Fintech Innovation and Operations Lead - Mercy Corps Ventures

Social Ventures Anywhere, United States


Description

This position is open to candidates in any Mercy Corps office location, with a preference for those in sub-Saharan Africa. 

About Mercy Corps

Mercy Corps is a leading global organization powered by the belief that a better world is possible. In disaster, in hardship, in more than 40 countries around the world, we partner to put bold solutions into action — helping people triumph over adversity and build stronger communities from within. Now, and for the future. Mercy Corps strives to be the leading INGO in applying technology solutions, innovative business models, and impact investing to optimize the impact and effectiveness of humanitarian aid and development. We feel new financial technologies such as blockchain and cryptocurrencies can provide game-changing tools to realize that potential. Mercy Corps is a founding member of several leading global consortia and initiatives including: the Diem Association, the Celo Alliance, and the World Economic Forum’s Digital Currency Governance Consortium, among others.

Program/Department Summary

Mercy Corps Ventures is the impact investing division of Mercy Corps.  Mercy Corps Ventures (MCV) leverages the global resources and reach of a leading development agency to provide high-impact startups with investment capital, value-added support and catalytic partnerships so they can scale solutions for underserved populations in fragile, frontier markets. We designed our capital and support to help ventures overcome critical barriers, professionalize faster and scale smarter.   We are developing a vibrant portfolio of innovative, scalable companies and partnerships that have proven, high-impact solutions. For more information, please refer to our Ventures Overview, 2020 Annual Impact Report, and MCVMedium Blog.

MCV recently launched a frontier fintech initiative, “FinX”, that aims to reimagine the financial system with the world's most vulnerable at the center of its design. Our goal is to accelerate global financial inclusion by advancing innovative, responsible blockchain, digital assets, cryptocurrencies and other digital financial solutions that help people join the global economy and lift themselves out of poverty. MCV will invest in and support a portfolio of solutions that leverage emerging technologies and business models. We will also co-design and execute pilots and proofs of concepts with fintech, crypto and blockchain ventures to build the evidence base, build MC's capacity in this area, and generate learnings and insights to promote financial resilience. The Ventures team believes that while capital is important, ultimately it is only a part of the solution. We strongly believe that integrative investment and product development/piloting pays dividends by not only making companies more successful, but also by ensuring that companies maximize their positive social impact. 

General Position Summary

The Fintech Innovation and Operations Lead will play an integral role with the Mercy Corps Ventures, providing high-level support to the Senior Technologist and supporting innovative, effective piloting back up best-in-class impact measurement and management. 

The Fintech Innovation and Operations Lead will increase the scale of pilot and prototyping operations and enhance venture partnership and support offerings in frontier markets. They will provide management, administrative and operational support for FinX initiatives and be responsible for pilot management, partnership development, impact management, and reporting. They will be a champion of entrepreneurial solutions to the toughest global challenges and be motivated to develop expertise in emerging technologies and business models. Key areas of focus include advancing innovative, responsible distributed ledgers, digital assets, cryptocurrencies and other digital financial solutions that accelerate global financial inclusion, as well as supporting ventures delivering climate adaptation, agritech, logistics, and other livelihood improving solutions.

Essential Responsibilities

PILOT DESIGN & OPERATIONS (85%)

  • Contribute to the design, development and implementation of FinX – pilots, partnerships strategies, capacity building, and impact measurement and management (IMM.) 
  • Lead FinX pilot development throughout the entire process – concept development, market research, user research, implementation – ensuring effective communication with the relevant parties as appropriate and using Human Centered Design and Design Thinking principles.
  • Coordinate FinX pilot partnerships (with social enterprises and other actors) ensuring the necessary team members are engaged from exploration to negotiation and to development to  achieve pilot objectives.
  • Manage operations of FinX pilots, including but not limited to pilot work plans, impact frameworks, procurement and budgeting.
  • Contribute to the development and iteration of FinX pilot tools, processes, and strategy.
  • Collaborate with team members to identify, track, and consistently communicate measurable objectives and key results that align performance toward achieving ambitious FinX pilot goals.
  • Ensure pilot implementation is on time, on target and on budget, using effective IMM systems to reach desired impacts.
  • Ensure that pilot implementation is responsive to communities and partners and consistent with Program Management at Mercy Corps ([email protected]) and other relevant principles, values, quality standards and strategy.
  • Provide Senior Technologist with support for other key projects as needed.

