Om-Habibeh Foundation


“Start-ups and SMEs Mapping and Investment Readiness Landscape in Egypt with Special Focus Women Entrepreneurs in Upper Egypt”

I. Project Background

The Aswan Skills Development Program (ASDP) is a five-year, $12.5 million program designed to improve the livelihoods of 6,000 young men and women ages 18-35 in Aswan city and Kom Ombo District. To achieve this goal ASDP will focus on achieving the following intermediate outcomes: (1100) improved prospects for employment and employability for young men and women in Aswan and Kom Ombo; (1200) improved job creation opportunities (self-employment, entrepreneurship) for young men and women in Aswan and Kombo; and (1300) improved performance of labour market stakeholders in employment and employability mechanisms for young men and women in Aswan and Kom Ombo. The project’s theory of change is that by improving: (i) access to and quality of market-responsive TVET, professional skills and entrepreneur development training, and support services; (ii) knowledge of labour market needs and best practice; and (iii) the ability of labour market actors to collaborate, the project will result in increased employment and entrepreneurship opportunities for young women and men. These changes will lead to improved livelihoods for young women and men and their families.

II. Background for the Consultancy

ASDP is hiring a consultant to conduct an assessment to obtain a deeper understanding of the local entrepreneurial ecosystem as well as the SMEs development and strengthening potential in Upper Egypt, particularly as it pertains to young women and men’s employment and entrepreneurship. Women business owners face additional and differentiated challenges than their male counterparts in the business development system. The assessment should map out the investment readiness landscape in specific Upper Egypt governorates, Aswan, Qena, Sohag Luxor, and Asyut. The consultancy should also  examine the key gender-related barriers, including gender roles and constraints, that hinder women leading businesses across the different value chains. The assessment should further highlight potential opportunities and identify the required skills for women’s engagement in established value chains.


The Consultant’s work should be guided by the National Strategy for the Empowerment of Egyptian Women 2030, in line with Egypt’s Vision 2030 and its Sustainable Development Strategy, and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Agenda. One of the main four pillars of the National Strategy is women’s economic empowerment, achieved through capacity development, entrepreneurship, and equal opportunities for the women’s employment in all sectors.

The assessment should also take into consideration ILO’s Women’s Entrepreneurship Development Framework meaning are these conditions present in Upper Egypt:

  1. Gender-sensitive legal and regulatory system that advances women’s economic empowerment.
  2. Effective policy leadership and coordination for the promotion of WED.
  3. Access to gender-sensitive financial services.
  4. Access to gender-sensitive business development services support.
  5. Access to markets and technology.
  6. Representation of women entrepreneurs and participation in policy dialogue.

The Consultant will be responsible for the local entrepreneurial ecosystem assessment, including the design and implementation of the assessment, providing guidance and support to the field research team, leading the process for data collection and analysis under this assignment, and creating a final report with results, findings and recommendations The Consultant will work closely with the ASDP Entrepreneurship and SMEs development team in Aswan to facilitate the logistics of the field research.

III. Purpose of the Consultancy

The purpose of this consultancy is to gain a deeper understanding of the entrepreneurial ecosystem and SMEs landscape in Aswan and neighbouring governorates of Qena, Luxor, Sohag and Asyut, build on the current entrepreneurship programming in Aswan, and identify avenues for future intervention for ASDP. ASDP is looking for a well-qualified consultant to conduct the assessment, the findings of which will be used to create a comprehensive plan for the ASDP’s entrepreneurship component and OHF future programs.

The objectives of this consultancy are as follows:

  1. To identify the most important regulatory, policy, financial, or other barriers inhibiting entrepreneurial activities and business growth of Upper Egypt start-ups and SMEs.
  2. To identify gender-related gaps in laws, national strategies, and polices in the local entrepreneurial ecosystem and SMEs.
  3. To assess the gender-sensitivity/ responsiveness of access to finance opportunities in Aswan, Qena, Luxor, Sohag and Asyut;
  4. To identity key barriers preventing women from accessing financial and non-financial means in Aswan, Qena, Luxor, Sohag and Asyut;
  5. To identify the effectiveness of available Business Development Support for women-owned business and current gaps;
  6. To identify and map start-ups and SMEs Investment Readiness Landscape in Aswan, Qena, Luxor, Sohag and Asyut;
  7. To identify key interventions for strengthening the Upper Egypt entrepreneurship ecosystem.
  8. To identify the most promising value chains, including industrial value chains, in upper Egypt and ways for strengthening the linkages across the different value chains.
  9. To identify potential partners, organizations, CSOs in upper Egypt for entrepreneurship and SMEs development intervention.

