The Government of Iraq (GoI) has recently published a two-volume White Paper for economic reform outlining its vision for drastic changes to the Iraqi economy, with a focus on the financial sector, public service sector and reforms targeted at decreasing expenditures and driving up non-oil revenues. Iraq’s international partners, donor countries, and international organizations are supporting the GoI with necessary technical assistance it requires to execute its reform programme.
As such, there are 64 reform projects in the GoI White Paper for economic reform which encapsulate some four hundred reform actions. These projects will require national and international expertise in order to execute and achieve the expected reform outcomes.
Micro, Small, and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) are a key factor for economic development and a source for employment. Business incubator programs are an important way of developing these MSMEs and helping them establish themselves in today’s economy.
As Incubators have become more widespread, the question of “what is success of an incubator?” has become very important. And while a small number of private incubators may focus solely on providing returns on shareholder investments, a large majority of them is setup to enable organizations and academic institutions to bring technologies to the marketplace; and to promote local and regional growth. For all such instances it is generally accepted that business incubators must work to reduce the chances of failure in early-stage companies and result in the financial viability and growth of firms that it supports.
During the past decade as in several parts of the developed and developing world, the concept of business incubator has taken root. Currently there are also evolving models of business incubators– from having incubators setup at academic institutions; at early-stage financial institutions; those supporting social enterprises and more recently some attempts by corporate houses to setup incubators as well. Significant support in initiating business incubation and its evolution has come from the GoI through the Department of Vocational Training at Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (MoLSA).
Given the above, the pressing questions that the incubation industry in Iraq is looking to resolve include:
• Is there a systematic way to categorize business incubators based on key criteria that can apply to the different models of business incubators?
• What are the indicators of success and development milestones of these models?
• What is the implication of networks, expertise of the executive team, and the size of opportunities that start-ups may be able to pursue, in making the right selection of the business model?
To support the GoI’s MoLSA in implementing its reforms, UNDP is seeking a business incubator program expert with a desired scope of work and qualifications as outlined below.
Duties and Responsibilities
Evidence suggests that effects are maximized by providing a package of services with credit, such as career counselling and business incubator services, targeting and outreach must be carefully designed to identify candidates most likely to be successful and generate future jobs. Business incubators are currently receiving great attention from many countries, including Iraq, as they provide important advantages for small projects, as they work to provide a range of services and facilities to small investors who initiate the establishment of these projects. The Business Incubators Department of the Department of Labor and Vocational Training within MoLSA, established in 2013, is currently supporting innovative and creative projects from graduates of colleges, institutes, preparatory schools, vocational preparatory schools and middle and primary graduates who have completed one of our entrepreneurial courses. The Director General is aiming at developing the current program, enhance the conditions for selection and incubation of projects in the incubator, ways to develop in them, and the department's vision and proposals by enhancing the fund's capital and creating a decent work environment for entrepreneurs. Accordingly, MoLSA is welling to get UNDP support to improve and extend the current incubation program. This assignment comes to create the expected impact of the incubation program in Iraq, by supporting the Business Incubators Department at MoLSA in effectively managing its business incubation program and developing an effective and sustainable network. The Expert will review and assist the existing incubation program to draft a master plan for the MoLSA business incubation program. Then, the Expert will define the target categories of startups and small businesses to be supported by the incubator program. Finally, the Expert will work on delivering at least 6 relevant training courses/workshops to the MoLSA staff who are working in the administration of the business incubators, including a TOT program to build their capacity and enhance their skills.
During this assignment, the Expert will be working at MoLSA under the overall guidance and consultation with MoLSA’s Director General of Vocational Training as well as under the supervision of UNDP FFER-Federal Project Manager.
Key duties and responsibilities will include, but are not limited to:
- Prepare an initial baseline report on the current state of the MoLSA business incubation program – Conduct review of standard operating procedures and all other relevant documents related to the key functions of the business incubation program currently in effect. Prepare an initial baseline report through interviews with relevant department and MoLSA staff. This report will then serve as a foundation for more in-depth consultation with stakeholders. This report must include, but is not limited to:
- A thorough outline of regulations and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).
- A general assessment of the current state of the business incubation program and its overall effectiveness.
- A matrix that captures global best practice examples and conduct comparative assessment of effective business incubation programs.
- List of all necessary stakeholders required for in-depth follow up.
- Prepare a detailed assessment of the MoLSA business incubation program and identify the key methods for development – Work with the MoLSA Vocational Training Department staff to identify a detailed assessment for the current program at the MoLSA and identify the main objectives of developing the program in order to support them in implementing a master plan.
- The Expert will define the target categories of startup and small business to be supported by the incubator program.
- The Expert will develop manuals, standards and policies for the management of the incubators networks, to ensure the progress of work in accordance with the best international standard.
- The Expert will define the skills and qualifications as well as the selection process of the staff managing the incubators.
- The Expert will draft a multi-stakeholder partnership mapping for the incubation program.
- The Expert will support the identification of the future potential incubators locations/sectors. The Expert will draft a communication plan for the MoLSA incubation program.
- Capacity Building and technical Support to Ministry of Labor & Social Affairs to develop its staff – with the aid of the initial baseline report to be conducted, the Expert will support MoLSA to:
- Conduct Capacity Building Workshops – Lead capacity building workshops with key stakeholders related to business incubators on the following issues:
- Foundation and advanced concepts for creating a sustainable incubation program
- How to manage, market, and make the technology incubator a success
- Establishment and operation of partnership strategy
- Raising the efficiency and effectiveness of services and consolidating partnerships and stakeholders’ strategic relationships
- How to develop a network of incubators coping with the national development strategy and objectives of the GoI’s White Paper
- Providing a ToT Program – for the program managing staff, covering the various elements and challenges of managing the incubator project and supporting its success and the success of the project to which it is attached.
