Saturday, June 15, 2024

Standardized Entrepreneurship Training Manual and Business Development Service (BDS) Guideline Development



First Consult is a leading economic development consulting firm implementing projects in Ethiopia. Founded in 2006, First Consult (FC) has grown to design and implement projects across the agriculture, manufacturing, and service sectors. Our multidisciplinary teams combine a capacity to execute with clarity of the local context. As a result, we have delivered at-scale real impact in terms of job creation, business formation, business growth, and investment attraction and mobilization.


BRIDGES is a five-year program (2019-24) aiming to create and support 530,000 youth jobs, mostly for women. It’s implemented by First Consult in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation. The program focuses on the manufacturing sector, covering all regions and city administrations to address unemployment in Ethiopia. BRIDGES supports both self- and wage-employment, targeting unemployed youth and enterprises, to provide them with demand-based skilling, information, mindset training, linkage, capacity building and access to finance. BRIDGES delivers this support in collaboration with its enabling partners including public and private organizations.

The development of MSEs is the key component of Ethiopia’s industrial policy direction that will contribute to the industrial development and economic transformation in Ethiopia. In line with this, numerous initiatives and interventions are currently underway within the BRIDGES Program to provide business development support and entrepreneurial mindset training to enterprises, in collaboration with public institutions and private training service providers. The provision of such training and BDS support is crucial for empowering both unemployed individuals and established businesses to navigate their operations effectively and make timely decisions that can sustain their business operations while creating new job opportunities.


The BRIDGES program has been working for over three and a half years to support unemployed youth in engaging with self-employment and micro and small enterprise (MSE) development. However, the current state of business development support (BDS) is fragmented and lacks standardization, resulting in uneven outcomes and limited impact. Without a standardized approach to BDS and entrepreneurship training, it is difficult to compare and evaluate different providers, leading to low uptake of services.

To address these issues, the BRIDGES program plans to standardize the existing entrepreneurship training manual and BDS guidelines, using various expertise and resources in the sector. By developing clear manuals and guidelines for BDS providers, the program aims to ensure that MSEs receive high-quality services tailored to their specific needs, leading to improved outcomes such as increased productivity, profitability, and competitiveness.


The objective of this assignment is to find a consulting firm to develop the standardized entrepreneurship training manual and BDS guidelines for the MSE development endeavors of First Consult. The overall goal is to bring about a transformational change in unleashing the growth potential of MSEs through entrepreneurial skills training and comprehensive business development and advisory services.

Main Objective

The ultimate objective of standardized entrepreneurship training manual and BDS guideline is to strengthen, improve and effectively facilitate entrepreneurial knowledge and skills of young people, women and professionals who manage their own businesses. It includes content on entrepreneurship as well as training methodologies that enable effective facilitation, participatory and experiential learning and thus lead to sustainable knowledge and skills gain.

Specific Objectives

  1. Review existing entrepreneurship training frameworks, manual and delivery channels through desk review of existing entrepreneurship manuals and BDS guidelines used by public institutions, development agencies and private service providers;
  2. Thoroughly define target groups for whom the different set of training manuals are being prepared for and the rationale behind; the target groups will include but not be limited to start-ups, growth-oriented enterprises, potential entrepreneurs, unemployed youth and women entrepreneurs with different educational background. The assignment is expected to define these target groups using carefully considered criteria to segment the groups;
  • Develop a standardized training manual and BDS guideline to best suit the target group;
  1. Develop basic operational principles for the BDS guideline, determine facilitation method and duration that best suits the target groups defined;
  2. Hold a validation event for the draft materials
  3. Develop a facilitation guide and training manual for trainers in line with the standardized entrepreneurship training manual and BDS guideline.


The entrepreneurship training manual and BDS guideline should include all basic entrepreneurship and business development topics, suggest appropriate teaching aids and materials, and delivery methodology.

The consultant will closely work with training service providers, public institutions (Job Creation Offices and TVET agencies) and development partners.

The activities in the assignment will be delivered in four different phases as described in the table below:-

Assignment phase Activities
Phase 1:

Desk review of existing entrepreneurship materials and BDS guidelines used by different organizations

·         Develop framework of learning through review of relevant training documents/ materials and interview with business owners, government agencies, business development institutes, unemployed people, etc.

·         Conduct a desk review of existing entrepreneurship training manuals and business development support guideline available in Ethiopia. This include both written resources, pictorials, and other tools including digital resources such as apps that are available for entrepreneurship and business skill training by different public, private and development agencies.  The consultant will review all that is existing and has been used by different BDS training/support providers, including the BRIDGES program. The desk review must be supplemented by interviews with key stakeholders providing entrepreneurship and BDS support.

·         Identify gaps in the training materials, BDS guidelines, delivery methods and provide recommendation that fill the gaps.


