Frequently Asked Questions – Call for Proposals for Support to Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises in Ukraine

This page serves to answer frequently asked questions about the Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD) call for proposals to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Ukraine. Detailed questions about individual proposals or situations will not be answered.

Questions related to the call "Support to Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise in Ukraine" should be submitted to correspondence.ukrainecall@international.gc.ca. Responses to questions will be posted on this page.

Please note that DFATD will respond to questions received from potential applicants until 3 p.m., Eastern Time (UTC-4), on August 4, 2015. Questions received later than that will not be answered by DFATD.

For a consortium to fulfill eligibility requirements, does the Canadian leader of a consortium have to have “experience managing and delivering international private-sector development programming” or can this be fulfilled by local partners within the consortium?

For a consortium, the lead partner has to respond to all eligibility requirements, including the declarations of non-corruption and of debts to Her Majesty, along with financial statements. Other consortium members have to demonstrate their legal personality, thus a document of incorporation. Unless otherwise specified for particular calls, DFATD considers full consortium members in the assessment of development initiatives. The lead partner has to identify the roles of all other consortium members.

The application form states that “projects must be a minimum of four years and a maximum of six years in duration.” However, the automatic tables inside the form (table 4 and table 7) do not allow for more than five DFATD fiscal years. How should proposals exceeding five years in duration be presented?

If the proposal is for six years, please divide the total budget by five years and note this within the application.

The call for proposals states that it “aims to build on previous DFATD investments for economic development, leverage the influence of existing local organizations, and provide practical and relevant technical assistance and resource support to SMEs.” What type of support is allowed under “resource support” e.g., can this support be in the form of equipment (e.g. computers, sewing machines), construction or direct funding for SMEs?

Yes. Resource support can include equipment, construction and direct funding to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Please see the FAQ on “capitalizing a financial instrument” for more information on direct funding for SMEs.

Can part of the project budget be used to capitalize a financial instrument that would offset risks borne by financial institutions that offer loans to SMEs? Can part of the project budget be used to capitalize a revolving loan fund for SMEs?

DFATD policies do not currently allow for DFATD funding to be used as capital for loans or as a repayable financial scheme. Project partners are welcome to develop a revolving or repayable loan fund for SMEs as part of their own contribution or that of another partner to the project.

DFATD funds may be used to support the administration of a revolving or repayable loan mechanism. This includes the complementary activities associated with the administration of a revolving or repayable loan scheme and the technical assistance provided to beneficiaries to build their overall capacity and their ability to secure funding.

The term “investment” is used in the background information. Does this refer to all forms of financial vehicles from grants and microloans to debt and equity? If all, is there a preferred emphasis at one end of the spectrum or the other?

This call for proposals places no emphasis on any particular form of investment. The form of investment used in achieving project results should be informed and will be assessed based on the country’s development needs and the project’s development impact.

What is the total percentage of the budget that we can provide to Ukrainian partners or experts as well as to international partners/consultants/experts?

There is no limit on the amount of project budget that can be provided to a Ukrainian beneficiary or implementing partner.

According to DFATD guidelines, the total subcontracting shall not exceed twenty (20) percent of the total value of DFATD’s contribution.

This policy employs the following DFATD definitions:

  • "Subcontract" means the agreement signed between the organization and a subcontractor.
  • "Subcontractor" means an individual (other than an employee), a firm, a for-profit or a not-for-profit organization or institution, acting alone or in a consortium, a joint venture or a partnership (limited or otherwise) having entered into a contract or agreement with the organization to provide goods or services in relation to the implementation of the project. The term "Subcontractor" includes Canadian and local consultants.
  • "Local Partner" means an organization established in a recipient country participating in the implementation of the project pursuant to a sub-agreement (excluding contracts).

Ukrainian beneficiaries would be considered local partners, and as such, the 20-percent limit on subcontracting would not apply to them.

What is the percentage of the overall project budget that can be reserved for the administration of program components?

The overall share of DFATD project funding that can be used toward overhead costs is 12 percent. Any other costs directly related to project management and implementation may be reimbursable.

To determine whether costs are associated with project management or overhead, please see the following definitions:

Indirect Costs (same as "Overhead Costs")
These are a recipient’s headquarters costs associated with operational expenses unrelated to a proposed DFATD grant and contribution program/project, e.g. the salary of a CEO, headquarters electricity, corporate services salaries and expenses.

