Terms of Reference Training and BDS provision for young people and MSEs 


Terms of Reference

Training and BDS provision for young people and MSEs 


The Government of Ethiopia recognizes the critical role played by Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs) in creating job opportunities especially for young people and women, as well as for boosting national income and wealth that is important in igniting industrial transformation and private sector development. This is also well articulated in the second Growth and Transformation Plan, which prioritizes and identifies the development of micro and small businesses as catalyst for promoting industrial development.

As Ethiopia aspires to reach middle-income status by 2025, the country is investing heavily in building and operationalizing Industrial Parks (IPs) with the expectation that IPs will help drive structural transformation and export-led economic growth. While IPs are expected to create highly productive and decent jobs for its young population, the processes are not automatic for acquisition of industrial skills and create viable jobs in a relatively short time. Number of new jobs in IPs fluctuates heavily (from 700 a month to 4,000 a month) depending on demand, supply and attrition rate.

With the labour force expanding by two million each year, direct job creation within factories will not be enough. Thus, equally important to direct employment creation is the potential to develop Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs) and create jobs for hundreds of thousands of youth engaged in them. This has been the priority of the government and has shown slight success in creating the MSEs but not necessarily in sustaining them. Lack of necessary infrastructure, access to finance and skills are some of the critical constraints hampering the growth of MSEs.


The overall objective of this assignment is to increase employment through providing exceedingly tailored training and demand driven Business Development Support to unemployed nascent youth, university graduates, higher education & TVET students, micro and small enterprises (MSEs) owners and operators.


BRIDGES is a five-year programme that aims to create employment opportunities for young women and men by unlocking the job creation potential of industrial parks (IPs), other anchor enterprises (AEs), and their surrounding ecosystem including micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs). BRIDGES works to capitalize on, and scale-up its previous experiences and key learnings within the industrial sector toward creating direct employment linkages, as well as establishing sustainable market linkages between AEs and MSMEs.

BRIDGES is funded by the Mastercard Foundation and is implemented by First Consult in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation’s Young Africa Works initiative. The programme supports the creation of close to 600,000 jobs for young people (consisting of 80% women), with 15,000 micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) established, and 300,000 unemployed young women and men trained, in five years.


The main objectives of this assignment are:

  • Recruit, train and coach unemployed nascent young entrepreneurs who have foundational idea of establishing businesses to enable them to look at self-employment as a more practical alternative;
  • Provide entrepreneurial, mindset and life skills training for unemployed young people to have the right mindset and encouraging them to participate in technical skills training to increase their job creation potential and making them ready for enterprise development;
  • Provide entrepreneurial skills trainings and follow-up BDS to young people to enable them start their own businesses, run their enterprises competitively;
  • Provide tailored and effective BDS to existing MSEs to accelerate and enable them run their enterprises competitively and grow and increase their employment creation potential;
  • Provide ToT for BDS advisors and coordinate a nation-wide BDS advisory service to support enterprise creation;

The Service Provider firm is expected to bring its international/national experience, judgment and best industry knowledge to complete the following tasks and activities:

SOW I – Provide entrepreneurial training and follow-up BDS to University and TVET students – 10,000 students

  • Profile and recruit aspiring students from universities and TVETs;
  • Provide entrepreneurial skills training and demand-driven BDS to the registered students;
  • Support trained and coached students to produce feasible/bankable business plans;
  • Support the graduates to start their own MSEs as an individual or in groups; and
  • Connect the MSEs with partner financial institutes for access to finance.

SOW II – Identify and train unemployed nascent young entrepreneurs and support establishment of new MSEs – 5,000 MSEs/ 50,000 unemployed young people

  • Profile and recruit aspiring unemployed nascent young entrepreneurs;
  • Provide entrepreneurial skills training and demand based BDS to the recruited youth;
  • Support the trained young people to produce feasible/bankable business plans;
  • Support them to start their own MSEs as an individual or group; and
  • Link the MSEs with partner financial institutes for access to finance.

SOW III – BDS provision for accelerating existing MSEs – 2000 existing MSEs

Conduct a quick scan of the list of MSEs provided to identify which MSEs have a potential to expand and grow and identify the binding constraints the MSEs are facing holding them from expanding their business and accessing credit from banks and MFIs and provide necessary support to ease the constraints;

  • Onboard selected MSEs that have a potential to grow and create jobs through provision of necessary support;
  • Conduct a baseline survey of the selected MSEs to profile their capacities, current number of employees, existing challenges and opportunities with a particular focus on market linkages and access to finance;
  • Provide appropriate and continuous support to the growth-oriented MSEs to help them grow, increase their number of employees and accelerate their expansion and transformation into SMEs;
  • Apply demand-driven BDS support and introduce public private partnership model.

SOW IV – Provide ToT for BDS advisors and coordinate the BDS advisory service to support enterprise creation throughout the country – 100 business advisors

  • Develop module for ToT on demand driven entrepreneurship and BDS for advisor;
  • Recruit and conduct refresher training to 100 shortlisted BDS advisors;
  • Coordinate the BDS advisory service provided by the BDS advisors and verify their performance periodically;
  • Verify the result made by each business advisor;
  • Design a result-based incentive scheme for the BDS advisors.

SOW V – Support unemployed youth through entrepreneurial mindset and life skills trainings

  • Profile and recruit unemployed young people in collaboration with job creation offices at regional levels;
  • Develop module and conduct ToT on mindset and life skill trainings for master trainers/facilitators;
  • Administer and conduct mindset and life skills training in collaboration with regional job creation offices;
  • Compile data and follow-up enterprise creation following mindset and life skills training.

This assignment is open for firms only. The assignment can be divided between firms depending on their specialization (e.g. a firm can apply for one or more activities out of the five areas of assignments listed under Scope of Work)


The service provider(s) will work closely with the Bridge’s Programme Team and will report to the relevant Bridge’s Team Lead.

  • Understanding of the MSME sector;
  • Experience in providing mindset, life skills, entrepreneurial skills trainings and/or BDS;
  • Experience and familiarity with challenges facing MSME’s growth potential;
  • Excellent analytical, technical and conceptual knowledge about management and grasp of business management principles and practices;

Ability to provide the required services will be assessed through submission of:

  • Company profile, if applicable, with relevance to required work.
  • References on previous similar assignments.



Applicants should email their proposal (technical and financial) to bids2@firstconsultet.com with the relevant information detailed in technical and financial section of a proposal. The subject of the email should say “Training and BDS provision for young people and MSEs”. Proposals must be received no later than 5 PM on August 29, 2021. For any queries relating to this assignment please contact Kalkidan Alemseged at kalemseged@firstconsultet.com no later than August 26,2021. Description for the technical and financial section of the proposal are presented below: –

Technical Proposal:

Interested parties should submit a technical proposal of maximum of 5 pages plus CVs providing the following information:

  • An outline of their methodology and previous relevant experience.
  • A project input timeline detailing the timing of the bidder’s team inputs as well as anticipated delivery dates of the defined deliverables.
  • CVs of key team members;
  • Confirm availability and start date to undertake the assignment.

Financial Proposal:

Interested bidders should provide a detailed budget for the assignment. Since the budget depends on the number of trainees and the number of MSEs supported, a clear budget breakdown showing assumptions (cost per trainees/number of MSEs supported) should be provided. Upon selection of the successful bidder, the proposed budget will form the basis for a milestone-based contract. The financial proposal should include all relevant taxes and should be in Ethiopian Birr.