Request for proposals

 Franklin County Side Hustle Technical Assistance

Case Manager


Franklin County Forward Cities is a two year initiative whose mission is to strengthen Columbus’ entrepreneurial community by working together to make it more inclusive and equitable. This includes increasing the number of small business owners and entrepreneurs in the areas of King Lincoln and Whitehall (with an emphasis on minority and women owned businesses). 

Funded through a partnership by the Franklin County Board of Commissioners, the Columbus Foundation, Rev 1, and Columbus Partnership, and informed through a community-driven process, two neighborhoods – King Lincoln and Whitehall – have been selected to pilot projects designed for small business owners that will help grow their businesses. We are seeking a Case Manager with experience working with diverse entrepreneurs to help develop and implement one such pilot program.

the Side Hustle Technical AsSistance Program

This proposed technical assistance program would provide 1-on-1 case management to existing side-hustle entrepreneurs. We define side-hustlers as entrepreneurs who have emerging enterprises but do other things to make money and want to take their business to the next level. A case manager would help guide entrepreneurs through the steps necessary to 1) formalize their businesses, 2) complete a business plan and 3)  identify and qualify for the most fitting available funding sources. 

It also means helping the entrepreneur build a strong foundation from which to grow.  This may include personal financial literacy and debt reduction/consolidation to better position the entrepreneur for business funding and transitioning into a full-time owner/operator. The coach would also serve as an ecosystem ‘concierge’, connecting participants to the entrepreneurial support resources in the local community that can help them on their path. Location of the sessions will be flexible and childcare will be made available to remove additional barriers to participation. 

Upon completion of the program, participants will receive a certificate worth $1000 in business management and accounting software and/or SAAS products/subscriptions.

Goals of the Program

In its pilot phase, this MVS will target 8-10 “side hustlers” who are currently engaged in a revenue-generating entrepreneurial endeavor on a part-time basis. Specifically, this program will serve individuals who are interested in legally formalizing their business with a desire to eventually operate their business on a full time basis.

Case Manager Expectations

We are seeking a Case Manager to help develop and implement the following program components:

  • Ecosystem Map – an overview of the current programs and initiatives currently serving Franklin County Entrepreneurs
  • Program Intake
    • Program Application
    • Program Intake Interview
    • Participant Selection
  • Case Manager Sessions
    • Session 1: Assessment
    • Session 2: Business Plan (One page business plan or business canvas)
    • Session 3: Business Model (Can this scale?)
    • Session 4: Personal Finance Assessment
    • Session 5: Action Plan, Next Steps, Referrals
  • 30 Day follow up questionnaire and procedure

The development phase will be completed in a window (described in detail below) that runs from October to December 2019. The general expectation is that this engagement will take approximately 120  hours in the implementation phase, which will run from January 1st and March 31st 2020. 

The Case Manager will be expected to work with community partners as needed to develop program components and materials.

Minimum Credentials

  • Demonstrated experience working with diverse entrepreneurs
  • Familiarity with the targeted communities
  • Experience with program design and delivery
  • Ability to work independently
  • Understanding of resources that entrepreneurs need to be successful
  • Familiarity with entrepreneurial support organizations, programs, and resources present in Franklin County
  • Demonstrated track record of success
  • Applicants can be non-profit, for-profit, or individual consultants

TiminG of Engagement

  • SEPT 19 – OCT 7: Forward Cities collects proposals
  • OCT 14: Finalize contract
  • NOV 15: Deliverable #1 (selection of final entrepreneur cohort with recruitment and selection support from Forward Cities)
  • NOV 20: Deliverable #2 (draft agendas for sessions #1-5, plus worksheets and/or supplemental materials for each session; draft of entrepreneurial resources ecosystem map/listing – a map or listing of entrepreneurial support organizations, programs, workshops, etc. available in Franklin County)
    • Case Manager will work on this deliverable concurrently with deliverable #1
    • Forward Cities feedback due NOV 27
  • DEC 5: Deliverable #3 (revised agendas for sessions #1-5, plus worksheets and/or supplemental materials for each session; revised entrepreneurial resource ecosystem map/listing)
  • DEC 9-20: On-boarding of participants
  • JAN 2: Begin working with selected entrepreneurs
  • Mar 31: Deliverable #4 Final report (and collection of surveys created by Forward Cities team)



Proposal Guidelines

 The proposal should include: 

  •  Qualifications of case manager, as well as any additional support staff or contractors (if applicable)
  • Outline of proposed Scope of Work
  •  Description of process to develop and implement a pilot program to serve 8-10 “side-hustle” entrepreneurs, including estimated hours, and other pertinent information.
  • If applicable, organization description, size, and structure. Indicate whether the firm is small or woman- or minority-owned business.
  • A detailed budget for the proposed work.
  • Examples of past success working with entrepreneurs

We encourage collaborative applications between individuals and agencies. However, please designate a main point person for purposes of communication with Forward Cities team.

Closing Submission Date

Proposals are due by 5:00 PM EST on Monday, October 7th.


Inquiries concerning this RFP should be directed to LC Johnson no later than Wednesday Oct 2nd.

LC Johnson

 Local Director of Community Entrepreneurship, Franklin County

[email protected]

Conditions of Proposal 

All costs incurred in the preparation of a response to this RFP are the responsibility of the bidder and will not be reimbursed by Forward Cities or its local partners.


Submission Instructions 

Proposals should be submitted in PDF format via email to [email protected] before the closing submission date.