These are the same as "Overhead Costs" in DFATD (Development) program/project budgets.

These costs are covered by the overhead compensation up to 12 percent of direct project costs (net of bulk purchases of goods, construction, large capital expenditures).

Direct Project/Program Management Costs
These are costs directly associated with a program/project, but related to the overall management and administration of the program/project rather than to the delivery of its specific activities, e.g. the salary of a project manager, local project office rent/expenses, cost of a project vehicle.

Direct Activity Implementation Costs
These are costs attributable directly to the delivery of a specific program/project activity, e.g. training seminar expenses (including associated travel costs), technical expert contracts, development of teaching curriculum, purchase of emergency non-food items.

Direct project/program management and activity implementation costs generally constitute reimbursable eligible expenses.

This call for proposals places no emphasis on any particular form of investment. The form of investment used in achieving project results should be informed and will be assessed based on the country’s development needs and the project’s development impact.

Table 5 of Section 8.1.1 requires a short description of each eligible cost, explaining how it was calculated. However, there is no column within the budget for descriptions to be added. Where should details on eligible costs be provided?

Details on eligible costs should be entered in the first column of the table under “Summary of Eligible Cost Categories”.

Although there are no language requirements stated in the call for proposals, will preference be given to those organizations with Ukrainian or Russian language capabilities?

DFATD will assess your proposed initiative against the published criteria to ensure the relevance of your application and the likelihood that it will achieve meaningful and sustainable results, in line with DFATD’s priorities and specific program strategies, in a cost-effective manner.

Is there a list of previous projects of a similar nature which have been completed in Ukraine, showing results achieved and challenges faced?

Information on Canada’s previous programming in Ukraine, with brief outlines of results achieved, can be found on the Project Browser portal.

Does DFATD include microbusinesses in its classification of SMEs in Ukraine?

Yes. In this call for proposals, the definition of SMEs is consistent with the definition in use by the Government of Ukraine. Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are enterprises which employ fewer than 250 persons and which have an annual turnover not exceeding 50 million euros (about 520 million UAH).

Please refer to this backgrounder for more information.

Our organization is interested in submitting a proposal under the call for “Support to Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises in Ukraine.” Is there an application form? If it is not listed, do we use the application form used for unsolicited projects?

The application form has been added to the call page.

Can a Ukrainian NGO registered and located in Ukraine submit an application form by itself and without partnering with a Canadian organization? Can DFATD facilitate finding a Canadian partner to form a consortium?

The Support to Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises in Ukraine call for proposals specifies that applications must be submitted by a Canadian organization or a consortium led by a Canadian organization. The Canada Revenue Agency maintains a list of registered Canadian charitable organizations, which includes non-governmental organizations (NGOs), that can be used to find NGOs that are active in Ukraine.

The project proposal proposes a number of Ukrainian partners. Does the implementing partner need to upload the MOU? Does the implementing partner need to include a partner’s information form?

A memorandum of understanding (MOU) is not among the eligibility requirements or requested documents for the Support to Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises in Ukraine call for proposals. A partner’s information form is not required. Information about the partner can be provided through section 9.2 of the application form, whereby applicants can demonstrate the local capacity of the proposed partners.

For the purposes of this call, how does DFATD define SMEs?

In the context of the “Support to Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises in Ukraine” call for proposals, SMEs are defined by their asset size or the number of employees. The following parameters correspond with the guidelines provided by the Government of Ukraine’s Ministry of Economic Development and Trade.

Table 1: Definition of microbusinesses, and small and medium-sized enterprises in Ukraine
 Ukrainian definitionEU
Micro≤10 employees ≤€2 million turnover‹10 employees ≤€2 million turnover
Small≤50 employees ≤€10 million turnover‹50 employees ≤€10 million turnover
MediumCalculated as the difference between small and large‹250 employees ≤€50 million turnover
Large≥250 employees ≥€50 million turnover>250 employees >€50 million turnover

Can private sector firms participate in this call?

Yes. Private sector firms that meet the eligibility requirements may submit a proposal through this call. Please note that if DFATD decides to contribute to this initiative, the recipient cannot use DFATD funding to generate profits.

Is it possible to submit an application as a consortium?

Yes, as long as the lead organization meets all of the eligibility criteria.

Can an eligible Canadian organization submit an application on its own and still be a member of a consortium application in which another eligible Canadian organization is the lead?

Yes.

Is there a limit to the number of consortium applications in which an organization may participate?

