Lead firms are well-established formal businesses that would be potential clients for private-sector financial services. They can impact many MSMEs, including producers and other lead firms, by setting industry trends. They will have strong demand for the products/services and good competitors in their end markets.
BRAVE Women Program seeks to support vital value chains in the targeted sectors of component 2 and upgrade the chain performance, impacting on much more women-led/owned SMEs, both formal and informal. The program will be working with a limited number of around 20-30 lead firms. Each lead firm will be supported with a We-Fi grant of up to US $50,000, of which a portion will be directly utilized to helping other women chain actors as set out in the project.
Below is the summary of the criteria for qualification of value chain lead firms:
- The Lead Firms have commercial linkages with a large number of MSMEs, including women-led/owned as either a buyer or supplier of products and services,
- The Lead Firms have sufficient financial strength to make investments or dedicate resources to business operations that will result in improved and/or expanded relations with MSMEs, including women-led/owned,
- The Lead Firms are willing to make investments in improved or expanded relations with MSMEs, including women-led/owned that may only show results over a more extended period, and
- The Lead Firms have the potential to influence other lead firms and actors in the value chain.
The grant will be used for:
- Functional upgrading – helping the lead firm(s) support actors identify which activities to focus on and assist in outsourcing activities. Functional upgrading may also support chain actors acquire new functions.
- Product upgrading – the introduction of new products or improvements of existing products, which may be through introducing technologies that improve the quality of products and product differentiation.
- Process upgrading – improving the efficiency of existing production processes, for example, through reducing costs or increasing the speed of production or delivery.