Request for Proposals
Capacity Building of Land Restoration Entrepreneurs in various landscapes in Africa
WRI has been working in Africa for more than 30 years, supporting local partners and African governments to advance forest protection, landscape restoration and sustainable cities. In recent years, we appointed our first vice president for Africa, established a regional hub in Addis Ababa, and created a region-wide strategy. Our vision for Africa is an inclusive transformation so that Africaâs people and landscapes flourish. WRI Africa generates actionable knowledge across three strategic pillars: vital landscapes, thriving and resilient cities, and institutional and economic transformation. The vital landscape pillarâs goal is to revitalize and protect landscapes for people and planet. We do this through sustainable management of rural landscape, connecting them to cities, creating jobs, reducing poverty, and improving food security. Because Africaâs population will continue to grow rapidly in the next decades, and climate change will remain an obstacle for development, the vital landscapes pillar aims to build the resilience of our natural ecosystems so that they can provide vital ecosystems services such as food, water, carbon sequestration and climate regulation. Restoration of degraded farmlands and forest is a key priority for the vital landscape pillar. To scale up restoration activities, supporting restoration champions is inevitable. The restoration champions either Community based organizations or entrepreneurs continue to experience a myriad of challenges including access to capacity development, the right financing, poor working conditions and inability to monitor their restoration activities.
The current assignment will be part of the vital landscape pillar and more specifically under Restore Local project. Restore Local will deliver among other offers, capacity and finance to restoration champions across three landscapes in Africa: Kenya Greater Rift Valley (GRV), Rusizi River Basin (Rwanda, DRC and Burundi) and Ghana Cocoa Belt in Ghana. It is in this regard that WRI Africa is looking for partner organizations to deliver capacity to restoration entrepreneurs that are critical to scale up restoration efforts in Africa.
Motivation and Context
In 2018, World Resources Institute (WRI) and Fledge launched the Land Accelerator, the worldâs first training and mentorship program targeted specifically towards businesses that restore degraded forests, agricultural lands, and rangelands. Itâs a curated program that builds the capacity of restoration entrepreneurs to grow their businesses, engage investors and build strong partnerships to impact both the environment and the local communities.
What is forest and landscape restoration?
refers to the process of regaining ecological functionality in deforested or degraded landscapes while improving the well-being of people who live in these places. FLR is not just about planting trees but rather encompasses a variety of holistic approaches aimed at achieving the ecological, social, and economic goals of those who live in a landscape. These approaches are based on science and best practices, rooted in the local context, and anchored by traditional and indigenous knowledge. Common approaches to FLR include, but are not limited to, agroforestry (planting trees on cropland), reforestation, low-carbon agriculture, grasslands restoration and silvopastures (trees on grazelands). Done right, restoration practices can improve crop yields, increase water retention and biodiversity, and create jobs and other economic benefits for local communities.Â
What is the Land Accelerator and how does it support global restoration goals?Â
According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), 65 percent of land in Africa is impacted by degradation every year. This degradation can encumber economic growth and exacerbate the impacts of climate change. However, African nations have pledged to take action to reverse the tide of deforestation and land degradation. Through global initiatives such as the and regional partnerships like the , countries across Africa have pledged to restore millions of hectares of land.Â
To help countries achieve this ambitious goal, the launched the , the worldâs first accelerator program targeted specifically towards businesses that restore degraded forests and farmland. First launched in Africa in 2018, the Land Accelerator provides entrepreneurs with mentorship and networking opportunities, technical training, and workshops to build storytelling and pitching skills. Participants leave the program more empowered to connect with potential investors so they can take their business to the next stage of growth.
The Land Accelerator envisions a world where Land Restoration businesses can scale to regenerate more hectares of land and impact the livelihoods of more rural dwellers. We will achieve this vision through identifying, building capacity, and promoting successful land restoration entrepreneurs as ambassadors of land restoration business models that are financially sustainable and ecology-promoting investments.
The Land Accelerator beginning 2024 will deliver capacity in the three priority Landscapes (GRV, Rusizi River Basin and Ghana Cocoa belt). It will build on past regional experience to deliver capacity to hundreds of restoration champions. We are looking for partnership engagements with local incubators, accelerators and mentorship organizations to deliver capacity to hundreds of these enterprises.
