TIF-APS-01 Questions and Answers
 

Q1: "I'm wondering if I can apply if I have a private business but not registered. If not, can you please help me if there is any other program that is suitable for my business?"

A1: TIF will only support entities registered in Lebanon.

 

Q2: "We are a company that publish textbooks (French, Arabic, Sciences and Math) that we distribute in Lebanese schools and around the world. Are we eligible to apply for the TIF project?"

A2: Please refer to sections 1 and 3 of the APS document. Note that Development Plans must directly benefit more than one enterprise. The development plan must fit TIF selection criteria and have an impact on the sector or other enterprises, not only on your company growth. 

 

Q3: "What type of support will the program provide? (technical, financial, training...)?"

A3: For development plans that fit TIF’s priority sectors and selection criteria, TIF support includes, but is not limited to, technical assistance, marketing,  feasibility studies, market assessments , facilitating access to new markets, improving compliance to meet with international standards, improving productivity through capacity building and enhancing business processes, purchasing equipment , supporting R&D for product development, packaging and label improvements, facilitating access to finance, -developing policy reforms and trade agreements.

 

Q4: "Can the project provide classes and training?"

A4: TIF can support proposed trainings that fit TIF’s priority sectors and selection criteria.

 

Q5: "By when should we submit the official documents?"

A5: Please refer to cover letter in the APS document for submission deadlines and proposed activity deadlines.

 

Q6: "Will the fund provide raw materials?"

A6: TIF will not support the purchase of raw materials. TIF can support facilitating access to finance for input purchases.

 

Q7: "In case the project has an aim to export abroad, will the project provide export facilitation?"

A7: For development plans that fit TIF’s priority sectors and selection criteria, TIF will provide export facilitation support in its priority sectors based on a cost-benefit analysis.

 

Q8: "Will the project provide knowledge resources or facilitation to reach suppliers?"

A8: At a sector level, TIF will provide linkages to resources and markets, where more than one enterprise will directly benefit.   

 

Q9: "The selection criteria for medium-sized companies or factories was not very clear, if possible, to elaborate more on this point?"

A9: TIF selection criteria apply to enterprises of all sizes. Note that Development Plans must directly benefit more than one enterprise.

 

Q10: "If we already submitted our Development Plan and we think we might want some feedback on it or apply modifications, is it possible?"

A10: TIF strongly recommends that you review your full Development Plan prior to submission. TIF recommends you wait for the feedback on the first submission before you re-apply. It is possible to re-apply, during an open APS, while funds are available.

 

Q11: "Does the TIF program cover R&D in the medical equipment sector?"

A11: TIF may cover the cost of Research and Development in TIF’s priority sectors only. Medical equipment may require additional  USAID approval.

 

Q12: "Do the proposed activities need to be completed by March 09, 2022?"

A12: Please refer to cover letter of the APS document for submission deadlines and proposed activity deadlines.

 

Q13: "When should the project end, by the latest? Are there possibilities for extension after first project completion?"

A13: Please refer to cover letter of the APS document for submission deadlines and proposed activity deadlines.

 

Q14: "Is there a specific amount (USD) per grant?"

A14: TIF has no specific amount per grant. Funding  depends on project plans and impact. Development Plans are evaluated based on a set of criteria listed in the APS.

 

Q15: "Resubmitting a new one automatically eliminates the old application? No need to remove manually the older one?"

A15: All received eligible applications will be evaluated. TIF strongly recommends that you review your full Development Plan prior to submission. It is possible to re-apply, during an open APS and funds are available. TIF recommends you  wait for the feedback on the first submission before you re-apply.

 

Q16: "Should I be an NGO to apply?"

A16: Please refer to section 3 of the APS document on eligibility information.

 

Q17: "What if I am still at the “idea” stage?"

A17: At this phase, TIF does not require a fully detailed application; however, the applicant should have a history and strong management capacity along with a clear market demand and that the development plan fits TIF’s priority sectors and selection criteria.

 

Q18: "A company's ability to self-invest, does it affect the result?"

A18: Please refer to section 1 of the APS document on selection criteria.

 

Q19: "Can you clarify the base period. Do you mean that only $20 million in grants will be awarded in the first 3 years?"

A19: TIF’s project total budget during the first three years is $20M USD.

 

Q20: “How did you see the contributions of universities to TIF project?”

A20: Universities may contribute to TIF through provision of technical assistance, research and development, studies and surveys to ensure an adequate service regarding technical and scientific support to the Lebanese industrialists, and supporting research and development for new value-added products to meet export market trends and demand.

 

Q21: “What should be the percentage of the company cost share asked from the total budget?”

A21: There is no minimum cost-share requirements. Applicants are highly encouraged to co-invest in the Development Plans to demonstrate commitment.

 

Q22: “Does TIF project supports only the consumed food products? or will also cover the manufacturing of food processing equipment?”

A22: TIF supports increase production and sales: export and/or import substitution. If the manufacturing of food processing equipment substitutes importing the equipment, this would meet TIF’s objectives, as long as the development plan meets TIF criteria and has a sector impact

 

Q23: “Lavender essential organic oil extraction and marketing, could it be part of the selected sectors and be part of TIF proposals?”

A23: Manufacturing is within TIF selected priority sectors.

 

Q24: “If USAID is funding what sort of partnership will it have in the project?”

A24: USAID and TIF will be closely monitoring the project. The grantee is required to share information and supporting documents on sales, jobs created, and other indicators set for a specific project. Also, if the project includes the purchase of equipment, please note that ownership of this equipment remains with USAID and the grantee will be the custodian. At the end of the project, USAID may transfer the ownership of such equipment to the grantee. Additionally, grantee is required to keep all project related records on file for three years after the end of the project, as they may be subject to USAID audit. The grant agreement includes all applicable terms and conditions.

 

Q25: “Will TIF provide assistance in opening up market opportunities abroad and exporting?”

A25: TIF will provide support in marketing and export of Lebanese goods and services.

 

Q26: “Will TIF invest along with potential partners or will only facilitate the funding?”

A26: TIF will either provide direct support through grants under this current APS or facilitate access to finance and investment.

 

Q27: “Who will manage the supply of procurements? Ex : if our company ever wanted a machine for our factory, will your team provide the supplier or we put a contact as reference?”

A27: This depends on the type of grant. USAID rules and regulations as well as TIF processes will be discussed during compliance workshops and the co-creation phase.

 

Q28: “Can I submit more than one development plan?”

A28: TIF recommends you wait for the feedback on the first submission before you re-apply. Multiple Development Plans for different ideas can be submitted from one entity.  It is possible to re-apply, during an open APS, while funds are available.

 

Q29: “What is sector level impact? And how I can know that my development plan is at sector level?”

A29: The proposed Development Plan must impact the whole sector or  a group of enterprises.

 

Q30: “How much the process will take time?”

A30: It is estimated that the process will take up to 3.5 months from the time of submitting a Development Plan to signing the grant agreement, when all approvals are obtained.

 

Q31: “My company will grow sales in the local market. Am I eligible to apply?”

A31: TIF will support activities that increase sales locally that will substitute import. Activities should also meet all criteria selection and have impact on the sector growth. Selection criteria are included in the APS document.

 

Q32: “How can I apply if I need equipment for my company to grow export?”

A32: Increase exports of Lebanese goods and services is one of TIF’s objectives. Individual firms can apply if they have a plan to impact the sector or cluster or a group of enterprises. The plan should meet the selection criteria that are included in the APS document. Equipment should be within the list of eligible items, which is also included in the APS document.

 

Q33: “Does TIF provide financing or funding for my business?”

A33: TIF will either provide direct support through grants under this current APS or facilitate access to finance and investment.

 

Q34: “How can I know of what programs TIF will be implementing and how I can benefit from those programs?”

A34: Please follow us on TIF social media platforms and in case you have a specific question about the Call for Partnership, please send it to grants@tifproject.com.

 

Q35: “Could you please advise about the deadline for submitting the TIF application?”

A35: TIF will receive and evaluate Development Plans until March 09, 2022, or until funds are available.

 

Q36: “We would like to apply for both the setup costs and the operating costs for a year, till our European business grows and the project becomes self-sufficient. How should we treat this in the application (one overall budget, 2 budgets, 2 applications…)?”

A36: Please submit one Development Plan and include relevant details in the Technical Approach.

