Business Development Services Consultancy Opportunity in Kenya – Ray Project

Practical Action 

Business Development Services Consultant – Ray Project

Introduction to Practical Action

Practical Action is an international development organization putting ingenious ideas to work so that people in poverty can change their world. We help people find solutions to some of the world’s toughest problems. Challenges made worse by catastrophic climate change and persistent gender inequality. We work with communities to develop ingenious, lasting and locally owned solutions for agriculture, water and waste management, climate resilience and clean energy. And we share what works with others, so answers that start small can grow big. We are a global change-making group. The group consists of a UK registered charity with community projects in Africa, Asia and Latin America, an independent development publishing company and a technical consulting service. We combine these specialisms to multiply our impact and help shape a world that works better for everyone.

Background and Purpose of the assignment

Practical Action has commenced a five-year project implemented in the nine (9) counties of Kisumu, Homabay, Siaya, Migori, Nyamira, Kakamega, Bungoma, Busia and Vihiga. The project aims to make agriculture an attractive and resilient employer for young people by promoting agricultural livelihoods for the youth underpinned by agro-ecological principles and practices. The project goal is to make agriculture an attractive and resilient employer for young people targeting four (4) main value chains namely poultry, African leafy vegetables, tomatoes and oil crops (groundnuts and soybeans).

Over the next 5 years, we will increase income, and job opportunities for 100,000 (age 18-35) young people in the nine counties through effecting systems change within the agriculture sector to make this an attractive work sector that offers dignified work. Additionally, the project will contribute towards poverty reduction within target counties as youth’s start earning or improve their income levels through skills development, enhanced access to market and finance.

The main approaches being used by the project include:

• A Mentorship model to increase youth engagement in the agriculture sector. • Regenerative agriculture to improve productivity, increase income and restore natural capital.

• Market Systems Development to stimulate long term sustainable change in which markets operate more effectively and critically and work better for young men and women. Over the longer term the project intends to impact 100,000 young people by demonstrating the viability of agri-business as a viable career option

Objective of assignment

The project will hire a Business Development Services (BDS) Consultant who will provide services that will enhance the entrepreneurial capacity of young women and men to effectively run and manage their agri-enterprises. Specifically, the consultant will build the capacity of the young agri-prenuers to:

o Access better and structured markets.

o Improve their competitive advantage by supporting youth agri-prenuers to access information on improved and innovative technologies, broaden networks with regards to outreach and better their skills set to improve their business operational efficiency.

o Improve their business acumen in the dynamic agricultural space through mentoring and couching respectively.

o Develop/refine sustainable production and marketing models to help their business either grow/expand or improve their operational efficiency.

The consultants will provide Business trainings, linkages, networking, mentoring, coaching to small and medium sized enterprises and individual businesses within their respective counties to improve their businesses on the below listed skills sets:

a) Business management skills

b) Business registration

c) Business planning

d) Public and customer relations skills

e) Keeping proper business records

f) Market Research Techniques

g) Marketing business products/services

h) Taxation issues in business

i) Costing and pricing of business products and services

j) Business financing

k) Management of cash stock, and credit

l) Management of human resources

m) Risk management

n) Finance proposal development

o) Quality management and improvement of products and services

p) Financial analysis


Inception phase

• The assignment will start with an inception phase. This phase will include review of training guides, project documents, market related reports and policies. A rapid review of training needs assessment and the available information of the study area will also be done.

• The inception phase will end with submission of the inception report with comments from Practical Action incorporated.

Training Phase

• The interim phase will include support in conducting deep-stick intervention assessments through reviews of the available project documents including the market analysis and baseline assessment reports to gain meaningful understanding of the project participants capacity strengthening needs (needs analysis).

• Disaggregate mentors’ information and capacity development needs as per the respective value chain (poultry, African leafy vegetables, tomatoes, ground nuts and soybeans) to define specific intervention areas.

• Support businesses to expand their business by providing tailored advice, information, training, referrals, and support. This will also include value addition approach.

• Provide small group/individualized trainings and advice.

• Assist in the developmental processes of the established enterprises, including, acting as a sounding board and referral agent for income generation/enterprise development.

