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The Small & Medium Enterprises Activity (SMEA) project requires applications from interested candidates for thebelow-mentioned long-term position of Competitiveness Enhancement Specialist for the ICT sector. The position is based in Islamabad and likely to continue till project completion in the latter half of 2021.

Position Title: Specialist - Competitiveness Enhancement: The Specialist will assist individual and group of SMEs and startups in the ICT sector to identify, design and develop interventions to address key business hampering challenges within the sector. In addition to this, the Specialist will also lead the Logistics sector with a specific focus on tech enabled logistics companies. The CE Specialist will act as a process manager to identify the possible set of bottlenecks, opportunities and capacities that exists at the demand (SME/startup) and supply (service providers) sides, and how the project can assist the identified issues by providing impact driven support in the areas of strategy development, capacity building, business development services integration, marketing and business development to support SMEs.

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:

  • Design and develop the assigned sectors development focus including sub-sectors along with the , implementation work plan and budget. The work plan, budget and strategy should reflect the overall impact of anticipated activities n terms of increasing sales, jobs and exports
  • Design and develop sector and sub-sector operational and financial analysis to assess the return on investment (ROI) and to analyze the opportunity cost of sector based investments.
  • Carry out outreach to SMEs and startups in the ICT and Logistics sectors to identify, evaluate and induct enterprises into the program.
  • Conduct ongoing Business Development Services gap analysis through consultations to identify the set of BD services which can help the sector grow. Also develop the cost-value and return on investment (ROI) analysis to calculate financial impact of investment. All of the projects interventions are meant to result in increase in sales, jobs and exports for target SMEs.
  • Wherever BDS providers (BDSPs) are already inducted, the person will connect SMEs with these providers for matchmaking and where SMEA does not have BDS providers for the demanded services, the specialist will identify and induct BDSPs into the program
  • Develop, coordinate and record day-to-day field work activities e.g. marketing and promotional activities, liaison with sector stakeholders, individual meetings, presentation, and potential areas of working within the sector to achieve assigned targets.
  • The specialist will be responsible for raising awareness, knowledge and compatibility of potential SME clients and BD service providers to strengthen the outreach and to achieve the project targets.
  • Improve access of BD services into assigned sector(s) through advising, assisting and promoting SMEs and work closely with BDSPs to address the required services within a sector.
  • Assist the Women Led Business Specialist to design and develop a separate outreach and induction methodology for women owned businesses and support them through matchmaking with relevant BDSP(s).
  • Establish strong relationships and work closely with the network partners e.g. academia, incubators, accelerators, NICs, associations, business chambers and clubs, community clubs and government to strengthen the business development and programmatic activities within the sector.
  • Design and manage the contractual relationship between BDSPs and SMEs which is compliant with the projects policies.
  • The specialist is responsible to achieve monthly, quarterly and annual targets of under the below given categories to achieve and accomplish project’s goals and objectives;
    • No. of SME support cases
    • Enrollment/ registration of BDSPs
    • Project management of approved cases for timely completion
    • Drafting and finalizing biweekly, quarters and annual reports along with any other reporting requirements
    • Project marketing event(s)
    • Training events/seminars/workshops
    • MoUs, Strategic alliances, collaborations with stakeholders.
  • Support cross cutting project activities related to competitive enhancement, challenge fund and business enabling environment work plans.
  • Develop exit strategy for the assigned sector and identify the appropriate stakeholders to hand over the project technical assets, publications, success stories and database after project closure.
  • Develop Scope of Work (SOW), Request for Proposal (RFQ), and Request for Proposal (RFP) and Technical Purchase Action Request (TPAR) for specific work plan activities.
  • Ensure close inter-component and inter-office communication, coordination and cooperation with other project components and sub-components.
  • Ensure that the technical work of all local and expatriate consultants fielded under the component and ensure that all end-of-assignment deliverables and other consultant and subcontractor performance results are a) consistent with and compliant with the consultant’s scope of work, b) are of high technical quality and good overall readability, and c) are acceptable to USAID and other component counterparts and beneficiaries
  • Ensure the ethical and professional transparency during assisting the BDSPs and SMEs to promote and assure fair and clean competition and selection.
  • Any other special assignments/ tasks assigned by the COP/CE component lead or his designee.

 Candidate Profile.The ideal candidate for the position will have the following:

  • 16 years of formal education (Masters/ 4yrs’ Bachelors), specializing in business, Information Technology, economics or a related field.
  • At least 7 years’ experience of working with enterprises from the ICT sector, required.
  • Related experience with USAID or other donor funded economic growth projects will be preferred.
  • Experience of working directly with Small and Medium enterprises in the ICT sector is necessary with an understanding of their challenges and the sector ecosystem.
  • Knowledge of the types of business development services available in the market, especially those relevant to SME growth, is seen as a strong advantage.
  • Experience of working with Women Led Businesses is seen as an added advantage.
  • Must have excellent written and oral communication skills, since reporting and report writing is an essential part of the job.

The ideal candidate for this position is not someone who is an IT Specialist working within an organization to manage the IT infrastructure and networking. Those are seen as an internal functional skill and not a private sector development role.

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