Position Overview 

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 Product Manager to join our product team and elevate our product strategy, processes and solutions. In this role the successful candidate will collaborate with the Head of New Product Launch to articulate a winning strategy, and with the tech, product and other functional teams deliver on a 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, ruthless prioritizer, highly-motivated individual, proactive and willing to improve on processes. He/She must have first-hand experience building first-class user experience for the mass market user in Africa.

The Product Manager will be reporting to the Head of New Product Launch of NawiriPro. This role is crucial to the organization hitting its milestone to get product-market fit. As a result, he\she will be the connection between our customers, partners and our product. Providing a high-quality customer experience is an essential component of our product strategy.  He/she will engage with our customers by providing them with real value through exceptional end-to-end customer experience and great content.

You could be the perfect fit for this role if you:

  • A good culture fit and and a keen sense of how to navigate both internal and external hurdles to ship a great product
  • Are hungry to learn about and improve on customer experience for an education product
  • Are a ruthless prioritizer while balancing the needs of customers and stakeholders
  • If you want to take full responsibility for the product and measure your performance in terms of the success of the product.
  • Thrive in a scrappy environment and are comfortable with ambiguity and frequent changes to direction as the company works towards product-market fit and learns to operate at scale.

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.

Performance Objectives 

Execution of Product Strategy

  • Work with Head of New Product Launch and Tech Advisor to ensure product strategy and roadmap is up to date and communicated effectively to all stakeholders
  • Ensure release process is properly documented and that tech and internal teams carry out proper testing and effective communication to users before any feature/product release
  • Carry out stakeholder scoping sessions for new product/ features to socialize and get input and buy in from the team before requirements are handed over to the tech team for development
  • Own and drive all day-to-day aspects of product management.
  • Incorporating feedback and input from customers, partners and in-house teams on product strategy and finding ways to expand product market reach
  • Collect and analyze feedback from customers, stakeholders and other teams to shape product requirements, features and end product/s.
  • Analyze the market trends and user funnel performance in order to avail informed recommendations for the product.
  • Define product enhancements and strategies and report on the product’s roadmap to the Head of Product.
  • Working closely with Engineering to ensure solutions are ultimately delivered in a timely and cost-effective manner.
  • Inspire your cross-functional peers to build strong partnerships in delivering excellent products and services. 
  • Make hard, high-judgment trade-offs between features and speed-to-market.
  • Design products to align with the business strategy and stakeholder requirements.

Product Development

  • Develop product requirements based on the current product roadmap and circulate it to the tech team and the internal team. 
  • Ensure all feature requests handed in come through via an implemented process, are approved and socialized with the tech team before development.
  • Ensure product requirements have been adequately documented, and socialized with stakeholders both from the internal team as well as tech team and that tech team has detailed out technical/architectural design before development.
  • Build systems or processes to develop rapid experiments that lead to prototypes & pre-tests of customer experiences.
  • Conduct reflection and customer workshops based on both internal and external reports and best practices
  • Ensure cross functional participation for UATs so that there is product understanding before product/feature push to production
  • Research best practices, tools and processes to understand what user metrics will inform us of developing a value-based product.
  • Design and build user and product metrics and integrate them into a 3rd party dashboard.
  • Ensure documentation and routine sharing of knowledge and experiences across teams and leadership.

Product Metrics and Monitoring Tools 

  • Build systems or processes to develop rapid experiments that lead to prototypes & pre-tests of customer experiences.
  • Create best practices, tools and processes to understand what user metrics will inform that we are developing a value-based product.
  • Design and build user and product metrics and integrate them into a 3rd party dashboard
  • Ensure documentation and routine sharing of knowledge and experiences across teams and leadership.

Leadership on Tech & DevOps Team

  • Ensure all our vendors are using our project management tools and communication tools effectively to communicate product development progress.
  • Defining the release process and coordinating all of the activities required to bring the product to market and be transparent about your prioritization and roadmap process
  • Act as a product evangelist to build awareness and understanding throughout the company.
  • Ensure release process is properly documented and that tech and internal teams carry out proper testing and effective communication to users before any feature/product release
  • Carry out stakeholder scoping sessions for new product/ features to socialize and get input and buy in from the team before requirements are handed over to the tech team for development
  • Ensure cross functional participation for UATs so that there is product understanding before product/feature push to production

Qualifications 

  • Over 2 years experience in product or engineering management experience with a focus in software products or technologies, or in EdTech. 
  • Understanding and application of customer experience strategy and building systems around customer funnels.
  • Entrepreneurial drive and proven ability to take ownership and lead the team’s combined learning.
  • Collaborative, data-oriented approach to problem-solving.
  • Demonstrated ability to set and achieve ambitious goals in an innovative and fast-paced environment.
  • Ability to strategically work through competing demands and priorities with a solutions driven mindset.
  • Consistently asks for help and seeks advice from colleagues to let the best idea or process win.
  • Engaging and interactive communicator with a passion for coaching others.
  • 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).

Location

  • The location is Nairobi, Kenya

NawiriPro Culture

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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. 

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