Solicitation for Applying a Micro-franchise Model for Women in Aquaculture


The Feed the Future Bangladesh Aquaculture and Nutrition Activity (BANA) is a five-year project of USAID intend to improve nutrition through growth in the aquaculture sector growth.  BANA works in 21 districts of southwestern Bangladesh and two districts in the southeast.

Small scale fish farmers face many obstacles.  Many of these could be solved by improved access to inputs--  feed, packaging, chemicals, machines, and other items.  There are several reasons why supplies do not reach rural areas--  small orders do not justify the cost of delivery, small farmers do not want or are not able to buy the large packages of the product, farmers do not know the product available in the area, and more.

There are many market opportunities for the companies who can overcome these obstacles and reach these customers.

"Micro-franchising" is a model with good potential, a model which ha had success in Bangladesh.  In this business model, a micro-entrepreneur becomes operates a micro-franchise to handle all customer-facing activities in selling a product or service while a master franchise operator handles supply and logistical issues in a specified locality.  The master franchisee works with the supplier--   a large fish feed company, for example--  to training, support, and re-supply.  The micro-franchisee sells the products in his/her local area.

The micro-franchise approach is low cost and low risk for all parties so the system enables access to markets in which traditional sales channels of the franchisor cannot operate profitably due to high fixed costs.  This can also be very inclusive and bring a good number of women and youth into business.


BANA is looking for partner(s) who will implement a micro-franchise model in three locations in the Feed the Future Zone of Influence.  The partner will enroll a large enterprise as the supplier, an adequate number of master franchisees in the three areas, and a corps of micro-entrepreneurs s micro-franchisees.   The products involved will be related to aquaculture and nutrition, in demand, and profitable for the micro-franchisees.

Scope of work

The selected partner(s) will develop a commercially sustainable micro-franchise business model and implement it in at least three places;  develop a strategy for scaling the model to other locations without support from BANA as a sustainable, profitable business;  and launch the expansion program during the period of the partnership.

The selected partner(s) will focus on women and youth as micro-franchisees and give preference to products which improve household nutritional status among the rural population.

This is not a contract to provide services to BANA.  This is a limited time partnership to develop a new business model to increase incomes in rural areas by providing inputs to small holder fish farmers and their families.

Key deliverables

  • Profitable business plan for the master- and micro-franchisees.
  • A sensible plan for marketing and promotion to establish the micro-franchise businesses
  • A detailed implementation strategy and timeline
  • Income statement/ROI from this business plan
  • A realistic plan for scaling the business in the future.

Who can apply?

Only qualified applicants should apply.  "Qualified" means an enterprise or private sector with sound qualifications related to providing products and technical services.

Required documentation

If selected for the grant, the partner will be required to show:

  • A certificate of incorporation (for individual companies, a trade license);
  • Joint stock registration certificate (if applicable);
  • An organizational organogram of key personnel, inclusive of the names of such personnel;
  • Tax Identification Number (TIN);
  • VAT registration number;
  • Proof of a segregated account (providing the name and address of such an account);
  • Other valid papers (provided by government institutions).
  • The consulting firm must bear all annual income tax (AIT).
  • Percentage of VAT and total amount of VAT should be mentioned in the proposal.

Submission details

Interested parties should submit a one page inquiry on the attached form on or before April 10, 2020, either online or via email to: mentioning the title of solicitation in the subject line.