RfQ: Operation of a Refugee Entrepreneurship Center and Telephone Support Line

RfQ: Operation of a Refugee Entrepreneurship Center and Telephone Support Line

Request for Proposals

« Operation of a Refugee Entrepreneurship Center and Telephone Support Line »

 

Request for      Proposal (RFP     ) No.: RFP-BM-TR-19-2-007
Issuance Date: 9      August 2019
Closing Date: 22 August 2019
Closing Time: 23:59 Turkey Time (UTC+3)
Method of RFP Submission:

Submit via email to:

Email: turkey.tenders@buildingmarkets.org
Subject Line: Price quote for RFP-BM-TR-19-2-007
Preferred currency of Proposal: United States Dollars (USD)
Tax on Price: Must be inclusive of VAT and other applicable indirect taxes
Conditions for Release of Payment: Milestone payments will be made and approved as per contract deliverables
Period of Validity of Quotes starting on the Submission Date: 60 Days
Evaluation Criteria: ▪      Technical proposal [70%]

▪      Price [30%]

 

August 9     , 2019

Dear Prospective Offeror:

Building Markets intends to award a contract for Operation of a Refugee Entrepreneurship Center and Telephone Support Line. Interested Offerors are invited to submit a technical proposal and      cost proposal in accordance with this Request for Proposals (RFP).

This contract is open to companies and organizations. Eligible organizations must be legally registered and able to operate in Turkey.

It is anticipated that a Firm Fixed Price (FFP) contract will be awarded as a result of this solicitation. Under a FFP contract, the Contractor agrees to deliver the product(s) and services(s) called for at the negotiated firm fixed price. The FFP contract will thus not be adjusted on the basis of the Contractor’s actual costs incurred in performing the contract, which means that the Contractor assumes all cost risk of contract performance.

The contract will be for approximately 11 months from the award date. Offerors are advised to propose the most cost effective and competitive approach to achieve the results of the project.

All proposals must be submitted to Building Markets turkey.tenders@buildingmarkets.org by 23:59 Turkey Time (UTC+3) on Wednesday, August 22, 2019. It is the responsibility of the Offeror to ensure that the proposal has been received by Building Markets in its entirety. If the proposal is received after the deadline or if it is incomplete, it will not be accepted or considered by Building Markets. All proposals must be submitted in the format as detailed in section “7.1 Electronic Submission Format” of this document.

All questions or requests for clarification related to this solicitation must be submitted in writing to Building Markets at turkey.tenders@buildingmarkets.org by 23:59 Turkey time on Tuesday, August 20, 2019. Only written answers from Building Markets will be considered official. Any answers received outside the official channel, whether received verbally or in writing, will not be considered official responses regarding this RFP.

Issuance of this RFP does not constitute an award commitment on the part of Building Markets, nor does it commit Building Markets to pay for costs incurred in the preparation and submission of offers.

Thank you for your interest in working with Building Markets. We look forward to reviewing your proposal.

Sincerely,

The Building Markets Team

  1. Organization Overview

Building Markets is an award-winning non-profit organization that creates jobs and encourages economic growth by finding, building and connecting competitive local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to supply chains, investment, and growth opportunities. We have built a network of more than 24,000 verified SMEs and organizations, assisted them in winning over $1.3 billion in contracts, and helped create over 70,000 jobs in Afghanistan, Haiti, Jordan, Liberia, Mozambique, Myanmar, and Timor-Leste. The organization currently operates programs in Jordan, Myanmar, and Turkey. Building Markets is headquartered in New York City. For more information visit www.buildingmarkets.org.

Program Background

In 2016, Building Markets launched a program in Turkey. Since that time, it has developed an extensive network of Syrian SMEs, published ground-breaking research that has brought visibility to their operations and economic contributions, and designed tailored services to facilitate their access to new opportunities. Key services include business verification and increasing access to market information, training, matchmaking, and advocacy. Building Markets works closely with local partners to implement its programs, including Turkish businesses.

Building Markets seeks to expand the delivery of its services to refugee-owned businesses as well as local Turkish businesses working with them. This includes the operation of a Refugee Entrepreneurship Center and Telephone Support Line.

