MICF Grants for Tourism Sector Recovery in Malawi

MICF Grants for Tourism Sector Recovery in Malawi

MICF Grants for Tourism Sector Recovery in Malawi

The Malawi Innovation Challenge Fund (MICF) is seeking applications for the Tourism Sector Recovery Window, supported by the United Nations Development Programme.

MICF will provide matching grants up to USD 300,000 (with a minimum of 30% contribution from successful businesses), to solicit business ideas from firms in the Tourism Sector (including hotel and accommodation providers, tour operators, and eco-tourism providers) aiming to implementing projects within Malawi that can:

  • Re-orientate existing product offers to a new market segment; introduce digital technologies to create new value-added user experiences or integrate specialist SME suppliers into the product offer.
  • Improve the quality and range of the product offer, particularly focusing on skills development to support better guest experiences
  • Improve integration of their offer with local communities and businesses to strengthen and deepen supply chains that integrate into the new service offerings and/or support sustainable use of natural resources, long-term conservation, benefit sharing with host communities, measures to protect/promote biodiversity.

    Challenges

    Your business project will need to address one of the following challenges to be eligible to be considered under the Tourism Sector Recovery Window:

  • Re-orientate existing product offers to a new market segment such as domestic and / or regional tourist markets rather than international markets.

    This could also be combined with the use of digital technologies to create new value-added user experiences or integrate specialist SME suppliers into the product offer.

  • Improve the quality and range of the product offer, particularly focusing on skills development to support better guest experiences
  • Improve integration of their offer with local communities and businesses to strengthen and deepen supply chains that integrate into the new service offerings and / or support sustainable use of natural resources, long-term conservation, and measures to protect/promote biodiversity that also benefit host communities.

    Funding Information

  • The amount of contribution by MICF shall range between USD 200,000 and up to USD 300,000 and the grantee must contribute at least 30% of the total project value.
  • The projects will be expected to be completed within a maximum 30-month period.

    Eligibility Criteria

  • Firms (including hotel and accommodation providers, tour operators, and eco-tourism providers) wishing to apply to the Tourism Sector Recovery Window of the Malawi Innovation
  • Challenge Fund (MICF) will need to meet the following criteria:
  • The lead organization must be a private for-profit company.
  • The business idea must be implemented in Malawi; either by private sector organizations registered in Malawi or externally registered businesses investing in Malawi.
  • The applicant company may collaborate with other organizations, including other companies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs and INGOs), government-related agencies, and other non-profit organizations.

    However, it is a condition that the lead applicant and implementer of the business idea must always be a commercial company/business.

  • All applicants must demonstrate their capacity to implement their proposed project, and will need to demonstrate sound financial performance and clear corporate governance.
  • All applicants must provide audited accounts for the last two financial years for the business and a tax clearance certificate provided by the Malawi Revenue Authority. This needs to be submitted with a letter of intention to bid.
  • The business must have achieved through its audited accounts a minimum turnover of US$200,000.
  • The total grant funds requested must be between US$200,000 and US$300,000.

    Projects applying to the MICF Tourism Recovery Window are expected to:

  • Re-orientate existing product offers to a new market segment such as domestic and / or regional tourist markets rather than international markets. This could also be combined with the use digital technologies to create new value-added user experiences or integrate specialist SME suppliers into the product offer or
  • Improve the quality and range of the product offer, particularly focusing on skills development to support better guest experiences or
  • Improve integration of their offer with local communities and businesses to strengthen and deepen supply chains that integrate into the new service offerings and / or support sustainable use of natural resources, long-term conservation, and measures to protect/promote biodiversity that also benefit host communities.
  • All business projects must be inclusive in nature.

    They will need to demonstrate their ability to deliver significant benefits in terms of improved incomes or job creation / retention to supporting businesses and communities, rather than solely benefitting the participating companies / organisations of a particular project.

  • The business project must demonstrate a clear approach to continuing services and preserving the businesses supply chain including employment during and post COVID-19 as well as quantify the socio-economic impact the support will have on the company’s employees and communities they work in.
  • The funding request must be for a specific, new business idea. The MICF views innovation in its broadest sense including: i) a new approach, product, idea or service that has not been tested anywhere; ii) an approach, product, idea or service that is new to Malawi; or iii) an approach, product, idea or service that has not been applied to the sector in question in Malawi.
  • The project promoters including the lead company, collaborating organisations and third parties such as co-investors or banks and other lenders must provide funds of at least 30% of the total cost of the business idea. Contributions can be made through a combination of in-kind and cash contributions and will be taken on a case by case basis dependent on the logic of the individual project proposed.
  • The project must demonstrate that the activities that will be funded by the MICF will be additional to the company’s existing activities and that the project would not go ahead without MICF funding.

    The MICF could also consider projects that if they would have gone ahead, it would be at a much-reduced pace or scale in the absence of the MICF support.

    Apply by 14th October.

    For more information and application details, see; MICF Grants for Tourism Sector Recovery in Malawi

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