REQUEST FOR APPLICATIONS: PRIVATE INITIATIVES FOR WOMEN ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT IN TECH
|RFP Number:||UN Women-2020- 16/12|
|Deadline for Offers:||27.11.2020|
|Description:||Support private initiatives to engage Women freelancers and entrepreneurs based on a public call, in partnership with the Tekwill project|
|For:||“EMPOWERING WOMEN IN TECH” financed by UN Women and Sweden, in partnership with TEKWILL Project, financed by USAID and Sweden|
|Issued By:||National Association of ICT Companies (ATIC)|
|Point of Contact:||firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com|
1 About EMPOWERMENT OF WOMEN IN TECH
THE MOLDOVAN ASSOCIATION OF ICT COMPANIES (“ATIC”) is the business Organization uniting 64 companies. Umbrella Organization gathering over 5000 employees. Being established in 2006, ATIC is the action leading association and the voice of the Moldovan ICT industry that promotes the development of the ICT sector in the Republic of Moldova through viable partnerships between companies, similar organizations, government, state institutions and international organizations. The association was founded to represent the industry on different policy and legislative issues and to facilitate the exchange of best-practices between members. ATIC’s mission is to protect and promote the Association members’ interests as well as facilitate a more favorable ICT business climate.
Starting 2014 ATIC has actively involved in the promotion with women in tech, launching the annual “Women in ICT” event and supporting a series of initiatives like Technovation Challenge, Rails Girls, Girls Go IT. ATIC is committed to encourage young women and girls to consider and to pursue careers in IT, change the perception over the role of women in the ICT sector and strengthen the local community of female IT Professionals through experience and knowledge sharing, communication and interaction.
About Project “ Empowering Women in Tech”:
Empowering Women in Tech is a project implemented by ATIC with UN Women and Sweden Support since 2018.
As a key problem statement, ATIC will focus to empower more girls to:
- Choose TECH and pursue STEM classes
- Receive quality education to define their future career
- Be part of a powerful Tech Women initiative together with other women who believe they can DO IT.
Through this project extension, we intend to keep the project objective to mainstream a gender perspective and promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women through information and communication technologies. Also, ATIC seeks to build awareness that information and communication technologies (ICTs) are tools that enable gender equality and women’s empowerment and are integral of the building societies, in which both women and men can substantially contribute and participate.
About Tekwill Project:
The ICTEC Project started as a USAID program implemented by the National Association of ICT Companies (ATIC). In 2016, the Government of Sweden joined the program and expanded the operations and content programs of Tekwill. The project is implemented as a private-public partnership (though Global Development Alliances instrument (GDA)), between the Moldovan Government, private industry, academia and donors. The private partners include multinational companies, IBM and Microsoft, and also Moldovan Association of Private ICT Companies (ATIC) members that are local (operated) ICT companies. The private partners bring significant new resources, ideas, software, technologies and development activities, such as trainings, practical assignments, and mentorship. The private sector partners will have the chance to use the center to communicate with the university, SMEs, startups, professionals and contribute to the curricula improvement answering the market needs, as well as the improvement of the IT and entrepreneurship ecosystem that will lead to the economic growth of the country. The Government of Moldova supports this project at the highest level of the Prime Minister, and the partners include Ministry of ICT, Ministry of Education, and E-Government Center.
1.1 Private Initiatives for Women Economic Empowerment in Tech
The overarching goal of the Call is to support women driven private initiatives to further engage women freelancers and entrepreneurs based on a public call in Partnership with “Empowering Women in Tech” Project, supported by Sweden and UN Women. ATIC seeks support 2-4 initiatives that are focused on capacity building of women driven initiatives aiming to build awareness that information and communication technologies (ICT) are the tools that enable gender equality and women’s empowerment and are integral of building societies, in which both women and men can substantially contribute and participate.
As part of the extension phase during November-December, ATIC aims at supporting 2-4 initiatives promoting technologies, using technologies, being created, and implemented by women for empowering women.
Main objectives for the request:
- Engage women, who are freelancers or entrepreneurs, for developing and implementing initiatives, products, services, or solutions aligned to the goal of the action, with measurable and positive impact on the women inclusion in IT sector. The activity is focused on new solutions underpinned by private initiatives to engage women freelancers and entrepreneurs.
- Measure and make visible the impact of the new or existing initiatives, products, services and solutions, to support private sector engagement for sustainable development and attract more women in IT, support the women entrepreneurship, the women in IT sector growth, the promotion of tech jobs for women, other that may reach the provided goal.
