Founded by a General Assembly resolution in 1966, the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) makes public and private finance work for the poor in the world’s 46 least developed countries. With its capital mandate and instruments, UNCDF offers financial solutions that try to mobilize public and private resources, both internationally and domestically, to reduce poverty and support local economic development.

UNCDF’s expertise is in three primary areas of work: (1) development and financing of inclusive digital economies through a market development approach, largely driven by digital finance and innovation; (2) local development finance through fiscal decentralization (including local climate adaptation finance), municipal finance and structured project finance, to drive market transformation in local economic development; and (3) investment finance, to drive capital accumulation and market transformation in financially underserved areas, including investment sourcing, due diligence, de-risking, deployment of loans and guarantees, and crowding in of investment capital from domestic and international investors. Women’s and youth’s economic empowerment are specifically articulated across all UNCDF work in terms of objectives, approaches, theory of change, targets, and indicators.

UNCDF uses a combination of grants, reimbursable grants, loans, guarantees and technical assistance to support early-stage businesses, SMEs, projects, microfinance institutions and municipal investments. Up till today UNCDF’s use of loans and guarantees has been growing and there is now an even higher ambition to make better and wider use of these financial instruments. In response to the need to deploy a different kind of risk tolerant capital, a blended finance impact fund, the BUILD Fund, a joint initiative between Bamboo Capital Partners (“BCP”), a private asset manager and UNCDF, was launched in 2020. The BUILD Fund is complemented by the sidecar BUILD Enterprise Resource Technical Assistance Facility (the “BUILDER TA Facility” or “BUILDER TAF” or the “TA facility”). BUILDER will offer its services to companies and projects (or “entities”) both before and/or after investments by the BUILD Fund into these entities.

Together, BUILD and BUILDER will constitute the first investment initiative to integrate the lessons learned from UNCDF’s past experiences to create a new, innovative approach for investments into SMEs in LDCs.

On 5th of December 2022, UNCDF signed a cost sharing agreement with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) for USD 10 million to support investments of the BUILD fund into Zambia and Zimbabwe, and an additional agreement of USD 1 million allocated to the BUILDER TA Facility to fund pre and post investment TA projects in support of the BUILD’s investments in Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Project Description

The purpose of the Zimbabwe Market Scoping Exercise (“Market Scoping Exercise” or “ZMSE” or “exercise”) is to better understand the dynamics of the financing demand and supply in Zimbabwe and the investment needs of the market, in terms of both capital and business advisory services. The Market Scoping Exercise will segment both demand and supply, and address how the needs of the market are currently served (or not) by the available offer. A focus will be given particularly to SDG-positive financing needs. 

More specifically, the Market Scoping Exercise will identify Investment and Technical Assistance (“TA”) opportunities in Zimbabwe, in order to design a strategy to deploy the BUILD+BUILDER vehicles. The Market Scoping Exercise will also assist the UNCDF, which is the BUILDER Technical Assistance Facility (“TAF”) Manager, and Bamboo Capital Partners (“BCP”), which is the BUILD Fund Manager, in making informed decisions about market entry and portfolio growth strategies in target sectors.

The resulting market scoping report will further feed detailed pipeline vetting in terms of fit, impact potential, and bankability of the identified prospect investees with the investment thesis of BUILD+BUILDER (not part of this scope). 

The specific objectives of the exercise are:   

Understand the investment and business advisory services’ needs, as well as the existing financial and TA services offer, segment them, identify the demand / offer gaps as well as the specific risks linked to the financing of small and medium sized businesses and early-stage or small sized projects in Zimbabwe. 

Assess the size and quality of the market opportunities as per BUILD+BUILDER’s eligibility and deployment criteria.

Contribute to the identification of target prospective investees and TA recipients with tailor-made financial instruments and TA support within the existing industries and based on BUILD+BUILDER’s target sectors.

