The Palladium Group – USAID CATALYZE Ethiopia MS4G Project inviting local eCommerce platforms that are interested in introducing or scaling of WASH products on their platforms


Bid closing date
May 12, 2023, at 5:00PM EAT.
Bid opening date
No Specific Opening Date and Time
Published on
Fortune (Apr 23, 2023) Capital (Apr 23, 2023)
Bid document price
Bid bond

Introducing SMEs to Digital Payment Platforms 

RFA No: RFA-CATALAYZE-21772-Ethiopia-2023-0061

CATALYZE Market Systems for Growth (MS4G), an initiative funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by Palladium LLC, inviting local eCommerce platforms that are interested in introducing or scaling of WASH products on their platforms. CATALYZE MS4G is implementing an accessible marketplace for end users, businesses, and WASH suppliers which will be integrated into an existing and well-established market ecosystem (eCommerce platform) under USAID Prime Contract #7200AA19C00080.

Company Information:
Palladium is a global leader in the design, development, and delivery of Positive Impact —the intentional creation of enduring social and economic value. We work with corporations, governments, foundations, investors, communities, and civil society to formulate strategies and implement solutions that generate lasting social, environmental, and financial benefits.

Partnering with one or more Ethiopian fintech platforms, CATALYZE MS4G expects to introduce and onboard up to 400 businesses engaged in the food security and WASH sectors onto digital payment platforms and maintain active users of digital payments. This in turn is expected to advance the enterprise sales growth, performance, and sustainability using digital solutions to increase access to the domestic consumer market and improve business efficiencies.  

These platforms shall be active and operational in Person to Business (P2B) payment services and have the potential to create jobs for youth and women and onboard and maintain large numbers of enterprises/businesses actively using digital payment platforms. The following are major intervention areas for CATALYZE MS4G: 

  1. Trained Agents: through its Youth Programming and Digital Economy components, CATALYZE MS4G will work with selected platforms to recruit, train and place qualified youth and women who will serve as sales agents for full-time equivalent jobs. These agents will also be part of the process to create awareness to SMEs in food security and WASH sectors on the use and advantages of these digital payment platforms. As CATALYZE MS4G aims to scaleup existing interventions, the fintech platforms shall have a clear strategy in place for youth and women placement. The training should prepare the agents to do the following:
    • Identify and onboard SMEs in Food Security and WASH sectors.
    • Provide guidance and training to SMEs on usage of the digital payment platform.
    • Provide a year-long follow up and monitor SMEs for efficient usage of the digital payment platform.
    • Engaged with a minimum of two SMEs either in Food Security or WASH sectors. 
  2. Introduction, onboarding, and capacity building of enterprises to digital payment platform: The service providers are encouraged to identify SMEs through the sales agents trained and placed. In addition, the companies are expected to provide digital and financial literacy to the SMEs. In the process, SMEs financial management shall be improved.
  3. Expansion to secondary cities: As 50 percent of CATALYZE MS4G’s engagement is at secondary cities, the service providers are expected to have a plan to expand to secondary cities with more than 300,000 residents.

At the end of this intervention, CATALYZE MS4G in collaboration with the service providers aims to accelerate the growth of digital economy by identifying potential areas to support the food security and WASH sectors. 

Anticipated Outcomes:
Through Fixed amount awards (FAAs) issued to one or more digital payment partners, CATALYZE MS4G aims to achieve the following outcomes:

  • At least 400 Sales agents trained and placed.
  • At least 400 food security and WASH business Introduced and onboarded onto fintech platforms.
  • At least 400 food security and WASH business actively using digital payment for transactions.
  • Enhanced capacity of SMEs to efficiently using the fintech platforms.
  • Enhanced operation and transaction of SMEs as the result of the fintech platforms.
  • Agents’ strategy for sustained use of digital payment platform for getting day to day payments and sales. 

Important notes for interested bidders:

RFA released on April 13, 2023, on CATALYZE website, interested bidders can access the RFA by clicking the link below:

Attachments can be found by visiting the CATLAYZE procurement website the Current Opportunities – My CMS (

  1. If potential applicants have any questions, queries, or clarifications, they may forward them to the following email address before the date stated on the cover page of this RFA: Answers will be shared through an amendment to this RFA. We are kindly inviting the applicants to send their expression of interest in participating in the conference related to this RFA through an email no later than April 26, 2023 @ 3:00 PM EAT to: Late questions will not be accepted and entertained.
  2. Virtual/In-person bidders conference: April 26, 2023, from 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM, Nairobi time (UTC +3).
  3. Submission: CATALYZE MS4G requires that applications be submitted electronically (e-mailed) to no later than May 12, 2023, @ 5:00PM EAT.
  4. Late bid submission will not be considered.
  5. Issuance of this RFA does not constitute an award commitment on the part of CATALYZE MS4G, nor does it commit CATALYZE MS4G to pay for any costs incurred in the preparation and submission of an application. Further, CATALYZE MS4G reserves the right to reject any or all applications received. Applications are submitted at the risk of the Applicant, and all preparation and submission costs are at the Applicant's own expense. 
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