Duration: Two-year commitment with opportunity to extend
Job Location: Nairobi (it would also be possible for a Ugandan national to be based in Kampala)
Reports to: Chief Scaling Officer (based in Nairobi)
Start Date: ASAP
Travel: This role will include up to 35% travel (mainly Sub-Sahara Africa, but also countries outside Africa)
Village Enterprise seeks a trailblazer to become our first ever Director of Partnerships. Our mission is to end extreme poverty in Sub Sahara Africa through entrepreneurship and innovation, and over the next three years, we plan to almost triple the number of people we serve (from 18,000/year to 44,000/year). The new Director of Partnerships will play a critical role in ensuring success through leadership and management of scale projects, contributing to strategic decision-making, and fostering strong relationships with partners.
Project leadership and strategic oversight: Detailed project management of multiple, complex projects. This currently includes managing projects in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Congo-Brazzaville, and Mozambique, working in partnership with very large INGOs, consultants, and Village Enterprise field teams. In the first three months, this role will develop strong relationships with all of the relevant parties, build out a system to manage the projects (using Wrike project management software), and develop a plan to further strengthen, scale, and develop these partnerships to reach thousands more households.
Relationship building: This position will work closely with the Chief Scaling Officer to cultivate and develop partnerships with organizations that will help us achieve our scale ambitions. In the first year, this role will lead in developing at least one relationship that leads to an opportunity to support 2400+ new entrepreneurs. As an example of what this might look like, this could stem from an informal coffee at a conference leading to joining a consortium bidding for a USAID contract in a new country, or identifying an economic inclusion champion government in Uganda and supporting our field team to cultivate this relationship.
Seizing initiative: As part of a small, dynamic team, this person will not hesitate to instigate new ways of doing things that will help us scale. S/he may identify a small project we are running in Western Kenya and realize that if we collect data and package this well, we could give a really strong pitch to donors and partners on how our approach leads to improved food security. Or s/he may realize that a pilot in mobile technology could be tweaked slightly to reach double the number of households, and work in partnership with the Director of Technology Solutions to make this happen. Or s/he might see a gap in how we communicate with government partners and work with the communications team to design specific materials. What is certain is that s/he will have many and varied ideas, and the ability to recognize which should be priorities in line with our strategy.
Teamwork: This position will work very closely with the Chief Scaling Officer, Senior Business Development Manager, and Senior Management Team. We are a small, tight team that is strong because of our diversity and mutual respect – and we look for someone who complements this dynamic. This role will put his/her hand up to help further our strategy, and feel confident in asking others for help when needed.
Who are we looking for?
We are looking for a candidate who feels confident that they have the skills, knowledge, experience, and capabilities to meet the Performance Profile. This will include a passion for ending extreme poverty, a track record in relationship development and project management (including project management tools, e.g. Wrike and Salesforce), an entrepreneurial mindset, and outstanding communication skills, both written and verbal. The ideal candidate is likely to have 10+ years’ experience working in similar roles, and experience working across multiple countries in Africa and outside the continent. The successful candidate will hold a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, and a relevant master’s degree is preferred. Fluency or working knowledge of French would be highly desirable. This is a locally recruited position and candidates must be authorized to work in Kenya or Uganda without sponsorship.