INSIGHTS & MARKETING (15%)

  • Represent Mercy Corps Ventures and FinX externally at conferences, workshops and other events in fintech, impact investing and social entrepreneurship.
  • Support internal and external communications and ensure knowledge management systems are up to date and accurate to support communication with other teams, pilot partners, and portfolio companies.
  • Assist Senior Technologist with preparation and compilation of briefing materials, presentations, as needed.
  • Contribute to developing communications materials (annual reports, social media, speeches, blogs, press releases, case studies, website content, newsletters, success stories, and any other) and disseminating to internal and external audiences.
  • Support working groups and research partners in advancing thought leadership.
  • Draft correspondence and program-related materials, attend meetings, write up notes, and carry out other duties as assigned.

Supervisory Responsibility

None

Accountability

Reports Directly To: Senior Technologist, Mercy Corps Ventures

Works Directly With: MCV team members; MC field leadership and staff, IT staff, partner organizations, Technical Support Units, T4D, consultants and team members; External Partners

Accountability to Participants and Stakeholders

Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our program participants, community partners, other stakeholders, and to international standards guiding international relief and development work. We are committed to actively engaging communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.

Minimum Qualifications and Transferable Skills

  • BA/BS or equivalent required, Master’s Degree a plus.
  • A minimum of 5-7 years of relevant career experience in a startup, technology company, management consulting, investment banking, investing, international development or similar sectors.
  • Demonstrated tech and business savvy; particular interest in social entrepreneurship and digital financial inclusion and innovation. 
  • Domain expertise in fintech, cryptocurrencies and/or blockchain technologies.
  • Excellent problem-solving and time management skills; superior communication and interpersonal skills; exceptional ability to get things done.
  • Direct project management experience, including managing project workplans, budgets, procurement processes, and overseeing implementation teams a plus 
  • Entrepreneurial mindset; able to navigate complexity and ambiguity to develop clear, focused, ambitious plans of action.
  • A team-oriented individual able to work collaboratively in a high-performance environment.
  • Proven ability to measure effectiveness of approach and adjust/adapt as needed.
  • Experience building effective working relationships with multicultural and remote teams.
  • Professional French/Spanish is a plus.

Success Factors

The ideal candidate will have a proven ability to problem-solve, manage complexity, and execute.  They possess an entrepreneurial spirit and enjoy testing out, adjusting, and optimizing approaches just as our portfolio ventures and pilot partners do. They are team-oriented, “low-ego,” and able to work collaboratively in a high-performance, dynamic and mission-driven environment. A superb communicator, this person is adept at synthesizing complex concepts and expressing them in approachable ways, developing compelling written content and digital media, and comfortable with public speaking. They have a demonstrated passion for harnessing business and technology to solve challenges facing the world’s most vulnerable communities.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

This position can be performed remotely, but may require up to 33% travel to multiple global locations, pending health and travel advisories. This position is expected to travel unaccompanied often, which may include some weekends. Constant communication is important where infrastructure allows.

Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside work hours when deployed in a field posting or on a visit/TDY to a field posting. Team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws, customs and MC's policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.

Ongoing Learning

In support of our belief that learning organizations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities we serve, we empower all team members to dedicate 5% of their time to learning activities that further their personal and/or professional growth and development

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Achieving our mission begins with how we build our team and work together. Through our commitment to enriching our organization with people of different origins, beliefs, backgrounds, and ways of thinking, we are better able to leverage the collective power of our teams and solve the world’s most complex challenges. We strive for a culture of trust and respect, where everyone contributes their perspectives and authentic selves, reaches their potential as individuals and teams, and collaborates to do the best work of their lives.

We recognize that diversity and inclusion is a journey, and we are committed to learning, listening and evolving to become more diverse, equitable and inclusive than we are today.

Equal Employment Opportunity

Mercy Corps is an equal opportunity employer that does not tolerate discrimination on any basis. We actively seek out diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be collectively stronger and have sustained global impact.

We are committed to providing an environment of respect and psychological safety where equal employment opportunities are available to all. We do not engage in or tolerate discrimination on the basis of race, color, gender identity, gender expression, religion, age, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, disability (including HIV/AIDS status), marital status, military veteran status or any other protected group in the locations where we work.

Safeguarding & Ethics

Mercy Corps is committed to ensuring that all individuals we come into contact with through our work, whether team members, community members, program participants or others, are treated with respect and dignity. We are committed to the core principles regarding prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse laid out by the UN Secretary General and IASC. We will not tolerate child abuse, sexual exploitation, abuse, or harassment by or of our team members. As part of our commitment to a safe and inclusive work environment, team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner, respect local laws and customs, and to adhere to Mercy Corps Code of Conduct Policies and values at all times. Team members are required to complete mandatory Code of Conduct elearning courses upon hire and on an annual basis.