To map the key impact investment and tolerant finance providers for prospect partnerships.

  1. Scope and Focus of the Consultancy, Major Tasks and Specific Deliverables

 The Consultant will carry out all major tasks in consultation with AKF, E /OHF. The consultant will perform the following tasks at a minimum: 

  1. Develop an inception report that outlines the scope of the work required to deliver the assessment in Aswan, Qena, Luxor, Sohag and Asyut, including an action plan for the delivery of this work (i.e. outline of all tasks, timelines, and dates of output delivery). The inception report should include the proposed methodology for the assessment including an outline of potential survey(s) required, survey design and implementation methodology, and other quantitative and qualitative data collection tools as required, including a document matrix, questionnaires, interview guides, interview schedules, and/or focus group guides.
  2. Conduct desk research to provide contextual background to the assessment and inform research design and planning, including:
    1. Review the current ASDP studies and learnings to build on (for Aswan only)
    2. A literature review of secondary data sources relating to the SMEs development and labour market in Aswan and Upper Egypt, including peer-reviewed scholarly research and reports from government, donor, research, and business institutions. An overview of effective gender-sensitive assessment methodologies should also be included.
  3. Coordinate quantitative and qualitative field research activities, including hiring and training a data collection team and providing capacity-building and support, testing and piloting quantitative and qualitative tools, and ensuring that data collection is sex and age-disaggregated and addresses gender equity concerns.
  4. Ensure equal gender representation throughout the data collection process; ensure the provision of gender analysis across all steps of the assessment
  5. Prepare a draft assessment report and deliver a presentation of preliminary findings and recommendations to the ASDP team and OHF.
  6. Finalize and submit a final assessment report, considering feedback provided by the ASDP team in response to these preliminary findings.
  7. Submit de-identified and anonymized raw data and transcripts to the ASDP M&E team in Aswan.
  1. Suggested Outline of Assessment Report

Table of Contents

 Executive Summary

 Acronyms and Abbreviations

List of Figures and Tables

 1 Introduction

1.1 Introduction

1.2 Assessment Rationale

1.3 statement of purpose

1.4 Scope of Assessment and objectives


2 Literature review


3 Methodology

3.1 Methods

Data collection methods: Multiple methods expected to be used. Both quantitative and qualitative to gather the needed information.

Data sources: The selected methodology should include primary and secondary resources.

Data collection tools: The data collection tools should be tested and validated before applying.    


Sample size and sample frame should be identified and consider the following elements:

Gender, district and diversity of enterprises sectors. 

3.3 Data analysis procedures

Data analysis and data quality method should be identified. ensure that all data is disaggregated by gender, age group, district, sector and other relevant categories. 

3.4 Ethical considerations

Ethical approvals for data collection should be consider and apply with all target groups as part of data collections, in addition to CAPMAS approval. 

4 Findings

4.1 sections outlining findings oriented by objective

4.2 Gender analysis and strategies

5 Discussion

5.1 Recommendations

6 annexes


Annex A. assessment tools

aNNEX B. Assessment SCHEDULE/agenda

ANNEX C. other


  1. Expected Time Frame


The Consultant is expected to commence duties by ……………….. In consultation with the ASDP Senior Program Manager, and the Entrepreneurship Manager. The Consultant will commence planning and design of the assessment and producing the final assessment report. The total duration of the consultancy will be 38 days, with final submission of the assessment report by the end of February 2021 A rough timeline for the assignment is as follows:


Task Time Allocation

Desk review and assessment planning

·         Initial discussions with ASDP team

·         Desk review for secondary sources

·         Submission of inception report


8 days

Deliverable 1: Inception Report


Train data collectors and pilot data collection tools


5 days
Coordinate data collection activities, including surveys, key informant interviews, and focus groups 10 days
Conduct gender-sensitive analysis and prepare draft assessment report 6 days