2. Scope of Work

Building Markets seeks a qualified supplier to operate a physical location as a “Refugee Entrepreneurship Center”,in Istanbul, complemented by an “Entrepreneur Telephone Support Line” nationally accessible in Turkey. Details of the expected service delivery are detailed below.

 

2.1 Refugee Entrepreneurship Center

A Refugee Entrepreneurship Center (“Entrepreneurship Center” or “Center”) will:

a. Provide comprehensive advisory and practical services to Syrian and other entrepreneurs seeking to establish a company in Turkey; and,

b. Serve SMEs seeking to grow their operations through capacity development services.

Services will include assisting in company formation, provision of professional accounting services, and consultations regarding legal and financial advice. The Center will also assist Building Markets in identifying targeted businesses; assessing their needs and potential for growth; and connecting them to the necessary services and resources for business development and job creation. Clients unable to visit the Center in person will have the opportunity to access program services online. Available additional space within the Center will be offered as a co-working area for at least one Building Markets member of staff and refugee entrepreneur clients, as available, to allow established businesses to sustain themselves, develop business networks, and learn from each other.

 

2.1.1 Expectations of the Refugee Entrepreneurship Center include:

 

Operational

  1. A venue conducive to conducting counseling sessions (min. 120 m2 space), with adequate seating, tables, lighting, climate control, and light refreshments;
  2. Provision of a pool of experienced counselors with minimum of three consultants in legal, accounting, and business development issues, familiar with the unique needs of refugee entrepreneurs;
  3. Languages served: Turkish and Arabic (if needed, interpretation to be offered by the Center);
  4. Serving entrepreneurs and business owners with counseling sessions a minimum of four (4) working days per week, accessible to the public for a minimum of 7.5 hours/day (9:00am – 4:30pm);
  5. A minimum of 50 face-to-face consultation sessions with refugee entrepreneur clients will be held each month;
  6. Center to include a minimum of one desk for a Building Markets representative;
  7. Center will be compliant with applicable regulations (including but not limited to labor law, criminal law, administrative law, tax law, health and safety law, and data protection and privacy);
  8. All personal data collection will be in line with Turkish and European data protection regulations (KVKK/GDPR) and all required legal, administrative and technical mechanisms will be in place and functional to ensure compliance with relevant data protection regulations;
  9. Center will be co-branded with the Supplier, Building Markets and, if applicable, donor.

 

Programmatic

  1. Provide counselee SMEs and entrepreneurs with an orientation to Building Markets’ services;
  2. Communicate services and conduct outreach via social media and other formats to raise awareness of the Center’s services;
  3. Implement selection criteria for business registration and accounting support services for 50 selected SMEs;
  4. Serve as a resource for Building Markets’ network of SMEs that may have consulting needs in specific areas (tender applications, legal compliance, accounting);
  5. Payment for business registration costs and processing of owner’s work permit;
  6. Provide ongoing accounting services for three (3) months for newly established 50 businesses;
  7. Provide roaming consulting services in three (3) additional cities to be agreed with Building Markets;
  8. Capture SME success stories for communication with internal and external stakeholders by Building Markets;
  9. Refer SMEs looking for new markets and customers to Building Markets based on referral criteria (Building Markets to work with Supplier to establish criteria).

 

Monitoring and Evaluation

  1. All data collection forms will be prepared by the Supplier, considering and complying with applicable data protection regulations, and submitted to Building Markets for approval;
  2. Submission of monthly performance assessment including:

a. Quantitative summary tracking individual counselee demographic information;

b. Qualitative summary documentation of individual specific needs and challenges faced by that month’s counselees, including recommended next steps;

c. Operational and programmatic challenges faced each month;

d. Recommendations for operational and/or programmatic revisions;

e. Summary of monthly downtime (scheduled and unscheduled).

