishing efforts;
  • Guidance on Interior design;
  • Management of equipment purchasing, including needs identification;
  • Organization of launch event with partners;
  • Liaise with and offer guidance to service, works, and/or goods providers involved;
  • Guidance on technical and administrative issues;

Launch of initial fund competition on Digital Space

  • Provide country-specific guidance and advice to IT company for creation of a digital space that will be accessible to young entrepreneurs and SMEs in Guinea-Bissau to access knowledge, training, and financial resources;
  • Technically support the organization and launch of a first round of grant or loan applications via the digital platform in 2023, including competition rules and procedures as well as establishment of a selection committee or panel;
  • Provide guidance and support on the structure, rules, operationalization and composition of the grant selection committee(s);
  • Organize and supervise selection committee or review panel drawing from innovation hub members to determine eligibility for loans;
  • Liaise between UNDP and other partners involved in digital platform development to ensure successful launch;

Support the establishment of Grant Challenge Fund with local delivery partner

  • Technically support the organization and launch of a first round of grant applications, including development of competition rules, evaluation criteria / rubric and data collection / management plan;
  • Provide technical and administrative support to drafting and finalization of Terms of Reference for fund implementation, including provisions for implementing partner, fund manager(s), and/or responsible party;
  • Draft relevant partnership agreements, responsible party agreements, MoUs or similar technical documents, in order to ensure that awarded projects are innovative and will provide new forms of value from social, economic and environmental perspectives;
  • Provide guidance and support on the structure, rules, operationalization and composition of the grant selection committee(s);
  • Offer technical assistance and support, in partnership with innovation hub members and/or relevant third-parties, to grantees in order to incubate, promote, and facilitate innovative value identification and creation processes;
  • Identify innovative means of promoting interactive processes between grantees from various regions and with other Innovation Hub stakeholders;
  • Liaise between UNDP, government, IFIs, and other relevant partners to ensure successful launch of fund and disbursement of grants for innovative projects;

Training the trainers on financial literacy

  • Draft Terms of Reference for the recruitment of a financial literacy service provider;
  • Organize and supervise at least one orientation session and one training workshop.


  • Innovation Hub Physical Space;
  • Physical Space organized and operational, including equipment and refurbishing by December 2022;
  • Launch event held by December 2022;
  • Report on status of physical space by December 2022, including recommendations for improvement / upgrades in 2023.

Digital Platform

  • Digital platform capacity to launch grant or loan challenge fund operational by January 2023, according to specifications above;
  • Document on official competition rules and procedures published;
  • Launch of initial loan or grant competition on Digital Platform in 2023.

Challenge Grant Fund

  • Finalized ToRs, rules and evaluation criteria, as well as relevant agreements/MoUs with partners for operationalization of grant fund with relevant partners;
  • Report of the competition processes and outcomes, including relevant data to establish baseline, on the selected beneficiaries and their (prospective) contributions to innovative business practices;
  • At least 2 MoUs or similar agreements with partners to support, mentor, and/or increase capacity of grantees in innovative value-creation;
  • Report illustrating how innovative value-creation processes were facilitated through exchange of knowledge resources between grantees and relevant local and foreign innovation hub partners;

Financial literacy

  • Develop ToRs for recruiting an NGO or company to provide training to trainers;
  • Orientation session and workshop for training the trainers on financial literacy.

Duration of the assignment

  • The assignment will be for 120 working days within 180 days. 

Payment conditions:

  • The financial disbursement will be processed as follows:
  • Physical Space, including launch event, organized and operationalized (see 1a, 1b & 1c) - 35%
  • Launch of initial fund competition on Digital Space (see 2a, 2b and 2c) - 20%
  • Support the establishment of Grant Challenge Fund with local delivery partner (see 3a, 3b, 3c, and 3d) - 35%
  • Training the trainers on financial literacy (see 4a and 4b) - 10%



Competencies and Critical Success Factors

Core Competencies:

  • Attention to detail, punctuality, and ability to multitask in a fast-paced work environment
  • Demonstrating/safeguarding ethics and integrity;
  • Demonstrate corporate knowledge and sound judgment;
  • Responsibility, self-development, initiative-taking;
  • Acting as a team player and facilitating teamwork;
  • Facilitating and encouraging open communication in the team, communicating effectively;
  • Creating synergies through self-control;
  • Learning and sharing knowledge and encourage the learning of others.

