Consultancy to provide bds services in kisumu and homabay counties

Practical Action

Job Summary


  • Minimum Qualification: Bachelor
  • Experience Level: Mid level
  • Experience Length: 5 years

Job Description/Requirements


Practical Action is a global innovator, inspiring people to discover and adopt ingenious, practical ways to free themselves from poverty and disadvantage.
We are an international development agency with more than 50 years’ experience in the development and scaling of a range of technologies appropriate to the needs of the poor. Working throughout Africa, Asia and Latin America, Practical Action improves the lives of around one million people every year through access to energy, sustainable agriculture, water, sanitation, hygiene and waste management, and disaster risk reduction.

We are a trusted partner of many communities, governments, development agencies and the private sector. We are uniquely placed as a knowledge broker with a breadth of capacities which enable us to capture and share knowledge in relevant ways for our diverse audiences. We are influential at national level where we work, and globally and considered a “go-to” agency by those seeking to improve lives for men and women living in or vulnerable to poverty.

Background of the consultancy assignment

Transforming Rural Economies and Youth Livelihoods (TREYL) Project is being implemented in Kenya by Practical Action to establish vibrant and inclusive rural economies in East Africa by promoting agricultural livelihoods for the youth underpinned by agro-ecological principles and practices. The project aims to break the cycles of low productivity and increasing rural poverty, through a holistic and gendered approach which will enable young men and women to increase their income through agri-business.
The project is based on the market systems development (MSD) approach to ensure the agricultural activities the targeted youth will work on are responsive to prevailing market opportunities, constraints and their needs. Within the MSD approach, Practical Action has developed and refined participatory market systems development (PMSD) tool.

Overall Objective

To achieve a vibrant & inclusive rural economy for young women and men that doesn’t degrade the environment.

Specific Objectives

To increase income of young men and women at individual and HH level
To increase the number of young men and women engaged in environmentally sustainable agribusinesses.
To this end, the project has identified three results in different target areas and these are:

  • Result 1: At least 600 youth in 2 counties in Kenya (Kisumu and Homabay) engaged in Agri-business (off farm/on farm) as a viable livelihood option.
  • Result 2: Increased farm productivity from agro-ecological practices amongst the youth.
  • Result 3: A strengthened policy environment for youth in agribusiness.

TREYL project would like to hire a business development services consultant who will provide services that improve the performance of their enterprises/businesses, access to markets and their ability to compete by supporting youth mentors to access Information, skills, networks and support on input/output, production, marketing, policy level (subsidies, import & export regulations etc.) and international market level (markets, import regulations, tariffs, competing countries etc.) and provide referrals to relevant institutions.
The consultant will act as a One-stop-shop for Business training, consultancy, linking, networking, mentoring, coaching and advisory services to small and medium sized enterprises and individual businesses within Homabay and Kisumu counties to improve their businesses
on skills listed and not limited as below:
a) Business management skills
b) Business planning
c) Public and customer relations skills
d) Keeping proper business records
e) Market Research Techniques
f) Marketing business products/services
g) Taxation issues in business
h) Costing and pricing of business products and services
i) Business financing

j) Management of cash stock, and credit
k) Management of human resources
l) Risk management
m) Finance proposal development
n) Quality management and improvement of products and services
o) Financial analysis

a) On technology advancement in that sector
b) New regulations or legal requirements
c) Emerging and new markets

Networks and linkages to:
a) Financial institutions,
b) Technology providers/developers
c) Other businesses to increase productivity through sharing information or collective business activities,
d) Business promotion services,
e) Market assistance,
f) Other service providers

a) To identify skills training that might assist in improving business productivity and/or competitive advantage
b) With bookkeeping,
c) To access training

Referrals to:
a) legal and regulatory bodies to obtain relevant certifications,
b) financial institutions,
c) education and training institutions,
The project is requesting Business Development Service providers to submit a proposal to develop a precise and detailed framework for the proposed service delivery.

