About Mercy Corps
Mercy Corps is powered by the belief that a better world is possible. To do this, we know our teams do their best work when they are diverse and every team member feels that they belong. We welcome diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be stronger and have long term impact.
About Mercy Corps Ventures
Mercy Corps Ventures (MCV) invests in and catalyzes venture-led solutions to increase the resilience of underserved individuals and communities. Founded in 2015 as the impact investing arm of Mercy Corps, we’ve supported 44 early-stage ventures to scale and raise over $400.4 million in follow-on capital and reach nearly 20 million end users with impactful products and services. Our portfolio is 48% female-founded and centers around resilience-building solutions in adaptive agriculture and food systems, inclusive fintech, and climate-smart technologies, so that those living in frontier markets can withstand disruption and plan for the future. Through capital and support, piloting new approaches, action-oriented insights, and rigorously managing impact, we catalyze the ecosystem toward smarter, more impactful investments.
At Mercy Corps Ventures, we specialize in operating at the earliest stages of innovation, as “de-riskers” and catalyzers of growth and later stage funding for the solutions we work with. We recognize that the need for capital and support to impactful startups far exceeds what can be provided by a single actor, so sharing our insights, learnings, and approach transparently with the ecosystem of peer investors, funders, and startup support organizations is core to our approach.
Through the work of our portfolio companies and piloting real-world use cases, we share insights that build the evidence base for nascent and unproven solutions to amplify their impact, establish investor and donor confidence, and crowd-in later-stage, more risk averse capital.
We are highly collaborative in our insights approach, through collaborations with industry groups and peers, attendance at a number of key industry events, participation in working groups, and co-authorship or publication of insights.
This role will be responsible for supporting the development of Insights Strategy, and will execute on this strategy through the production of robust and respected insights, and intentionally disseminating them through a thoughtful Communications Plan to our target audience of donors & funders and venture capital firms & impact investors.
This role is for you if:
- You have a demonstrated interest and expertise in the startup, tech, or innovation ecosystems in our key regions of Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia. You have expertise or demonstrated interest in our key sectors of financial inclusion and climate resilience.
- You have a strong ability and excitement to write – a large part of this role will be extracting insights from our team, partners, and portfolio companies, and turning them into digestible insights as blogs or publications.
- You are excited to support our team to share our insights to influence the ecosystem of peers, funders, and investors through digital channels (twitter, LinkedIn, etc), live events (panels) and have other creative ideas for sharing impactful insights. Maybe you already have a following or strong network through a relevant industry-related email newsletter, LinkedIn posts, or event that you support or manage.
Essential Job Responsibilities
We produce insights to showcase our approach, our learnings and insights, and the innovative solutions that we support. This is an essential pillar of our strategy to ensure we’re externalizing our insights for our target audiences to take interest and/or action, and for us to be seen as thought leaders.
Leveraging the insights generated across all of our teams – including investments, platform, venture lab, and impact – you will be responsible for generating, stewarding, and polishing our insights production across a number of key pieces of content:
Shorter insights pieces:
- Why We Invested blogs to highlight new investments, outlining the challenge, market opportunity, and solution being built by our latest portfolio companies, profiling their story for later-stage investors (example: The hyper-accurate tropical weather forecasting algorithm building farmer and food system resilience: Why we invested in Ignitia).
- Venture Lab launch blogs or insights blogs, detailing the problem statement, solution, and impact evaluation of a Venture Lab pilot (example: Pilot Insights | Driving Climate Resilience for Smallholder Farmers in Kenya Through Smart Contract Weather Index Insurance).
- Venture Platform insights on the unique challenges and opportunities of supporting early stage, high-impact startups (example: Venture Platform Support: Leveraging Impact Management Tools For Climate Resilience With Verqor).
Annual Insight Series:
- Our insights series is produced annually, and enables us to dive deeper into a particular nascent, but high potential, technology, topic, or sector to inform our own investment thesis and decision making, and move the industry forward through deeper research. (example: our 2021 insights series detailing the challenges and opportunities for the microinsurance industry to scale to support more than 600 million smallholder farmers around the world).
