Development of a Digital Transformation (DX) support package for SMEs

1. Disclaimer The information contained in this request for proposals (RFP) is provided to Offeror(s) by the International Executive Service Corps (IESC) for the USAID Linkages for Small and Medium Enterprises (LinkSME) project. The purpose of this RFP is to provide potential Offerors with information to assist them in the preparation of their proposals for the services that IESC seeks to source. This RFP does not claim to contain all the information each potential Offeror may require. Each potential Offeror should conduct its own assessment and should check the accuracy, reliability, and completeness of the information in this RFP, and where necessary obtain independent advice from appropriate sources. IESC may cancel this RFP and is under no obligation to make an award as a result of this RFP, although IESC fully anticipates doing so. Note that engagement of the selected Offeror may be subject to the approval of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Any activities under a final award are subject to and shall be carried out in accordance with the regulations promulgated by USAID, the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR), and any other subsequently published rule or regulation governing USAID programs. Please see the attached flow-down clauses that will be incorporated into the final award. IESC may, at its own discretion, but without being under any obligation to do so, update, amend, or supplement the information in this RFP. Interested offerors are responsible for all costs associated with the preparation and submission of proposals and will not be reimbursed by IESC. IESC, at its own discretion, may award a company to conduct only a part of the activities in the RFP. 2. Background IESC is a U.S.-based nonprofit organization operating in Vietnam pursuant to an operating license issued by the People’s Aid Coordinating Committee. It implements the USAID Linkages for Small and Medium Enterprises (USAID LinkSME) project under a contract with USAID.

The USAID LinkSME project supports the Government of Vietnam (GVN) in its efforts todevelop, adopt, and implement policy and regulatory reforms to provide a more favorableenvironment for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). It also works with business support organizations (BSOs) and the GVN to improve the performance of SMEs and integrate them into lead firm supply chains. The lead agency for the project’s work with BSOs and SMEs is the Agency for Enterprise Development (AED) under the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI).

The GVN has included digital transformation (DX) as one of its initiatives to help enterprises recover from dislocations caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, the Program for National Digital Transformation by 2025 with Orientations Towards 2030 (“National DX Program”) envisions MPI collaborating with the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology (MICT) and other relevant ministries to encourage the adoption of digital technologies by SMEs during 2021 - 2025. It is expected that SMEs will disproportionately benefit from these efforts as they have fewer resources than larger enterprises to undertake such transformation. SMEs specifically need help in obtaining on-site advice tailored to their individual circumstances. Exploding demand has raised the price of DX consulting services substantially above the levels most SMEs can afford. To address the concerns of SMEs, the AED plans to develop a network of DX suppliers that are capable and willing to offer advice regarding DX on an affordable and sustainable basis. While it is certainly possible to assemble and train these experts, several challenges remain with respect to ensuring their continued provision of services to SMEs at rates affordable to them.

In August 2021, the GVN promulgated Decree 80/2021/ND-CP to elaborate some articles of the law on the provision of assistance for SMEs. The decree offers guidance on supporting

1) consultancy contracts and

2) rent or purchase of DX solutions with ceilings of VND 50 million for small enterprises and VND 100 million per year for medium enterprises.

3. Subcontract Objectives

The overall objective of this subcontract is to assist the project’s beneficiaries (in this case MEs) in achieving the following outcome: SMEs experience improvement in efficiency, resilience, and/or reach as a result of application of DX support packages from the USAID LinkSME project or under GVN support schemes that are implemented later.

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