 

2.3 Entrepreneur Telephone Support Line

A nationally accessible Entrepreneur Telephone Support Line (“Support Line” or “Line”) will respond to questions from callers regarding Turkish legal regulations for business registration, establishment and management of a company, suggestions for employment, incentives, and loans. This Support Line will also serve as a catchment tool, as Syrian entrepreneurs who have more detailed questions that require input from experts will be directed to the Entrepreneurship Center (see above) or other services provided by Building Markets . Turkish or other non-Syrian businesses interested in collaborating with Syrian businesses or finding a Syrian supplier will also benefit from the Support Line and be referred to the right resources and opportunities. It is important that both Turkish and Arabic speaking callers are able to easily interact with Support Line representatives.

 

2.3.1 Expectations of the Entrepreneur Telephone Support Line include:

 

Operational

  1. Languages served: Turkish and Arabic;
  2. Line available five days a week (Monday – Friday) for 7.5 hours/day (8:30am – 4:00pm) except for public holidays;
  3. Capacity to directly respond to 95% of calls and/or return voicemails the same day (up to 20 calls/day);
  4. A digital telephone switchboard with automated welcome, waiting, place in line, and data protection disclosure message;
  5. Voicemail service to receive messages from missed calls;
  6. Software capable of booking appointments, process tracking, recording calls, and reporting data;
  7. Guaranteed 95% uptime, not including scheduled maintenance (i.e. Support Line unexpectedly offline for no more than 20 minutes during working hours in a single day);
  8. Management of Support Line human resources to match peaks and troughs in demand;
  9. Ensure Support Line’s operations are compliant with applicable regulations (including but not limited to labor law, criminal law, administrative law, tax law, health and safety law, and data protection and privacy);
  10. Organize regular training sessions for its personnel on data protection.

 

Programmatic

  1. Ability to measure maturity of caller’s business;
  2. Ability to refer calls to other service providers and support organizations, as needed;
  3. Calls to be received by experienced Turkish and Arabic-speaking representatives, preferably trained in call center operations;
  4. Maintain Support Line staff’s understanding of Building Markets’ mission, program services, and key personnel to facilitate communication and coordination between SMEs, and pursue opportunities for access to SME training services;
  5. A refined call script indicating standard responses to questions;
  6. Development of a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document addressing commonly received questions, to be regularly updated based on new regulations and questions received;
  7. Support Line to be co-branded between Supplier, Building Markets, and donor.

 

Monitoring and Evaluation:

  1. All data collection forms will be prepared by the Supplier by considering and complying with applicable data protection regulations and submitted to Building Markets for approval;
  2. Capture individual caller demographic information;
  3. Ensure all data is cleaned and maintained for analysis, and sharing, as required;
  4. Submission of monthly performance assessment including:
    • Summary of demographic information regarding callers
    • Trends in needs and challenges faced by that month’s callers
    • Summary of monthly downtime (scheduled and unscheduled)
    • Challenges faced that month (operational and programmatic)
    • Recommendations for operational and/or programmatic revisions
  5. Implement a robust feedback mechanism including the following components:

a. Client feedback to be collected at point and time of service (immediately following completion of phone call);

b. Client’s agreement on the following minimum components to be scored:

  • I received a satisfying answer to my question
  • I would recommend the Telephone Support Line to others
  • What could be done to improve your experience with this service?

c. Feedback to be collected and automatically submitted to Building Markets

3. Delivery Schedule

The following payments will be processed within 30 days of successful completion and acceptance of each milestone by Building Markets:

 

Milestone Approximate Due Date Payment
1. Contract signed September 16, 2019 25% of total contract value
2. Quarterly milestone payment December 16, 2019 25% of total contract value
3. Quarterly milestone payment March 16, 2020 25% of total contract value
4. Quarterly milestone payment June 13, 2020 20% of total contract value
5. Final milestone payment August 31, 2020 5% of total contract value

 

3.1 Review Schedule

Building Markets will review the work of the Refugee Entrepreneurship Center and the Entrepreneur Telephone Support Line in the following manner:

  1. Session-specific feedback forms and data to be made accessible by upload to the Building Markets designated database;
  2. Bi-weekly check-in calls with the Center’s management and implementing staff;
  3. Monthly performance assessments, including reporting of program data to Building Markets specifications;
  4. Quarterly strategy review meetings.

