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.

We have entered a very exciting time at the Foundation as we scale up our operations across Africa to realize our Young Africa Works strategy. If you are an experienced Program Management professional ready to build something new and increase your impact, read on!



The Foundation has a vision of financial inclusion in which young people, low-income individuals, households, and small businesses have access to, and can effectively use, appropriate, relevant financial services such as savings, credit, payments, health insurance, etc. To date, the Foundation’s Financial Inclusion program has committed more than $300 million to more than 33 organizations across multi-year projects to achieve this vision. These interventions serve approximately five million people and are anticipated to benefit fifteen million people by 2018. The portfolio has focused on scaling and expanding access to a broad range of financial services. To ensure that scale if effectively and efficiently reached, the Foundation has also supported the development of institutional capacity, while simultaneously supporting financial capability at the client level to ensure responsible usage of financial services. Our programs seek to increase access to appropriate forms of financial and economic opportunities for youth in Africa and better empower young people to manage their transition into dignified and fulfilling jobs by:

  • Offering more comprehensive models for financial inclusion, access to capital and markets
  • Supporting proof of concept of models that blend technology, skills, education and economic opportunities for young people and successful scale up models
  • Supporting research, data collection, and sharing insights about youth financial services


Reporting to the Country Head, the Program Lead, Youth Financial Inclusion and Investment will work collaboratively with other Foundation staff such as country team members; Design & Learning, Impact and Finance team members as well as other Program Leads and Partners (e.g. gender; youth engagement; digital economies, education finance, MSME growth).  

She/he will provide expertise to help identify constraints that prevent young people from access to markets, finance and capital.  She/he will support the development and design of financial inclusion and investment opportunities for young people, startups and MSMEs. This requires strong internal working efforts with the Program Leads for MSME, Agriculture, Technology, Education/ Skills in Ethiopia and experts from across the Foundation. She/he will drive alignment of youth financial inclusion programming with nationally identified priorities and the Foundation’s country strategy. This role will shape significant components of the Foundation’s country programming portfolio in collaboration with local partners.

The Program Lead will support the Foundation in developing perspectives regarding financial inclusion and access to capital and markets and approaches in Africa that can contribute to the Foundation’s thought leadership globally.


Program portfolio design and innovation:

  • Identify issues and trends that affect access to finance, capital and markets that young Ethiopian people face in their efforts to develop careers in MSMEs and as job-creating entrepreneurs.
  • Leverage expertise to review proposals, shape diagnostics and the Foundation’s strategic priorities and desired outcomes in Ethiopia.
  • Provide financial inclusion and investment opportunities development expertise to support design and management of programs in Ethiopia and other priority countries as required, proactively pursuing opportunities for program integration and innovation.
  • Oversee iterations and review of strategic outcomes, programs, and interventions within the youth financial inclusion and investment domain.
  • Support the design and delivery of appropriate mechanisms to monitor effectiveness and impact of financial inclusion and investment interventions in consultation with colleagues in Impact team.

Program and impact delivery:

  • Support and/or manage current or future programs as appropriate, which may include, reviewing narrative and financial reporting, undertaking regular partner/site visits and providing technical support to partners as needed.
  • Identify collaboration opportunities and facilitate implementing partner coordination as needed to achieve shared outcomes.
  • Track program progress and collaborate with colleagues in Impact and Design & Learning teams to collect / validate data and distill learnings for the country teams as well as wider Foundation staff.
  • Raising programmatic issues to Country Program Lead and Country Head as they arise and leveraging Foundation resources to resolve.

Stakeholder engagement:

  • Identify and engage with potential financial sector actors for country-based programming and support the development of program proposals that leads to providing opportunities for young people and their MSMEs access to finance, capital and other appropriate financial products. 
  • Build and maintain relationships with the private sector, particularly focusing on financial institutions, partner organizations, government representatives and other key stakeholders at the country-level, communities of practice and global stakeholders. 


  • Graduate degree, preferably in MBA and Economics
  • Minimum 5-7 years of relevant experience leading program interventions with partner organizations/grantees; financial sector and investment experience is desirable.
  • Strong understanding of key issues, challenges and trends in financial inclusion in Sub-Saharan Africa and particularly in Ethiopia.
  • Knowledge of, and experience designing and implementing, best practices in financial inclusion, investment and MSME access to finance and financial services.
  • Experience working within or on the periphery of the financial sector and having both microfinance and commercial banking experience is preferred
  • Experience working with financial technology companies, and an understanding of how these actors can integrate solutions and business lines with MFIs and Commercial banks
  • A strong understanding of the current and evolving policy and regulatory landscape of Ethiopia's financial sector; understands the National Bank of Ethiopia
  • Experience developing out retail financial products and services across sectors- agri, services, manufacturing, retail; sizes- MSME; demographics, age, gender
  • Has worked with financial instruments such as guarantees, equity investments, debt structuring, etc.
  • Has worked with development finance institutions- local and international- and broader philanthropic/donor actors and understands how they act as promoters of private sector impact especially within the financial sector
  • Strong partnership management capabilities and an ability to be agile in a range of situations/contexts. Someone that adds value to the conversation whether they be speaking with corporate in financial institution, venture capital investors, or implementing development partners.
  • Strong ethics and understanding of conflict of interest, competition and safeguarding within the private sector
  • Demonstrated ability to lead diagnostic and analytic work as well as project design, partner identification and implementation.
  • Excellent project management skills, including multi-stakeholder projects with senior levels of government and the private sector.
  • Experience working with or in partnership with non-profit, private or public sectors, particularly in a role relating to financial inclusion, access to capital and markets in Africa.
  • Knowledge of financial inclusion aligned with one or more growth sectors (e.g. agri-food systems, hospitality, manufacturing, construction, creative industries) would be an asset.
  • Knowledge of skills and MSME development and financing approaches is highly required
  • Knowledge of the access to finance, capital and market issues surrounding vulnerable groups (e.g. young women, refugee or displaced youth, youth with disabilities etc.) would be an asset.
  • Experience in working for top consulting firms and financial service providers is advantageous
  • Strong analytical, problem solving, prioritization and time management skills
  • Demonstrated written, presentation and spoken communication skills in Amharic and English is required.
  • Strong interpersonal skills with the ability to be flexible and adaptable and comfortable with ambiguity.
  • Is willing to be the last one to talk in a room and facilitates inclusive discussion
  • Proactive, engaged and a self-starter. Ability to work both independently and as part of a team.
  • Good organizational skills and demonstrated ability to handle multiple tasks.
  • Flexible, adaptable, and able to execute a range of job duties and changing priorities.
  • Possess excellent verbal, written, and presentation skills with the ability to articulate information to a variety of constituents across cultures.
  • Possess professional maturity, sensitivity with different cultures, and impeccable integrity that exemplify the Foundation’s values.
  • Is willing to travel up to 30 - 40%.


The 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, background checks, and proof of education 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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