There is no limit to the number of consortium applications in which an organization may participate. When applying as a consortium, details regarding the expertise that each consortium member brings to the initiative should be included in the application form (sections 9.1 and 9.3). Note that an eligible Canadian organization can only apply once either on its own or as the lead of a consortium.

Are international organizations eligible to apply as part of a consortium or as the lead?

Lead organizations must be Canadian, be legally incorporated under the provincial, territorial or federal laws of Canada and have their main place of business in Canada. International organizations may, however, be part of a Canadian-led consortium.

Other than the lead applicant of a consortium being required to meet all eligibility requirements, are there any other principles or rules applicable to a consortium application?

There are no other principles or rules applicable to a consortium application.

Is there a minimum budget requirement for the total project cost?

DFATD intends to contribute funding ranging from a minimum of three million Canadian dollars ($3 million) up to a maximum of seven million Canadian dollars ($7 million), not including the applicants’ cost-sharing contributions.

Is there a mandatory cost-share percentage set by the program?

A cost-share contribution is required; however, there is no mandatory cost-share percentage set by the program.

Does the applicant's cost-shared contribution have to come from Canadian sources?

No. Contributions can come from non-Canadian sources, but must be identifiable, verifiable and auditable throughout the initiative's lifecycle.

Are there any guidelines on the proportion of funding for in-kind versus cash cost-sharing contributions?

Contributions can be provided as either cash or in kind, or a combination of both. There are no guidelines on the proportion; however, in-kind contributions cannot come from assets transferred from previous DFATD-supported projects.

Can the overhead allocation from DFATD be used to pay for the overhead costs of the local partner organization(s) as well as for that of the Canadian partner?

Yes. DFATD no longer calculates a separate allocation for overhead. Overhead costs must be included in the proposal. These costs cannot exceed 12 percent of the total amount requested from DFATD. Neither the local partner organization(s) nor the Canadian partner can charge their overhead costs within the direct costs.

Is it possible to get an opinion from DFATD regarding an organization’s eligibility prior to officially submitting an application?

DFATD will not answer questions about individual proposals or situations. It is the responsibility of each applicant to demonstrate that they meet the eligibility criteria outlined in the call page and the application form. For additional information on eligibility criteria on initiatives, please refer to guidance notes under ‘‘Eligibility Requirements’’ in the application form.

Are organizations allowed to submit a proposal if they already have an active project(s) or project(s) under review with other branches or divisions of DFATD?

Yes. DFATD is allowing organizations to submit a proposal even if the organization has a current project or a project under review with other branches or divisions of DFATD.

How many times can an organization apply to this call for proposals?

Organizations are only able to apply once (on its own or as the lead organization of a consortium).

If I submit a proposal in response to this call for proposals, will this prevent me from submitting proposals in future?

No. Submitting a proposal in response to this call for proposals will not prevent you from submitting proposals in response to future calls for proposals.

Is the call for proposals a tender in which all applications will be opened at the end of the tender and assessed on merit or will the applications be assessed on a first-come, first-served basis?

The call for proposals is not a tendering process. After the deadline for submissions, however, we will assess, on a comparative basis, all proposals that have met the eligibility criteria as stated in the call for proposals.

Is there a preferred source of data to be used in proposals?

There is no guideline on preferred sources of data. Applicants should use reliable, current and appropriate data for their proposals, and they should cite their sources.

Applicants are requested to submit an anti-corruption policy or statement in addition to a signed anti-corruption declaration form. What constitutes an acceptable anti-corruption statement?

Anti-corruption statements will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. If an organization does not have its own anti-corruption statement, it may either provide a similar document or demonstrate that it adheres to the anti-corruption policy of a recognized association or agency.

Where can I learn about the existing activities of other Canadian partners in Ukraine?

General information on DFATD-supported activities by country is available on the Project Browser on DFATD's website.

Are applicants able to propose adjustments to the logic model?

The ultimate and intermediate outcomes are set for this program and cannot be changed or adjusted. Projects must align with the ultimate outcome and contribute to the achievement of at least one of the two intermediate outcomes. Applicants are responsible for proposing the immediate outcomes, outputs and activity elements of the logic model in a manner that supports the achievement of the established intermediate and ultimate outcomes.

Are applicants able to propose adjustments to the performance measurement framework?

The indicators in the application form cannot be changed. Applicants must use at least one of the indicators listed in the application form; however, indicators can be added as needed.