Practical Action is an international non-governmental organisation (INGO) with 50 years of expertise in Africa, Asia and Latin America. We have a strong heritage and track record of bringing communities and experts together to find practical, sustainable solutions which work for both people and the planet; solutions that enable people to meet their needs and lead dignified lives. Technology features in everything we do. We partner with people whose lives are transformed by these efforts and ensure local ownership and solutions that work in the longer term, without us.
Practical Action Eastern Africa is looking for a qualified individual to fill the post of Project Officer - Enterprise Development with the overall responsibility of providing technical support in business development support services (BDS) to programme planning and implementation of project activities within the universal access to energy goal area.
The Project Officer - Enterprise Development, will have the following accountabilities:
1. Enterprise Development and Mentorship Support 40%
- Mobilize women energy entrepreneurs along the ICS, briquettes and solar value chains and assess their suitability to be engaged by the project using criteria set by the project team;
- Carry out ICS, solar and briquette SME value chain analysis and market/needs assessments using market mapping and other tools to advise formulation of county specific market development strategies for women energy entrepreneurs;
- Take lead in carrying out needs assessment, adapting and developing customized training curricular based on existing modules, together with the project team
- Organize and facilitate BDS support and training for women energy entrepreneurs in Improved Cook Stoves (ICS), fuel briquettes and solar, including business plans development, business records, product pricing, product promotion, market development etc.;
- Provide BDS support to women entrepreneurs in the 3 value chains to ensure profitability and sustainability of the enterprises;
- Advise and guide the project and the enterprises in business performance monitoring and management systems/tools and in collection of key entrepreneur performance data;
- Support recruitment, training, supervision and monitoring of BDS Mentors as part of entrepreneur support, including review of Mentor costed work plans and reports.
2. Access to Finance 20%
- Facilitate support to the women energy enterprises to access affordable loan products from both formal and non-formal financing institutions to grow their enterprises, including negotiation with institutions managing public funds and supporting formation and effective management of the Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLAs). In addition, support women entrepreneurs to prepare bankable business plans, and link them with the financing sources;
- Work closely with Local Fund Administrators to ensure assessment, capacity building of VSLAs for capital injection as well as reporting on their performance.
3. Market Development 15%
- Gather market intelligence to inform and support the WEEK programme. This includes understanding of new products, business models and financing arrangements
- Facilitate linkages between women entrepreneurs and technology providers to build the energy supply chain
- Participate in the development of education and awareness materials targeting both end-users and entrepreneurs, and work with the project team to identify opportunities, organize promotional events/activities to create demand for ICS, solar and briquettes as alternative lighting and cooking technologies and fuel, in order to open up markets for the entrepreneurs;
- Work with BDS and Technology Mentors to organize and facilitate networking and information sharing sessions for the women energy entrepreneurs supported by the project.
4. Advocacy and influence 5%
- Work with the gender and energy advocacy team to synergise learning from the WEEK project implementation to support advocacy work and to ensure women energy entrepreneurs are supported and their businesses profiled/documented for WE awareness and influencing
- Engage with other organizations to inspire them to adopt PA WEE approaches.
5. Monitoring, Evaluation and Documentation 10%
- Participate in routine monitoring and evaluation of project activities in liaison with the M&E specialist.
- Take lead in guiding, monitoring, and quality control of field implementation of BDS activities by the project Mentors and implementation partners
- Take lead in ensuring relevant data is captured, packaged and analysed for project management and reporting
- Support documentation of project achievements including case studies.
6. Programme development 5%
- Identify opportunities and develop project ideas based on gaps identified in the field for further development to raise funds for appropriate interventions in energy
- Participate in developing and reviewing relevant project documents as need arises together with other programme staff
7. Financial management and reporting 5%
- Responsible for preparing costed work plans and ensuring effective use of project resources in the field
- Prepare project budgets and assist line manager in costing project activities.
- Collating entrepreneur key performance indicators and preparing project implementation/ progress reports and annual reviews as needed
- Prepare accurate and timely project reports
Qualifications and Experience
The prospective candidates should possess:
- A Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing, Business Development or related development discipline.
- A post graduate diploma/diploma in Monitoring & Evaluation, Project management, Community Development or related field will be an added advantage.
- Minimum five years’ working experience in similar or related position.
- Excellent verbal and written communications skills with the ability to interact with all levels from micro and small enterprises, partners, management and staff, and work independently.
- Strong public speaking skills necessary to conduct group presentations, handle public relations, and present a professional image.
- Sales/marketing knowledge and experience in financial operations management and training.
If you are ready for an exciting challenge with an organisation whose mission and values are particularly relevant in these rapidly changing times, please forward your application, curriculum vitae and cover letter to: Practical Action, Eastern Africa Regional Office by email: firstname.lastname@example.org no later than 22nd March 2018 indicating the ‘Job Title’ in the subject line of the email. Your cover letter should outline why you feel this is the position for you and you are the right candidate. Please include the names and contact details of 3 referees in your CV.