Employment Opportunities

Call for Proposals: Research Grants | “Social Entrepreneurship in Peru’s Micro, Small, and Medium-size Enterprise (MSME) Sector”


The Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada (APF Canada) is a not-for-profit organization focused on Canada's relations with Asia. Our mission is to be Canada's catalyst for engagement with Asia and Asia's bridge to Canada. APF Canada is dedicated to strengthening ties between Canada and Asia with a focus on expanding economic relations through trade, investment and innovation; promoting Canada's expertise in offering solutions to Asia's climate change, energy, food security and natural resource management challenges; building Asia skills and competencies among Canadians, including young Canadians; and, improving Canadians' general understanding of Asia and its growing global influence.

APF Canada is currently implementing the APEC-Canada Growing Business Partnership (the Project) funded by Global Affairs Canada (GAC). The ultimate outcome of the Project is to build the potential of micro-, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in developing Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) economies to foster sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction. To that end, APF Canada is offering three policy research grants (CAD $18,000 each) for projects that provide original research, using both primary and secondary sources, on the issue of social entrepreneurship for MSMEs in APEC developing economies.

The Project is taking place over four years beginning September 8, 2016 and ending August 30, 2020. The countries supported in this initiative include all APEC developing economies; however, the specific targets are Indonesia, Peru, the Philippines and Vietnam. The Project addresses key challenges faced by MSMEs and aspiring entrepreneurs from APEC developing economies in the key areas of human capital, social entrepreneurship, market access, and technology and innovation, with the crosscutting themes of women, youth and the environment. In 2018/19, the Project will be focusing on social entrepreneurship and contributing to the advancement of Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy.

APF Canada will be responsible for delivering and disseminating relevant and timely policy research and practical tools based on, where applicable, Canadian best practices that can help MSMEs, aspiring entrepreneurs, intermediaries, and policy-makers from APEC developing economies. This will be achieved through the development of several project outputs, including 12 research reports (three per key area) that will provide content for MSME toolkits and feed into a capstone policy paper that will be presented to high-level policy-makers at an APEC Conference in 2020.

Key Project Deliverable
Grantees will prepare a 5,000 to 8,000-word report on social entrepreneurship in the context of MSMEs in Peru. Reports that compare different economies from the APEC community are also considered. We ask that researchers consider a topic area (suggestions below) and address all of the following research questions in their research papers:

Potential Topic Areas:

  • The evolution of and existing gaps within social entrepreneurship policy in Peru
  • Important incentives, motivation, and major challenges of social entrepreneurs in Peru
  • Impact investing and financing alternatives for social enterprises in Peru/APEC 
  • Business models for social entrepreneurs 
  • The intersection of corporate social responsibility, sustainability, and social entrepreneurship in Peru 
  • Understanding social impact measurement and evaluation in Peru
  • The OECD and the future of social entrepreneurship in Peru
  • The issues with physical infrastructure in Peru (highways, airports, sanitation, energy and telecommunications) and the opportunities for MSMEs/social enterprises 
  • Skills, tools, and training requirements of social entrepreneurs and MSMEs in Peru 
  • Monitoring the demand and supply of financial, fiscal, and business training for MSMEs and social enterprises
  • Links and gaps between the private sector, universities, government, and MSMEs
  • The implementation of strict environmental quality standards and social enterprises
  • Documenting the interaction between MSMEs and Centres for Productive Innovation and Technology Transfer
  • Peru’s National Policy of Communications, Technology and Innovation 2016-2021: through the lens of women and social entrepreneurship
  • Peru’s “gig economy,” social entrepreneurship and the informal sector
  • Maintaining an ethical stance in Peru: social entrepreneurship and scalability

Research questions:
Obstacles: What are the obstacles experienced by MSMEs in Peru’s economy as a whole in practicing social entrepreneurship? Obstacles can range from regulation, governance and logistical, competition and business environment, characteristics of the firm, to financial constraints.
Opportunities: What opportunities and positive economic changes are provided to MSMEs in Peru and aspiring entrepreneurs in the chosen topic area?
Best practices and policy recommendations: What are the business/management best practices and policy/regulatory recommendations that can facilitate growth for MSMEs and aspiring entrepreneurs?

In addition, researchers will ideally address the intersection of gender equality, youth, and the environment with the issues faced by social entrepreneurs in their research reports.

Individual researchers and/or institutions who are the nationals of APEC economies are eligible to apply.

Schedule and Timeline
The successful bidder will begin a research contract in October 2018, with all deliverables and activities completed by March 30, 2018.

The successful bidder will attend a research and policy workshop in Peru to present their findings before finalizing the paper in March 2018.

Size of the Grant
The research grant is valued at CAD $18,000, which will be given in installments linked to the final deliverable. An itemized budget is not required in the proposal.

Selection Criteria
Preference will be given to proposals that address new and under-researched topics related to MSMEs and social entrepreneurship. The proposals should have the potential to generate findings that have strong policy and business relevance (i.e. the focus is on current issues, solutions-oriented, and generates actionable recommendations).

In addition, researchers and/or institutions that have research/organizational experiences in any of the four focus economies (Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia, and Peru) will receive special consideration.

Required Information
The proposal should be 5 to 10 pages long (single-spaced) and should have the following sections:

  • A short abstract of 100 to 250 words;
  • An introduction that includes the research questions to be addressed and the significance/policy relevance of the research;
  • A brief literature review relevant to the research problem being addressed;
  • The methodology: analytical framework, data sources, and methods of analyses;
  • A timeline of the research report, milestones and expected outputs;
  • Key policy areas that will be addressed;
  • List of team member(s) with brief CVs and description of capacity to undertake the research;
  • References.

Instructions for Proposal Submission

  • Proposal must address the requirements listed in the “Required Information” section;
  • Proposals may address additional services and/or considerations not specifically referenced in the RFP and may be of potential benefit to the Project;
  • Questions regarding the RFP are to be submitted by email only to amar.nijhawan@asiapacific.ca
  • Information shared with a vendor for the purpose of this proposal is confidential.
  • The deadline for the submission of the proposal will be on 11:59 p.m. PST September 28, 2018.
  • Only electronic submissions will be accepted via email to: amar.nijhawan@asiapacific.ca with the subject heading: “RFP – Research Paper – Proposal.”

Other Conditions

  • APF Canada reserves the rights to negotiate with selected bidders.
  • APF Canada reserves the right to waive irregularities and reject any or all bids.
  • APF Canada reserves the right to make no award or announce the cancellation of the process at any time.
  • All liabilities for the cost of the proposal preparation is the responsibility of the bidder.

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