Renewable Energy Challenge Fund Business Development Consultant (Up to 3 consultants)



Advertised on behalf of :

Location : Kampala, UGANDA
Application Deadline :03-Mar-18 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :National Consultant
Languages Required :
English  
Duration of Initial Contract :Up to 180 days for 12 months
Expected Duration of Assignment :up to 24 months

Background

UNCDF is the UN’s capital investment agency for the world’s 48 least developed countries. With its capital mandate and instruments, UNCDF offers “last mile” finance models that unlock public and private resources, especially at the domestic level, to reduce poverty and support local economic development.

UNCDF’s financing models work through two channels: financial inclusion that expands the opportunities for individuals, households, and small businesses to participate in the local economy, providing them with the tools they need to climb out of poverty and manage their financial lives; and by showing how localized investments — through fiscal decentralization, innovative municipal finance, and structured project finance — can drive public and private funding that underpins local economic expansion and sustainable development.

By strengthening how finance works for poor people at the household, small enterprise, and local infrastructure levels, UNCDF contributes to SDG 1 on eradicating poverty and SDG 17 on the means of implementation. By identifying those market segments where innovative financing models can have transformational impact in helping to reach the last mile and address exclusion and inequalities of access, UNCDF contributes to a number of different SDGs.

UNCDF CleanStart Programme

CleanStart supports low-income consumers to transition to cleaner and more efficient energy through inclusive finance. CleanStart co-invests in early stage innovations from financial institutions, distributed energy service companies and other providers of wholesale or retail financing for clean energy. It is active in Asia and Africa.

CleanStart, through a funding partnership with the Embassy of Sweden in Uganda, is managing the Renewable Energy Challenge Fund (RECF) in Uganda (2016-2020). The goal of RECF is increase access to renewable, efficient energy for domestic, productive and social uses among underserved poor households especially in rural areas.  By end of 2020, RECF aims to support 153,000 low-income customers transition to renewable energy.

To do so, RECF aims to fill a “missing middle” in renewable energy SME financing by investing in early stage, high-risk ideas, and set energy SMEs on a pathway for larger, more commercial-oriented capital. A company can use the RECF funding to test an early stage idea such as a new product, service or approach in the market, or a proven business model that can quickly be scaled up in a new sector or geographic area.

Central to RECF’s approach is encouraging women and youth’s active participation in the energy value chain as customers, employees and employers. RECF activities will be directed towards encouraging energy companies and ecosystem support actors to better understand the role of women and youth in energy value chains, and use catalytic funding and technical support to invest in inclusive business models.

RECF supports business model innovations in three groups of energy solutions: 1) clean cooking, 2) pico solar power, and 3) large solar power. Clean cooking solutions will include efficient cook stoves, biomass fuels (e.g., wood, charcoal, briquettes) and gasified fuels (LPG, biogas, ethanol) or a combination of stoves and fuels. Pico solar power refer to solar lanterns that have mobile phone charging capacity or multiple lights with phone and other device charging capacity. Larger solar solutions refer to solar home systems or micro/mini grids (solar or hybrid) that can power efficient appliances and equipment, and/or multiple homes or businesses.

RECF provides technical assistance to companies at pre-investment, investment and exit stages of the RECF funding. The nature and intensity of the assistance will differ depending on the development stage of the company and the business idea. One of the areas that RECF will support companies with is making their businesses more investable to funders beyond RECF. RECF is keen to have partners eventually graduate into more commercially-oriented capital.


Duties and Responsibilities

To this end, the Consultant will support the CleanStart Programme team to implement the challenge funding process in Uganda, as well as provide necessary business development support to partners during the implementation phase.  

Expected Results

1.    RECF applicants submit investable proposals that align with the Challenge funding objectives; RECF’s Investment Committee members have sufficient background information about the business idea and the company’s ability to deliver;
2.    Partners receive technical assistance at pre-investment, investment and/or exit stages of the RECF funding, especially related to raising follow-on capital;
3.    Banks and other funders frequently updated about the RECF portfolio companies and generally more informed about the business case for financing the solar and clean cooking sector in Uganda;
4.    Progress and lessons learned by partners documented and shared.

Key Activities

The consultant will specifically assist with the following:

1.    RECF applicants submit investable proposals that align with the Challenge funding objectives; RECF’s Investment Committee members have sufficient background information about the business idea and the company’s ability to deliver.

  • Provide pre-investment consultations to applicants so that proposals are in line with the Challenge’s objectives;
  • Undertake technical review of proposals for long and shortlisting based on objective criteria;
  • Update financial input templates to ensure ease of completion for applicants;
  • Develop or update review methodologies and appraisal templates so they are fit for purpose;
  • Conduct due diligence to ensure organizations have the capacity to implement and are in compliance with RECF requirements; collect necessary documents for RECF appraisals;
  • Assist with defining  project key milestones and learning objectives with partners and advise CleanStart on how the disbursement conditions in the performance-based agreement should be structured.

2.    Partners receive technical assistance at pre-investment, investment and/or exit stages of the RECF funding, especially related to raising follow-on capital.

  • Organize regular meetings with partners to understand implementation bottlenecks and provide complementary assistance; review progress reports;
  • Mentor and/or troubleshoot implementation bottlenecks with other business development consultants;
  • Facilitate linkages to groups of people/organizations outside the applicants’ usual remit, especially funders;
  • Work in tandem with other advisors to strengthen the overall financing plan of partners to attract a range of funding/investments and partners (including for concessional, equity and debt financing).