BUILD+BUILDER’s target sectors are the following:

  • Food Security & Nutrition (SDG 1 and SDG 2): this area focuses on investments in the agricultural sector. It targets small and medium-scale agricultural farms as well as agricultural businesses along entire agricultural value chains that will be financed directly or indirectly. Prospective investees include but are not limited to eco-friendly cooperatives, commercial farms, aggregators, agribusiness software providers, processing companies or other eco-friendly focused businesses which on-lend to the agricultural sector, to fund for instance smallholders.
  • Green Economy & Renewable Energy (SDG 1 and SDG 7): this area focuses on investments to mitigate the effects of climate change and to drive clean energy access to “last mile” communities. Prospective investees include but are not limited to solar and hydro off-grid or mini-grid renewable energy investments, as well as industrial scale renewable energy and selected on-grid installations
  • Financial Inclusion and Innovation (SDG 1 and SDG 9): this area focuses on investments that ensure that a range of financial products are available to all segments of society, at a reasonable cost, and on a sustainable basis. Prospective investees include but are not limited to financial services providers and fintech’s, such as payment aggregators, money transfer companies offering a variety financial products and services through digital delivery channels (such as mobile phone networks).
  • Local Infrastructure (SDG 1 and SDG 11): Focuses on investments for the financing of catalytic infrastructure (including, but not limited to, transport, communications, marketplaces) with high local economic development impact.

Duties and Responsibilities

Scope of Services

1. Market research

The consultants shall conduct desk research and field interviews to understand the Zimbabwean market landscape, including industry trends and dynamics and key players, for both supply and demand including, but not limited to:

(i) Supply side: local commercial banks, MFIs, alternative credit providers, fintechs, impact investors, development finance institutions (both national and international), development partners, etc.

(ii) Demand side: SMEs, agricultural cooperatives, Financial Services Providers (FSP) – for their refinancing needs, small and large infrastructure projects, etc

(iii) Other ecosystem players: trade associations, investor community, regulators, government ministries/agencies, etc.

The goal of such research is to understand the risks (including political risks, legal risks, and financial risks, and strategies for mitigating those risks), market size, growth potential, and customer preferences namely for the selected target sectors: Food Security and Nutrition, Financial Inclusion and Innovation, Renewable Energy and Local Infrastructure (i.e., the ones targeted by BUILD+BUILDER).

2. Supply landscape analysis

Two main activities are envisaged:

  1. Evaluate the landscape on the supply side for both investment and TA services (namely business advisory services), including the strengths and weaknesses of market players, market positioning, market share, and conditions offered to the market.
  2. Support the TAF Manager to launch a call for Request for Proposals ("RFP”) to set up a roster of local TA services providers (individual consultants and consulting firms).

3. Demand landscape analysis

One main activity is envisaged:

  1. Understand and analyze at a macro level the dynamics of the demand:
  • Analyze the market potential by assessing the attractiveness and viability of the market, including opportunities, challenges, and risks to define an addressable market fit for the BUILD Fund.
  • Segment demand by identifying and prioritizing potential investee segments based on business typology, markets and demographics served, business models, funding and TA needs, and adherence to the eligibility criteria of the BUILD Fund(Refer to Annex 1 BUILD Fund Investment Criteria) and the BUILDER TAF (Refer to Annex 2 BUILDER TAF Eligibility Criteria)
  • Make an initial gap analysis on the demand vs supply by segment

4. Market entry validation and portfolio growth strategies 

The consultant is expected to evaluate different market entry and portfolio growth strategies, such as co-financing, partnerships, organic growth, etc. based on BUILD+BUILDER's resources, capabilities, and goals, and select the best strategy to properly serve the Zimbabwean market.

5. Development of a roadmap

Obtain stakeholders’ validation of the Market Scoping Exercise findings and initial strategy design, develop a clear and actionable plan for entering and succeeding in the Zimbabwean market, including target segments (if any other identified).

Expected Outputs/Deliverables and Payment Terms

All deliverables are required for final submission within 35 calendar days (effective person-days) of the official work start date (target start date 9 June 2023) and the assignment is expected to be concluded by 9 Sept. 2023 (target end of the engagement).

Up to ca. 3-5 working days (maximum) lead time may be needed for UNCDF and the Steering Committee to review outputs, give comments, certify approval/acceptance of outputs, etc.

Up to ca. 3-5 working days (maximum) lead time may be needed for UNCDF and the Steering Committee to review outputs, give comments, certify approval/acceptance of outputs, etc

Up to ca. 3-5 working days (maximum) lead time may be needed for UNCDF and the Steering Committee to review outputs, give comments, certify approval/acceptance of outputs, etc

List of Tasks to be Undertaken/Services to be Rendered

Deliverables/ Outputs Arising from the Completion of Tasks

Target Due Dates

Percentage of Contract Price to be Paid (in %)*

1. Preparatory activities

Output 1: Logframe and the interview guides designed by the Consultant.


