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Thursday, July 16, 2020




The AECF (Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund) is a nonprofit institution supporting early and growth-stage businesses – through the provision of patient capital – to innovate, create jobs, leverage investments and markets to create resilience and sustainable incomes for rural poor and marginalised communities in Africa.

AECF’s strategy is focused on agribusiness/agriculture and renewable energy sectors with increased support to climate technologies, deepened focus on gender, youth, and employment, aimed at attaining the institution’s vision of ‘A Prosperous and Enterprising Rural Africa’.

Since 2008, AECF has invested in 268 businesses across sub-Sahara Africa focusing on Agribusiness, Renewable Energy and Climate Technologies. As of 2018, we have impacted more than 17 million lives and created over 12,000 jobs and leveraged over US$ 750 million in matching funds from the private sector.

AECF is headquartered in Kenya with offices in Cote d’ Ivoire and Tanzania.

2.0 Challenge Fund Competition Launches

AECF is inviting applications from suitably qualified marketing agencies to work with us on the planning and delivery of challenge fund competition launches targeting early and growth-stage businesses across Africa who aspire to reach the poorest communities with their products and services.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, AECF has adapted to virtual launches for our emergency relief funds and we are looking to explore ways of continuing this for our more traditional competition launches as part of our challenge fund model. We have been able to target companies through account-based marketing that integrates our email marketing with social media campaigns (especially LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter) and are seeking to increase our capacity in digital marketing so we can continue to use this approach. We are keen to build and manage our contacts database and identify companies that are interested in applying for conditional grants/loans and business support. We are also increasingly looking at ways of engaging micro and small enterprises in hard to reach communities – such as informal settlements and refugee settlements – and need to factor this into the design of our marketing activities (through coordination with business associations and MFIs or directly through popular platforms like Facebook).

In the next six months, we expect to launch three or four competition launches targeting businesses mainly in Kenya – but also in other countries should the need arise. We are seeking to engage an organisation that is preferably Africa based and can respond quickly with high-quality planning, engaging content, and attention to detail.

As the world adapts to the new realities of living and working during a pandemic, the team appointed for this assignment will need to demonstrate strong virtual project management skills, and ability to create and deliver digital marketing strategies that inspire companies and entrepreneurs to engage with the challenge fund process and apply for funding. A successful digital marketing launch will result in a strong and sector relevant field of applications for our portfolio teams to assess and recommend for funding to the independent investment committee and board of trustees.

3.0 Scope of Work and Deliverables

The digital marketing agency is expected to have the capacity to design and deliver all digital marketing components of the launch while working closely with AECF’s communications team on content production and seamless integration with the main website and/or any microsites established (managed by AECF).

The selected agency will be expected to organise and facilitate a creative kick-off meeting with AECF to plan for the first competition launch which is expected early to mid-August and be ready to respond quickly once that date is confirmed. Evidence of being able to work to tight deadlines and deliver high-quality collateral is essential for the successful agency.

Digital marketing strategy

· Overall strategy – design an overall digital marketing strategy for each challenge fund competition launch (called a ‘window’) integrating email marketing with a social media campaign (account-based marketing);

· Email marketing – Source and build an email database of prospects for email marketing and social media campaign and coordinate the campaign through an integrated marketing platform – providing reports to the client;

· Write and schedule all email marketing content with clear calls to action and integrate these with website content and social media posts– working closely with website development teams;

· Social media strategy and content development – design and deliver a social media strategy and content calendar including content/graphic creation, posting on Twitter/LinkedIn/and Facebook, and on-going community management;

· Digital assessment development – develop and produce all digital assets needed for the campaign – including 1-minute animated infographics, gifs, carousel posts, and text graphics for engaging the target market;

· Social media advertising – design minimal social media advertising to boost posts and reinforce calls to action and manage all advertising purchases and schedules/timings (budgets to be advised, but less than $100);

· Social media management – manage all social media activity for each competition launch and campaign (each competition likely to be six weeks) and develop a core community management schedule; and

· Digital media release distribution (optional) – provide targeted email and social media distribution of all competition press releases to relevant newsrooms/newswires, and monitoring media and social media response following distribution.

