Date of Issuance: September 20, 2018
Process for Questions:
- Submission of questions or requests for clarification in writing via email to JVLsubmission@meda.org
- Responses to questions will be communicated within two weeks of submission of questions
Submission Process and Requirements
- Applications are open until January 31, 2019 and are accepted on a rolling basis
- Concept note (including technical and budget summary) should be submitted via email to JVLsubmission@meda.org
- The concept note template can be downloaded here
- Language: Applications should be submitted in English.
- Currency: The budgeted costs must be represented in Jordanian Dinars (JOD) and total budget in Canadian Dollars (CAD).
- Emailed submissions must contain the subject: “Jordan Valley Links Project (JVL) Innovation Fund”
Jordan Valley Links Project (JVL) Overview
Jordan Valley Links (JVL) is a five-year project (2016-2021) funded by MEDA and Global Affairs Canada. MEDA is a not-for profit organization whose mission is to create business solutions to poverty. It was founded in 1953 by a small group of business people who saw the need to invest with, and provide support to entrepreneurs and communities to help them take advantage of economic opportunities. MEDA’s work is founded on respectful interaction with communities, supporting women to rise above the social and cultural barriers that stand in the way of success and improved livelihood. MEDA’s projects cover over 30 countries in Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia-Pacific, and Europe.
The ultimate outcome of the project is to increase the contribution by women and youth to Jordan’s economic growth. JVL will seek to support women and youth in the Jordan Valley to seize new opportunities in targeted sectors and in turn become strong economic actors. JVL will use two main approaches to achieve this goal:
- Improving women’s and youth’s entrepreneurial and business acumen through capacity building and market linkages;
- Working with communities, families, and market actors to reduce barriers to entry for enterprise development for women and youth.
JVL will work in the Jordan Valley and surrounding areas to directly support 25,000 women and youth entrepreneurs (WYEs) in increasing their incomes and their contribution to Jordan’s economic growth. A further 25,000 individuals are expected to benefit indirectly from the project’s initiatives in three sectors: food processing, community based tourism and clean technology.
What is the Innovation Fund?
The Innovation Fund will support Small-to-Medium Enterprises, Business Development Support providers, Lead Firms, and Financial Institutions that want to develop and/or pilot new and innovative goods or services for women and youth entrepreneurs (WYEs). This Fund will be used to pilot products or services that by nature have an inherent level of associated risk with the objective of learning and adapting new business solutions targeted towards the project’s end users. A rolling application process will be utilized whereby applicants are required to submit an application form with a business proposal at any point during the project. The Innovation Fund will be flexible and responsive to the needs of businesses and partner organizations and will accept submissions throughout project implementation until June 2019. This will allow businesses and partner organizations to seize opportunities as they arise and pilot innovations in a timely manner.
The Innovation Fund will support eligible applicants to benefit JVL’s clients in Jordan Valley and around RSCN protected areas to improve clients’ businesses, market linkages, introduce new products and services, and/or improve product, process and quality through the provision of goods and services.
- Support businesses and partner organizations to develop new and innovative goods or services that support JVL’s client population (i.e. WYEs)
- Pilot products or services that by nature have an inherent level of associated risk with the objective of learning and adapting new business solutions targeted towards WYEs
Depending on the activities proposed by applicants and the needs identified by the value chain teams, the Innovation Fund will take the form of grants, vouchers through Financial Institutions in the form of guarantees, partial advances, or the direct procurement of equipment or materials.
Who Can Apply?
The nature of IF is to support products or services that benefit JVL’s clients in Jordan valley and their businesses, thus any entity that can support JVL’s clients to develop and improve their businesses can apply to this fund. Entities include:
- Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)
- Lead firms and market actors that can develop and improve products or link JVL clients to end markets
- Financial institutions that provide financial products and services to micro and small enterprises including banks and microfinance institutions
- Business development service providers
One or more of the following results are expected from Innovation Fund recipients with respect to JVL's clients:
- Enhancement of production efficiency, effectiveness, quality improvements, process and operation of WYEs
- Development of new products/services to WYEs
- Increase access to markets and create market linkages to WYEs
- New linkages within the supply and value chains, including new suppliers, customers, service providers and other inputs and outputs
Eligibility Criteria and Targeted Sectors
- SMEs, BDS providers, LFs and FIs that will develop and/or pilot new and innovative goods and services for WYEs
- Legally registered in Jordan with necessary licenses and permission to conduct business
- “Good standing” legal and financial position with Jordanian government (including tax authorities)
- Minimum 3 years of experience in sector (eligible sectors described below)
- Provide required documents including most recent two years of audited financial statements (balance sheet, income statements)
The priority sectors for JVL project are:
- Food processing
- Community based tourism
- Clean technology (energy, water and waste)
Other sectors that benefit the above sectors can be accepted after consulting with JVL team.
The JVL project focuses on Jordan valley areas that are located in Irbid, Balqa, Madaba, Karak and Tafila, in addition to areas around RSCN protected areas: Yarmouk, Ajloun, Dibeen, Mujib, and Dana. Any activity that benefits the population in the above mentioned areas will be accepted under the Innovation Fund.
Fund Amount and Period of Performance
The maximum fund amount of CAD 250,000 (up to JOD 135,000) may be requested.
The applicant must contribute at least 30% cost share towards the total project cost, which are expenses contributed by the applicant directly attributable to the grant activities. Amounts charged must be reasonable, allocable, and be supported by actual costs incurred by the SME (i.e. no ‘market value rates’ or profit amounts).”
The implementation period should not exceed 18 months.
