POSITION: Business Growth Services Director (Kenya)
DEPARTMENT: Business Growth Department
REPORTS TO: Regional Director of Business Growth Services
LOCATION: Nairobi, Kenya, with 25% travel across the country
CONTRACT TYPE: Permanent
JOB TYPE: Full Time
SENIORITY: Director level
About the Company
AEC Kenya supports entrepreneurs to grow their business to improve livelihoods and to create thriving communities.
Founded in 2018, as the Kenya affiliate of the African Entrepreneur Collective, AEC Kenya has now worked with more than 5,000 entrepreneurs, providing a combination of training, consulting, access to finance, and market-level systems change. We are the largest lender to refugee entrepreneurs in Africa.
AEC Kenya is a 50+ person company with 5 offices across Kenya (Nairobi, Mombasa, Kakuma, Garissa, Dadaab). All of our services ensure that businesses in Kenya can thrive and contribute to the growth of Kenya’s economy.
In the past few years, we’ve had high-profile partnerships with Kenya Chamber of Commerce and Industry, UNHCR, RAS, International Finance Corporation, Mastercard Foundation, and more. AEC Kenya disbursed $2M USD to businesses across Kenya to support COVID-19 economic recovery, all while taking our content digital. In 2022, we are launching a new strategic plan to reach beyond what we have previously thought possible.
We have a diverse staff, who all embody the company’s culture. In addition to the skills above, all candidates must demonstrate our core values:
- Purpose: be solutions-oriented and produce high-quality work and be a global leader.
- Achievement: Showing up over and over again to get the work done right.
- Improvement: Be humble and committed to continuous learning and growing. Improve through giving and receiving open and accurate feedback
- Bravery: willing to take risks and create a safe space for others. Be compassionate and inclusive.
- Turikumwe/Tuko Pamoja/Abren Nen/Waliin Jirra/We are Together: We appreciate our colleagues, celebrate success, and support each other in hard times.
About the Opportunity
As the lead organizer of business advisory and training across Kenya, the Business Growth Services Director (Kenya) will oversee a department of nearly 50 staff spread throughout urban, second-city, and refugee offices in Turkana and Garissa counties.
Specifically, the Business Growth Services Director (Kenya) will:
CLIENT DEPARTMENT MANAGEMENT (60% TIME)
- Lead, manage, and coach department staff, including direct supervision of at least 5 Program Managers and Business Development Managers, to deliver impactful services to AEC Kenya’s clients.
- Manage client sales and recruitment staff to develop and implement strategies for annual client targets.
- Stay up-to-date with the entrepreneurship industry across Kenya and East Africa. Connect entrepreneurs to new insights, developments, and other government initiatives.
- Manage project deliverables, reporting, and partnership relations with external partners invested in this work
- Develop and deliver on strategic objectives for the department, and cascade annual KPIs.
- Work with operational directors in HR, Finance, MEL, and IT for enhancing the backbone support to the Department’s programming and operations.
- Work with Communication department to promote AEC Kenya programs, client case studies, and brand to achieve objectives of public recognition, alignment with donor/partner communication requirements, sales and marketing objectives, and brand positioning.
- Work with the Investment department to coordinate pre-and post-investment Business Development services to borrowers.
- Collaborate with program staff in the AEC group of companies across East Africa to share lessons learned
- Serve a key role in the AEC Leadership Team to ensure cohesion and collaboration across the highest levels of the organization.
- Serve as a thought partner to the Managing Director, Kenya to ensure collaboration, country fundraising, and partnership efforts are achieved.
- Maintain standards of the department quality and productivity — building the skills, leadership, and capacity of team members to grow professionally to meet and exceed expectations.
- Oversee personnel matters for senior staff in your department including staffing plans, role clarification, hiring, professional development, discipline, investigation, etc., including hiring in new locales.
- Contribute to AEC Kenya’s efforts for inclusive policy approaches to benefit marginalized entrepreneurs, particularly refugees in Kenya.
- Maintain and grow AEC Kenya’s relationships with various program partners and external stakeholders, in partnership with other company leaders.
- Benchmark AEC Kenya against other partners, ensuring a strong market position relevant to client needs, ecosystem offerings.
- Generate programmatic insights with the MEL team to ensure product impact and relevance, and be able to report insights to Executive leadership, Board, and external partners.
- Other duties to support organizational culture and leadership.
PRODUCT INNOVATION & EXPANSION (20% TIME)
- Innovate/ iterate on existing products to achieve value to clients in alignment with AEC Kenya’s impact strategies and Vision 2030 in close collaboration with the AEC Director of Innovation and the Regional Director.
- Develop and implement strategies to expand in new geographies, testing and iterating to meet the need.
- Open new offices in Kenya as needed.
- Modify or develop new BD products to meet client needs or market opportunities.
- Work closely with the Innovation Lab on change management to roll out new products and train staff to implement with fidelity and skill.
FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT & REVENUE GENERATION (20% TIME)
- Partner with fundraising colleagues, to identify, develop, and negotiate proposals/budgets with institutional clients and donors in alignment with AEC Kenya’s priorities.
- Co-manage department expenses with the Regional Director, setting annual and multi-year budgets, strategically allocating resources to achieve quality department outputs.
- Work with the Finance Department for timely billing and financial reporting to partners.
Successful candidates will be passionate about the power of entrepreneurship to improve lives and communities. They will embody AEC’s values of being aligned to our purposes, solutions-oriented, and willing to put in the time and effort to reach exceptional outcomes. We require individuals who have previously taken on leadership and management responsibilities.
- Experience with the development of micro and small enterprises required
- Experience with refugee entrepreneurs and financing strongly preferred
- Proven track record of leadership, including significant experience in team development and growth
- Experience with product development – through the lens of human-centered design – and a willingness to test, fail, iterate, and test again, incorporating data, not your own biases
- Ability to care about your colleagues and challenge them simultaneously (i.e. “Radical Candor”)
Strong experience in project management and budgeting and managing outcomes
- Unrelenting perseverance, personal integrity, and critical thinking skills
- Love of working in Kenya
- A nuanced understanding of justice and fairness in the workplace
- Demonstrated ability to prioritize and manage multiple deadlines – must be both strategic and operational
- Ability to work with high-profile individuals with discretion, professionalism, and responsiveness
- Fluent in English and Swahili, additional proficiency in Somali, Arabic strongly preferred
- 8+ years of work experience in relevant or applicable field
- MBA or equivalent preferred
What You’ll Get
- Fun, collaborative work environment
- Opportunity to work with a talented, passionate, and committed team of professionals
- Challenging work and the opportunity to grow and develop your skills
- Ability to make a significant social impact and contribute to economic growth
- Competitive benefits package – health insurance, staff savings program, parental leave, sabbatical program, and more.
Compensation includes salary and potential KPI-based bonus, healthcare, retirement benefits, flexible annual leave, possible travel in East Africa, professional development opportunities, and the chance to connect with colleagues across East Africa in a supportive and inclusive environment. In addition, this role is a tremendous opportunity to work in a high-growth, mission-driven organization.
Should you wish to apply for this position; please submit your cover letter stating why you would be the best for this role and your CV. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.
AEC is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer. Refugees, women, and persons who reflect the diverse communities we serve are strongly encouraged to apply. As a company we have policies in place that promote diversity, equity and inclusion at all levels of the company.
NB: We do not employ staff whose background is not suitable. All employment is conditional upon the successful completion of all applicable background checks.