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Extended Term Consulting (ETC) Assignment: Task Manager, SME Market Access Program

Location: Washington, DC and will require extensive travel.
Last Date: August 2, 2010

Extended Term Consulting (ETC) Assignment: Task Manager, SME Market Access Program

Background / General Description:

infoDev ( is a research, capacity building and advisory program, coordinated and served by an expert Secretariat housed in the World Bank Group. It helps developing countries and their international partners use innovation and information and communication technologies (ICT) effectively as tools for poverty reduction and sustainable social and economic development. infoDev is a thought leader in technology-enabled small business incubation. infoDev’s global incubation network reaches close to 300 business incubators and more than 20,000 small and medium enterprises, and has helped create over 200,000 jobs across 87 developing countries.

From 2010-2012, infoDev will implement an ambitious program entitled “Creating Sustainable Businesses in the Knowledge Economy”. This program, jointly organized by infoDev, the Government of Finland and Nokia, will undertake a range of activities focused primarily on the ICT and agribusiness sectors. The program includes establishing regional mobile applications laboratories; linking mobile entrepreneurs via social networking; using business incubation initiatives to stimulate small business creation; assisting small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to seek new markets overseas; ensuring that SMEs have appropriate access to finance; and starting international working groups for ICT and agribusiness entrepreneurs and incubators.
This position is one of a number of short- and extended-term consultant positions that are being recruited specifically for this program. The project management team includes the infoDev Program Manager, a Task Team Leader (TTL), an Operations Officer and a Program Analyst. The Program Manager will provide on-going strategic guidance and oversee relations with the donors. The TTL will have overall responsibility for the successful implementation of the program. The Operations Officer will coordinate the work of the program on a day-to-day basis with the assistance of the Program Analyst. In addition, the other staff of infoDev, including business incubation, communications, financial management, administrative, operations and procurement specialists, will assist the team.

Duties and Accountabilities:

infoDev is seeking an extended-term consultant (ETC) to assist the project management team in implementing the portion of the program relating to SME access to markets. The ETC will report to the TTL and will work closely with infoDev team members on these tasks.

One of infoDev’s key objectives is to facilitate the start-up and growth of innovative SMEs. infoDev supports the start-up and growth of innovative SMEs through business incubators, which provide a combination of shared facilities, business development and financial services, and mentorship. Once these enterprises graduate from the business incubators and reach maturity, growth is often restricted by the small size of the domestic market. Today, infoDev has a global network of 300 business incubators spanning 87 countries across Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America. The natural question is: How can this network be leveraged to facilitate international expansion for SMEs?

The ETC will be responsible for developing the strategy for infoDev’s SME internationalization program, and for delivering a pilot program targeting the participation of 50 SMEs over the course of a three-year period. Key questions that must be assessed are: How should participating SMEs and incubators be identified? What kind of services should the foreign market host incubator provide? What should be the business model for the SME internationalization program?

In addition, the ETC will oversee the development of a curriculum for the participating SMEs and the incubators that mentor them to familiarize them with common terms, tools and risks associated with internationalizing their business and entering foreign markets. A template for host incubators in target markets to put together appropriate information and services for SMEs will also need to be developed, as well as a web-based collaboration platform for foreign and local SMEs.

Success for this program will be measured by the number of enterprises that secure a customer, supplier or partner in their target markets.

The Task Manager will:

1. Develop a strategy for the SME internationalization program on the basis of lessons learned from bilateral international incubation efforts and SME export facilitation and international technology transfer programs.

2. Oversee the identification of the main challenges faced by SMEs that seek to internationalize their enterprises, and the development of a training curriculum to helps incubator managers a) identify internationalization ready enterprises, and b) coach them through the internationalization process. The training program will form part of infoDev’s existing business incubation training program;

3. Design a 2-year pilot program that will reach 50 SMEs from developing countries and assist them in securing a customer, supplier or partner in their target market(s);

4. Oversee the implementation of the above pilot program, including
a. Developing and implementing a nomination process to select 50 candidate SMEs and incubators from developing countries for participation in the pilot. This includes developing the appropriate selection criteria and overseeing the development and implementation of a nomination, review and selection process; and
b. Facilitating the matching of nominated SMEs and incubators with incubators in their target markets;
c. Organizing and delivering the SME internationalization training;
d. Monitoring the progress made by the SMEs and their host incubators and providing technical assistance and guidance where necessary;

5. Design and implement an SME Fair at infoDev’s Global Forum on Innovation and Entrepreneurship as a critical milestone for the pilot implementation. The Global Forum will take place in Helsinki. Finland, May 30th to June 2nd, 2011;
6. Engage relevant organizations and potential partners in dialogue and outreach around this novel activity;

7. Ensure integration of all knowledge outputs into infoDev’s existing work, such as its Business Incubation Manager Training curriculum and iDisc (, infoDev’s web-based toolkit and networking site for business incubator managers; and

8. Advise infoDev on its future strategy in SME internationalization.

Selection Criteria:

• A Masters degree in a relevant discipline;
• Demonstrated practical experience in helping SMEs in developing countries gain access to new markets;
• Excellent program management skills and demonstrated experience in managing international projects with activities in multiple countries;
• Sound knowledge of business incubation;
• Prior experience in advising SMEs in the ICT and/or agribusiness sectors would be an advantage;
• An extensive network of contacts in business, financing and technology;
• Demonstrated ability to take initiative and work independently with limited supervision;
• Experience of working in a multicultural team and proven ability to build relationships with project partners;
• Excellent abilities in the use of ICTs, especially for project management, web development and remote communication;
• Fluency in English is required and additional language skills are a plus;
• A minimum of ten years relevant professional work experience.

Duration of Assignment:

The position is initially for 1 year, which may be extended for an additional year, depending on the availability of funds. The candidate should be able to start the assignment on September 1, 2010.


This position is based in Washington, DC and will require extensive travel.

To apply:

Go to the World Bank main website: . Click on “Job Seekers” in the lower left corner. Click on “Consultants at the Bank”. The job number is 101239.



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