Output 1 should be submitted by the consultant latest 5 days after the kickoff meeting to be held with UNCDF and BCP.


a. Introduction to BUILD+BUILDER: Desk based review and key informant interviews - review of all relevant project documents and materials re. BUILD+BUILDER


b. BUILD+BUILDER’s stakeholder consultation (Steering Committee): SDC, UNCDF and BCP

c. Definition of the consultant’s logframe

d. Other Stakeholders (demand and supply sides) identification, analysis and preliminary engagement

e. Design the interview guides and the interview methodology.

2. Market research and situational analysis

Output 2: Submission and presentation of the findings to the Steering Committee as per sections D.1, D.2 and D.3 above, during a 1h30-hour meeting.

Output 2 should be submitted  by the consultant latest 15 days after the approval of Milestone 1 by the Steering Committee.


a. Policy, regulatory/legal and institutional framework analysis per sector

b. Field visits and interviews with key stakeholders and informants

c. In-depth review and analysis of the preliminary findings

3. Writing of the feasibility study plan and preparation of the Market Scoping Report (**)

The plan should be written section-wise and circulated to the Steering Committee for comments and modifications.

Output 3: Submission and presentation of the investment policy, regulatory frameworks per sector and of the findings related to the market investment terms and conditions to the Steering Committee, as per Section D.4 above, during a 1-hour meeting.

Output 3 should be submitted by the consultant latest 10 days after the approval of Milestone 2 by the Steering Committee.


a. Present the investment policies, legal and institutional framework per target sector.

b. Present investment terms and conditions per sector and segments

c. Presentation to SDC, UNCDF and BCP (may also include other relevant stakeholders)

4. Final compilation and presentation of recommendation or findings (**)

Output 4: Submission and presentation of the final draft of the Zimbabwe Market scoping Report to the Steering Committee, as per Section D.5 above, during a 1.5-hour meeting.


Output 4 should be submitted by the consultant latest 5 days after the validation of Milestone 3 by the Steering Committee.


a. Presentation of the first draft of the Market Scoping Report to SDC, UNCDF and BCP.

b. Recording of feedback received and incorporation of recommended changes.

c. Presentation of the final draft of the Market Scoping Report to SDC, UNCDF and BCP (may also include other relevant stakeholders) and obtention of its validation.

d. Submission of the final Market Scoping Report to SDC, UNCDF and BCP.

 (**) For the Output 3 and Output 4, the Market Scoping Report should at least include, but not limited to, the following sections:

  • Executive Summary: A brief overview of the investment climate and TA opportunities, including the key findings, and the recommendations.
  • Introduction: A brief overview of the purpose of the Zimbabwe Market Scoping Exercise, the activities and the methodology used to gather and analyze data.
  • Regulatory and Legal Environment: An analysis of the policy, regulatory and legal environment in which the market operates, including any relevant laws or regulations (including permits, licenses, and other approvals needed for investments) per each target sector, and the key risks and mitigation factors.
  • Market Segmentation: An analysis of the different segments within the market, including their size, characteristics, and needs.
  • Market Size and Growth Potential: An analysis of the size and growth potential of the market per each of the 4 target sectors, including current trends and projections for the future.
  • Supply Landscape Analysis.
  • Demand Landscape Analysis
  • Market Entry and Growth Strategies
  • Conclusion and Recommendations: A summary of the report's findings and recommendations for entering or expanding in the Zimbabwean market, as a way to validate the initial thesis of the BUILD+BUILDER as an additional and effective mechanism to serve the financing needs of the Zimbabwean market (i.e., feasibility validation), the strategy for success. Overall, the Consultant should provide a comprehensive assessment of the viability of the BUILD+BUILDER investment opportunities, enabling the key stakeholders to make informed decisions about whether to proceed with the next step (not the scope of this assignment).

The Market Scoping Report should also include as annexes:

  • The call reports on the stakeholders’ interviews conducted and meetings held.
  • The interview questionnaires used.
  • Any other reference material deemed relevant.