Annual Impact Report:
- Each year, Mercy Corps Ventures publishes an external-facing Annual Impact Report, led by our impact team. As part of Impact Measurement and Management best practices, this report tells the story of our year through impact numbers, case studies, trends, lessons learned, and plans for the future. This report includes impact data from all active MCV investments, along with a ‘‘Fails & Lessons Learned’ section, which is intentionally designed to transparently share Mercy Corps Ventures’ own learnings and failures as early-stage impact investors. See our 2022 Impact Report here.
This function contributes to insights strategy development, and includes all insights planning, production, and management activities:
- In coordination with team leadership, contribute to the development of an insights strategy for MCV.
- Manage the Insights function for MCV, including strategy implementation, management of insights or comms team members, and budget management.
- Production of key content, including development, writing, reviewing, and copy-editing:
- Short insights pieces (Why We Invested blogs, pilot insights blogs, etc.) with subject matter experts in team (Portfolio Managers, Pilot Managers, Venture Platform team, etc).
- Alongside MCV’s impact team, manage the production of the Annual Impact Report.
- Manage the production of the Annual Insights Series:
- Contribute to and manage scoping theme or focus area for insights series.
- Selection of external partner or vendor.
- Project management and support of research, synthesis, and writing phase.
- Development and execution of a communications and dissemination plan.
- Develop insights partnerships with peers or industry stakeholders for insights. production (co-authorship).
- Source/procure and manage external vendors to support delivery of insights, such as research agencies, copy-editors, designers, etc.
- Manage the publication of insights products (uploading and publishing via digital channels such as Medium, the mercycorps.org website, etc).
- Visual content collection as it relates to insights (photo & video).
MESSAGING & BRAND MANAGEMENT (30%)
This pillar of the insights manager role ensures that our messaging and brand are consistent across all of our internal and external channels, and that this messaging and positioning is strong, clear, and differentiated. This includes all messaging and brand management related activities:
- Maintain the MCV messaging platform and updates to core materials (website, pitch decks, social media channels, etc).
- Support the team with understanding key messaging, utilizing key messaging for media, events, publications, etc.
- Production and management of brand style across visual artifacts (brand guidelines, internal templates, etc).
This pillar ensures that the insights we produce reach our target audiences effectively. We present a cohesive narrative through our insights which feeds into our wider messaging and brand perception objectives. This includes all insights-related marketing and communication:
- Design and deliver communications and marketing initiatives to profile MCV’s insights, in collaboration with key members of the MCV team
- Campaign design for insights dissemination (e.g. media engagement and advertising, podcast placement, paid & organic social media design, conference sponsorship, direct dissemination, Newsletters, etc) including internal dissemination to Mercy Corps’ 40+ field offices and 5,900 staff globally for Ventures team insights.
- Engage media by pitching op-eds, issuing press releases, and facilitating interviews with team spokespeople in collaboration with the Mercy Corps PR team and/or other media agencies.
- Prioritize a quarterly and annual events agenda that aligns with our insights goals, curate and pitch relevant panels to showcase and explore insights topics, produce related talking points/scripts, and negotiate events packages
- Manage and grow digital channel engagement of our insights (current and future – including website, Medium, social media, newsletter, etc).
- Execution of marketing production activities (social media scheduling, SEO, etc).
This role may include the direct management of marketing and communications team members.
Reports Directly To: Senior Director of Strategy and Operations, Mercy Corps Ventures
Works Directly With:
- The Mercy Corps Ventures team.
- Select Mercy Corps research and communications team members.
- Relevant vendors (such as researchers, copy-editors, designers, media partners, etc).
- Relevant consultants.
Accountability to Participants and Stakeholders
Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our program participants, community partners, other stakeholders, and to international standards guiding international relief and development work. We are committed to actively engaging communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.
Minimum Qualification & Transferable Skills
- 5+ years experience in emerging markets startup tech ecosystems – in investing, startup support services (i.e. accelerators, incubators, service providers), or startup operations.
- Strong writing and proofing skills (backed by samples) and excitement to produce insights related to the emerging markets startup tech ecosystem including writing, copy-editing, and production of insights. Experience in climate tech or financial inclusion is a plus.
- Experience in industry relevant insights dissemination through digital channels, media, social media, and events.
- Experience in managing qualitative research projects for the purposes of insights development.
- Connections and networks to support insights dissemination – including with industry publications, peer networks, industry events, and a social media presence.
- Proficiency in digital marketing strategy, tools, and tactics to support insights dissemination.
- English fluency required, French and / or Spanish is a plus.
We are a low-ego, collaborative team and these traits are essential for any candidate, and especially for an inherently cross-functional role such as our Insights Manager. We are looking for a team-oriented, “low-ego” individual who works collaboratively in a high-performance environment.The ideal candidate should be comfortable operating in a highly cross functional role, and have creative solutions to working across multiple teams to draw out insights.
The ideal candidate should have experience with, or the desire to work in a small and agile team. They should value the diversity of a global team, and bring an authentic, diverse perspective and set of experiences to our growing team. We are a fully remote team, so any candidate should be comfortable with a primarily digital environment.
The ideal candidate must have excellent communication and interpersonal skills, and should have the desire and ability to be part of a highly collaborative, dynamic, mission-driven, and team-oriented culture.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
The position is a global, remote position, with a preference for a team member located in one of our key markets in East Africa, West Africa, or Latin America. You must have work authorization in the country where you plan to be based for this role. This role may require up to 30% travel globally for events, insights collection or dissemination, etc.
In support of our belief that learning organizations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities we serve, we empower all team members to dedicate 5% of their time to learning activities that further their personal and/or professional growth and development.
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Achieving our mission begins with how we build our team and work together. Through our commitment to enriching our organization with people of different origins, beliefs, backgrounds, and ways of thinking, we are better able to leverage the collective power of our teams and solve the world’s most complex challenges. We strive for a culture of trust and respect, where everyone contributes their perspectives and authentic selves, reaches their potential as individuals and teams, and collaborates to do the best work of their lives.
We recognize that diversity and inclusion is a journey, and we are committed to learning, listening and evolving to become more diverse, equitable and inclusive than we are today.
Equal Employment Opportunity
Mercy Corps is an equal opportunity employer that does not tolerate discrimination on any basis. We actively seek out diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be collectively stronger and have sustained global impact.
We are committed to providing an environment of respect and psychological safety where equal employment opportunities are available to all. We do not engage in or tolerate discrimination on the basis of race, color, gender identity, gender expression, religion, age, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, disability (including HIV/AIDS status), marital status, military veteran status or any other protected group in the locations where we work.
Safeguarding & Ethics
Mercy Corps is committed to ensuring that all individuals we come into contact with through our work, whether team members, community members, program participants or others, are treated with respect and dignity. We are committed to the core principles regarding prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse laid out by the UN Secretary General and IASC and have signed on to the Interagency Misconduct Disclosure Scheme. We will not tolerate child abuse, sexual exploitation, abuse, or harassment by or of our team members. As part of our commitment to a safe and inclusive work environment, team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner, respect local laws and customs, and to adhere to Mercy Corps Code of Conduct Policies and values at all times. Team members are required to complete mandatory Code of Conduct elearning courses upon hire and on an annual basis.
As a safeguarding measure, Mercy Corps screens all potential US-Based employees. This is done following the conclusion of recruitment and prior to assuming full employment. Our screening process is designed to be transparent and completed in partnership with new Team Members. You will have the opportunity to disclose any prior convictions at the conclusion of the recruitment process before the check is initiated. We ask that you do not disclose any prior convictions in your application materials or during the recruitment process.