Gender Finance Consultant 139 views


USAID’s Kenya Investment Mechanism


Consultancy Title: Gender Finance Consultant

 Type of Contract: Short Term Technical Assistance-Level of Effort (LOE)

Level of Effort (days): 45 days

Estimated Start Date: On/around July 01, 2021

Position Reports To: Chief of Party or his designate



USAID’s Kenya Investment Mechanism (KIM)

KIM is a USAID-funded project that is designed to unlock $400 million in investment for key sectors of Kenya’s economy, including agriculture; horticulture, dairy, and livestock (supported by Feed the Future), energy (supported by Power Africa), regional trade and investment opportunities (supported by the Prosper Africa initiative), women-owned businesses as well as in the WASH, health, and infrastructure sectors. KIM addresses constraints on both the supply and demand sides of investment transactions and is building a market system that will mobilize substantial capital from the public and private sectors. By building local partnerships among stakeholders in the financial system, KIM is stimulating the power of the private sector to accelerate Kenya’s journey to self-reliance.

KIM addresses two principal market failures that have discouraged investors from financing important segments of the targeted sectors: (i) insufficient quality consulting services (financial, transaction advisory, strategy, and business performance); and (ii) limited scalability of financial products tailored to selected key sectors of the economy in the region. KIM provides capacity building support to both business advisory service providers (BASPs) and Financial Institutions (FIs). KIM uses smart incentives to mobilize finance for development in the targeted sectors. These incentives are designed to create a sustainable ecosystem for businesses to access finance and investments needed to expand and grow. Business transactions are further supported by a diverse range of sustainable partnerships–with and among strategic businesses, institutions, government counterparts (county and national) and other development partners. These partnerships will lead to scaling and replicating creative approaches to unlock finance and investments, reduce risks of extending credit to the agriculture and energy sectors, and offer testing of innovative business models that can be scaled.

The Palladium Group

Palladium is the implementing organization behind KIM. As a global leader in the design, development, and delivery of Positive Impact, Palladium creates enduring social and economic value. We work with foundations, investors, governments, corporations, communities and civil society to formulate strategies and implement solutions that generate lasting social, environmental and financial benefits.

For the past 50 years, we have been making Positive Impact possible. With a team of more than 2,500 employees operating in 90 plus countries and a global network of more than 35,000 technical experts, Palladium has improved – and is committed to continuing to improve – economies, societies and most importantly, people’s lives.

Women’s Economic Empowerment Fund at USAID

Globally, women continue to confront disproportionate barriers to full economic participation, despite the potential of the female economy to unlock significant growth. Access to finance is one of the most significant barriers to economic participation. Women entrepreneurs in Kenya, for example, face a $2.7 billion credit gap. The challenges limiting access to finance for women-owned small and medium-size enterprises (W-SMEs) in Kenya are multifaceted. On the demand-side, Kenyan W-SMEs often have a poor understanding of the requirements to access financial products on the market, in addition to minimal capacity to comply with them. On the supply-side, the Kenyan financial sector continues to lack products and processes enabling FIs to identify, attract and serve W-SMEs.

The U.S. Government launched the Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE) Fund in 2019 with a focus on three key pillars to address these challenges: (i) women prospering in the workforce; (ii) women succeeding as entrepreneurs; and (iii) women enabled in the economy.  KIM’s works within two of these pillars; (ii) women succeeding as entrepreneurs; and (iii) women enabled in the economy. KIM aims to empower Kenyan W-SMESs by unlocking access to finance. By financing women-led businesses, Kenyan financial institutions have the potential to expand their client base, increase profits, and decrease credit risk, while also facilitating long-lasting economic growth and development.

The Assignment

KIM is looking for a Gender Finance Consultants to support program implementation of WEE-funded activities, specifically, to conduct a Gender Opportunity Assessment (GOA) developed by Palladium with two (2) partner financial institutions. The GOA is a data-driven assessment of the business case for financial institutions to expand their focus on W-SMEs. The assessment benchmarks the FI’s gender performance against peer institutions and identifies opportunities to better serve W-SMEs. The assessment evaluates strategy, leadership and employees, marketing and analysis, and services to women clients.

The findings of the assessment will enhance the financial institution’s strategy so that the institution can increasingly expand their client base, while also addressing the unmet demand for finance for W-SMEs. During the GOA the consultant will conduct interviews with the leadership, hold focus group discussions with existing and prospective female clients, and conduct a strategy co-creation workshop with each financial institution.

Participatory engagement by the financial institutions with the consultant, using the tool, will yield a series of recommendations and follow-on technical assistance to enable the financial institutions to reach W-SMEs and help establish proof-of-concept.


The objective of the Gender Opportunity Assessment is to assist KIM’s FI clients to understand the business case for serving women-led enterprises and corporates, and support them in the development of customer-centric strategies, business models and delivery mechanisms to target W-SMEs more successfully. Resulting recommendations will guide the institutional strengthening of the FIs and the development of new or adjusted non-financial products.