 

Q37: “How can I apply for a support for starting a milking cow farm like milking machine a fridge social for the milk drinking water system medications and consulting team?”

A37: Please refer to the APS document. Note that your Development Plan should address one of the TIF four selected priority sectors. The development plan must fit TIF selection criteria and have an impact on the sector or other enterprises, not only on your company growth.

 

Q38: “What are the precise elements the grant could cover: equipment, infrastructure, recruitment of new employees, technical assistance….? Or anything else that could fit in TIF objectives?”

A38: TIF will not cover infrastructure and construction activities.

 

Q39: “Do you cover: (1) Salaries? (2) Generator? (3) Air conditioner for the central kitchen? (4) Any type of machine we need to scale the production? (5) Business consultant for export? (6) Booth expenses during an event? (7) Trademark registration? (8) ISO Certification to be able to export in the EU and US countries? (9) Infrastructure? (10) Travel expenses to attend global food events? (11) Market research in different countries? (12) Financial support?”

A39: Please refer to the list of ineligible commodities in the APS document. Note that TIF will not cover infrastructure and construction activities or international travel.

 

Q40: “Can you give us some examples of project ideas that have been submitted in the past or that you have in mind?”

A40: We are not in the position to provide examples. Please refer to the APS to get a better understanding of what type of activities TIF can support.

 

Q41: “Regarding export potential, many projects related to tourism don’t have this option, so you won’t accept any project with no export potential?”

A41: For development plans that fit TIF’s priority sectors and selection criteria, TIF will accept Development Plan under the Tourism and Hospitality sector with no export potential.

 

Q42: “Can we include technology development such as apps and websites in the budget?”

A42: Applications and websites development are considered eligible cost.

 

Q43: “can we apply for sub- projects within the same project (Tourism is the main project and selling food products is a sub- project)?”

A43: This can be one project, but keep in mind that TIF is looking for ideas that directly benefit more than one enterprise. The development plan must fit TIF selection criteria and have an impact on the sector or other enterprises, not only on your company growth.

 

Q44: “Can municipalities apply for the grant?”

A44: Municipalities and Government bodies are not eligible to apply.

 

Q45: “Will accepted entities main employees be trained to ‘act under pressure’ and cope up with all the instabilities and threats facing Lebanon's tourism and hospitality sector in this bad political situation?”

A45: Trainings are eligible, if they contribute to achieving TIF objectives. Please include requested trainings in the Development Plans.

 

Q46: “can the cost sharing be in-kind?”

A46: In-kind cost share is accepted, if it is a real cost associated directly with the activity and can be measured.

 

Q47: “Is ecotourism project eligible?”

A47: Ecotourism projects are eligible.

 

Q48: “Can syndicates apply?”

A48: Syndicates are eligible to apply.

 

Q49: “Can incubated startups seeking for funding apply for this program?”

A49: TIF is looking to support activities at the sector level.  This means that Development Plans must directly benefit more than one enterprise.

 

Q50: “Is a Responsible tourism project, focusing on developing rural areas in 4 different locations in Lebanon with an authentic restaurant in one of them, under one management considered eligible? please note that the main product and service is (reserved areas, and cooperation with local communities)?”

A50: Tourism projects focused on rural areas are eligible, if they benefit more than one enterprise.

 

Q51: “Do the program take any equity from the entities applying for the grant?”

A51: TIF grants will only be involved in the proposed activities. TIF grants will not take equity in the entities.

 

Q52: “I have lands in Rashaya region about 12000 SQM its ideal for grape planting I saw your adds in insta that you support planting projects. So, what I shall do to apply?”

A52: TIF does not support planting or agriculture projects.

 

Q53: “Can we modify the application after submitting?”

A53: Applicants cannot modify their Development Plans after submission; however, they are able to submit another one. It is strongly recommended for Applicants to review the TIF APS to ensure their Development Plan meets the selection criteria.  Applicants can email TIF Team requesting to disregard the previous submission and only consider the new one.

 

Q54: “The costs associated with my project fall into 2 categories: 1. Set up costs and 2. Operating costs. We would like to apply for both the set up costs and the operating costs for a year, till our business grows and the project becomes self-sufficient. How should we treat this in the application (one overall budget, 2 budgets, 2 applications…)?”

