Request for Proposal: Development of a Market Needs Analysis within the Umgungundlovu District Municipality

23 August, 2023



Zukanye Madakana

About mLab

mLab is a digital and mobile solutions laboratory that provides technology-based support to unemployed youth in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector. mLab’s core mandate is to accelerate the active and productive participation of ICT graduates and early-stage entrepreneurs in the digital economy either through the securing of employment and/or self-employment opportunities, or maximising the potential of entrepreneurship to create jobs and solutions to address societal challenges. mLab works with various partners and stakeholders across the African continent to build a vibrant digital ecosystem and ensure that our youth can maximise the opportunities of the digital economy.

For South Africa to maximise the socio-economic opportunities presented by the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) and advanced digital production technologies, it is imperative to enhance access to these technologies, develop skills to utilize and build digital solutions to solve local socio-economic challenges, and create an enabling environment that is conducive to innovation and entrepreneurship.

mLab offers a range of interventions to drive Ecosystem, Skills, Enterprise and Technology acceleration. mLab’s headquarters are located in Gauteng, Pretoria, with provincial offices in the Northern Cape, Limpopo and Kwa-Zulu Natal. mLab is registered as a not-for-profit company with PBO (public benefit organisation) status and is Level 1 BBBEE certified. Its founding partners include the Department of Science and Innovation, The Innovation Hub, CSIR, and the World Bank.

Ecosystem Accelerator – building strong ecosystems facilitates the awareness, adoption and use of technology, whilst creating an environment in which digital skills and entrepreneurs could flourish. mLab works with various ecosystem partners to build a vibrant digital tech ecosystem.

Skills Accelerator - our Coding Academies have supported over 500 software programmers with approximately 60 - 80% gaining employment in the ICT sector post the programme. We have also hosted a range of ICT and 4IR short training sessions for over 5,000 youth through over 200 events.

StartUp Accelerator – mLab runs a range of Enterprise Development initiatives which have supported more than 100 start-ups who have gone on to impact thousands with their solutions, creating jobs and raising funds in excess of R300 million.

Technology Accelerator - our Innovation Lab team has designed and launched solutions for gender- based violence (Ahmed Kathrada Foundation), food security (Agriculture Research Council) and youth unemployment (mPowa for the South African Presidency) amongst other projects.

mLab works with youth in townships and/or remote areas to build advanced digital skills to improve their prospects for employment or self-employment and to promote digital entrepreneurship. This needs analysis is being commissioned to help mLab to better understand the environment and context in the district, so as to customise its programmes to better serve its surrounding communities.

Scope of work

Qualifying service providers are invited to submit proposals to conduct a market needs analysis in the  district to support mLab’s operations in Imbali. The needs analysis should be a practical endeavour  delivering a real-world context rather than a theoretical exercise.  

The aim of the market needs analysis is to: 

  1. Better understand the surrounding communities which we will serve and should focus on, inter alia:

a. Skills and levels of digital literacy in the community

b. Unemployment rates

c. Youth and their culture

d. SWOT analysis with regards to economic and social development

  1. Understand the culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in the region.
  2. Understand how the communities engage with various stakeholders particularly in the Imbali Precinct.
  3. Determine the demand and absorptive capacity for digital skills amongst the key industry stakeholders.
  4. Understand other needs that the industry may require.
  5. Determine if there is an interest to partner with mLab to create opportunities for unemployed youth in the digital economy.
  6. Identify who and where the key stakeholders actively involved in driving innovation and entrepreneurship are, what their focus is and whether they categorise as being able to collaborate, complement or compete with mLab.
  7. Georeferencing and mapping where key stakeholders, suppliers and enterprise development programmes are located.
  8. Summarise the findings into a report with recommendations for interventions that could address the key challenges through skills and enterprise development.

The service provider is expected to deliver electronic versions of the following in editable and pdf formats:

● Raw data ● Key findings from both primary and secondary research ● Market needs analysis report that covers the above-mentioned topics ● Relevant references and resources used to compile the report/s ● Summary presentation

Minimum Requirements

Succinct proposals not exceeding 15 pages are invited from service providers that have at least 5 years of experience in conducting similar projects. Supporting documents could be included as annexures. Qualifying service providers are required to submit a proposal that includes the following:

  1. Detailed approach/methodology for conducting the work
  2. Scope of work to be conducted
  3. Project plan with deliverables and timelines
  4. Detailed budget quotation
  5. Profile of the company and CVs of individuals that will conduct the work
  6. References from at least 2 previous clients
Proposal Evaluation Criteria

Proposals will be assessed on:

● Quality of the proposal (technical merit) 30% ● Skills/expertise of personnel 20% ● Project plan/timelines/deliverables 20% ● BEE rating 10% ● Cost-effectiveness 20%

Submission of proposals

Each bidder is required to submit a proposal that is to be received no later than 08 September 2023 at 17h00.

Proposals may be sent by email to the following contacts:

Ms. Mamo Tlale Provincial Lead (KZN): mLab Mobile: 071819 5025 Email:

Other Information

Please note that:

Costs for developing proposals are entirely the responsibility of the proposer and shall not be reimbursed by mLab. mLab also reserves the right to reject proposals that do not meet the minimum requirements. All submitted documentation and completed work become the property of mLab.