• Build capacity and provide guidance to mentors to undertake various business tasks which will be achieved by mentoring clients in business skills, advice, connections to local networks, resources, opportunities and more lucrative markets.

• Link/refer individual mentors to local service providers such as banks and training organisations.

• Create linkages/networks with financial institutions and/or other advisory organisations or bodies that can assist in stimulating or advancing business development in the target areas.

• Encourage commercial and industrial businesses in the area to provide their expertise and facilities to micro business providers.

• Set up an effective monitoring, learning and evaluation plan and tool to monitor business progress of all young business owners in the respective counties.

Final reporting phase

• The initial draft of interim reports shared by consultant will be reviewed by Practical Action.

• The final reports will be produced by the consultant upon incorporation of all comments from reviewers.

• The consultant will present specific recommendations to address problems/ constraints/ gaps and opportunities for improvement, and roles of different actors in creation of working opportunities for young men and women.


The following deliverables are envisioned under this consultancy:

Inception report (Max 15 pages): an inception report incorporating findings of rapid review of training guidelines (including development of tailored modules for agri-prenuers), desk review, details of work plan, and time schedules, and the tentative outline of training content.

Interim reports: a brief training reports and progress highlighting number of youths trained, lessons learnt and linkages to market actors.

Final reports: Detail report meeting the objectives and scope of the TOR with used methodologies as agreed in Inception Report and revisited in Interim Report. Final report will be the end product after incorporation of all the comments from Practical Action. If the report is acceptable, final payment will be made.

A detailed schedule will be developed and agreed with the successful candidate for these deliverables.

Skills Required

Consultant profile/eligibility criteria For the purposes of this assessment, the Consultant should have at least a bachelor’s degree in Agribusiness /Agricultural economics/ Marketing/ Economics/ Commerce/Business management or related field background and extensive experience and knowledge in business mentoring and coaching in Kenya, including for youth and women initiatives. Among the desirable qualifications for lead consultant are:

• Knowledge of ILO start and improve your business (SIYB) and grow and expand your business (GEYB) and mentoring approaches.

• Practical business knowledge with emphasis on marketing and financial management skills.

• Demonstrated experience in Market Research, monitoring and evaluation and product development.

• A good command of the English, Swahili and Luo languages.

• Demonstrated experience in small business development and management (own business or by providing business development services), experience with small business financing, market analysis and market research.

• Demonstrated experience in community economic development, community empowerment, working with community-based organisations.

• Strong experience in networking.

• Highly developed interpersonal and oral communication skills.

• Motivated and goal orientated.

• Comfortable working autonomously.

• Creative and strong problem-solving skills.

• Strategic/big picture view – goal orientated.

• Report writing experience.

• Experience directly working with young people in research.

• Good understanding and proven track record in safeguarding / do not harm principle.

• Experience working in the lake Basin, highly recommended.

A detailed job description can be accessed here-

How to apply

Interested consulting entities that have capacity to deliver this TOR are invited to submit a complete proposal to with subject line “RAY Business Development Services Consultant” to reach Practical Action on or before 18th September 2023.

Guidelines for Submission of Expression of Interest

A consulting entity and individuals that meets the above requirements and is available within the time limit indicated above should submit the following:

  1. Proposal and capability statement with clear methodological approach (technical proposal)
  2. Detailed financial proposal in Kenyan Shillings: If the team consists of several members, the professional fees should not be a daily rate, but it should be based on clearly shown time allocation by each member of the team to the various activities.
  3. Evidence of experience in similar work: samples of learning briefs or learning documents developed in the past.
  4. Annexed to the proposal should be CVs of the consultant outlining previous experiences and accomplishment.
  5. Indicate county of preference

Practical Action is an equal opportunities employer, and we encourage applications from under-represented groups. We stay committed to cultivating an inclusive and diverse working environment and believe that people from different backgrounds or cultures give us different perspectives, and the more perspectives we have, the more successful we will be. By building a culture where everyone feels heard, respected, and valued we give everyone working with us the opportunity to achieve their full potential.

We are committed to safeguarding and protecting children and vulnerable adults and as such candidates will be subject to pre-contracting checks.