Cost share and Ineligible costs
Cost Share: Each applicant will be required to show a cost share of the total budget. This cost share can be in the form of a cash contribution or in-kind contribution and may include such elements as proportionate shares of management and other employee time, equipment, office supplies, and other costs of program operations. Rates for employee services shall be consistent with those paid for similar work in the recipient’s organization. The value of equipment (e.g. computers) shall not exceed the fair market value of equipment and supplies shall be documented in the application. Organizational overhead is not an allowable cost share element.
Costs that are considered as ineligible under the Project include, but are not limited to the following:
- Entertainment expenses;
- Costs incurred before the effective date of the Agreement;
- Travel insurance (health, cancellation, baggage, etc.), except as previously approved by MEDA;
- Carrying charges;
- Membership fees;
- Immunizations or medications, unless allowed under the Technical Assistance Handbook;
- Interest expenses;
- Costs related to non-authorized accompanying family members.
- Costs related to building, construction, and any other physical infrastructure costs; and
- Costs related to procurement of any equipment or supplies for producers and/or processors not preapproved by MEDA, including but not limited to land, seeds, processing machinery.
Innovation Fund Application Process
The application process for applicants is described in the following stages:
Stage 1: Consulting Phase
When JVL staff or local implementing partners capture a potential idea/intervention with potential SME, BDS or LF, they start the consultation process to figure out if the idea/intervention is in line with JVL project objective. This includes checking if the entity applying is capable to implement the intervention.
In this phase, the JVL team will conduct a preliminary evaluation to ensure that the applicant is eligible for the IF, and verification of the applicant and the proposed activities according to the eligibility criteria described above.
Stage 2: Concept Note
After pre-approval from the JVL team, the applicant should submit a concept note (Annex 1) highlighting the objectives, main activities, total amount needed for the implementation, targeted sector, areas and number of beneficiaries.
Along with the concept note, the applicant should submit:
- Registration and license certificates showing that the business has been operating for at least 3 years
- Certificate of “Good standing” legal and financial position (i.e. tax clearance)
- Minimum 3 years of experience in the targeted sector
- Other required documents including most recent two years of audited financial statements (balance sheet, income statements)
Concept note evaluation criteria
- Management Capacity: The proposed applicant has required business and management experience
- Business Performance: The applicant has demonstrated operational success or vision
- Market Viability: The applicant provides a detailed description of the context and problem and a rational market solution
- Implementation & Supply Chain Development: The applicant has a systematic view of how the business impacts the sector value chain
- Gender: The applicant will improve women and youth small producers’ access to markets or upgrade the services delivered to women and youth small producers.
Stage 3: Proposal Development
Upon approval of the concept note, the applicant should submit a full proposal and detailed budget (Annex 2A and 2B). The proposal should have details about the intervention, objectives, activities, timeline and detailed budget. The proposal phase involves in-depth consultation with the JVL team to ensure that the proposal reflects JVL’s intended approach and is in line with JVL objectives and outcomes. Evaluation of the proposal will depend on the following criteria:
- Relevance to JVL sectors and geographical focus
- Business Idea (Innovation, Sustainability and value added)
- Impact of the action on women and youth
- Environment sustainability
- Cost Evaluation - The budget will be evaluated for general reasonableness, and cost‐effectiveness. The applicant’s cost application will be evaluated to ensure it is a realistic financial expression of the proposed project and does not contain estimated costs which may be unreasonable or unallowable. Cost negotiation will only be conducted with applicants if deemed necessary.
Stage 4: Due Diligence
After reviewing and initial acceptance of the proposal, JVL will notify the applicant and begin the due diligence process. Due diligence is part of the pre-award process; and the results must confirm that a potential recipient can successfully comply with the financial, managerial and programmatic requirements of the IF. The due diligence process will require a significant investment of time from the IF recipient to provide this information.
Stage 5: Contract
After successful due diligence, JVL will prepare and share a draft contract with the IF recipient. Once both parties agree to the terms and conditions, the contract is signed and executed.
Monitoring & Evaluation
Successful applicants will be required to report on specific indicators that align to JVL objectives as this is an essential part of reporting. JVL will provide reporting templates and instructions, and the project will provide support to the IF recipient in completing these reports, including directly collecting the information from the recipient if needed.
Branding and Communication Requirements
All activities and products shall adhere to JVL and MEDA branding requirements.
Additional Requirements: Cross Cutting Issues
The applicant(s) should align with the project’s gender equality and environmental policies as follows:
Promoting Gender Equality
In line with Global Affairs Canada’s objectives regarding gender equality, an in-depth review of all concept notes and proposals will be conducted by the project’s evaluation committee to assess the intended benefits to women in overcoming gender inequalities at the household and market levels. Each proposal should include a description of how proposed activities will help the applicant to better deliver value to women and men, either as employees, suppliers, or customers. Of particular interest to the project are proposals aimed at reducing gender-specific constraints, including innovative ideas: to reduce the time and labor required of women; to encourage men sharing in house chores; and to provide creative solutions for women mobility.
MEDA has a strong organizational commitment to protect the environment while fostering economic development in all its programming. To this end, MEDA will screen for environmental issues and conduct an in-depth review for compliance with the organization’s as well as its donor’s environmental policies and local regulations. Proposals aiming to promote the protection of the environment, conservation practices, and climate smart technologies, are highly encouraged and supported by this program. Following the procedures mentioned in the Project's Environmental Management Plan, and in collaboration with applicants, JVL staff will conduct an environmental review/analysis to screen shortlisted grant proposals/applications. This screening will identify grant activities' potential environmental impact, develop mitigation measures as necessary, and specify environmental monitoring and reporting requirements. As per the environmental analysis findings, the Project will build the capacities of partners to ensure they understand and implement appropriate mitigation measures and monitoring. Mitigation measures, monitoring and reporting requirements will be added to the award contract.