05 Mar Job Opening: Africa Regional Director
Role: Africa Regional Director
Dated: February 2019
Reports to: CEO, MicroEnergy Credits
Location: Nairobi, Kenya, East Africa
What we are looking for
MicroEnergy Credits is seeking a dynamic entrepreneurial leader to build an innovative financial inclusion and energy access business in Africa, focusing on Kenya with intention to expand to new markets. The Africa Regional Director will i) lead a team of both office and field staff, ii) maintain, develop and implement key partnerships, iii) work in conjunction with other members of senior management of MicroEnergy Credits to develop and implement overall strategy, iv) work with the MEC technology development team to develop new fintech solutions using mobile technology and with a data science team to utilize data as a core component of that technology, and iv) engage in fundraising (both grants and investment). In Africa, MEC is developing a new business line called “Chaguzi”, a mobile lending marketplace that will enable customers choice in both clean energy products and financing. The intention is that this new business line would be developed to the point where it can be spun off into a new socially-focused enterprise, enabling the selected individual to cofound a business that is incubated utilizing the resources and platform of MicroEnergy Credits.
About MicroEnergy Credits
MicroEnergy Credits (MEC) is a social enterprise that enables greater access to clean energy for poor people around the world by tapping carbon markets to expand access to finance. By helping financial institutions (FIs) provide microloans for clean energy technologies, those in the greatest need can purchase solar lighting for their home or business and smoke-free stoves for their kitchens. With microfinance, clean energy technologies become more affordable than wood or fossil fuels while offering a cleaner, safer and more efficient energy source. MEC has already helped multiple financial partners provide nearly three million loans for a variety of clean energy products
- Partnership development and management
- MEC has pre-existing partnerships with both suppliers of clean energy products and financial institutions. The Director will manage current partnerships, as well as recruit, develop and implement new partnerships. New partnerships with financial institutions (in particular micro-finance or mobile lenders) will be critical to success and is expected to be a core responsibility of the Africa Regional Director.
- Develop and manage partnerships with national/regional/international institutions, including donors, investors and other institutions relevant to financial inclusion, fintech, energy access, and climate change.
- Fundraising (grants and investment)
- Manage relationships to the current granting agencies, including communications and required reporting on progress.
- Identify and develop relationships with new potential donors or investors that can support the growth and development of the program, including trusts, foundations, companies and high net worth individuals. Having a pre-existing network of these relationships is considered an asset.
- Develop a fundraising strategy that will support the growth and development of the intended activities outlined in the strategy, including which aspects are to be grant or investor funded.
- Work with the Director of Development to prepare proposals and applications for donors whose philanthropic or funding criteria match the organization’s activities.
- Work with the CEO to approach potential investors. The Africa Regional Director will work with the CEO to complete a seed round for a capital raise for Chaguzi.
- Strategy Development and Implementation
- Lead development of strategy for launching and implementing Chaguzi, in conjunction with other members of the senior management of MEC.
- Implement partnerships, programs and services that are in line with the overall strategic plan of MEC and the new venture Chaguzi, in the context of the country/region.
- Align MEC Africa activities to strategic priorities and create accountability mechanisms provided for in the overall MEC strategy in Africa and for Chaguzi.
- Technology Development
- Lead the development of a new mobile fintech platform that involves multiple lenders and multiple product suppliers, utilizing a network of distribution points/agents that are managed by a field staff. This will likely include i) continued development of a beta mobile app and non-app engagement mechanisms for the front end of a fintech platform, as well as ii) back-end integration with both lending partners and for supplier/delivery logistics. The Africa Regional Director will lead the development of the platform, and will coordinate with the MEC technology development team to implement the mobile technology and data aspects of the platform.
- Engage with the data science team to i) utilize outcomes of data analytics and machine learning to improve the fintech platform and ii) identify key data points that should be incorporated into data collection processes, consistent with the MEC strategy for use of data.
- Team Leadership
- Lead an experienced and established team of both office staff and field staff, with the intention to expand the team along with unit profitability.
- Provide overall strategic leadership, day-to-day management and mentorship to staff.
- Develop and manage systems for staff performance management.
- Budgetary management, in conjunction with MEC Director of Finance.
- Overall vision and external representation
- Represent MicroEnergy Credits / Chaguzi to external entities, acting as the champion with governments, international and local organizations, networks and media in the program areas and with partners and common cause organizations.
- Articulates the vision internally and externally of Chaguzi as the mobile lending marketplace platform that will enable customers choice in both clean energy products and financing, acting as a primary advocate for overall purpose.
Desired Candidate Profile:
The successful candidate will likely be a mid-career professional (e.g. approximately 7-15 years of professional experience), including in particular the following experience and demonstrated skills:
- Partnership development and senior leadership engagement
- Experience developing and implementing key partnerships, with ability to deliver long term engagements.
- Ability to engage with senior management in partner organizations, with senior government officials, and with senior donor representatives and investors.
- Ability to persuade senior individuals, including preparation of materials and presentation.
- Ability to manage multiple relationships simultaneously.
- Capital raising: investor and donor fundraising
- Experience with or demonstrated knowledge of the investment capital raising process, ideally though previous capital raising experience (either investing or raising investment).
- Experience with or demonstrated knowledge of donor fundraising, including relationship development, grant application, administration and reporting.
- Ability to manage relationships and communications with investors and donors.
- Knowledge of likely donors/investors or pre-existing network of likely donors/investors, in particular in east Africa, would be considered an asset.
- Sector experience and knowledge: financial inclusion, energy access, distribution
- Experience working with or within micro-finance organizations, ideally in a business development role or developing new lending projects. Ability to translate that experience into partnership development with multiple MFIs.
- Knowledge of trends, issues and challenges associated with i) financial inclusion and ii) energy access, in particular in east Africa. Knowledge of product distribution/sales is an asset.
- Technology knowledge
- Ability to manage technology product development, in particular mobile app development, rapid prototyping, or user research, would be considered an asset. However, product development will be largely delivered by the MEC technology development team and prior experience in this area is not a core requirement.
- Some knowledge of or ability to discuss application of data science / machine learning in real world applications would be considered an asset. However, data science / data analytics / machine learning will be completed by the data science team and prior experience in this area is not a core requirement.
- Additional qualifications
- Management skills, ideally with 2-5 years experience managing a social enterprise.
- Exceptional written and verbal communication skills, with fluency in written, oral and presentation skills in English. Additional languages, including Swahili, are an asset.
- Ability to work independently as part of a global team and manage people in remote teams.
- Ability and willingness to travel, both domestically as well as internationally.
- Bachelor’s degree required, with additional business education (e.g. MBA) preferred
This position will be compensated commensurate with experience and relevant skills and competitively in the social enterprise and startup context of east Africa.
How to Apply:
Please send CV and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Regional Director.”
Applications will be considered on a continual basis starting February 15th, 2019, and must be received before April 22nd, 2019.