- Other options may be taken into consideration with a clear definition and presentation of further women focus driven engagement at the convergence of IT technologies
1.2 Types of innovation projects supported
The preferred projects applying to the call are innovative initiatives aligned to the objectives stated above. The initiative should meet the following criteria:
- Experience sharing initiatives including IT or IT technologies as a solution
- Innovative or existing on the market solutions with the possibility to be improved;
- Sustainable within a period of time on the same market/country, or exportable;
- Feasible (i.e. the solution does not require changes in the current legislation and could be anchored within the existing legal framework in certain period), there is evidence that prototype is technologically and economically feasible;
- Collaborative, the activities should be tailored to other sectors (i.e. ICT and education, IT and non-IT sectors, support of entrepreneurship development, other);
- With measurable impact on the Women in Tech Industry/Women entrepreneurship;
- Women driven and aiming at empowering women through technology
Examples of possible eligible applications and constraints that women could eventually focus on:
- talent management and retention of skilled labor force;
- access to finance for prototyping of new products and services that require collaborative innovation;
- export promotion through innovative approaches;
- Other development, promotion actions related to the initiative.
The supported projects are in phase of innovation development and are based on a comprehensive business plan, addressing the identified specific challenges, and demonstrating high potential in terms of access to market and company/industry competitiveness and growth. The projects should already have previously developed innovative concept or prototype which demonstrates a clear technological and economic viability.
The innovative concept should represent considerable novelty to the national or global market (e.g. new products, processes, services or market application). In innovation development projects, the examples of financing activities may include prototyping, upscaling, design, performance verification, testing, demonstration, development of pilot lines, validation for market replication, IP protection and other activities aimed at bringing innovation idea (product, process, service, etc.) to investment readiness and market introduction.
1.3 Amount of awards
The awards’ fund will cover up to 240,000 MDL (co-funded by UN Women under “Empowering Women in Tech” Project and USAID and Sweden under the Tekwill Project) or maximum eighty percent (20 %) of the total project cost. Such contribution will be equally divided between the initiatives of the applicants or depending on the specific requirements of the collaborative project. The action may decide to finance higher amounts in case of insufficient applications and high impact of the initiative proposed.
Co-financing of at least twenty percent (20 %) of the total project budget is to be secured by the APPLICANT from their own investments or from other sources, in cash or in-kind with respective proof of resources spent or provided. Acceptable co-financing includes women/companies own investment, private investors, loan financing or other private sector cash contributions and public financing or co-financing. The total amount of Awards cannot be increased during the Project.
1.4 Duration of the project
The project and the project budget must be designed so to be completed within 6 (six) months. However, the project may be extended for a maximum of additional six (6) months, under exceptional circumstances, at the discretion of the Project team.
1.5 Eligible applicants
Eligible applicants to the request are:
- women, citizens of Moldova, aged 18 or over
- proposed initiative must have an innovative tech-related idea, early stage, the sustainability of the application must be demonstrated
- established companies with min 51% women founders and women driven
- The ability to provide the human resources (mentors, coaches, and program developers) with the programs to be implemented
The Applicants and individual owners have not been convicted for crimes connected to economic activities.
2 Application process
2.1 Description of the application process
The selection process is designed according to the principles of merit, transparency, equality, and rational use of funds. The innovation projects are selected against the clear eligibility and selection criteria, of which latter are assessed by the experienced and independent evaluators. The applications which fulfill all eligibility criteria, and which satisfy the selection criteria at most will be proposed for financing. They are in final phase assessed and ranked by the Independent Evaluation Committee and, subject to the availability of funds. The best ranked applications that can fulfill legal requirements are offered to sign Award Agreement.
2.2 Instructions to the application process
APPLICANT apply through the published open call: Concept Note, Project Action Plan, Budget.
While preparing the Application following rules apply:
- There is only one Application per APPLICANT allowed;
- Re-submission of modified and improved Applications is not allowed;
- Deadlines for application is to be strictly respected;
- In evaluation process, only complete Applications will be accepted.
2.3 Project Application Documentation
2.3.1 Concept Note
In the application stage, the APPLICANT should submit a filled out defined form of Concept Note (attached, Annex A), where the concept of the innovation project is shortly and concisely described, Project plan, Financial plan and the Curriculum Vitae, where the company/entrepreneur/freelancer and the development team shortly presented. The Full Application has to be submitted sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com until the stated deadline. There is no standard form for the budget or CVs; companies/entrepreneurs/freelancers present an overview of the planned funds.
