Short-Term Consultancy: Develop an Inclusive Business Plan with a growth-stage food processing company

  • Consultancy
  • Zambia
  • June 29, 2022

TechnoServe Zambia

Role: Develop an Inclusive Business Plan with a growth-stage food processing company

Potential Value Chains: soy, common beans, maize

Location: Zambia

Duration: ~3 months, July – September, 2022

Language: English

I. Background

TechnoServe is a leader in harnessing the power of the private sector to help people improve their livelihoods. A nonprofit founded in 1968 and operating in 26 countries, we work with enterprising women and men in the  developing world to build competitive farms, businesses, and industries. By linking people to information, capital,  and markets, we have helped millions to create lasting prosperity for their families and communities.

For 12 years, TechnoServe has worked extensively with food processors and other agricultural  intermediaries in Sub-Saharan Africa to grow their businesses by deploying commercially-viable, inclusive business models that create markets for smallholder farmers (SHFs) and jobs for workers,  while supplying safe and nutritious food for consumers.  These firms are the linchpin of food systems, and their  growth, particularly those that are farmer-allied (strategically investing in smallholder productivity and livelihoods) is critical to unlocking the potential of Africa’s agricultural sector and building inclusive, resilient food  systems.  Since 2010, TechnoServe has provided customized technical assistance to over 400 processors, strengthened markets for over 1 million SHFs, helped create over 1,200 processor jobs, and contributed to 7.2 million MT of  new/improved nutritious foods sold across 10 countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

In our work with agribusinesses, we have developed Inclusive Business Plans (IBPs) with over 20 processors that source from SHFs.  An IBP is a roadmap for an agribusiness to deepen & broaden its supply chain to deliver both commercial & social value to the company and to SHFs.  It diagnoses a processor’s smallholder sourcing constraints and identifies inclusive, commercially-viable solutions, with particular attention toward positively impacting women in supply chains. TechnoServe has successfully developed IBPs with 20 larger agribusinesses, and more recently began applying the tool with smaller, growth-stage processors.

II. Project Purpose

TechnoServe is collaborating with Partners in Food Solutions (PFS) to develop proof-of-concept for food processing as an effective entry point for inclusive markets and trade. The objective of this initiative is to test the potential of PFS’s new program model to catalyze job creation, enhance nutrition, and boost farmers’ income. The model evolved from transferring food processing know-how from world-class food processors to African growing SMEs engaged in value addition, to adding new services such as: (1) gap financing through partner venture capitalists, impact investors and blending finance vehicles; (2) certification; (3) food testing lab development; and (4) apprenticeships for young food scientists.

The long-term vision is to have a system that provides local and regional markets with safer, nutritious, and affordable food, greater investment in African food companies, more stable markets for farmers, and more reliable work for more employees. As a way to understand the interactions between food processors and the farmers who supply them with raw materials, and to identify challenges that might inhibit these interactions, the consultant will develop an IBP with a food processing company.

III. Consultant Role

The Consultant will develop an Inclusive Business Plan (IBP) with a growth-stage food processing company in Zambia.  Not only will this work be valuable to the processor, but it will also generate learnings that will help us refine a replicable, scalable model for inclusive growth of small- and mid-size agricultural intermediaries.

The objectives of the IBP are to:

1. Diagnose the food processor’s smallholder sourcing constraints.

2. Identify opportunities to deepen and/or expand the processor’s linkages with SHFs to benefit both the company and SHFs; specifically assess opportunities to deepen/expand linkages with women SHFs.

3. Define a roadmap for implementing these opportunities, including the financial investment and technical assistance required.

4. Work with the client and TechnoServe staff to implement immediate recommendations, as time allows.  The consultant is not expected to implement the full IBP.

Specifically, the Consultant will:

  • ●      Work with the food processor to review and refine their existing business plan materials.
  • Map the processor’s current raw material sourcing model and analyze recent historical financials to understand key drivers of commercial performance.
  • In collaboration with the processor and TechnoServe staff, identify opportunities for adjusting what, where, and how they source raw materials to improve both commercial performance and smallholder impact, with emphasis on women SHFs.
  • Build a financial model that quantifies the commercial impact of potential sourcing models for the processor, and the associated impact on SHFs in its supply chain.
  • Work with TechnoServe staff to implement immediate recommendations, as time allows.
  • Identify requirements for further investment and technical assistance to achieve commercial and inclusive impact objectives.
  • Summarize the overall business plan in a comprehensive document (the IBP).

IV. Deliverables

Formal deliverables:

  • Interim milestone deliverables, ie. raw material sourcing map, diagnostic report after month 1
  • Comprehensive IBP in the form of a PowerPoint deck, submitted to TechnoServe by September 19, 2022

The IBP document should include:

  • Baseline map of the processor’s raw materials sourcing
  • Based on field research, recommendations for deepening/expanding processor’s linkages with SHFs, with emphasis on women SHFs
  • Action plan for mobilizing immediate/short-term recommendations
  • Longer-term plan for increasing smallholder inclusion as the business grows
  • Financial model quantifying the commercial impact of potential sourcing models for the business, and the associated impact on SHFs in its supply chain.
  • Requirements for further investment or technical assistance to achieve these commercial and inclusive impact objectives.

Additionally, through a collaborative approach, the Consultant, TechnoServe team, and processor will have informal touch points to discuss the analysis, recommendations, and implementation of immediate recommendations.

V. Duration

~3 months: July – September, 2022

  • July – August: ~100% LOE
  • September: ~50% LOE

VI. Skills & Requirements

  • Based in Zambia
  • Robust experience in 1 or more of these value chains: soy, common beans, maize
  • Significant experience in business operations; able to identify opportunities for marginal gains
  • Significant experience working with smallholder farmers; strong understanding of smallholder farmer cultivation and the opportunities/risks for processing companies of working with them
  • Proven analytical and quantitative skills
  • Strong project management skills
  • Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint
  • Excellent written, verbal, and interpersonal communication
  • Ability to work independently and responsively

Applicants can apply by following this link.

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