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Detailed Scope of Work

USAID Small and Medium Enterprise Activity’s (SMEA) development hypothesis is that SME-led economic growth will result in poverty reduction, job creation, and entrepreneurship development contributing to increased GDP. SMEA will increase incomes and employment in project-assisted economic sectors and improve the enabling environment for private sector led growth in Pakistan. This activity will contribute to achieving USAID/Pakistan’s “Development Objective: “Improving economic status of focus populations.”

 SMEA will achieve the following objectives and sub-objectives:

Objective 1: Improved Business Enabling Environment (BEE)

  • Improved Government of Pakistan (GOP) ability to develop and implement reforms of policies, laws and regulations
  • Strengthened private sector and civil society engagement in policy-making

Objective 2: Improved economic performance of focus enterprises

  • Improved economic performance in select sectors
  • Improved technological readiness and innovation
  • Increased access to markets
  • Increased access to finance
  • Enabled women SMEs run profitable business

Sub-objective 3.2.2B: Improved technological readiness and innovations (PakistanChallenge Fund for Technology and Innovation)

  • Technical assistance to ICT firms to develop and market new technologies to enhance competitiveness in selected sectors
  • Creation and diffusion of innovative, sustainable, and scalable ICT and business solutions to improve the competitiveness of Pakistani SMEs
  • Collaboration between industry and academia addressing supply side constraints in terms of trained labor
  • Commercialization of ICT research
  • Increased technology literacy

SMEA will focus on the following manufacturing, industrial and service sectors:

i)     Information, communication and technology (ICT)

ii)    Light engineering

iii)   Textile (minus spinning)

iv)   Minerals (marble, granite and gems)

v)    Logistics and packaging

vi)   Leather (minus tanning)

vii)   Hospitality

I. Position Title. SME Financial Services Specialist

The SME financial services Specialist will assist individual and group of SMEs in targeted sectors to identify and develop most appropriate, viable and logical working strategies to address access to finance issues with the banks and other possible sources of financing. The specialist will act as a facilitating bridge between financial institutions and SMEs to identify the possible set of concerns, bottlenecks and capacities that exists at demand and supply ends and how the project can assist both sides by providing workable and logical facilitation in terms of strategy development, capacity building, accessibility, promotion and networking of SMEs and financial institutions.

"Experience in working for an SME Bank, either in product development or Credit Risk Analysis Department is a necessary requirement"

II. Objective and specific tasks.

Awareness and knowledge dissemination of access to finance and how it is approachable, manageable and accessible for an SME in the current scenario is a challenging task. The specialist is required to design & develop an interactive, easy and workable mechanism to promote formal favourable lending products among SMEs from different industrial sectors. SMEA will support both demand and supply side to improve the working environment for SMEs to access and engage the financial sector in Pakistan.

The specialist will design and execute a comprehensive research study to identify the key reasons behind bank’s hesitance to lend to SMEs, factors affecting /contributing to this reluctance, perceptions pertaining to high risk activity with high transaction cost and also address the demand side issues which results in low financial usage by the SMEs. He will also identify the reasons behind low level of financial literacy, high transaction costs associated with accessing finance, inappropriate products or eligibility criteria that do not match business needs; and limited capacity to undertake appropriate strategic planning & transparency. Identify the lessons learnt, best working models from the developed and developing world and design a strategy to ensure their adaptation in Pakistan’s SMEs financing mechanism.

The specialist will be responsible for designing and developing a comprehensive working strategy address the all above mentioned issues and challenges pertaining to demand and supply sides of SME financing in Pakistan.

Specific tasks:

As directed by the supervisor for this position, or by the Chief of Party or the Chief of Party‘s designee, the individual holding this position shall perform and support the performance of the following specific tasks:

  • Improve access to finance for underserved areas through advising and assisting financial service providers  to design and implement existing or new financial services and products; e.g. accounting software, SME toolkit, etc.
  • Promote access to finance for women owned businesses through matchmaking of relevant SME financing products into women clusters/ businesses.
  • Develop a comprehensive access to finance working strategy; and identify the most appropriate products for SMEs under targeted industrial sectors.
  • Strengthen the capacity of SMEs to become more bankable in terms of documentation, record keeping and financial management.
  • Provide technical guidance on access to finance and investment promotion related issues and work with stakeholders to identify gaps and advise solutions for finance options that are accessible, appropriate and affordable;
  • Establish strong relationships and work closely with credit and banking institutions to develop financial products and services appropriate to target companies, and with domestic, regional and international investment funds/mechanisms;
  • Collaborate with the financial institutions on access to finance, capacity building initiatives, product and service improvisation to ensure products are designed to facilitate SMEs by improving ability to prepare, access and manage credit/ finance.
  • Create linkage between financial BD service providers and SMEs to up-grade their financial management systems and human resource capacity.
  • Support cross cutting project activities related to Competitiveness Enhancement Fund, Challenge Fund and Business Enabling Environment work plans.
  • Identify, promote, and facilitate feasible SMEs to acquire financial assistance from banks at the local and national level.
  • Identify bankable projects in target sectors that would contribute to job creation and business expansion and work to identify possible financial products/ support suitable for such projects, including public and private sector entities.
  • Develop innovative ways of strengthening strategic linkages with financial institutions e.g. commercial banks, SME and Micro finance banks and among public and private players to develop an information and advocacy network.
  • Work closely with SMEA Communications team to design and develop promotional tools content related to capacity for accessing, how to access and manage finance, financial readiness/requirements for an SME and how to manage a bankable business.
  • Develop and deliver training for SMEs, BDSPs, Network Partners and financial institutions on CRM, financial management, business practices and skills; business plan development or any other mutually agreed field of interest.
  • Work for all relevant actions and activities as may be added to the USAID SMEA Project work plan from time to time.
  • Assist in  implementing the strategic direction, work plan, and resource (technical assistance, training, commodity, and other) allocations necessary for the timely and successful completion of the USAID SMEA Project work plan tasks and the achievement of component goals and objectives;
  • Ensure that the scheduling, budgeting, technical, and documentary attributes of Access to finance component actions and related data are fully up to date in the USAID SMEA Project work plan, including but not limited to updates preferably on a weekly basis.
  • Any other special assignments/ tasks assigned by the COP/CE component lead or his designee.

III. Position Classification: Long-Term Local Professional Staff, located in Islamabad, Pakistan.

IV. Estimated Duration of Assignment: Duration of SMEA contract.

V.  Ultimate Authority and Chain of Command: Ultimate day to day field supervision and authority for all project personnel and all aspects of project activities rests with the Chief of Party or his/her designee, and in the home office, with the project management unit (PMU) Director.  The individual holding this position shall take no managerial or technical direction from any individual who is not formally employed in the chain of command between the individual and the Chief of Party, the Chief of Party’s designee, or the PMU Director.

VI. Reporting Responsibilities: For all routine responsibilities and duties, either directly or indirectly related to this position description, the individual holding this position shall report directly to, and be supervised by, the CE Component Lead, or his/her designee.