Regional Director – Heifer Impact Capital – Africa
Job ID 769
Heifer International is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, status as a protected veteran, among other things, or status as a qualified individual with disability.
Heifer is a leading international development organization working in the agricultural sector in over 20 countries with 32.5 million people since our beginning. Celebrating over 75 years, Heifer works with communities of smallholder farmers to end world hunger and poverty and care for the Earth. Our community led development model leads to food security and nutrition, economic development and environmental sustainability that can empower small scale farmers on the path to living income. When those components are multiplied by the positive impacts of gender equality and social capital, communities achieve greater resilience and a sustainable reduction in hunger and poverty.
To further develop and strengthen these inclusive local economies, we help our farmers start or expand farmer owned businesses, cooperatives or social enterprises so they can profitably participate in pro-poor wealth creating value chains. These value chains integrate poor and vulnerable groups into market activities in an equitable and fair manner. These value chains create lasting wealth that is rooted and stays in communities through local ownership, mutually beneficial linkages and inclusive business relationships.
A few years ago, Heifer formed our Impact Capital department to focus on connecting farmers and cooperatives with access to capital. This group has since moved to Shared Wealth Ventures, an Arkansas LLC and is doing business as Heifer Impact Capital.
This team is focused on leveraging Heifer’s history, reputation and brand to catalyze significant new sources of 3rd party capital to invest into strengthening agricultural value chains and creating resilience with the express intent of closing the living income gap for smallholder farmers
The ultimate aim is to create a global private impact fund manager targeting scalable, meaningful and measurable social impact and positive financial returns by investing across the agricultural value chain to empower farmers and agricultural communities to earn a living income while caring for the earth. We believe that this innovative approach will be an integral part of our toolkit to create strong social impact in our work.
There are currently eight team members, including this role. Team members are located in Little Rock, AR; Cape Town, South Africa; Nairobi, Kenya; New Delhi, India; and in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
This is a regional-based position with a sub-Saharan focus, with the final candidate working either remotely or from one of Heifer’s offices located in Africa. Fluency in English is a must, and applications must be submitted in English.
The primary function of this position is to support capital deployment for Heifer field teams and program participants; facilitate market-based enterprise development as a means of development; and maintain regional strategic finance partnerships as an extension of Heifer’s Impact Capital team. This role will liaise directly with field teams regarding the coordination of opportunity identification, information gathered, and support for analysis and recommendation to the credit committee. This position will be responsible for exploring appropriate financial service providers and maintain long-term and productive/functional relationships with funding institutions (banks/financial institutions, venture capitalists, angel investors, private investors, and other beneficiaries (individual farmers, cooperatives, community agro-vet entrepreneurs, traders, butchers and processors, etc.)
ESSENTIAL CHARACTER TRAITS
Although analytic and financial analysis skills are crucial, the successful candidate will require strong leadership qualities and communication skills to manage relationships with Heifer’s field and investment teams, financial and other institutional partners and investees.
The candidate should be impact-driven and innovative while having strong business acumen, proactive, respect for procedures and norms. Agricultural private equity and debt experience, familiarity with financial analysis tools, and the ability to develop and present investment opportunities are required. A strong preference for regional sub-Saharan Africa experience in the investment space in the context of international development.
RESPONSIBILITIES AND DELIVERABLES
A. Pipeline development, investment vetting, and portfolio management (50%)
- Promote access to capital and finance for smallholder farmers and align with the Impact Capital mandate and deliverables.
- Originate and evaluation prospective impact investment opportunities in conjunction with Impact Capital’s investment committee.
- Assist with fund raising, fund structuring, investment due diligence, presentations to credit committees and other senior managers across the organization.
- Help to design and sculpt financial transaction terms to provide the greatest chance of delivering on both financial and impact metrics.
- In line with Impact Capital’s guidelines, policies, procedures and mandate, deploy capital into approved transactions that will meet the required financial and impact metrics.
