Acumen is looking for someone with 10+ years of experience, 3 - 5 in investing for a 12 month contract at 30% time to lead and coordinate an initiative to develop a strategy of ‘refugee investing’ for early-stage social entrepreneurs in East Africa.
We’re investors. A different kind of investor. We invest in people and companies working to solve problems for people living in poverty... essential products and services that bring more opportunities, more choices to millions. To date, Acumen has positively impacted 309 million lives by investing $137M in 139 innovative, early-stage companies in Africa, Latin America, South Asia, and the United States. But investing clearly isn’t just about capital. It’s about investing in people and we’ve been doing it for years. Connecting with emerging leaders in their own countries and engaging them in extended collective dialogue on what constitutes a “good society”, moral inquiry, and skill building.
Acumen’s manifesto declares that our work starts by standing with the poor. One major dimension of poverty is its intersection with displacement. Forced displacement is one of the defining social crises of our generation, and the vast majority of forcibly displaced people (FDP) live in developing countries, with over one-third populating Africa. If current trends continue, the total number of FDP will increase to 300 million by 2030 and the average duration a person who is stuck in a protracted displacement situation is 17 years. Acumen believes that social entrepreneurs providing durable solutions can promote self-reliance among FDP. In partnership with the Refugee Investment Network, Acumen is launching an accelerator and designing an investment initiative to support early stage businesses in East Africa that are serving FDPs and their host communities as employees, producers and/or customers.
This role is responsible for managing a strategy development process, stakeholder engagement, and pipeline building. Acumen Academy, our online school for social change, is also running an accelerator for social entrepreneurs serving forcibly displaced people. This accelerator may serve as a beginning pipeline. This role will judge the solution sets of finalists and help decide whether they are investment ready. This 12 month contract will report to the Director of Business Development, Government Partnerships, in East Africa.
- Advise the Acumen Academy team on the accelerator design and support the implementation.
- Work with a strategy consultancy to develop an investment strategy for FDP investing in East Africa.
- Build a network—unless you already have one—to help build the field of FDP investing and position Acumen in the ecosystem (entrepreneurs, other investors, academics, advisors, and those who work in corporates, NGOs, and accelerators).
- Identify a pipeline of companies working to serve and employ forcibly displaced populations. Evaluate their model and market opportunity.
- Manage the FDP Advisory Council.
- Support the development of materials for the BD and Strategic Partnerships team on refugee-lens investing
- Support the development of materials and co-represent Acumen at industry events related to FDPs
Qualifications and Skills
- 10+ years of work experience needed. 3-5 years of principal investing, including financial and operational due diligence of private companies (identifying deals, due diligence, structuring, and executing)
- Bachelor's Degree; MBA preferable
- Investing in the early stages in the social space
- Experience with strategy development
- Product market fit and financial modeling.
- Solid operational skills including problem solving and project management, can work and deliver projects independently, proactively and under pressure.
- Ability to work collaboratively
- Ability to communicate clearly, excellent writing and presentation skills.
- Experience working with accelerators is a plus.
- Senior level networks in the private, public, non-profit, and philanthropic sectors working in East Africa preferred. Relationships with relevant grant makers and governments are a plus.
- Self-reflective and aligned with Acumen's values
- Permanently authorized to work in Kenya preferred. Resident of Kenya, Uganda or Ethiopia required.
- Full spoken and written English is required. Swahili is also helpful.
- Flexibility to travel, primarily throughout East Africa.
Kenya, Uganda or Ethiopia.
Candidates are encouraged to apply early, as applications will be reviewed and interviews will be scheduled on a rolling basis. The application deadline is September 24, 2021.