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2 months ago

Job Summary

Provide strategic leadership for AECF’s technical advisory services (technical assistance) – both structure and model

  • Minimum Qualification: Masters
  • Experience Level: Senior level
  • Experience Length: 10 years

Job Description/Requirements

Job Title: Head of Advisory Services

Department: Portfolio Management

Reports to: Director of Programs

Start Date: TBD Location: Nairobi, Kenya

About AECF

We are a leading development finance organization that supports businesses to innovate, create jobs, and leverage investments to build resilience and sustainable incomes for rural and marginalized communities in Africa. AECF’s s goal is to bridge the investment gap between early-stage enterprise and business maturity for entrepreneurs serving the poorest communities. We provide patient capital to new and innovative business models in the agribusiness and renewable energy sectors across Sub-Saharan Africa through various financing instruments. To supplement finance, we also offer advisory services, investments support, and knowledge and insights.

AECF has successfully implemented programs across 26 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, supporting over 450 enterprises, and impacted over 30 million lives.  

AECF is headquartered in Kenya, with offices in Côte d’Ivoire and Tanzania.

About the role

We are seeking a Head of Advisory Services to drive the growth and scaling of our portfolio companies. A growth strategist who will bring on board deep understanding of the triggers of growth for small and medium businesses, pathways to success, building systems, and processes to enhance competitiveness, sustainability and ensuring the resilience of their operations and revenues. 

The Head of Advisory Services will report to the Director of Programs and lead the business advisory services team to support portfolio companies as well as unlock the institution’s capacity to deliver towards becoming a learning and the go-to institution for SME development in Africa. The role holder will oversee the AECF Advisory Studio as well as the AECF Academy.

The role will have access to a wide range of resources and a team (in-house and consultants) that will look to him/her for leadership, coaching, mentoring, training, and support for career development.

The role will be based in Nairobi with occasional travel in the region.

Key Responsibilities

• Provide strategic leadership for AECF’s technical advisory services (technical assistance) – both structure and model.

• Oversee needs assessment of AECF and non-AECF portfolio companies and map out their growth needs across the various stages of growth and position AECF technical advisory services to address their growth and scaling challenges.

• Design and implement technical assistance initiatives to address the growth needs of companies to foster innovation and product development, increase access to new or improved inputs, identify market opportunities, improve market linkages, and access capital.

• Develop tools, processes, and systems for efficient and effective deliver of the technical advisory services, including curriculum or training content for self-paced courses and workshops.

• Ensure the AECF Advisory Studio (which hosts long term consultants and technical experts) and AECF Academy (a learning platform for SMEs) are effectively used for delivery of support to portfolio companies.

• Ensure resources available are deployed to address most pressing needs that will best unlock the growth potential of companies through a balanced approach of in-house and outsourced capacity. 

• Coordinate technical assistance service delivery for AECF and non-AECF portfolio companies, build a system to track requests for technical assistance, deployment of services, adoption, and implementation of acquired skills and tools, effectiveness, and impact of the service and manage a healthy database of technical assistance experts/consultants aligned to the needs of companies.

• Design and lead the implementation of AECF Technical Assistance Facility for companies outside of AECF portfolio and further develop a healthy pipeline of non-AECF portfolio in agribusiness, renewable energy, and climate adaptation and mitigation to benefit from the said Facility.

• Facilitate training or technical assistance intervention in key areas of business growth including financial management, business strategy, marketing, and sales, to reduce the risk profile of companies and increase both social and financial returns. 

• Fundraise for the AECF Technical Assistance Facility to provide access to business advisory services for SMEs in AECF focus countries.

• Lead the creation and oversight of active networks of organisations who are looking to build capacity of Africa-led institutions to better deliver their mandate, including international organizations, industry partners, and academic institutions.

Required qualifications, experience, and attributes

• 10+ years of relevant experience in enterprise development, technical assistance, management consulting, or private sector development.

• Master’s degree in economics, finance, business administration, and/or related fields

• Demonstrated technical knowledge of SME development as evidenced by successful work delivery of technical assistance and advisory services at scale to a range of agribusiness and renewable energy companies in sub-Saharan Africa

• Demonstrated technical knowledge for institutional capacity development, either as an in-house or external resource.

• Evidence of technical assistance delivery and design of creative solutions for growth and financing constraints for SMEs.

• Sound analytical, organizational, project management, and negotiation skills and the ability to conduct training and workshops/seminars

• Visionary leader with great interpersonal skills to build an efficient delivery, impeccable integrity, and good judgment.

• Strong written and interpersonal communication skills in both English (French will be an added advantage) with an ability to interact with a very broad spectrum of stakeholders.

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