Gender Finance Consultant

Type of Contract: Short Term Technical Assistance-Level of Effort (LOE)

Level of Effort (days): 45 days

Estimated Start Date: On/around July 01, 2021

Position Reports To: Chief of Party or his designate


USAID’s Kenya Investment Mechanism (KIM)

KIM is a USAID-funded project that is designed to unlock $400 million in investment for key sectors of Kenya’s economy, including agriculture; horticulture, dairy, and livestock (supported by Feed the Future), energy (supported by Power Africa), regional trade and investment opportunities (supported by the Prosper Africa initiative), women-owned businesses as well as in the WASH, health, and infrastructure sectors. KIM addresses constraints on both the supply and demand sides of investment transactions and is building a market system that will mobilize substantial capital from the public and private sectors. By building local partnerships among stakeholders in the financial system, KIM is stimulating the power of the private sector to accelerate Kenya’s journey to self-reliance.

KIM addresses two principal market failures that have discouraged investors from financing important segments of the targeted sectors: (i) insufficient quality consulting services (financial, transaction advisory, strategy, and business performance); and (ii) limited scalability of financial products tailored to selected key sectors of the economy in the region. KIM provides capacity building support to both business advisory service providers (BASPs) and Financial Institutions (FIs). KIM uses smart incentives to mobilize finance for development in the targeted sectors. These incentives are designed to create a sustainable ecosystem for businesses to access finance and investments needed to expand and grow. Business transactions are further supported by a diverse range of sustainable partnerships–with and among strategic businesses, institutions, government counterparts (county and national) and other development partners. These partnerships will lead to scaling and replicating creative approaches to unlock finance and investments, reduce risks of extending credit to the agriculture and energy sectors, and offer testing of innovative business models that can be scaled.

The Palladium Group

Palladium is the implementing organization behind KIM. As a global leader in the design, development, and delivery of Positive Impact, Palladium creates enduring social and economic value. We work with foundations, investors, governments, corporations, communities and civil society to formulate strategies and implement solutions that generate lasting social, environmental and financial benefits.

For the past 50 years, we have been making Positive Impact possible. With a team of more than 2,500 employees operating in 90 plus countries and a global network of more than 35,000 technical experts, Palladium has improved – and is committed to continuing to improve – economies, societies and most importantly, people’s lives.

Women’s Economic Empowerment Fund at USAID

Globally, women continue to confront disproportionate barriers to full economic participation, despite the potential of the female economy to unlock significant growth. Access to finance is one of the most significant barriers to economic participation. Women entrepreneurs in Kenya, for example, face a $2.7 billion credit gap. The challenges limiting access to finance for women-owned small and medium-size enterprises (W-SMEs) in Kenya are multifaceted. On the demand-side, Kenyan W-SMEs often have a poor understanding of the requirements to access financial products on the market, in addition to minimal capacity to comply with them. On the supply-side, the Kenyan financial sector continues to lack products and processes enabling FIs to identify, attract and serve W-SMEs.

The U.S. Government launched the Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE) Fund in 2019 with a focus on three key pillars to address these challenges: (i) women prospering in the workforce; (ii) women succeeding as entrepreneurs; and (iii) women enabled in the economy.  KIM’s works within two of these pillars; (ii) women succeeding as entrepreneurs; and (iii) women enabled in the economy. KIM aims to empower Kenyan W-SMESs by unlocking access to finance. By financing women-led businesses, Kenyan financial institutions have the potential to expand their client base, increase profits, and decrease credit risk, while also facilitating long-lasting economic growth and development.

The Assignment

KIM is looking for a Gender Finance Consultants to support program implementation of WEE-funded activities, specifically, to conduct a Gender Opportunity Assessment (GOA) developed by Palladium with two (2) partner financial institutions. The GOA is a data-driven assessment of the business case for financial institutions to expand their focus on W-SMEs. The assessment benchmarks the FI’s gender performance against peer institutions and identifies opportunities to better serve W-SMEs. The assessment evaluates strategy, leadership and employees, marketing and analysis, and services to women clients.

The findings of the assessment will enhance the financial institution’s strategy so that the institution can increasingly expand their client base, while also addressing the unmet demand for finance for W-SMEs. During the GOA the consultant will conduct interviews with the leadership, hold focus group discussions with existing and prospective female clients, and conduct a strategy co-creation workshop with each financial institution.

Participatory engagement by the financial institutions with the consultant, using the tool, will yield a series of recommendations and follow-on technical assistance to enable the financial institutions to reach W-SMEs and help establish proof-of-concept.


The objective of the Gender Opportunity Assessment is to assist KIM’s FI clients to understand the business case for serving women-led enterprises and corporates, and support them in the development of customer-centric strategies, business models and delivery mechanisms to target W-SMEs more successfully. Resulting recommendations will guide the institutional strengthening of the FIs and the development of new or adjusted non-financial products.


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About Palladium International

Palladium develops and delivers solutions that create positive impact for communities, businesses, societies and economies. We transform lives and create enduring value by working with governments, corporations and non-profit organisations.