Deliverable 2: Draft assessment report


Facilitate workshop with ASDP team to review the assessment report 4 days

Deliverable 3: Final assessment report and raw data


Finalize assessment report and submit raw data to ASDP team 5 days



VII. Consultant Qualifications and Experience


The consultant should meet the following criteria in terms of qualifications, technical competencies and experience:


  • Excellent understanding and significant experience in quantitative and qualitative research
  • At least five (5) years of comparable experience in the design, planning and implementation of large-scale quantitative and qualitative assessments;
  • Solid knowledge of entrepreneurial landscape in Egypt and previously worked in upper Egypt
  • Demonstrated experience conducting gender-sensitive assessments and knowledge of gender equality issues within the SMEs development and entrepreneurship sector.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills in English and Arabic.
  • Knowledge of the development context in Egypt, specifically related to economic development and employment in Upper Egypt.
  • If the consultant can meet the additional criteria below, this would present an added advantage: Prior working experience with AKF/AKDN.


  1. Reporting

 The consultant will work with and report directly to OHF team (ASDP Senior Manager, and Entrepreneurship Manager).

Reporting phases:

Inception report

inception report should include the assessment method and final version of data collection tools, and it should be shared and approved by OHF (ASDP) before start data collection or field work.


Final report should respond to the following criteria.

–  The executive summary must contain direct and explicitly answers to the key outcomes used to guide the whole Assessment.

– Use of clear and simple data visualization easy-to-understand ‘snapshots’ of the entrepreneurial eco-system and SMEs landscape in Aswan and upper Egypt neighbouring governorates.

– Structuring of the findings section using expected outcomes of the assessment as subheadings.

-The report should be clear and easy to understand even for those who aren’t specialized in the field. These explanations should be broad and brief in the main body of the report, with more details available in annexes.



  1. Application Procedure


Agencies or individuals meeting the above criteria are invited to submit an application consisting of the following:


  1. Letter of interest, including the names and contact information of two previous clients who can be contacted regarding relevant experience, and which discloses any conflict of interest related to this mandate with OHF.
  2. Detailed technical proposal of not more than 6 pages clearly demonstrating a thorough understanding of this request for proposals and including the following:
    1. Description of methodology
    2. Demonstrated previous experience conducting large-scale gender-sensitive assessments, using quantitative and qualitative methods, including evidence of past work
  • A proposed timeframe detailing activities and a schedule/work plan (including a Gantt chart)
  1. Team composition and level of effort of each proposed team member
  2. Curriculum Vitae(s) of all proposed staff outlining relevant experience (annexed to technical proposal)
  1. A financial proposal with a detailed breakdown of costs for the assessment, using the following template (where necessary, please include footnotes to explain assumptions made):


  1. Summary of costs


Item Cost (EGP)
Consultancy fees  
Data collection expenses  
Administrative expenses  


  1. Itemized consultancy fees/costs for all team members


Name Title Days Daily Rate (EGP) Total (EGP)


  • Itemized field data collection expenses (e.g. transport, training costs, per diem, etc.)


Description of Item Quantity Unit Cost (EGP)


  1. Itemized administrative expenses (e.g. phone credit, stationery, etc.)


Description of Item Quantity Unit Cost (EGP)


  1. A copy of a previous report of work undertaken on a) a similar labour market assessment OR b) baseline study OR c) end line study
  2. A Consulting Firm profile (if applicable).


Proposals will be evaluated only if the complete package as outlined above is received. Evaluation of proposals will be weighted at 70% for the technical component and 30% for the financial components


Proposals will be evaluated based on the following set of criteria:


Criteria Maximum Score
Technical Component  
Demonstrated experience in conducting and coordinating similar studies 20
Education and Technical Experience of Team 10
Proposed Methodology and Approach 30
Gender Equality experience and proposed approach 10
Total Technical Component 70
Total Financial Component 30
Total 100

Agencies or individuals meeting the above criteria are invited to submit an application by email to:

Proposals will be evaluated only if the complete package as outlined above is received.

Consultants/Agencies must provide complete contact details in their applications.                      

Proposals should be received no later than 6th February 2021 Shortlisted applicant(s) will be notified by end of April and should expect to begin work as soon as possible.

Any questions concerning this assignment should be directed to

Mostafa Al Amir, Procurement Senior Officer contact: 01067922282

Deadline for offer submission