Phase 2:

Defining target groups and absorption capacity

·         Identify criteria on which target groups will be classified/categorized under – this could be educational level, stage of business (idea stage, start-up, growth stage)

·         Segment potential users of the entrepreneurship and business development support training manual

·         Develop standardizes facilitation guide and training manual for trainers

Phase 3:

Development of standard entrepreneurship training manual and BDS guideline

·         Review best practice/experience of other countries and adapt it to the Ethiopian context;

Based on international experience and local resource, develop an entrepreneurship training manual and BDS guideline, delivery modality teaching aids, curriculum, interactive learning materials (online quizzes and assessments, simulation exercises, etc), digital resources and other relevant materials.

·         Develop tailored scripts for delivering training sessions digitally, using the developed manual and guideline. The scripts should ensure that the quality of the digital training is as effective as in-person training.

Phase 4: 

Conduct a validation workshop and promote the BDS materials as FC-owned MSE development tools


·         Conduct a validation workshop in partnership with the Ministry of Labor and Skills, Regional Job Creation Offices, development partners and selected private training providers.

·         Modify the content of the training modules and delivery channels based on the feedback from the participants.

·        Promote the final FC branded BDS guideline, and entrepreneurship training manual through staff and service providers ToT training. One ToT training session will be conducted for 20 selected staff and service providers.



The consultant is expected to deliver the following:-

  • A standardized entrepreneurship training manual and training materials, which includes a comprehensive guide and accompanying materials that provide a standardized approach to entrepreneurship training;
  • A standardized business development guide, templates, and tools, which includes documents and tools that provide guidance and support for business development services (BDS) providers;
  • A competency framework that outlines the knowledge, skills, and behaviors that learners should develop through the training and BDS consultation;
  • A delivery plan that outlines the resources and infrastructure required to effectively deliver entrepreneurship training, including aspects such as training facilities, equipment, instructional materials, and staffing;
  • An implementation plan for delivering the training in diverse contexts and settings, including considerations for adapting the training to different languages and cultures;
  • A training facilitation guide for both the entrepreneurship training manual and BDS guideline
  • Prepare a final version of all materials by incorporating feedback from BRIDGES and validation workshop participants;
  • Handover the final version in English and Amharic to First Consult including scripts for a digital BDS and other tools that are necessary for efficient delivery of BDS through digital means.

The assignment should be completed within 90 working days from the date of contract agreement. A detailed work plan must be submitted along with the proposal, which will be used to assess progress. The draft materials and final versions should be submitted according to the agreed schedule, allowing reviewers a minimum of 10 working days to provide comments on the final versions and 5 days for the draft materials.


The service provider should:

  • Be a licensed and qualified consultant with at least ten years of prior work experience in the field of manual development and business training facilitation.
  • Have demonstrated knowledge and experience in developing entrepreneurship training manuals and BDS guideline
  • Have experience and skills in facilitating trainings, experiential learning and BDS.
  • Experience in working with service providers, training providing institutions, MSMEs, job creation offices and stakeholders.

NB: FC retains the right to request a consortium approach involving two or three bidders working together.


Proposals should include;

  1. Technical Proposal (maximum 25 pages), excluding company profile, CVs of key team members, legal documents (renewed businesses license, TIN and VAT registration certificates) , testimonials, and recommendation letters from previous work which can be attached as annexes. The technical proposal is expected to include the following sections:
  • Understanding of the ToR and assignment;
  • Proposed methodology;
  • Quality assurance mechanisms;
  • Detailed work plan and number of professionals’ worked days;
  1. Financial Proposal (to be submitted separately)
  • Should disclose all charges that will be assessed to BRIDGES as a result of the services provided by the consultant.
  • Quote an estimated total fee for completing all requirements outlined in this ToR. The total fee should include all the costs for execution of the proposed assignment including logistics, professional fees, per diems, travel expenses, payments for interviewers, data processors, secretarial service, and applicable tax etc.
  • The currency for this contract will be Ethiopian Birr (ETB).


BRIDGES will review submitted proposals in accordance with the qualification and experience requirements and specific tasks stated above. The best technical and financial bids will be those that demonstrate value-for-money and budget of which is closely tied to the rationally determined methodological approach and plausible remuneration rates.

Criteria and Scores

The following weight will be used to evaluate the proposals

Item Score
Team composition and competencies and track record 35%
Proposed approach and methodology 40%
Financial proposal 25%

NB: – The five shortlisted candidates will be invited for further interviews as part of the ToR selection process.

Submission of Proposals

The deadline for proposal submission is June 30, 2023 before 5:00 PM (GMT+3:00). Softcopies of technical and financial proposals separately saved in PDF format should be submitted on or before the deadline to the following email address:

Proposal submission address:
The subject of the email should be stated as “Terms of Reference for Standardized Entrepreneurship Training Manual and BDS Guideline”.

For any queries relating to this assignment please contact Habtamu Ertiro at  before June 23, 2023 before 5:00 PM (GMT+3:00).

An online information session will be held on Zoom on June 23, 2023 at 10:00 AM (GMT+3:00) for those who request invitation by sending an email to:

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