- Providing a workshop – on the partnership design and development, for the incubators’ managers.
3. Expected deliverables and payments:
Timeline of receiving deliverables
Baseline report developed
Mid of January, 2023
Detailed Assessment Report submitted
Mid of February, 2023
Business Incubator Program Master Plan submitted
Mid of April, 2023
Capacity building plan submitted
Mid of May, 2023
At least 6 training sessions/workshops delivered
Mid of Jun-Sep, 2023
4. Travel and accommodation:
The specialist is expected to include the total cost of mission (per diem, flight ticket, travel cost and communication) in the financial proposal.
Number of Mission
Consultation with stakeholders
Presenting the capacity building plan
Presenting the Business Incubator Program Master Plan
Conducting the training and Workshops
Overall management: The Expert shall report directly to the Project Manager of FFER-Federal and all deliverables should be provided within agreed timelines.
7. Contract duration:
The assignment will be for over a period of nine months (110 days over 9 months) starting in January 2022, home based and several mission to Baghdad.
All raw data, analysis, conclusions should be submitted along with the final report. As for the database, comprehensive user and admin manual, source code of the database should be submitted with the final database.
The service provider should destroy all the data, primary, secondary and analysis, and will be responsible for the data leakage to any third party other than UNDP Iraq. UNDP will be responsible for the data and report delivery to a third party on this assignment.
Demonstrates integrity by modelling the UN’s values and ethical standards;
Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UNDP
Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability;
Treats all people fairly without favoritism.
Analytic capacity and demonstrated ability to process, analyses and synthesize complex, technical information;
Communicate effectively in writing to a varied and broad audience in a simple and concise manner.
Capable of working in a high-pressure environment with sharp and frequent deadlines, managing many tasks simultaneously;
Excellent analytical and organizational skills.
Projects a positive image and is ready to take on a wide range of tasks;
Focuses on results for the client;
Welcomes constructive feedback
Required Skills and Experience
A. Education and professional qualifications:
- A Master’s Degree or equivalent in commerce, economics, business development, entrepreneurship, public administration, international relations or related field.
- Fluency in Arabic and English required.
C. Experience required:
- At least 15 years of relevant working experience with business incubation programs and entrepreneurship development or related fields is required.
- Expertise in conducting situation analyses and needs assessments related to business environment reform in developing countries is required.
- Experience in facilitating dialogue among key stakeholders at a high political level to formulate and implement reform plans is required.
- Demonstrated ability to facilitate consultative meetings and to make presentations of technical findings to a wide audience is desirable.
- Experience of working with the government sector or providing advisory support to government is required.
- Experience of working in crisis affected countries is required
- Experience of working with the United Nations or international development organizations is desirable
- Experience of working in the Arab States countries is desirable.
Applicants are reviewed based on Required Skills and Experience stated above and based on the technical evaluation criteria outlined below. Applicants will be evaluated based on cumulative scoring. When using this weighted scoring method, the award of the contract will be made to the individual consultant whose offer has been evaluated and determined as:
- Being 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 where technical criteria weigh 70% and financial criteria/ Proposal weighs 30%.
Technical evaluation - Total 70% (70 points):
- Candidates obtaining a minimum of 70% (49 points) of the maximum obtainable points for the technical criteria (70 points) shall be considered for the financial evaluation.
Financial evaluation - Total 30% (30 points)
The following formula will be used to evaluate financial proposal:
p = y (µ/z), where
p = points for the financial proposal being evaluated
y = maximum number of points for the financial proposal
µ = price of the lowest priced proposal
z = price of the proposal being evaluated
The maximum points that can be achieved in the desk review is 100 points
The application package containing the following (to be uploaded as one file):
- A cover letter with a brief description of why the Offer considers her/himself the most suitable for the assignment;
- Personal CV or P11, indicating all past experience from similar projects and specifying the relevant assignment period (from/to), as well as the email and telephone contacts of at least three (3) professional references;
Note: The above documents need to be scanned in one file and uploaded to the online application as one document.
Shortlisted candidates (ONLY) will be requested to submit a Financial Proposal.
- The financial proposal shall specify a total lump sum amount, and payment terms around the specific and measurable deliverables of the TOR. Payments are based upon output, i.e. upon delivery of the services specified in the TOR, and deliverables accepted and certified by the technical manager.
- The financial proposal must be all-inclusive and take into account various expenses that will be incurred during the contract, including: the daily professional fee; mission travel; living allowances at the duty station; communications, utilities and consumables; life, health and any other insurance; risks and inconveniences related to work under hardship and hazardous conditions (e.g., personal security needs, etc.), when applicable; and any other relevant expenses related to the performance of services under the contract.
- This consultancy is a home-based assignment with travel to Baghdad.
- If the Offeror is employed by an organization/company/institution, and he/she expects his/her employer to charge a management fee in the process of releasing him/her to UNDP under a Reimbursable Loan Agreement (RLA), the Offeror must indicate at this point, and ensure that all such costs are duly incorporated in the financial proposal submitted to UNDP.
The Financial Proposal is to be emailed as per the instruction in the separate email that will be sent to shortlisted candidates.
THE ANNEXES ARE AVAILABLE AND CAN BE DOWNLOADED in the following link:
- Terms of Reference (TOR)
- Individual Consultant General Terms and Conditions
- P-11 Form