Assignment and deliverables
WRI Africa is looking for a competent organization (s) to deliver capacity to hundreds of restoration entrepreneurs in the three landscapes - Kenya Greater Rift Valley, Rusizi River Basin, and Ghana Cocoa Belt (from now on, referred to simply as âthe three landscapesâ). The organization (s) must have skills and knowledge of running and managing MSME incubation, accelerator or mentorship programs in Eastern and/or Western African Countries. The organization (s) must clearly demonstrate the ability to identify restoration pipelines, offer coaching, mentorship, investor readiness and other forms of capacity development to restoration MSMEs. The organization (s) will be proactive and able to deliver autonomously, taking ownership for delivery of the work program.
Scope of Work
The Objective of this assignment is to identify in each Landscape One or Two organizations that can deliver capacity trainings to hundreds of restoration entrepreneurs in different stages of growth and one Organization to deliver mentorship program. WRI Africa will offer different solutions to both early stage and growth stage restoration entrepreneurs in the three landscapes. The early-stage companies will receive incubation services while growth stage will receive acceleration services together with coaching and mentorship programs. We encourage applicants to bid for all the three services, the decision to select the number of organizations will depend on the strength of the applicants. This will be a six-month program with a possibility of extension.
The Partner will:Manage the program's daily activities, working closely with WRI Africa team, WRI training partners, Business development service providers, Restoration champions, Investors, Governments, and other partners. Provide critical feedback and recommendations to WRI Africa that will see the Land Accelerator X Landscape work improve over the years.
Specific Tasks:Carrying out need assessment to identify capacity gaps of restoration entrepreneurs and together with the Land Accelerator team develop a strategy to address them. Work with WRI to address identified capacity gaps. Take part in developing annual plans and syllabus. Help identify and coordinate experts who will deliver specialized trainings and support e.g., Tree Nursery management, Certifications and standards, GIS monitoring, Finance etc. Offer trainings, coaching and mentorship on relevant topics. Help SMEs assess and refine their current business models for alignment with market trends and customer needs. Support the development of new, innovative business models that can enhance competitiveness and drive growth. Equip entrepreneurs with the tools to identify revenue streams, cost structures, and value propositions. Prepare SMEs for fund raising through preparation of pitch decks and/or simple business plans. Linking SMEs to investments and opportunities Plan and host learning events Document project results and prepare evidence-based communication materials Take part in the annual regional learning summit. The summit brings together Land Accelerator Landscapes partners.
DeliverablesInception report detailing the approach and expected outcome. Detailed report profiling restoration entrepreneurs in the Landscapes. Use of a specific tool is encouraged. Annual plans, syllabus and curriculum Detailed profiles of Business Development service providers Restoration entrepreneurs pitch decks, value proposition, branding and communication tools and strategy documents Profiles of investors and report on access to investments. Summary Report on the progress of capacity building for each of the targeted restoration champions. Final capacity building report detailing key challenges, opportunities and recommendations. The findings to be presented during the annual regional learning summit.
Duration of the Assignment
These assignments are scheduled to take place between November 2023 âNovember 2024 for a duration of six months with possibility for extension based on performance and availability of funds.
Required QualificationsExtensive experience in running incubation, accelerator or mentorship programs. Extensive experience working with restoration, forestry, agri-food, extensive livestock and climate led enterprises. Over 5+ years of organizational experience Knowledge of Africaâs agri-food sector, food systems and how they are linked to restoration in Africa. Strong analytical skills (qualitative and quantitative) and ability to synthesize large amounts of data to produce desired outputs. In-depth understanding of respective landscapesâ forestry, agricultural sector and food value chains Experience in managing multi-stakeholder platforms including public and private sector. Proven track record of producing high-quality pitch decks and other branding and communication materials. Excellent English writing and oral communication skills Good work ethic
Selection Criteria:Demonstrated experience working with environmentally sustainable companies in the selected landscape area. Professionalism and clear communication exhibited in the application documents. Clearly explained conceptual and methodological approaches Value provided for investment. Understanding of the Landscapes
Expression of Interest
Expression of Interest should contain at least:An indicative work plan and budget proposal . The budget should provide a breakdown of the consultant fees and the costs of field activities. Optional: Feel free to attach a brief slide deck about your organization. CV(s)
We invite qualified Organizations to submit their Expressions of Interest by 17th September 2023 to for the attention of Victor Muthumbi, the Land Accelerator Africa, Coordinator. with cc for the attention of Samuel Gaturu, the Vital Landscape project manager, for the attention of Samuel Kabiru, the Land Accelerator Africa, Manager. Only shortlisted proposals will be contacted.
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