Objectives and scope of service provision

As per the Terms of Reference the objective is to
a) develop a precise framework for the BDS provision.
b) Plan of Operation describing all activities including a time schedule, reporting structure and responsibilities
c) Ascertain mentors’ information and capacity development needs,
d) Support businesses to expand their business by providing tailored advice, information, training, referrals and support.
e) Provide small group/individualized training and advice
f) Assist the developmental processes of the establishment of enterprises, including: Act as a sounding board and referral agent for income generation/enterprise/employment ideas, Monitor the progress of initiatives and referrals,
g) Build capacity and provide guidance to mentors to undertake various business tasks which will be achieved by mentoring clients in business skills, advice, connections to local networks, resources, opportunities and more lucrative markets.
h) Support the Youth Economic Empowerment Committee to take action to improve the business environment based on the good business environment strategy, by providing support, information, networks, information
i) Link/refer individual mentors to local service providers such as banks and training organisations
j) Create linkages/networks with financial institutions and/or other advisory organisations or bodies that can assist in stimulating or advancing business development in the target areas.
k) Encourage commercial and industrial businesses in the area to provide their expertise and facilities to micro business providers (e.g. mentoring programs)
l) Set up an effective monitoring, learning and evaluation plan and tool to monitor business progress of all young business owners in Kisumu and Homabay counties
m) Identification and description of methods and skills required to monitor the present and potential information demands of mentors


Taking into account the prevailing covid-19 scenario means business are stopping face to face meetings requiring remote interactions. To reflect this current realities, virtual business development service provision will be centre-stage. BDS will tap into the power of digital communication technologies. Sessions could be conducted using a mixture of phone calls, WhatsApp, bulk SMS, short codes, telegram etc. with follow-up on email to ‘meet’ and interact with mentees to analyze their businesses and implement new strategies.
Conduct face to face mentorship from time to time while observing MOH guidelines like minimizing social contact to ensure wellbeing of clients.
Collect feedback from mentees using short codes for SMS and email etc.


Service delivery will start in July for not more than 90 days. The project will however determine when to or if to terminate service provision if agreed upon deliverables or predetermined quality standards are not met.

Consultant profile/eligibility criteria

For the purposes of this assessment, the Consultant should have at least a Bachelors Degree in Agribusiness /Agricultural economics/ Marketing/ Economics/ Commerce/Business management or related field background and extensive experience and knowledge in business mentoring and coaching in Kenya, including for youth and women initiatives. The desirable qualifications for the lead consultant include:

  • Knowledge of ILO start and improve your business (SIYB), and grow and expand your business (GEYB) and mentoring approaches.
  • Practical business knowledge with emphasis on marketing and Financial management skills.
  • Demonstrated experience in Market Research, monitoring and evaluation and product development.
  • A good command of the English, Swahili and Luo language.
  • Demonstrated experience in small business development and management (own business or by providing business development services), experience with small business financing, market analysis and market research.
  • Demonstrated experience in community economic development, community empowerment, working with community based organizations.
  • Strong experience in networking.
  • Highly developed interpersonal and oral communication skills.
  • Motivated and goal orientated.
  • Comfortable working autonomously.
  • Creative and strong problem solving skills.
  • Strategic/big picture view – goal orientated.
  • Report writing experience.
  • Experience directly working with young people in research
  • Good understanding and proven track record in safeguarding / do not harm principle.
  • Experience working in the lake Basin, highly recommended.

Terms of Payment

Payments will be done subject to the consultant meeting quality and timely delivery of stated task and based on the negotiated contract.
All taxes, levies, imposes, deductions, charges, fees and similar assessments whatsoever imposed, assessed, levied or collected by the government of Kenya, or any taxing authority upon the contractor and his staff shall be paid and/ or borne by the contractor. It shall be considered that the costs for those payments are included in the contract price.

How to apply

A consultant who meets the above requirements and is available within the time limit indicated above should submit the following:

  • Proposal highlighting his/her understanding of the assignment and proposed methodology
  • Capability statement with 2 reports highlighting similar work in the past 5 years
  • Detailed financial proposal in Kenyan Shillings for coaching 150 business enterprises
  • Annexed to the proposal should be a CV of the lead consultant for the assignment.

The completed bid shall be submitted through email to with subject line “Consultancy to provide BDS Services in Kisumu and Homabay Counties’’ so as to reach Practical Action on or before 13th June, 2021.

At Practical Action, we treat all applications for employment on their merits and do not take into consideration any factors that are not relevant to the job such as disability, race, age, religion, gender, gender reassignment or sexual orientation.

We are committed to safeguarding and protecting children and vulnerable adults and as such candidates will be subject to pre-employment checks.

The successful applicant must have the pre-existing right to both live and work in Kenya.

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