The Project plan should contain the detailed elaboration of the concept, analysis of the market, impact analysis of the action versus the objectives of the call, sustainability of the action, if any, envisaged development activities including staff engagement, necessary material means and needed advisory services and trainings. The Projects should be tackling cross-cutting constraints for innovation, human capital development, entrepreneurship encouragement, community support and proposing specific collaborative technical and conceptual innovative solutions to such constraint that would ultimately work towards increasing the use of ICT, attracting more specialists to ICT, other.
Also, the Project budget must be submitted predicting all project expenses during implementation phase of 6 months, including both the award contribution, as well as the Applicant’s matching funds.
The Project Plan in Full Application should encompass the following:
- Clear evidence of so far achieved initial results or insights to be considered as collaborative innovative foundation for the Project;
- Justification of actions versus the objectives of the call;
- Justification that there is an existing market for the proposed collaborative innovation and that the strategy for expanding the existing concepts is feasible;
- Realistic plan of the Project activities so they can be implemented, considering technological, financial, time and market constraints, possibilities and opportunities;
- Assurance that the project includes all activities necessary to achieve program objectives. Evidence that the team has relevant experience in the industry sector and necessary knowledge and skills to implement the planned activities for the development of the new product/process/service and successful preparation for commercialization;
Together with the Concept note, Project Plan, Financial plan, with detailed and reasonable project expenses estimates that are intended exclusively for project purposes, and CV’s of the members of the team should be submitted via online platform.
Applicants shall submit their application to participate and propose concepts until December 27, 2020 via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org cc email@example.com.
Applicants are responsible for ensuring that their expression of interests are received in accordance with the instructions stated herein. Late applications may be considered at the discretion of ATIC.
Questions regarding the technical or administrative requirements of this Call for Expression of interest may be submitted no later than December 22, 2020, 18:00 local Chisinau time by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions must be submitted in writing; phone calls will not be accepted. Questions and requests for clarification—and the responses thereto—that ATIC believes may be of interest to other Applicants will be circulated to all pre-application recipients who have indicated an interest in the current call.
Only the written answers issued by ATIC will be considered official and carry weight in the Pre-application process and subsequent evaluation. Any verbal information received from employees of ATIC or any other entity should not be considered as an official response to any questions regarding this pre-application round.
2.3.2 Corporate and other documentation
In case of corporate application the documentation includes obligatory and non-obligatory items:
- Business Registration Certificate issued by an Authority;
- Certificate of tax debts issued by an Authority;
- Proof of matching funds: company cash contribution (e.g. cash acquired through current business operations), investment contract (e.g. capital contributions), credit agreements with the banks or financial institutions, cash expected from the ongoing and future business operations and similar sources;
- Bank statement from the dedicated bank account number;
- All agreements with third parties directly related to the project (e.g. subcontracts, prior to signing of the Award Agreement, if applicable).
2.4 Eligible and non-eligible expenses
On a competitive basis, the award should be used by the Applicant for expanding its existing and developing new activities, elaboration of new solutions to serve the final goal of raising the development activities in the following group of expenses, regardless of the weight:
- Gross salaries of development staff;
- Equipment and supplies;
- Technology, design, business, development and other consultancy services like quality certifications, copyright and patent application and fees;
- Costs of tailored training of the staff;
- Other costs, including logistics, catering, travelling connected to implementation of the innovation project (specifically for regional or, for example, community initiatives);
- Any other costs meant to reach the impact of the actions/activities regarding third parties.
The expenses shown above should be predicted to reflect the Project goals and should be clearly justified, in accordance with Project objectives. Only expenditures accrued during the project, in accordance with the Project Budget and completed by the end of the project, are eligible for financing. All agreements with subcontractors or third parties must be submitted with the Application and must contain provision that the Applicant retains ownership of all new intellectual property and know-how that may be created during the implementation of the project.
Expenses that will not be considered for financing by the Private Sector Engagement call include but are not limited to:
– Interest or debt owed to any third party;
– Expenditures and provisions for possible future losses or debts;
– Items already financed through another similar scheme, program or institution, Financial awards;
– Bank and currency exchange expenses, losses, fees and penalties;
– Purchase or rent of land or buildings, including any renovation;
– Cash payments from the project account;
– Investment into own employees (e.g. internal training, etc.)