Above Milestone Due dates and payment schedule are subject to change and will be further specified at the time of contracting and as the service is provided.

In the event of delays or revised timelines, revised deadlines will be accepted following written acknowledgement from both parties. Further details on schedules, payments, and force majeure will be made available in the final contract.

3.2 Quality Assurance

The Supplier is expected to manage independent quality assurance over the service provided for the duration of the contract. This includes:

  1. Monitoring Support Line performance through a review of at least 30 calls per month. Building Markets will provide a call quality template to be used for this purpose;
  2. Providing feedback and executing a Continuous Improvement Plan (CIP) with the goal of exceeding service level targets;
  3. Provide a training manual, to be approved by Building Markets, for the Entrepreneurship Center and Support Line staff, updating it as required upon Building Markets advice and review.

4. Non-Delivery

Building Markets reserves the right to reduce payments made in the event of non-delivery of agreed services. Details of payment reductions are detailed below for the Refugee Entrepreneurship Center and Telephone Support Line. Each deduction will be made from the following milestone payment. In the event deductions exceed 5% of the total contract value prior to August 31, 2020, the Supplier will reimburse Building Markets at the same rates:

 

Quality Control Verification Payment Deduction
Center or Support Line not open at required times 1 day service operating cost
Center or Support Line missing key staff following staffing deadline 2 days operating cost for each day service is not fully staffed
Center or Support Line not catering to Turkish and/or Arabic speakers 1 day service operating cost
Center or Support Line reporting is missing or unverifiable Suspension of further payments until missing supporting documentation is recovered

5. Selection Criteria

The ideal supplier is an experienced organization responsive to our specific needs, providing bespoke solutions rather than reconfigured templates. A well-established portfolio and list of customer references will aid the selection process.

Note that while Building Markets prefers to work with a single supplier, the organization also reserves the right to divide this tender and work with multiple service providers based on comparative advantage and past performance. Potential suppliers are encouraged to highlight areas of relative expertise when submitting their offers.

 

Eligibility for Shortlisting:
a. Clear of any tax debts Certificate from local tax office
b. Has successfully collaborated with a non-governmental or not-for-profit organization to deliver a project with social impact. References
c. Experience in serving vulnerable communities with outreach activities particularly to Syrians in Turkey References, technical proposal
d. In-depth understanding of the Syrian community and their social and economic challenges in Turkey Technical proposal and references
e. Previous call center or similar experience References, CVs, Technical proposal, process flow diagram used by the supplier
f. Experience in SME consultation and business development at various stages of business growth; References and written documentation

 

Prospective suppliers will be evaluated according to the following criteria, with details provided for the Refugee Entrepreneurship Center and Telephone Support Line being equally weighted in final scoring:

 

Assessment Criteria Weight
a. Technical Score – 70%
  Demonstrated experience designing and delivering similar Center and Support Line services, including client testimonials 30 points
  Experience delivering business development advisory services to vulnerable communities 20 points
  Adequate staffing plan (number of experts, language expertise, sample monthly operating hours schedule with staffing breakdown) 15 points
  Significant experience completing, delivering, or participating in projects seeking social impact 5 points
b. Financial Score – 30%
  Cost Proposal using the attached template 30 points

Please note, only bids exceeding a Technical Score of 50 will be considered for financial evaluation.

6. Terms and Conditions

6.1 General Terms and Conditions

Building Markets will review all proposals and score them based on the above criteria. Preferred and backup suppliers will be selected, after which a contract will be signed between the two parties.

Building Markets is not bound to accept any proposal, nor award a contract/ purchase order, nor be responsible for any costs associated with the preparation and submission of a proposal or cost proposal, regardless of the conduct or outcomes of the selection process.

Building Markets reserves the right to accept or reject any proposal, to render any or all proposals as non-responsive, and to annul the solicitation process and reject all proposals at any time prior to award of contract, without thereby incurring any liability to the affected supplier, or any obligation to inform the affected supplier(s) of the grounds for Building Markets’ action. Building Markets shall neither be obliged to award the contract to the lowest price offer.