Institutional Arrangements

The Consultant will work under the direct supervision of the UNCDF Southern Africa Investment Specialist, based in Zambia.  The consultant is also expected to have a  close working relationships with the UNCDF TA Facility Manager from whom s/he will be seeking approval/acceptance of outputs or deliverables.  The UNCDF TA Facility Manager shall accept outputs and authorize payments only after the Steering Committee has done so and of invoices.

  1. The Consultant is expected to liaise/interact/collaborate/meet with various stakeholders (institutions/organizations/individuals) in the course of performing the work (e.g., other agencies, project co-implementers, donors, communities, local government units, etc.)
  2. UNCDF will not provide any facilities, equipment, support personnel, support service, or logistical support during the assignment.

Duty Station 

  1. The Consultant is expected to render services from his/her home base in Zimbabwe. Travels out of Zimbabwe are not envisaged.
  2. The Consultant should be willing to report intermittently or be present at in-person meetings that may be held in Harare.


Competencies are covered under Qualifications. 

Required Skills and Experience


Minimum BA or master’s level qualifications in finance, economics, or business administration. An additional degree in accounting or a professional accounting qualification such as ACCA, CIMA, or CPA banking; a degree or diploma in law, especially with a focus on corporate or commercial law, or a degree or diploma in statistics or data analysis would be an asset.

Skills and competencies

  • Market research skills: The consultant should have experience in conducting market research, including identifying market trends, gathering and analyzing data, and producing market reports, i.e., strong research, exploration, and analytical skills. 
  • Practical experience in finance, investment management, especially in the Zimbabwean context. This could include working for a financial institution, investment firm, or consulting company that specializes in Zimbabwean markets.
  • Industry knowledge: The consultant should have a good understanding of at least 2 of the 4 BUILD’s target sectors (Food Security and Nutrition, Financial Inclusion and Innovation, Renewable Energy and Local Infrastructure) in Zimbabwe, including regulations, key players, and investment opportunities.
  • Country knowledge: A thorough understanding of the country's economic, political, and regulatory environment, as well as knowledge of the industry or sector(s) that the BUILD+BUILDER is targeting.
  • Strong local networks: within the financial and corporate industries, with relevant businesses, regulators, investment promotion agencies etc.
  • Financial analysis skills: The consultant should be able to analyze financial data, including balance sheets, income statements, and cash flow statements, to assess the financial health of companies, identify investment opportunities and the financial viability of investment terms.
  • Understands the common challenges of the target investees, their TA needs, and the mix of various TA instruments and support required at different growth stages—from incubation to scaling up to commercial viability.
  • Communication and presentation skills: The consultant should be able to communicate effectively with stakeholders, and other consultants, both orally and in writing; experienced in producing concise, executive level reports and presentations (design and delivery)
  • Problem-solving skills: The consultant should be able to identify problems and develop creative solutions to address them.
  • Project management skills: The consultant should be able to manage the scope, timeline, expectations as well as coordinate with other team members or stakeholders involved in the assignment; should also possess problem solving capacities with a sense of consensus and flexibility.
  • Computer literacy, including proficient use of Office Suite, communication tools and project management tools.


Minimum 8 years of relevant experience in Zimbabwe in market research skills and/or practical experience in finance, investment management, especially in the Zimbabwean context, and industry knowledge as detailed in section 2i, ii and ii above.

This assignment aims to engage nationals of Zimbabwe due to the criticality of the knowledge of the local market, local industry practices and all other factors specific to the country.  However, if there are applicants that possesses all the required qualifications (education, experience, language, etc.) and passes the initial screening, but are not nationals of Zimbabwe, UNCDF reserves the right to consider their application to the assignment and subject them to the full scope of the proposal (technical and financial) evaluation process. 


  • Written and spoken fluency in English is required.
  • Fluency in local languages is an asset.

Scope of Price Proposal and Schedule of Payments

  • The financial proposal must make use of the standard template for Letter of Confirmation of Interest and Availability (Please click here for document), also referred to as Financial Proposal as noted below
  • The lump sum amount to be quoted must be “all-inclusive"
  • The target due dates for payments are fixed, and any need for change or extension must be initiated by the consultant, justified and be subjected to mutual agreement by the parties.
  • The contract price is fixed regardless of changes in the cost components.