A54: Applicants can submit one Development Plan and include in the technical approach section the activities and budget associated with each activity.

 

Q55: “Is there any other link (https://fs24.formsite.com/res/submit) to apply on?”

A55: Applicants can only submit their Development Plans via Formsite® on https://fs24.formsite.com/llSOui/mfuzthif1z/index.html

 

Q56: “Is a virtual museum project is eligible to TIF program? What kind of grants and/or support will be offered to such project: Financial? Web development? Online platform? Advertising? Certification? High resolution? Photo shooting? Etc.”

A56: Please refer to section 1 of the APS document on “Funding Opportunity Description” and section 3 on “Eligibility Information”.

 

Q57: “If a client has benefited from LED project or any other USAI-funded program, would his eligibility for another program be affected?”

A57: Applicants are eligible to receive support from more than one USAID-funded project. If an applicant has received funding from another USAID-funded project, TIF may contact the relevant USAID-funded project staff who managed that grant or subcontract to understand the nature of that work and the performance.  Note that the application cannot be like previously or currently funded activities under a different USAID-funded project. 

 

Q58: “Does an ICT online education company eligible to apply for funds from TIF?”

A58: Please refer to section 3 of the APS document on “Eligibility Information”.

 

Q59: “Seting up a company for the manufacture and the marketing of sensors for the quality of air. this important subject for health and the environment is very little taken seriously in the MEA region and even less in Lebanon. I am getting closer to you to find out whether in this subject we are eligible to have access to your funding aids within the scope of Lebanon's Trade and Investment Facilitation”.

A59: Please refer to section 1 of the APS document on “Funding Opportunity Description”.

 

Q60: “If my development plan was rejected should I re-apply on the same link (https://fs24.formsite.com/res/submit) or there’s another platform to re-apply on?”

A60: Entities can only apply through the following Formsite® link: https://fs24.formsite.com/llSOui/mfuzthif1z/index.html . Your Development Plan might be rejected because you may be ineligible to apply. Please read sections 1 and 3 of the APS document.

 

Q61: “Must organizations be incorporated in Lebanon? My entity is incorporated in the USA but our entire operations and impact is in Lebanon. Are dual American-Lebanese citizens eligible for this grant?”

A61: Individuals are not eligible to apply. Entities that are registered in both Lebanon and the US are eligible to apply.

 

Q62: “Can we consider the salary of the staff who is working partially or fully on the proposed activity in the development plan, paid by the company itself, as a co-investment/cost-sharing?”

A62: Yes, the time directly related to the project implementation can be considered a co-investment/cost-share of that staff’s salary.

 

Q63: “What type of other company can benefit from the development plan? a supplier? someone upper in the value chain? the chamber of commerce to promote the item itself at a regional level?”

A63: Developed Plans must support sector-level growth of any of TIF selected sectors. Sector level support means that more than one enterprise will DIRECTLY benefit from this project. The multiplier effect is one of the evaluation criteria under Impact (section 1 of the APS document).

Multiplier effect: Development Plan will generate a positive impact on supply or value chains for local producers/providers of raw materials and/or services.

 

Q64: “If we produce Lebanese toum/garlic and we need to secure it from local farmers (as import substitution) can we include them as beneficiaries of the Development Plan? If yes, can the seeds be a source of help? or should it be more of a machine (i.e.: refrigerator - used to store the garlic post-harvesting)?”

A64: Please read section 5 of the APS document on eligibility of goods.

 

Q65: “Is there any cap per Development Plan related to each application?”

A65: There is no cap per Development Plan. Budget will be determined based on project impact.

 

Q66: “I have a question regarding the trade & investment facilitation grant: it is mentioned that "USAID funds are not allowed to buy from the following list of ineligible goods" with the attached link; however, I wasn't able to access the link. Would you please provide me with the list of goods & services that can not be included in the budget.” 

A66:  Please use this link https://www.usaid.gov/sites/default/files/documents/312.pdf to access USAID Eligibility of Commodities document.

 

Questions and answers will be updated here on a weekly basis.
 
Please submit your questions about the TIF-APS-01 to grants@tifproject.com by May 31, 2021.
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