ISSUE DATE: January 23, 2019
SUBMISSION DATE: February 15, 2019
***EXTENDED SUBMISSION DATE: February 20, 2019

Women’s World Banking invites expressions of interest to collaborate on a research project to understand the landscape of opportunity to expand women’s economic empowerment in Southeast Asia through providing formal financial services to women-owned MSMEs in value chains.

Women’s World Banking is the global authority on the financial inclusion, economic advancement, and leadership of women. Over the last four decades, we have developed unique expertise in the needs of low-income women and have equipped millions with the financial resources they need to lead secure and prosperous lives. We do so by:

  • Leveraging proprietary women-centered design to help develop and scale commercially viable solutions that meet the needs of low-income women and help them to manage their financial lives;
  • Promoting gender diversity and advancing women leaders through Leadership & Diversity programs; and
  • Investing capital in women-focused financial institutions through our private equity investment fund.

Today, we aim for even greater scale and impact in women’s financial inclusion, with a specific focus on a range of priority markets globally with the greatest potential to “move the needle” in achieving gender parity in financial inclusion and economic empowerment.

Our strategy of expanding our scale and impact includes a particular emphasis on deepening Women’s World Banking’s work in Southeast Asia – especially in the markets of Indonesia, Cambodia, Vietnam, and the Philippines.  We are particularly interested in addressing the challenges and opportunities of providing financial services, particularly through digital channels, to women-owned MSMEs in key value chains in these markets.

Women’s World Banking’s objectives in this research are to define the opportunity to:

(i) Provide financial services (e.g., payments and transfers, savings, loans, financial/digital literacy trainings, etc.) – especially financial services delivered through digital channels – to women-owned MSMEs in value chains in Indonesia, Cambodia, the Philippines and Vietnam; and

(ii) Help women-owned MSMEs in value chains grow their businesses through access to these services.

The conclusion of this research should result in a report providing:

  • A comprehensive overview of the extent to which women-owned MSMEs in the value chains in the markets referenced above currently use formal financial services (including digital financial services);
  • A projection of how increased access to financial services would help grow these businesses; and
  • A recommendation of where the greatest opportunity lies to serve women-owned MSMEs with financial services (including digital financial services), with specific consideration to the country (or countries); the specific regions of these countries (i.e., North/South or urban/rural); the number of women/volume of women engaged in value chains; and the great potential for growth of women-owned MSMEs.

Please submit your application no later than February 15 2019 February 20, 2019, at midnight EST.

This application should include an expression of interest with an overview of their proposed approach for conducting this research. This approach should include:

  • A demonstration of the applicant’s interest in and qualifications for conducting this research;
  • The methodology that would be followed in assessing the opportunity for the two objectives outlined above;
  • A high-level “action plan” for the timeline, milestones, and necessary resources to complete this research; and
  • A high-level estimate of the budget necessary to execute this action plan.

Women’s World Banking will review Expressions of Interest to consider the development of a more detailed and formal proposal to engage on this work with the most qualified partner.


Applicants may submit their question(s) in writing to Please include in the e-mail subject line “RFEI: Research on Landscape of Opportunity to Finance Women-Owned MSMEs in Value Chains in Southeast Asia.”

This RFQ does not guarantee or commit Women’s World Banking to proceeding with the above described work. Due to the overwhelming responses not all candidates will be contacted.

 Women’s World Banking is an equal opportunity employer for all regardless of race, color, citizenship, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, veteran or reservist status or any other category protected by federal, state or local law.

Q: Will you accept applications from organizations for this RFEI?
A: Organizations are encouraged to apply.

Q: Would you would like us to upload the resume’s of the lead research team?
A: Yes, either resumes of the team or a few paragraphs of information for each lead researcher in the context of the Expression of Interest would be much appreciated.

Q: Should the references should be personal references for the lead research team or references from clients of the organization?
A: Ideally, references of clients of the organization.

Q: Do we have to include all three countries (Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia) in our proposal or we can pick either one?
A: You are welcome to submit and RFEI based on one market, but we will be inclined to prioritize Expressions of Interest that address a broader regional perspective (especially those that include all four countries from the RFEI: Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, and the Philippines).