7 things you need to know about tenders in Kenya

Tenders for supply and provision of various goods and services are advertised daily across the country.

Unfortunately, many Kenyans have been disillusioned by the concept of ‘tenderpreneurship’, where they submit applications for tenders, but the awards go to those who seem to have the ‘right’ connections.Further, many of those who win tender opportunities are almost bankrupted by non-paying institutions.Hustle spoke to Esther Kang’ethe, the customer advisor at Jamii Bora Bank’s Tender Hub, who said youth, women and people with disabilities don’t have enough knowledge on the 30 percent tender allocation the Government has set aside from them, a gap they’re trying to close.

Here’s what Esther wants you to know about the Government tender process:

1. Acquire training

You need to have knowledge on financing and the processes involved in the entire tendering process.Mostly, get expert knowledge from relevant institutions. This will help you in making informed choices on the dos and don’ts when it comes to tenders.At a resource centre like Tender Hub, which offers tender trainings as well as tender listings, Esther believes that many entrepreneurs can benefit from the Government directive to get more marginalised groups into the public procurement system. Part of her role is to provide tender information, such as required documentation and due diligence before servicing winning bids. 

2. Know the types of tenders and financing methods

Currently, Jamii Bora Bank provides a one-day training covering topics from types of tenders, how to price bids and identifying credible procuring entities. This training is also complemented by the bank’s trade finance solutions, such as bank guarantees, LPO financing and invoice discounting.Esther says young entrepreneurs, people in employment and those who are unemployed can benefit from this training.“The institution additionally provides learners with flexible workspaces where they can work at affordable prices, removing the hassle of renting offices.”

3. Tender listing sites

After one has undergone training through Tender Hub, they get free tender listing services since the bank consolidates all updated tenders in one place, business registration support, tax filing and financing from the bank.The bank also advises and finances individuals who have won tenders but have no financial ability to finance them.

4. Social capital

Connections are key when it comes to getting the right tender to bid for. Jamii Bora equips its trainees with information on financing, helps them build networks with like-minded individuals, and connects people to tenders that are beneficial to them.

5. Know your objectives

This includes your purpose in pursuing this kind of a business deal. How well have you positioned yourself in winning it? What value are you giving your buyer?As a tenderpreneur, be sure to lay bare your primary reasons for winning that tender.Remember that with objectivity, you’re able to service your tender with professionalism that will in turn win you more and more of the same. Keep in mind the saying that: “Big goals get big results. No goals get no results or somebody else’s results.”

6. Request for Information

After doing all the above, know what information you need to provide.You should fill in all the necessary documentation that a buyer needs from you as a supplier.This documentation is important as it helps buyers to gather information on available suppliers, and make comparisons on what’s available, as well as qualify the supplier with the best tender quote.

7. Request for quotation

As a supplier, you should standardise your product prices in terms of quantity, quality, terms of contract, as well as human resources before you send it to the buyer. This will help you win or lose your bid.


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