About Mastercard Foundation

Mastercard Foundation is a global foundation based in Toronto, Canada with several offices in Africa. Our programs promote financial inclusion and advance education and learning in Africa, primarily for young people, and in Canada for Indigenous youth. The Foundation was established in 2006 through the generosity of Mastercard when it became a public company. From inception, the Foundation was designed to be a separate entity and independent from Mastercard. Our policies, operations, and funding decisions are made by our President and Board of Directors.

The Foundation believes that youth employment is key to unlocking prosperity, both for youth and their societies. Enabling young women and men from disadvantaged communities to secure dignified and fulfilling work will ensure inclusive development and economic growth in Africa.

Values are timeless, they transcend and rise above all. They guide everything we do, as employees of the Foundation.  We share a common vision of a world where everyone has the opportunity to learn and prosper. We make mistakes, we reflect, and we grow so that we can impact our world – it’s why we are here. We are ambitious and driven. We encourage you to bring your bold ideas, curiosity, and expertise to your work. We laugh at ourselves and with each other. We are a team. Our journey together makes our impact even more meaningful.


Micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) play a critical role in employment and job creation in Sub-Saharan Africa. As part of the Young Africa Works strategy, the Foundation has committed to improving the quality and quantity of jobs in African countries at address youth unemployment. Working with MSMEs is vital to this mission. The Foundation pursues systemic approaches to diagnose and work on interventions to address the numerous constraints on the growth of MSMEs.

MSMEs support the development of country strategies and programs, help colleagues build a shared understanding of key issues and opportunities related to growing MSME employment in Africa, and contributes to the Foundation’s learning agenda.

The Foundation’s work, to date, has supported micro-enterprise directly through its work in Financial Inclusion and in Youth Livelihoods. The Foundation continues to support a number of Financial Inclusion programs that predate the Young Africa Works strategy, especially in the Rural and Agricultural Finance initiative.


Reporting to the Country Representative, Rwanda, the  will work collaboratively with the program team and other Foundation staff to manage a portfolio of existing Financial Inclusion programs and partnerships. They will also support the development of country strategies. They will interact effectively with senior levels of partner organizations to develop and design programs to support MSME start-ups and growth; and incorporate the MSME segment’s needs into the Foundation’s country strategies.


  • Support and contribute to the ongoing definition and development of Country Office strategies and expansion. This work could include conducting due diligence of potential partners and projects, reviewing project design and appropriate documentation, reporting and data collection as well as budget reviews.
  • Identify challenges and opportunities facing MSMEs, including those in the Agricultural sector that can be unlocked through education, labour and financial systems to drive job growth.
  • Manage current and future programs as appropriate; including programs in the rural and agricultural finance initiative and distill learnings for Foundation staff.
  • Provide perspective and expertise on emerging issues and trends in youth employment, MSME sector and entrepreneurship growth in Africa.
  • Communicate progress and learnings from projects to colleagues and the wider development community.
  • Build relationships with partner organizations, communities of practice, and global stakeholders.
  • Serve as a local point of contact and collaborator across a range of interested parties including partner organizations, government officials, young people, and private sector leaders on issues of common concern to leverage positive impact toward common goals 
  • Represent the Foundation and collaborate with key internal and external stakeholders.
  • Identify and overcome barriers to team effectiveness by sharing knowledge and learnings while offering insights and possible solutions to issues and/or program challenges.
  • Contribute insights to the Foundation’s thought leadership on youth employment in Africa.


  • Master’s degree or equivalent experience in Finance, Business, Development Economics and/or Financial Inclusion.
  • Minimum of seven (7) years of experience in financing and non-financial support to MSMEs or new enterprises is highly preferred. This should include commercial experience and project management in enterprise business development, investing in and/or financing MSMEs in developing countries.
  • Minimum of five (5) years leadership and management experience including managing staff and coaching, mentoring and providing feedback.
  • Strong understanding of MSME segments (from early stage startups to growth-stage SMEs) in Africa and the systemic challenges constraining their growth, with a particularly understanding of the Rwanda context.
  • Understanding of the role MSMEs can play in economic transformation and job creation.
  • Experience with MFIs, banks or investment companies operational in Africa to finance SMEs.
  • Experience living and working in Africa; knowledge of African social, economic and political contexts would be an asset. Experience living and working in Rwanda is highly desirable.
  • Strong budgeting skills with the ability to manage a portfolio of commitments
  • Strong ability to communicate progress and learnings from projects to colleagues and the wider development community.
  • Excellent project management skills, including multi-stakeholder projects.
  • Excellent presentation and listening skills.
  • Strong interpersonal skills with the ability to be flexible and adaptable.
  • Proactive, engaged and a self-starter.
  • Excellent prioritization and time management skills.
  • Ability to work both independently and as part of a team.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills in English. Bilingual French is desired.
  • Ability to travel up to 20%.
  • You are flexible, adaptable, and able to execute a range of job duties and changing priorities.
  • You possess excellent verbal, written, and presentation skills with the ability to articulate information to a variety of constituents across cultures.
  • You possess professional maturity, sensitivity with different cultures, and impeccable integrity that exemplify the Foundation’s values.


Mastercard Foundation values the unique skills and experiences each individual brings to the organization and we are committed to creating and maintaining an inclusive and accessible environment for everyone.

Completion of satisfactory business references and/or proof of education, as well as background checks (criminal, credit and social media) are essential conditions of employment.

If you require accommodation during the recruitment and selection process, please contact the People and Culture Department at humanresources@mastercardfdn.org. We will work with you to provide a positive recruitment experience in a confidential manner.

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