Call for Proposals for Suriname’s Growth Enterprises (SURGE) Program aimed at supporting Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in Suriname

Call for Proposals for Suriname’s Growth Enterprises (SURGE) Program aimed at supporting Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in Suriname

Program: Suriname’s Growth Enterprises (SURGE)
Sector: Business and Private Sector Development, Economic Diversification, and Growth
Donor Institution: World Bank
Location: Suriname
Application Deadline: 27 January 2023
Starting Date: 28 December 2022


The Suriname Competitiveness and Sector Diversification (SCSD) is a project implemented by the Republic of Suriname and financed by a $23 million loan from the World Bank. The objective of the project is to improve sector governance and increase competitiveness in targeted industries in Suriname. The targeted industries of the project include mining, agribusiness, and tourism, as well as other industries with export growth potential that can contribute to a more diversified economy that is more resilient to shocks.

As part of the SCSD Project, the Program for Suriname’s Growth Enterprises (SURGE) program will support growth-oriented enterprises in Suriname through a combination of
• Business development services (BDS) and after selection based on criteria
• a matching grant for productivity-enhancing investments and value-chain development

SURGE is open for

  • Individual firms,
  • Firms applying as a consortium of 3-7 firms within the same value chain.

Firms will be eligible to participate in SURGE based on their commercial viability and commitment to growth. This will be measured by an assessment of their current market competitiveness; the potential future demand for their products (buyer-led approach); and the financial and technical feasibility of their business, demonstrated by at least one (1) year of business performance. MSMEs will be the primary beneficiaries of SURGE, and will be the only enterprises eligible for individual business development services and matching grants; large firms will only be eligible to participate by applying for group matching grants in a consortium with MSME partners.

SURGE will promote and give preference to firms that:

  1. work in value chains that contribute to diversification through increasing nontraditional exports (such as in agribusiness or tourism), supplying goods and services to the mining sector, or introducing innovative products or processes in their industry;
  2. have a ‘green’ element to their business growth plan, considering environmental sustainability and climate change resilience in a commercial way, such as incorporating energy efficiency in business operations or contributing to Suriname’s commitments to maintain and improve forest coverage; and
  3. are women-owned or women-led, with a target of 40 percent of beneficiaries being female entrepreneurs.

The business development services provided to MSMEs will be tailored to the specific growth needs of each beneficiary. The support provided will include:

(a) an initial 360-degree diagnostic of the MSME and its competitiveness potential and constraints;

(b) problem-solving and coaching around specific business challenges identified, including those identified that particularly affect women-owned firms;

(c) provision of specific technical support, such as for quality improvement or standards development, provided through a network of specialized service providers who can be brought in for unique technical challenges; and

(d) supporting the MSME’s focus on buyers and markets and increasing know-how of their requirements, terms, and conditions.

Beneficiary SMEs will commit to participating in SURGE for a minimum of one year to ensure sustained engagement with this capacity support. The promotion of SURGE business development services will have a particular focus on firms owned by women and by members of indigenous or tribal communities, to seek to ensure that any such firms with competitive potential and commercial orientation are aware of the SURGE opportunity and can apply for support if interested.

In addition, to support individual firms, matching grants will also be available to groups of firms working in a value chain that apply as a consortium to invest in shared assets to improve value chain competitiveness. Examples of shared value chain assets that may be financed include e-platforms for marketing and branding, shared storage or consolidation facilities for agricultural products, and visitor arrival location/center upgrades at tourism destinations. Group applications with a SURGE SME beneficiary member will be preferred; other high-potential group applicants will have to participate in SURGE technical assistance support. The combination of technical assistance alongside financing has been shown to vastly improve the effectiveness of business support programs.

This value chain group support is expected to benefit six to seven groups of between 3 and 10 firms each, for a total of about 70 firms. Matching grants are expected to be in the range of $5,000 to $100,000 for individual firms (referred to as Window 1 matching grants) and $150,000 to $300,000 per value chain group (referred to as Window 2 matching grants). These grants will require a 30 percent match (at least 10 percent in cash and up to 20 percent in-kind allowed) for individual applications and 20 percent for those that apply as a consortium and propose to invest in shared assets as semipublic goods.

Eligible budget lines to be funded
• Co-finance investment in equipment upgrades.
• Marketing or branding services.
• Specialized technical support for the production process or quality improvements.
• Enterprise training and advisory services.
• ICT adoption in firms.
• Organizational and technological advisory services.
• Quality standards and certifications.
• Environmental and social development.
• Logistics.
• Commercialization, market prospecting, and exports.
• Club goods (such as labs, design and prototyping centers, logistics units, cooling
• facilities, etc.).
• Product development/innovation.
• Pilots and prototypes.
• Technological upgrades

Eligibility Criteria:
1. The applicant must be registered at the Chamber of Commerce;
2. The applicant must be in good standing with the tax authorities;
3. The applicant must be an eligible entity (see the previous section).
4. The applicant may not have legal issues with the Government of the Republic of Suriname.
5. The applicant must present documentation accrediting its legal status and validity.
6. The applicant must formally apply to SURGE using the forms specified and in accordance with the determined process and procedures.
7. Applicants who already received a matching grant in SURGE cannot apply.
8. The applicant must present all required documentation.
9. The applicant must submit a written letter expressing their commitment to finance the business’s own contribution and accept the financial conditions of the contribution.
10. The applicant must be willing to provide all information required by SURGE or parties assigned to executive the mentioned tasks, for its monitoring, evaluation, and audit reporting.

The following aspects of the proposed projects will also be considered in the evaluation of the application for a grant:
1. Projected increase of the operating profit margin (gross income/sales)
2. Increase in foreign revenue
3. Contribution to the diversification of the economy and international markets
4. Neutral or positive impact on the environment and social responsibility (clean production, organic production, etc.)
5. Incorporation or participation of women, youth, and vulnerable groups
6. Increase in employment
7. Strengthening of cluster development and value-adding in value chains (up and downstream)
8. Increase local content and encourage the use of local goods and services
9. Proof of Buyer-Lead Approach, with letter(s) of intent from potential buyers.
10. 5:1 Cost Effectiveness Ratio Rule; for every dollar that SURGE could be investing there must be a return of at least 5 dollars

If you have an innovative plan for your firm or value chain, we encourage you to apply for the SURGE pilot.

For more details and the pre-application form contact or Phone: (597) 897-0190.

Download the Pre-application form

Only during business hours from 0.800 am – 16.00 pm Monday-Friday
Competitiveness Unit Suriname in the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Entrepreneurship, and Technological Innovation.

Applications must be submitted to: and Cc: