Acumen is looking for a Regional Director to lead our East African team and operations. Weâre looking for someone with at least 15+ years of experience in general management, investing, partnerships, and fundraising with a commitment to tackling poverty. This role is based in Nairobi and reports directly to the President of Acumen. Although we inviest philanthropic capital, Acumen comes from the non-profit sector and our compensation reflects that.Â
At Acumen, weâre working to solve problems of poverty and build a world based on dignity. We invest patient capital in businesses whose products and services help people living in poverty to transform their lives. To date, Acumen has positively impacted over 500 million lives by investing $154M in 167 innovative, early-stage companies in Africa, Latin America, South Asia, and the United States. But investment isnât just about capital, weâve been investing in relationships for years, connecting with emerging leaders in their own countries and engaging them in extended collective dialogue, moral inquiry, and skill building.
About Acumen in Africa
In Africa, Acumen has primarily focused our capital in energy, agriculture, and education. Although weâve made these investments through different vehiclesâfrom our early-stage pioneer work across East and West Africa, to two separate, pooled investment funds, Kawasafi and Acumen Resilient Agriculture Fund, and the emerging efforts in Hardest to Reachâour purpose across these vehicles remains the same: serving people living below, at, or slightly above the poverty line. Thus far, weâve made the biggest dent in energy. For example, Acumen has invested in more off-grid renewable energy companies in Africa than any other investor in the region.
Weâve also run successful Fellows Program in East and West Africa and these two programs are networked with similar programs in Pakistan, India, and Latin America. We refer to them as locally rooted, globally connected.
About Acumen in East Africa
Our team in Nairobi is 12 strong and growing.We have a relatively larger portfolio of investments in East Africa. We also run our successful East Africa Fellows Program, which is ~20 per cohort per year.
About the role
This role will lead our efforts in East Africa and report directly to the President in New York City. This role will collaborate with the West African Director, and coordinate with the leaders of âHardest to Reachâ, Kawasafi, and ARAF. Success in the role depends upon it. Itâs not about âterritoriesâ, itâs about working together to grow our shared impact.
Oversee Acumenâs Portfolio of Investments and Fellows ProgramExecute the investment strategy for EA Lead the effective implementation of Acumenâs global investment structures and processes, in collaboration with the Associate Directors of investing. Oversee EA Portfolio teamâs regular investment reports and reviews, including quantitative and qualitative portfolio and social impact studies. Continually direct focus toward social returns, ethical, legal, and financial diligence. Oversee the Fellows Program team Lead all operations
Partnerships and fundraisingDeveloping partnerships, funding relationships, and closing funds to support our both our investing work and our African Fellows Program.
General ManagementEnsure audit-ready controls, processes, and documentation for all East Africa grant funding pools are in place, and team is aware and in compliance (Acumen has received different kinds of capital to fund different kinds of work. This role needs to make sure our team can track and deliver against our commitments and track and document our spend and pass high-scrutiny audits from global funders). Operational self reliance (e.g., an understanding of local payroll and benefits, systems of compliance). A Finance and HR team are already in place.Â Develop goals and budget YOY Develop the Acumen East Africa team Ensure compliance with Kenyan law and Acumen policy
Skills and Qualifications:+15 years of experience in general management, investing for process oversight, such as financial services and or legal advisory related to investment transactions, any type of fund administration or investment administration. Graduate degree preferred. Experience developing, closing, and maintaining funders and partnerships that deliver mutual value, including capital, preferably for mission-driven organizations An ability to grasp the entirety of our activities in Africa, including Acumen East Africa, Acumen West Africa, Kawisafi, ARAF, and our newly emerging initiative, "Hardest to Reach". An ability to coordinate and collaborate with the leaders of these ventures toward a common goal: serving people living below, at, or slightly above the poverty level. Mission driven: interested in products, services, and education for people living in poverty. Ability to deliver on commitments and all they entail (results, their measurement, their reporting, and shifts in subsequent interventions based on learning) An understanding of the numbers and their implications (toplines, bottom lines, ratios, flowsâ¦ and the implications). An understanding of the "impact" field, an understanding of ESG, and why it's essential to our funders. An ability to âtake the leadâ, rather than waiting to receive the lead, and still collaborate. An ability to speak up when disagreeing. We hire knowledge workers. If you don't share your knowledge and perspective, what is the point? Enjoys managing teams toward outcomes that matter. Enjoys developing a team. Leads with clarity and trust. Self-reflective, aligned with Acumen values, leads with values Authorized to work in Kenya
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