NawiriPro, a Kenyan-led social enterprise launched in 2019 by Educate! and recently recognized by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for progress towards decent work and economic growth, is seeking a Deputy Director to lead our team to product-market fit by 2022. NawiriPro is forging new and innovative pathways to sustainably impact Out of School Youth (OoSY) livelihoods at scale. We empower and train youth on running successful informal sector businesses, starting with the motorbike courier industry, by teaching them how to increase their income and improve their livelihood. NawiriPro wants to solve the unemployment rate for millions of Out of School Youth in Africa by teaching them successful and dynamic informal sector business models.
NawiriPro is looking for someone who is customer-obsessed, action-biased, delivers results, frugal by accomplishing more with less, eager to train the current team on how to get to the product-market fit and be innovative yet able to create simple action plans. He/She must have first-hand experience building a product that achieved product-market fit.
The Deputy Director will be reporting to the Managing Director and Co-founder of NawiriPro. This role is crucial to the organization hitting its milestone to get product-market fit. As a result, the functions and objectives of the role are subject to change, and the ideal person for this role will be comfortable with and excited to take on a dynamic and evolving role. You can be part of building something that can provide millions of youth with sustainable income by running successful informal sector business.
You could be the perfect fit for this role if you:
- Have successfully launched a product to market fit from the early stages of a business.
- Have superb business acumen and have a sound understanding of business strategies.
- Enjoy starting with the customer and work backwards by continuously obsessing over customers to ensure a superb customer experience.
- Raise the performance bar with every hire and promotion by up-skilling the team and take their role in coaching others seriously to aid the business to reach its goals.
- Enjoy making many decisions and actions because speed matters in our business line, but ensure you are taking calculated risks.
- Understand that constraints breed resourcefulness, self-sufficiency, and invention.
- Enjoy operating at all levels, staying connected to the details, audit frequently, and are skeptical when metrics and anecdotes differ. No task is beneath you.
About Educate! & NawiriPro
Educate! prepares youth in Africa with the skills to succeed in today’s economy. Our goal is to design skills-based education and employment solutions which impact youth life outcomes sustainably and at scale. In 2019, we partnered with the governments of Uganda, Rwanda, and Kenya and measurably impacted over 46,000 youth in and out of schools while reaching 470,000 learners more broadly, making us the biggest youth skills providers in East Africa. In 2020, we rapidly adapted to a changing world by creating distance learning solutions to serve youth during the pandemic.
Educate! is a non-profit social enterprise with over 150 staff and 300 volunteer youth mentors. We have been backed by top foundations such as MasterCard, Big Bang Philanthropy, Echoing Green, Ashoka and Global Innovation Fund. Educate! won a 2018 Klaus J. Jacobs Prize (and was featured in a video), a 2015 WISE Award, and was highlighted by Bill Gates, in the World Bank’s S4YE's Impact Portfolio, an Al Jazeera documentary, Forbes 30 under 30, and The Brookings Institution as one of 14 case studies in their global scaling education learning initiative. Educate! was also selected by the UN’s Generation Unlimited as 1 of 20 innovative youth solutions and by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as a Goalkeepers Accelerator.
In March 2019, Educate! launched a new social enterprise unit within our organization called “NawiriPro”, based in Kenya. NawiriPro is building a new product that will offer faster and more affordable educational pathways for out-of-school youth, enabling them to thrive in the informal economy. NawiriPro is building a user-paying bootcamp model, which targets youth and parents as payers for the bootcamp to create a fully sustainable and customer-centred social impact product.
To date, we have more than 3,000 motorcycle riders using the NawiriPro e-learning platform. Our long-term vision is to serve more than 100,000 youth annually with a break-even business model.
Lead & Execute Business Operations Strategy
- Encourage and build on a culture of customer-centricity in the entire team.
- Drive the overall business operating capabilities to surpass customer satisfaction and retention, and strategic goals.
- Develop and establish an implementation process for new product rollout and delivery of recent product changes to customers.
- Set comprehensive goals for business growth and success based on the interpret data and user funnel metrics.
- Works closely with the Managing Director to understand the product’s nuances and design decisions to inform the development of suitable implementation process and practice.
- Conduct product audits to monitor and report on adoption, performance, and growth. Use these reports to inform the business strategy.
