tourism sector recovery Window

NOW CLOSED

With grants up to USD 800,000 (with a minimum of 30% contribution from successful businesses) will solicit business ideas from financial institutions (banks and MFIs), digital finance operators and non-bank financial institutions operating within Malawi that can:

  • Strengthen and support cashflow and operationalfinancing needs of growth orientated SMEs
  • Support the rise of digital financial transactions for stable and growing SMEs.

Will provide matching grants up to USD 300,000 (with a minimum of 30% contribution from successful businesses), to solicit business ideas from firms in the Tourism Sector (including hotel and accommodation providers, tour operators, and eco-tourism providers) aiming to implementing projects within Malawi that can:

  • Re-orientate exiting product offers to a new market segment; introduce digital technologies to create new value-added user experiences or integrate specialist SME suppliers into the product offer.
  • Improve the quality and range of the product offer, particularly focusing on skills development to support better guest experiences
  • Improve integration of their offer with local communities and businesses to strengthen and deepen supply chains that integrate into the new service offerings and/or support sustainable use of natural resources, long-term conservation, benefit sharing with host communities, measures to protect/promote biodiversity.
Bid Intention Deadline: Tuesday 14th October, 2020

Application process

Applying

It is easy to apply. If you think that you have a good idea that responds to the challenges that are currently open to receive applications, please submit a short concept note application form to us. The concept note forms can be downloaded from our website or alternatively they are available upon request from the MICF offices in either Lilongwe or Blantyre.

What We Need To Know

The concept note form is a very brief form (not more than 6 pages long) which aims to understand basic information about:
  1. Your Company
  2. What your business idea is
  3. What you think is innovative about it;
  4. Why you have come to MICF to finance the project rather than using other commercial sources; and
  5. How in your opinion the business idea will impact on the poor in terms of either jobs created or improving the incomes of the poor.

What Happens After Submitting

Once the deadline for concept note applications closes, the concept notes will be assessed by the MICF investment panel. This investment panel is made up of independent and extremely successful individuals constituted from outside the public sector. Each member has been carefully vetted and expected to adhere to a Code of Conduct, and will perform their role with the highest degree of probity and discretion.

Second Stage

If your company is successful during this initial assessment you will be invited by MICF to the second stage, to develop and submit a full proposal. This will be a much more detailed document stating:
  1. activities and timelines with respect to what you propose to do;
  2. how this new business idea fits into your existing business / business model and how it will be commercially viable;
  3. how it will impact on the poor and on exports;
  4. what other partners if any will participate with your firm and the roles each will play;
  5. how progress towards implementation will be monitored; and
  6. a detailed financing plan to understand how costs will be shared between your consortium and MICF.

Successful Applicants

The MICF team will invite successful applicants to a full-day workshop, to be held in both Blantyre and Lilongwe, to brief your firm on how to submit your proposal, and answer any points of clarification that you may have. At the workshop your firm will also be provided with a proposal form, detailed guidelines for completing it, and deadlines for completing the form.

Company Visits

As part of the process to support the Investment Panel in their selection of grantees, the MICF Team will visit each company to carry out basic due diligence assessments. The proposals and MICF due diligence reports will be presented to the investment panel for their final selection.

Logic Model and Framework

The MICF team will work with your firm and / or consortia to develop a project logic model and a framework for monitoring the results of your project. The logic model provides a theoretical basis of how your proposed interventions are supposed to work – what they are expected to do and what they are expected to accomplish. Based on this a framework for monitoring the performance for your individual project will be developed and agreed with your company.

Identify Milestones

The MICF team will work with your firm to define milestone-based payments. Once the monitoring framework has been agreed with your firm, it will then be used to identify ‘milestones’ which will also be agreed with you, along with the means of verifying the attainment of each milestone. These milestones will serve as payment triggers for the release of MICF grant funding. The MICF will pay out a proportion of the total grant based on achieving each identified milestone.

Activities vs. Budget

Your company and the MICF team will subsequently work together to assign specific activities with projected budget expenditures (relating to what your company and the MICF provide).
Inform us whether you will submit.

Launch

28th September 2020

Bid intention deadline:

14th October 2020
Full Proposals

Deadline for submission:

November 13th, 2020
MICF investment Panel
Contract with MICF

Estimated deadline:

December 15th, 2020

eligibility criteria

Firms (including hotel and accommodation providers, tour operators, and eco-tourism providers) wishing to apply to the Tourism Sector Recovery Window of the Malawi Innovation Challenge Fund (MICF) will need to meet the following criteria:
Bids must be led by private sector firms including: a private for-profit company, joint ventures, partnership, cooperative, sole trader, etc. Only in exceptional cases will MICF consider new businesses (start-ups), where there is strong evidence that the new company has credible and experienced investors and management team. Applicants must meet all of the following criteria for your application to be considered:
  • The lead organisation must be a private for-profit company.
  • The business idea must be implemented in Malawi; either by private sector organisations registered in Malawi or externally registered businesses investing in Malawi.
  • The applicant company may collaborate with other organizations, including other companies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs and INGOs), government-related agencies, and other non-profit organizations. However, it is a condition that the lead applicant and implementer of the business idea must always be a commercial company/business.
  • All applicants must demonstrate their capacity to implement their proposed project, and will need to demonstrate sound financial performance and clear corporate governance.
  • All applicants must provide audited accounts for the last two financial years for the business and a tax clearance certificate provided by the Malawi Revenue Authority. This needs to be submitted with a letter of intention to bid
  • The business must have achieved through its audited accounts a minimum turnover of US$200,000.
  • The total grant funds requested must be between US$200,000 and US$300,000.
  • Projects applying to the MICF Tourism Recovery Window are expected to:
    • re-orientate exiting product offers to a new market segment such as domestic and / or regional tourist markets rather than international markets. This could also be combined with the use digital technologies to create new value-added user experiences or integrate specialist SME suppliers into the product offer or
    • improve the quality and range of the product offer, particularly focusing on skills development to support better guest experiences or
    • improve integration of their offer with local communities and businesses to strengthen and deepen supply chains that integrate into the new service offerings and / or support sustainable use of natural resources, long-term conservation, and measures to protect/promote biodiversity that also benefit host communities.
  • All business projects must be inclusive in nature. They will need to demonstrate their ability to deliver significant benefits in terms of improved incomes or job creation / retention to supporting businesses and communities, rather than solely benefitting the participating companies / organisations of a particular project.
  • The business project must demonstrate a clear approach to continuing services and preserving the businesses supply chain including employment during and post COVID-19 as well as quantify the socio-economic impact the support will have on the company’s employees and communities they work in.
  • The funding request must be for a specific, new business idea. The MICF views innovation in its broadest sense including: i) a new approach, product, idea or service that has not been tested anywhere; ii) an approach, product, idea or service that is new to Malawi; or iii) an approach, product, idea or service that has not been applied to the sector in question in Malawi.
  • The project promoters including the lead company, collaborating organisations and third parties such as co-investors or banks and other lenders must provide funds of at least 30% of the total cost of the business idea. Contributions can be made through a combination of in-kind and cash contributions and will be taken on a case by case basis dependent on the logic of the individual project proposed.
  • The project must demonstrate that the activities that will be funded by the MICF will be additional to the company’s existing activities and that the project would not go ahead without MICF funding. The MICF could also consider projects that if they would have gone ahead, it would be at a much-reduced pace or scale in the absence of the MICF support.