Professionalism: ability to identify issues, analyze and participate in the resolution of issues/problems; to apply judgment in the context of assignments given, plan own work and      manage conflicting priorities; to show commitment to the organization and its goals; to respect deadlines; to achieve results; to show flexibility and persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; to handle pressure; to demonstrate attention to detail and professionalism in interactions with external actors.

Communication: ability to speak and write clearly and effectively; to listen; to interpret messages and respond appropriately; to use precise language and ask for clarification when required; to transmit relevant information; to demonstrate cultural sensitivity and openness.

Teamwork: ability to work in collaboration with colleagues in view of reaching organizational goals; to solicit input and value colleagues’ ideas and expertise; to be willing to learn from others; to place team agenda before personal agenda including willingness to work in other than assigned areas where and when required to ensure achievement of Strategic and Economic Cluster’s objectives’; to share credit for team accomplishments and to accept joint responsibility for team shortcomings.

Required Skills and Experience


  • Master’s degree in business, project management or other relevant social science discipline;
  • Minimum 10 years of experience in the field of administration, project management or program support. Focus on innovation and economic development a distinct advantage;
  • Knowledge of architecture, engineering or interior design would be an asset;
  • Proven leadership ability to manage teams and subcontractors;
  • Fluency in Portuguese and working knowledge of French and English is required;
  • Highly organized, able to pay close attention to detail, and able to work independently;
  • Demonstrable work experience in developing countries, preferably Portuguese-speaking;
  • Knowledge of Guinea-Bissau’s social and/or political context is strongly desirable;
  • Experience in the use of computers and office software packages as well as web-based management systems;
  • Strong computer skills, including familiarity with advanced Excel and experience with databases is desirable;
  • Previous experience working with international organizations or NGOs would be an asset.


Required documents:

  • A cover letter explaining interest and motivation for this assignment;
  • A brief methodology on how you will approach and conduct the tasks, describing the tools and workplan proposed for this assignment; Proposals submitted should outline a strong mixed method approach to data collection and analysis, clearly noting how various forms of evidence will be employed vis-à-vis each other to triangulate gathered information. Proposals should be clear on the specific role each of the various methodological approaches plays in helping to address each of the evaluation questions;
  • A financial proposal;
  • A personal CV including past experiences in similar projects and at least 3 professional references.

Lump sum contracts: The financial proposal shall specify a total lump sum amount, and payment terms around specific and measurable (qualitative and quantitative) deliverables (i.e. whether payments fall in instalments or upon completion of the entire contract). Payments are based upon output, i.e., upon delivery of the services specified in the ToR.  In order to assist the requesting unit in the comparison of financial proposals, the financial proposal will include a breakdown of this lump sum amount (including travel, per diems, and number of anticipated working days).

Travel: All envisaged travel costs must be included in the financial proposal. This includes all travel to join duty station/repatriation travel.  In general, UNDP should not accept travel costs exceeding those of an economy class ticket. Should the Individual Consultant wish to travel on a higher class he/she should do so using their own resources.

In the case of unforeseeable travel, payment of travel costs including tickets, lodging and terminal expenses should be agreed upon, between the respective business unit and Individual Consultant, prior to travel and will be reimbursed.

Evaluation: Individual consultants will be evaluated based on the following methodologies:

Cumulative analysis

When using this weighted scoring method, the award of the contract should be made to the individual consultant whose offer has been evaluated and determined as:

  • Responsive/compliant/acceptable; and
  • Having received the highest score out of a pre-determined set of weighted technical and financial criteria specific to the solicitation.
  • Technical Criteria weight – 70 points.
  • Financial Criteria weight – 30 points.

Only candidates obtaining a minimum of 70 points would be considered for the

Financial Evaluation.

Evaluation criteria:

  • Education background - 10 points;
  • Experience and competences as defined in the ToR - 30 points;
  • Understating of the ToR - 15 points;
  • Methodology and overall approach - 25 points;
  • Overall quality of the proposal (comprehensiveness, structure, language and clarity) - 20 points.

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