6.2 Cost Proposal

The cost proposal will be used to determine the best value offer and will serve as a basis of negotiations before award of a subcontract.

No cost information may be included in the technical proposal. Cost information must only be shown in a separate cost proposal using the budget template provided. See Annex 1.

It is anticipated that a Firm Fixed Price (FFP) contract will be awarded as a result of this RFP. Under a FFP contract, the supplier agrees to deliver the product(s) and services(s) called for at the negotiated firm FFP. The FFP contract will thus not be adjusted on the basis of the Supplier’s actual costs incurred in performing the contract, which means that the Supplier assumes all cost risk of contract performance. All costs that the Offeror expects to incur in association with the implementation of the proposed activities should be included in the cost proposal.

All cost information must be submitted in US Dollars inclusive of VAT and applicable indirect taxes. Offerors are also required to include a short description for each budget line item. See Annex 1 for the budget template.

Offerors are advised to propose the most cost effective and competitive approach to achieve the results of the project.

6.3      Conflict of Interest

Building Markets takes special care to comply with transparency, accountability and generally applied work ethics within all domestic and donor regulations, and international laws applicable to the countries where it operates.

Any attempts or suspicion of misconduct to influence the integrity of the procurement process, whether by Building Markets personnel or outside suppliers, will be fully investigated. By submitting your cost proposal, you accept to immediately declare any potential conflict of interest, even if cursory or unintentional, upon becoming aware of such for immediate internal review by the organization. Failure to declare such conflicts of interest, even if accidental, may result in litigation.

6.4      Non-disclosure Agreement and International Compliance

By submitting your proposal     , you agree that in the event of being selected to undertake this project, any team members involved in the development of said project are willing to sign a non-disclosure agreement to maintain confidentiality of data involved

You also agree to sign anti-terrorism and anti-fraud declaration forms, and have your name searched against an international database conducting terrorism background checks. There is no additional burden to you as a supplier; only consent is required.

7. Submission Instructions

Prospective suppliers must submit the following documents to expedite the review process:

  1. Your Proposal, including:

a. Cover Letter (Optional)

b. Technical component specifically addressing the requirements listed under “2. Scope of Work”

c. Detailed timeline and schedule of work, taking into account the milestones under “3. Delivery and Payment Schedule”

d. Eligibility check: submission of documents presented under “III. Selection Criteria”

e. Earliest available start date to commence work;

f. Earliest available start date to commence work.

2. Cost Proposal (Template included in Annex 1: Budget Template);

3. Portfolio of previous similar work;

4. Minimum two past client references and written consent to contact them. The reference should include the Client’s name, Organization, contact information (phone and email) and a brief description of the services provided to the Client.

5. Building Markets may request additional documentation and budget detail after receipt of submissions.

7.1 Electronic Submission Format  

The Offeror must submit the proposal electronically with up to 3 attachments (5 MB limit) per email. Attachments must be compatible with MS Word, MS Excel, or Adobe (PDF) format. Cost proposals should be submitted in excel format with formulas visible. The Offeror must not submit zipped files. Those pages requiring original manual signatures should be scanned and sent in PDF format as an email attachment.

Technical proposals should not exceed 15 pages. Proposals should be single-spaced, one-inch margins, and 12pt Times New Roman font. Items such as charts and tables may be used as appropriate but will be considered part of the page limit. The page limit does not include a cover page, table of contents, acronym list, page dividers, and relevant annexes (e.g. CVs). Pages that exceed the page limitation will not be evaluated.

Please send your technical proposal and cost proposal, in English, to

turkey.tenders@buildingmarkets.org no later than August 22, 2019 (23:59 Turkey time (UTC+3)).

 

The subject line of the email submissions should be labeled as follows:

Proposal for BM-TR-19-02-007 – Operation of a Refugee Entrepreneurship Center and Telephone Support Line [Organization Name] 

Annex 1: Budget Template for Cost Proposal

 

The Offeror should submit their cost proposal using the budget template provided.

Please Cllick Here for Budget Template

Offerors are advised to propose the most cost effective and competitive approach to achieve the results of the project.

 

 

-ENDS-

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