Recommended Presentation of Offer

For purposes of generating Offers whose contents are uniformly presented and to facilitate their comparative analysis, the following documents may be requested:

  1. CV indicating all past experience from similar projects, as well as the contact details (email and telephone number) of the Candidate and at least three (3) professional references;
  2. Duly accomplished Letter of Confirmation of Interest and Availability using the template, which also contains the financial proposal of the consultant (please send to;
  3. Brief description (500 words maximum) of why the consultant considers him/herself as the most suitable for the assignment, and a methodology, if applicable, on how he/she will approach and complete the assignment.
  4.  Financial proposal: The financial proposal shall specify a lump sum amount that is inclusive of professional fees and other incidentals that the consultant expects to incur during the performance of the work. For this purpose, please complete and submit the Letter of Confirmation of Interest and Availability (Please click here for document), which should be sent separately to the generic email  address also noted aboved: 

Criteria for Selection of the Best Offer

The shortlisted candidates will be rated on both technical and financial submissions, according to a combined Scoring method – where the qualifications and methodology will be weighted a max. of 70% and combined with the price offer which will be weighted a max of 30% as per the below process:

1. Preliminary Screening

Applications will be screened and only candidates meeting the following minimum criteria will progress to the pool for shortlisting:

  • Minimum BA or master’s level qualifications in finance/development finance, economics, social sciences or business administration. An additional degree in accounting or a professional accounting qualification such as ACCA, CIMA, or CPA banking; a degree or diploma in law, especially with a focus on corporate or commercial law, or a degree or diploma in statistics or data analysis would be an asset.

2. Shortlisting by Desk Review

UNCDF will conduct a desk review to produce a shortlist of candidates by evaluating the following criteria with the corresponding points (100 points)

  • Education/Qualification (15 points);
  • Experience (relevance, sectorial knowledge, etc.) (80points);
  • Language (5 points).

3. Interview

The candidates who score the highest in the desk review and also meet the minimum threshold (70 points) will be invited for a Skype/Zoom interview. The shortlisted candidates will be evaluated against the following criteria:

  • Relevant experience;
  • Area of knowledge;  and
  • Project management skills.

4.  Financial Proposals

The shortlisted candidates will be rated on both technical and financial submissions, providing a weight of 70% to the technical offer and 30% to the financial offer.

5.  Final Evaluation

The Final evaluation will combine the scores of desk review, interview and financial proposal with the following weights assigned to each:

  • Desk Review (30%) + Interview (40%)
  • Financial Proposal (30%)

The combined score shall be computed as follows:

Rating the Technical Proposal (TP):

         TP Rating = (Total Score Obtained by the Offer / Max. Obtainable Score for TP) x 100

Rating the Financial Proposal (FP):

         FP Rating = (Lowest Priced Offer / Price of the Offer Being Reviewed) x 100

Total Combined Score:

Combined Score = (TP Rating) x (70%) + (FP Rating) x (30%)

Contract Award

Only one candidate obtaining the highest combined score in the final evaluation (technical and financial) will be offered to enter into an Individual Contract with UNCDF.

Annexes to the TOR

Annex 1 BUILD Fund investment Criteria

Annex 2 BUILDER TAF Eligibility Criteria


Annex 1- BUILD Fund investment Criteria


The BUILD Fund is a permanent blended finance vehicle (the “BUILD Fund” or “BUILD” or the “Fund”), which financially supports SDG-positive opportunities, operating primarily in some of most excluded and marginalized communities in the world (including Least Developed Countries (“LDCs”)).


The toolbox of financial instruments available to BUILD includes:

  • Senior loans or loans on pari-passu basis (secured and unsecured) on commercial terms and quasi-commercial terms
  • Subordinated loans on quasi-commercial and commercial terms
  • Mezzanine debt (e.g.: performance-based loans, royalty loans, convertible loans, etc.)
  • Equity (with limitations based on size of first-loss tranche)

These can be primary or secondary investments for the fund.



Focus on:

  • Financial Inclusion & innovation
  • Food Security & Nutrition
  • Green Economy & Renewable energy
  • Local Infrastructure


Investments contributing to the economic empowerment of women & youth are strongly considered.

