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Title: Business Advisor (1 Position)

Reports to: Program Manager, mSPARK

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Location:  Mombasa

Travel: to location of program activities

Grade: 7

TechnoServe Background: TechnoServe works with enterprising people in the developing world to build competitive farms, businesses and industries. We are a nonprofit organization that develops business solutions to poverty by linking people to information, capital and markets. With more than four decades of proven results, we believe in the power of private enterprise to transform lives. 

Program Description: Through the mSPARK program, TechnoServe proposes to work with 28,000 micro-enterprise owners (70% youth, 60% women) for 12 months to provide targeted digital and financial support that helps them navigate and survive through the Covid-19 crisis and reduce the pandemic’s negative impact on them and their communities. From our experience working in Kenya’s micro-retail sector, shop owners are predominantly youth (63%) and women (62%), and thus represent a strategic leverage point to support the economic survival of these groups and their ability to protect and invest in their own health and that of their households during the COVID-19 crisis. Further, micro-enterprises can play an important role as trusted leaders and providers of essential goods, services, and health and safety information in their communities, many of which are lower income, high-density, and at greater risk to COVID-19 and its economic impacts. Through a mixture of support packages, mSPARK will seek to ensure micro-enterprises survive the economic crisis brought about by the pandemic and in so doing, protect the jobs of owners and their employees. Working closely with financial technology credit provider, a large repayable grant will be disbursed to the micro-enterprises to help and cushion them to survive and stabilize businesses in this sector.

The program will be implemented in Nairobi and Mombasa County, two of the areas that have been hard hit by Covid-19 pandemic.

Position Description: In anticipation of mSPARK program, the Business Advisors will implement the program in these two regions, ensuring recruitment of beneficiaries, training and enabling them to access finance and connecting them to the supply chains among other key program activities. Reporting to the Cluster Leads, they will work closely with a team of 20 Business counsellors to ensure the program achieves its objectives.

This position is contingent upon donor funding.

Key roles and responsibility

  • Ensure efficient and effective implementation of programs activities, outputs and outcomes as laid out  in the program proposal;
  • Build capacity of the BCs in the program  to conducting baseline, midline and end-line surveys, delivering digital training, one-on-one coaching to the micro-enterprises and formation of business groups;
  • Coordinate all manner of training, TTTs, TOTs, and ensure all training manuals are up to date;
  • Enhance strong stakeholder engagement with government, private sector, business associations, academic institutions, financial institutions and suppliers.
  • Work closely with the MEL team to ensure proper and timely reports of the program;
  • Understand, respect and promote TechnoServe’s values, vision, and strategy in the implementation of assigned duties;
  • Map out program regions and beneficiaries in preparation for mobilization and recruitment;
  • Mobilize micro-businesses into the program and onward lending after conducting thorough business assessment;
  • Revise and develop new training material to supplement the micro-retail training modules
  • Manage the digital training of the micro-enterprises on Shop Management, Financial Management, and Supply Chain Management modules;
  • Support and manage the rollout of the POS system for digital reinforcement;
  • Provide weekly updates on the progress of the program, highlighting any unique challenges;
  • Compile monthly reports and accompany the same with a success story;

Required skills and experience

  • Bachelor’s degree in Business Related field such as Marketing, Business Administration, Finance, Entrepreneurship, Human Resources and MIS.
  • 3-5 years of experience working with MSMEs; experience working with marginalized communities is an added advantage.
  • Strong planning skills and ability to generate innovative solutions in highly dynamic work situations.
  • Demonstrated ability to prepare and present well-written, cohesive analyses and reports;
  • Strong interpersonal, collaborative and cross-cultural skills;
  • Conversant with recent trends in the retail industry in the country
  • Track record of building strong client and stakeholder relationships with; government ministries, private sector companies, financial institutions, business associations and academic institutions
  • Proficiency in MS Office especially Excel and PowerPoint

Success Factors

Competency is a combination of knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) directly related to successful performance on the job.

Core Competencies include:

  • Integrity and honesty: Is widely trusted; seen as a direct, truthful individual; presents truthful information in an appropriate and helpful manner; keeps confidences; admits mistakes; does not misrepresent himself or herself for personal gain.
  • Team Work/ Relationships:  Works co-operatively and flexibly with other members of the team with a full understanding of the role to be played as a team member and/or leader, to achieve a common goal.  Ability to build and maintain effective relationships and networks.
  • Learning attitude:  Proactively takes advantage of opportunities to learn. Actively identifies new areas for learning; applies and shares new knowledge and skill appropriately.
  • Diversity/Inclusiveness:  Demonstrates an understanding and appreciation for diversity and supports diversity efforts. Interacts effectively with and inclusively with people of all races, cultures, ethnicities, backgrounds, religions, ages, and genders.
  • Communication:  Expresses ideas effectively in individual and group situations. Listens effectively; shares information, ideas and arguments; adjusts terminology, language and communication modes to the needs of the audience; ensures accurate understanding; acts in a way that facilitates open exchange of ideas and information; uses appropriate non-verbal communication.
  • Decision making/Problem Solving:  Is able to analyse situations, diagnose problems, identify the key issues, establish and evaluate alternative courses of action and produce a logical, practical and acceptable solution.  Is able to make effective decisions on a day-to-day basis, taking ownership of decisions, demonstrating sound judgement in escalating issues where necessary.
  • Results Oriented/ High Quality Deliverables:  Stays focused on the efforts necessary to achieve quality results consistent with programmatic or departmental goals. Demonstrates the ability to achieve effective results; works persistently to overcome obstacles to goal achievement. Accomplishes tasks by considering all areas involved, no matter how small; showing concern for all aspects of the job; accurately checking processes and tasks.
  • Planning & Time Management:  Establishes a course of action for self and/or others to accomplish a specific goal. Effectively plans, schedules, prioritizes and controls activities; identifies, integrates and orchestrates resources (people, material, information, budget, and/or time) to accomplish goals. Prioritizes work according to the program or department’s goals, not just own job responsibilities; manages own time effectively.
  • Business Acumen:  The ability to use information, ask the right questions and take decisions that make an impact on the overall business performance.

Job Specific/Technical Competencies include:

  • Financial & Resource Management: The ability to estimate, justify, and manage appropriate funding levels to support goal accomplishment. Managing Resources is about understanding human, financial, and operational resource issues to make decisions aimed at building and planning efficient project workflows, and at improving overall organizational performance.
  • Donor/Partnership Management: Identifying opportunities and taking action to build strategic relationships between one’s area and other areas, teams, departments, or organizations to help achieve business goals.
  • Analysis, Research, Report Writing: Experience in business planning and analysis, modeling for feasibility and execution. Able to analyze and express oneself clearly in business writing.
  • Innovative Mindset: Curious inquiries, asks questions and seeks out information from multiple sources, learns from mistakes, sees change as an opportunity.

ELIGIBILITY FOR APPLICATION

(a) All regular employees with 12 months or more of continuous TNS service, and who have a “meets expectations” performance rating are eligible to apply.

(b) Former TNSK staff with a good performance record and have not exceed 12 months since their exit are eligible to apply.

To Apply: Please submit your application (by email only) to ke-recruit@tns.org with the position title placed in the subject line. Please include (1) cover letter describing your interest, (2) curriculum vitae. Please include all requirements in a single document (pdf). Applications will be treated confidentially. Deadline for applications is 12th August 2020. Note that only short-listed candidates will be contacted.

TechnoServe encourages diversity in all levels and across all facets of our organization. We are proud to be an equal opportunity employer and do not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, color, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, ages, HIV/AIDS status, protected veteran status, disability and all other protected classes

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