- Ensure the team avoids not delivering its product roadmap milestones due to misconceptions of risk to the overall strategy
- Build a financial model to analyse the business performance.
Day-to-Day Business, Finance & Operations Oversight
- Uphold values of timeliness, accuracy, continuous learning, and data-driven decision-making in the finance function
- Oversee the NawiriPro’s fiscal activity, including budgeting, reporting, and auditing.
- Review financial reports for ways to reduce costs and increase efficiency
- Ensure payment systems are set and well managed, including creating payment strategies to increase revenue.
- Managing fixed costs by ensuring low or no team churn as well as running a regular cost-benefit analysis.
- Assess risks to business operations and analyze business or financial data.
- Ensuring the team understands the vision and business strategy, why we are here, what we are doing and how their role fits it.
- The team is fully aware of the strategy and is clear on how their roles align with its execution.
- Promote focused ops, finance & talent unit: Strategy session to create timely quarterly goals.
- Create and lead processes to ensure that operations and product teams collaborate to facilitate efficient and effective delivery of NawiriPro strategy.
- Ensure that systems are in place to promote and emphasise high performance across the NawiriPro team, including building on our culture of high performance and implementing performance management systems towards fair appraisal and strong employee development.
- Promoting Internal Communications and promoting cohesion between the departments
- Oversee HR compliance and policy implementation
- Ensuring all departments vision is created and communicated to all to build cohesion.
- Leading all internal communication through MMM, All hands call, etc.
- Mentor, coach & develop staff using a supportive and collaborative approach: ensuring transferable skills are learnt to ensure we hit our business goals.
- Lead the account relationship management for all NawiriPro partners.
- Take the lead in solving the problems that arise during the execution of projects with NawiriPro.
- Proactively identify and solve complex problems that impact the management, relationship and direction of the business.
- Lead the development of proposals by working with various internal stakeholders and negotiate contractual relationships.
- Foster in-depth and productive relationships at all levels with the partner and the NawiriPro organisation.
- The ideal candidate has worked in a very early-stage startup that has achieved product-market fit.
- Minimum eight years of work experience (more likely needed)
- Experience managing human resources, finances, operations and strategies.
- Dynamic experience is highly preferred, with demonstrated ability to operate well in complex and fast-changing environments.
- Familiarity with the lean startup approach is strongly preferred
- Experience working with diverse stakeholders and managing many priorities
- Passion for NawiriPro’s mission is a must, but past work in education or youth development is not required. We value diverse perspectives and encourage applications from people with a variety of backgrounds. Background working with youth in the informal sector or digital product would be an asset.
- You fit our Five Cultural Tenets (see What is NawiriPro About? below)
- The location is Nairobi, Kenya
People inspire us with drive, and we love to help them reach their full potential. We expect everyone at NawiriPro to contribute above and beyond their job description, grow their skills, and advance their careers. We are committed to supporting our staff members on that journey.
- We Are Youth First - We believe in the youth’s power and design a model that depends on them. To create effective solutions, we have to see and understand the challenges and opportunities that real people encounter in their lives. Continuously improve through build-measure-learn loops, build based on evidence-based solution and research. It also means we use the Human-centred approach to design our solutions.
- We Are Committed - The team is self-directed, and all members are dedicated to completing work that has been agreed upon. The number one driver of an innovation culture is team cohesion. We need to feel a sense of togetherness, working towards a larger goal. In NawiriPro, we believe that sharing generously and being open are essential traits in driving cohesion and innovation.
- We Are Courageous - When you work at NawiriPro, you will realise that our risk appetite is an indicator of how innovative we can be. We understand that risk is an inherent part of the innovation process. As we test out new ideas, some will fail. We, therefore, embrace failure and create a safe to fail environment.
- We Respect each other - The team is composed of members who have different strengths, and each individual's strengths are respected. There is no finger-pointing when discussing how to fix what is not working. The team operates as a single entity and succeeds or fails together.
- We Practice learning - Through daily stand up meetings, the team is given time to gather and share what has been successful and what needs to be improved. It takes training and learning every step to recognize and support disruptive innovation.
Every person at NawiriPro — from interns to the Managing Director — is evaluated by how they live up to these five cultural tenets. They are at the core of how we achieve our mission and why we work as well as we do.
NawiriPro is committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all who interact in our community. In creating this environment, we encourage people from various cultures, backgrounds and life experiences to join our diverse team.