LDCs and other developing/emerging economies


Within LDCs, any of the 46 LDCs, with a priority for:

  • Countries where UNCDF has “boots on the ground” and personnel to source and preliminarily screen potential transactions.
  • Countries where UNCDF does not have “boots on the ground”, but where UNCDF has a programmatic presence


  • Business model of companies provides access to affordable essential services, is scalable and is relevant to low- and middle-income households and SMEs
  • Contribution to market development
  • Have a positive demonstration effect (i.e. shows project/sector viability, financial sustainability, capacity to repay, etc.)


  • Prospect can be a for-profit or non-profit organization, or a public private partnership entity. No individuals, no public sector entities
  • Prospect must have a financially sustainable business model, with demonstrable social impact
  • Prospect is a formally registered legal entity, but no minimum years of existence (start- ups/greenfield projects are also eligible)
  • Prospect must have a revenue generating activity, i.e. clear business model with clearly identified revenue streams
  • Prospect must be creditworthy, i.e. demonstrate ability to repay the loan using cash-flows

generated by the business (or through clearly identified refinancing sources)

  • Prospect must have sound financial management practices and ideally at least 1 year of audited financial statements
  • Prospect must have achieved break-even or showed positive path to break-even in the next 12 months on core operations (EBITDA for SMEs, OSS for FSPs)
  • Financial and social Ratings, or a commitment to get rated (at least social rating) over the investment tenor
  • Prospect can be in early, growth or expansion stage
  • Prospect must not be a distressed investment


Early stage (start-up/greenfield)

  • Formally registered legal structure
  • All necessary licenses/permits/approvals obtained
  • Should have audited financials or be in process of obtaining audited financials
  • Clear revenue model with recurring revenue streams
  • Total equity > $100,000
  • 20% equity commitment from promoter
  • Formal three statements’ financial projections

Growth and Expansion stage

  • Formally registered legal structure
  • At least 1 year of audited financials
  • Stable or improving profitability trends (EBITDA for SMEs, OSS for FSPs)
  • Positive net equity
  • Equity/Total Assets >15%



  • Financial Inclusion & Digital Innovation:
    • MFIs and credit-providing institutions: loan assets (GLP) of over $3,000,000 with positive or stable OSS trends and forward looking ICR >1.2x
    • Others (Digital): Revenues over $200,000 with positive or stable EBITDA trends and forward looking DSCR > 1.2x
  • Food Security & Nutrition:
    • Revenues over $350,000 with positive or stable EBITDA trends and forward looking DSCR > 1.2x
  • Green Economy & Renewable Energy:
    • Revenues over $200,000 with positive or stable EBITDA trends and forward looking ICR (PAYG) or DSCR (other) > 1.2x
  • Local infrastructure:
    • No specific sectoral criteria




  • Ideally, minimum ticket size of $250,000, with the goal of maintaining an average of at least $800,000

Tenor & grace period

  • Ideally, average 3 years for debt (max tenor: 8 years)
  • No grace period on interest. Limited grace period on principal (if debt) is possible

Use of proceeds

  • Working capital, Capex investments / Project finance
  • Refinancing


-      Both hard and local currency


-      Quasi-commercial or commercial

Security and collateral

  • Secured and unsecured (in exceptions)
  • If secured and for working capital: against deployed assets where the Fund would have priority access to customer revenue
  • Alternates: share pledges, corporate guarantees, primary collateral of receivables, equipment, or inventory, deposit account control agreements


Annex 2 BUILDER TAF Eligibility Criteria

The TAF Manager will use the following criteria to decide on the eligibility for an entity to receive TA funding:

Criteria 1 – (i) An investment pre-assessment or due diligence report has determined the needs for TA as a requirement before an investment is eventually done, or (ii) the entity is an existing investee of the Fund.

Criteria 2 – using the TA Diagnostic Tool, the areas where the entity needs support have been identified.

Criteria 3 - The entity is willing and able to co-finance at least 10% in monetary terms to contribute to the personal and non-personal costs related to the TA project.

Criteria 4 - The expected additionality of the TA project on the business of the entity can be evidenced by a set of baseline and end line indicators to be selected jointly with the entity and the TAF Manager.

For the entity to be eligible for TA funding, the four criteria should be met.