The consultant is expected to:

        i.            Conduct the Gender Opportunity Assessment (GOA) using the tool developed by Palladium, which includes:

a.       Coordinating all data requests and necessary background research prior to the assessment

b.       Conducting a kick-off meeting with financial institution leadership using Palladium’s tool

c.       Conducting key informant interviews with bank leadership

d.       Conducting focus group discussions or key informant interviews with the bank’s clients and non-clients

e.       Planning and leading a participatory strategy co-creation workshop to discuss and iterate on the initial findings and the proposed recommendations: includes preparing a PowerPoint on key findings and preliminary recommendations for the meeting.

      ii.            Prepare the  findings and recommendations report- integrate all proposed recommendations in a 15- to 25-page strategy document that includes both quick wins and more comprehensive changes that can be made over the medium to long term. The report may be delivered in either PowerPoint or Word depending on the preferences of the participating FI and the format will be agreed upon with KIM and FI.

    iii.            Based on the recommendations to  facilitate  implementation  of  priority recommendations, provide the FIs with the needed Technical assistance for (a) immediate actions/activities and (b) follow-on medium to long term technical assistance  to enable them to better reach W-SMEs and help establish proof-of-concept.


The Gender Finance Consultant will be responsible for the following deliverables:

i)        Report on:

a.       Background/ desktop research

b.       Kick-off meetings

c.       Key informant Interviews with FI staff

d.       Focus groups and client visits

e.       In-person workshop to engage with assessment results and recommendations. Including a power point presentation with initial analysis of findings  and the proposed recommendations:

ii)      Findings and recommendations report in a 15- to 25-page strategy document with publication-ready visuals.

iii)    Technical assistance provided to the FI given the strategy and recommendations for the most effective and efficient next steps to capture the W-SMEs market clustered into immediate actions, medium and long term activities

Indicative High-level Workplan per Financial Institution



Suggested Timeline


Consultants Inception Report

2 Days


Advanced Portfolio Data Gathering -Collection of quantitative client and employee data.

5 days per bank


Consultant engagement with FI

a.Kick off


c.Client visits/focus group

d.Initial benchmarking of FIs performance with best practice and existing market demand

e.In-person workshop to build strategy and skills around assessment results

10 days per bank


Recommendations Report – Off-site development of package of benchmarking data, performance results and recommendations and report.

10 days per bank


Technical assistance provided to the FI given the strategy and recommendations

15 days per bank


42 days


Experience and Qualifications

The Gender Finance Consultant must have the following qualifications:

i)        Bachelor’s degree in gender, finance, SME development and other related fields.

ii)      At least 7 years of financial experience working with W-SMEs.

iii)    At least 5 years of experience in strategy development, leadership assessment and market analysis.

iv)    Demonstrated understanding of W-SME market in Kenya.

v)      Strong research skills with a broad range of stakeholders.

vi)    Strong communication and facilitation skills.

Period of Performance

The consultancy is expected to commence o/a July 01st , 2021, and be completed o/a September 15th , 2021. The level of effort to complete this consultancy is 45 working days.


·         The Consultant will report directly to the KIM Chief of Party or his designee who will approve all outputs based on an agreed workplan. 

·         The frequency of the reporting to KIM as the contracting entity for this assignment will be based on the agreed deliverables timelines/workplan.

Proposal Submission

Interested qualified individual consultants are encouraged to submit their proposals to: with reference “Gender Finance Consultant”. To be considered, your proposal must be received by Thursday, June 10th , 2021, at 23:59 hours, EAT (UTC +3).

The proposal submitted should contain the following:

·         At most 3-pages documented technical approach on applicant’s understanding of the assignment, how he/she will address the scope of work and each of the tasks as stated above, the proposed methodology, and expected outputs.

·         At most 3-pages schedule summarizing past similar assignments including details on title of assignment, dates of the assignment, brief description of the assignment, and two examples of evidence of similar experience in gender opportunity assessments in developing/emerging economies.

·         At most 1-page summary budget (inclusive of all applicable fees and taxes) which should contain proposed professional fees for undertaking this assignment, including an estimated number of hours per each deliverable and an itemization of any other relevant costs.

·         At most 3-page curriculum vitae which should include three (3) client referees.

KIM is obliged by the Kenyan tax authorities to withhold taxes on service fees as well as any applicable VAT. Tenderers are advised to ensure that they have a clear understanding of their tax position regarding the provisions of Kenyan tax legislation when formulating their financial proposals.

NOTE: Palladium reserves the right to select one or more candidates, or no candidates, at its sole discretion.


The successful tenderer will be selected through an evaluation of the technical proposal in line with the Technical Evaluation Criteria Form below. The financial offers of those tenderers reaching a minimum score of 60 will be evaluated to generate an overall assessment for review and selection by the procurement committee of KIM.


Technical Evaluation Criteria Form

 Gender Finance Consultant



Criteria for Assessment




Past Work Experience


a)Past similar work undertaken – Evidence of similar experience in Gender Opportunity Assessments in developing / emerging economies / schemes (at least 2 past work examples/ samples provided)



Understanding the SOW


b)Understanding of what KIM is expecting from this assignment (reference submitted detailed response to the scope of work and tasks)



Methodology and workplan


c)Relevance of the methodology proposed to successfully complete this assignment


d)Adequacy of the proposed workplan, including key deliverables and timing



Technical experience of the consultant proposed


e)Years and relevance of professional experience: 10 years’ experience working as a gender financial expert working with W-SMEs.


f)At least 5 years relating to strategy development, leadership assessment and market analysis in SME sector.


g)Demonstrated experience in identifying stakeholders technical assistance needs, developing terms of reference and work plans, budgets, and analysis that help establish proof-of-concept for Women-SMEs programs.


h)Experience in identifying partner’s needs and developing appropriate solutions while maintaining effective working relationship with the Private sector for W-SMEs.


Total Score


Any other Comments: Minimum score required 60






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