· The agency selected is expected to allocate a dedicated project manager for each competition who will manage all schedules, inputs, and expenditure, and ensure that the project is delivered on time, within budget, and to a high standard of writing, design, and digital production.

Estimated deliverables for each competition (to be confirmed for each competition)

· Consultation meeting on the launch of competition and briefing on precise target markets/expected results;

· Account-based marketing strategy designed, and schedule signed off – for launch and six-week duration of the competition (TBC depending on competition criteria);

· Email database generated (minimum 200 per competition) and exported to email marketing platform;

· Social media strategy developed;

· Social media content calendar produced and posting templates agreed and signed off;

· Digital collateral for launch and six-week competition produced – to include a 1-minute animated infographic, 30-60 video posts, text graphics, carousel posts, twitter cards, and text stories;

· Management of email marketing and social media campaign – with posting schedule adhered to and community management of at least 3 hours per week;

· Weekly marketing consultation and advisory with communications team;

· Integration with AECF website and weekly reports on page visits/engagement with posts etc.;

· Social media advertising strategy and advertising produced and implemented.

Please provide costings based on no. of working hours or per asset (e.g. 1-minute animated video).

4.0 Duration of Services

This project will run for a maximum of six months to December 2020 with an expected start date of 27th July 2020. The first competition launch is expected w/c August 10th.

5.0 Proposal Submission

Interested Companies must submit the following documents/information to demonstrate their qualifications:

  1. References: Contact details of 3 references;

  2. Financial Proposal: Applicants are requested to submit their financial proposal. The financial proposal shall specify the daily fee in USD per working day (a day will be calculated as 8 hours) and shall cover all expenditures including consultancy fees and any other relevant expenses related to the performance of services.

  3. Sample of past work: applicants are requested to submit a case study of 3 previous digital marketing campaigns (particularly in Africa/Kenya if possible) to demonstrate the experiences required by this Terms of Reference.

Functional Competencies

· Ability to design and deliver successful account-based marketing strategies targeting businesses – including email marketing and social media strategy – that are relevant and appropriate for African non-profits;

· Ability to generate prospect email database while adhering to EU regulations on data protection and privacy (GDPR);

· Ability to write, design and produce impactful digital collateral – including animated infographics, visual and text-based post content for Twitter, Linked, and Facebook, and differentiate between platforms;

· Ability to respond to tight deadlines and incorporate feedback and work with AECF to develop exceptional final digital products;

· Must be willing to follow established brand guidelines;

· High level of technical proficiency in all relevant platforms and software (including automated marketing platforms);

· Excellent project management skills, as well as digital and content creation;

· Ability to research target audiences, analyse trends, and develop a digital marketing strategy based on what is relevant to that audience; and

· Ability to monitor and provide reports on digital marketing campaigns and analyse performance.

· Language: Professional fluency and writing skills in English are required. Fluency in French is an added advantage.

6.0 Evaluation/Selection Criteria

All applicants will be screened against qualifications and the competencies set above. Candidates fully meeting the requirements will be further evaluated based on the criteria below.

Combined Scoring method – where the qualifications and competencies will be weighted a max. Of 70%, and combined with the price offer which will be weighted a max of 30%, as follows:

Technical Criteria** (Agency team and a sample of past work) – 40%

Examples of past work: 30% of the total evaluation

Analysis of a sample of 3 previous digital marketing campaigns (40 points).

Price offer – 30% of total evaluation – max 30 points

7.0 Disclaimer

AECF reserves the right to determine the structure of the process, number of short-listed participants, the right to withdraw from the proposal process, the right to change this timetable at any time without notice and reserves the right to withdraw this tender at any time, without prior notice and without liability to compensate and/or reimburse any party.

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