3.    Banks and other funders frequently updated about the RECF portfolio companies and generally more informed about the business case for financing the solar and clean cooking sector in Uganda.

  • Develop close rapport with banks and funders in and outside of Uganda to keep them informed about the RECF portfolio companies and scope out prospective deals;
  • Assist funders and companies in bringing new deals to a close;
  • Develop training materials for banks and funders on how to finance the solar and clean cooking market.

4.    Progress and lessons learned by partners documented and shared.

  • Provide high quality technical input on knowledge products;
  • Monitor partner progress in an effort to provide lessons learnt, improve performance and design of future challenges;
  • Draft portfolio progress reports which can serve as a management tool for the Programme team and contribute to data collection efforts, using the relevant UNCDF databases and dashboards;
  • Participate in training and knowledge sharing events on specific topics.

Deliverables

  • Applicant business plan assessment and due diligence report; participation in IC meetings;
  • Project milestones and inputs to performance-based agreements;
  • TA recommendation, plans and outcome documents; capital raise plan for partners;
  • Regular TA and progress meetings with partners; spot-checks for auditing purpose;
  • Portfolio assessment reports;
  • List of banks/funders and summary of discussions; deals structured between funders and RECF companies;
  • Training material for banks/funders on financing renewable energy sector in Uganda;
  • Lessons learned documents;
  • Inputs to UNCDF reports; participation in UNCDF events.

Reporting and Payment

The consultant will report to the UNCDF CleanStart Programme Analyst in Uganda, as well as other CleanStart team members as required. The consultant will also work closely with a multi-functional team of international and national consultants.

UNCDF will engage the consultant on a needs-basis and agree on the specifics of the assignment before it commences. Payments will be made based on actual days worked and upon submission of agreed deliverables of satisfactory quality and supporting documents, such as timesheet and invoice.


Competencies

  • Demonstrates aptitude in business planning and financial modelling;
  • Ability to speak comfortably with enterprises about their businesses and encourage strategic thinking;
  • Good project management skills;
  • Demonstrates ethics and integrity;
  • Demonstrates calculated risk taking;
  • Remains calm under pressure;
  • Displays cultural and gender sensitivity and adaptability.


Required Skills and Experience

Education

  • A Master’s degree in finance, business or public administration, engineering, or a relevant discipline or the equivalent experience;

Experience

  • Minimum 5 years’ experience analyzing business plans of SMEs, especially SMEs in Uganda; experience must be hands-on and demonstrate progression in responsibilities;
  • Experience with facilitating finance and providing business development support;
  • Experience with developing due diligence tools and on-site due diligence of businesses;
  • Experience with working with energy SMEs;
  • Experience with working in the banking or investment sector is a plus.

Languages

  • Fluency in English

Evaluation

Applications will be rated on both technical and financial submissions.  The following selection method will be used:  Highest rated proposal using the combined scoring method, which assigns the weight distribution between the technical and financial proposals.  The weight distribution shall be 70% technical and 30% financial.  

Step I: Screening/Longlisting
Applications will be screened and only applicants meeting the following minimum criteria will progress to the pool for shortlisting.

  • A Master’s degree in finance, business or public administration, engineering, or a relevant discipline or the equivalent experience;
  • Minimum 5 years’ experience analyzing business plans of SMEs, especially SMEs in Uganda; experience must be hands-on and demonstrate progression in responsibilities;
  • Language: Fluency in English

Step II: 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)

  • Hands-on experience analyzing business plans of SMEs, especially SMEs in Uganda (50 points);
  • Experience providing business development support to enterprises (30 points);
  • Experience developing due diligence tools and on-site due diligence of businesses (20 points).

 As applicable, only the first top 6 ranked applicants achieving 70% of the points at this stage shall be invited for a skype interview.

Step III: Interview
A competency-based Interview shall be conducted for the top 6 shortlisted candidates.
Only candidates obtaining a minimum of 70% on the total of Steps II Desk Review (20 points) +III Interview (80 points) will be considered as technically qualified and will be reviewed further for financial evaluation.

Step IV: Financial Evaluation
The following formula will be used to evaluate financial proposal:
Lowest priced proposal/price of the proposal being evaluated x 30%.

Application Guidelines

Interested candidate should submit the following information as part of the application package:

  • When applying for this consultancy position, please apply with your official name as shown in the government issued identification document (e.g. passport and/or driver license). Contract award is subject to this verification;
  • Detailed updated CV including past experience in similar projects or P11 link: http://sas.undp.org/documents/P11_Personal_history_form.doc;
  • Cover letter explaining why you are the most suitable candidate for the advertised position. Summary statement of competencies in relation to the TOR. Please paste the letter into the "Resume and Motivation" section of the electronic application;
  • Confirmation of availability to take up assignments for the whole period and earliest availability;
  • Three professional references including name, affiliation and email addresses;
  • Financial proposals will be requested only from the shortlisted candidates.

Both individual consultants and individual employed by a company or institution are welcome to apply.  

Any individual employed by a company or institution who would like to submit an offer in response to a Procurement Notice for IC must do so in their individual capacity (providing a CV so that their qualifications may be judged accordingly). Please note that in such case the company institution will be asked to issue an  RLA http://www.undp.org/content/dam/vietnam/docs/Legalframework/Reimbursable%20Loan%20Agreement.doc.   
Women candidates or women-owned businesses are strongly encouraged to apply.
 


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.


If you are experiencing difficulties with online job applications, please contact erecruit.helpdesk@undp.org.

© 2016 United Nations Development Programme