- Help with the management of bad debt / underperforming investments and decide, in conjunction with the Impact Capital Credit Committee, on appropriate interventions.
- Monitor and report, as required, on the portfolio’s risk, return and impact metrics.
- Carry out ad hoc policy and investment research on value chain financing gaps and create/implement corresponding advocacy plans.
- Manage relationships with regional financial intermediaries and other investment related institutions.
- Drive the availability of appropriate financial products in select value chains.
- Develop pipeline of investment transactions with opportunity for funding through Heifer Impact Capital
- Assist to negotiate, shape and conclude investments that will deliver the required financial and impact metrics.
- Manage, monitor and where necessary assist the Impact capital team on appropriate interventions.
- Prepare manuals, briefs, guidelines, technical papers and other materials related to access to finance and investment transactions
- Mobilize consultants and experts as and when needed.
- Manage relationships with staff and implementing partners, including orientation and coaching.
- Provide expert advice to Heifer staff and related firms/enterprises on financial analysis and access to finance and investment opportunities.
- Support the operationalization and tracking of business and marketing plans for producer associations, hubs, and other businesses through joint planning, monitoring, and collaboration with the Heifer International country and area teams.
- Develop staff’s capacity building plan in the field of access to finance and value chain financing, including developing and updating training manuals/materials and delivering that training to build the capacity of Heifer staff and partners.
- Establish contacts and build/maintain relationships with potential implementing partners such as financial institutions (Bank and Financial Institutions (BFIs), Private/Public/Investment funds, Impact Investing Companies, Venture Capitalists, Donors, etc.) and MSMEs/agribusinesses.
- Develop and deliver packages of tools and techniques on agriculture finance and risk assessment to the staff of financial institutions and cooperatives
- Develop knowledge document and ensure access to information to build financial intelligence, financial literacy, and financial management capacity of smallholder farmers and MSMEs.
- Lead the investment management and access to finance role in Heifer’s Africa programs, liaise with technical leads at headquarters for increased effectiveness and align the local implementation with the global goal of Heifer’s Impact Capital team.
- Assist the Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) team in providing social impacts that result from Impact Capital’s investment activity.
- Establish contacts, build, and maintain relationships with potential partners such as financial institutions, private/public/investment funds, impact investing organizations, venture capitalists, donors, and MSMEs/agribusinesses.
- Represent Heifer at relevant forums to share best practices and lessons learned while elevating the critical constraints on access to capital and finance for farming communities.
- Document and publish case studies, briefing notes, reports, etc.
- Coordinate with other team members with a high focus on Heifer’s development model (Values-
- Based Holistic Community Development (VBHCD) and Heifer’s Accelerate Strategy).
- Lead with a clear timeline and deliverables as Signature projects and investments come online.
- Develop and update the strategic documents for value chain financing for projects that include implementation manual, training manual, fund guidelines, etc. within the first year of each project
- Assist the M&E team to develop the framework in investment and access to finance.
- Support programs teams on project monitoring, progress reporting, and result measurement at all milestone reviews and during annual impact monitoring.
- Relevant strategies in place to ensure participation of vulnerable groups in access to capital (women, marginalized, landless, disaster-affected, etc.)
- A bachelor’s degree in agribusiness, agricultural economics, finance or related fields.
- At least ten (10) years’ experience in fields related to Agro-business finance and investment as well as international development. This person must show proof of experience in managing investment in the agricultural sector and monitoring and collections.
- Demonstrated strong writing and oral presentation skills in English.
- A master’s degree or equivalent in the fields of agriculture economics, business administration, entrepreneurship, business development, finance or other related fields,
- Five (5) years’ management level work experience.
- Significant experience in building public/private partnerships, preferably in the agricultural and livestock sectors.
- Five (5) years of experience in financial due diligence and credit assessment.
- Demonstrated experience in conducting business, investment analyses, and capital budgeting and sufficient evidence on how the results were used to develop viable business ideas and subsequently tangible businesses.
- Proven experience in building the capacity of agribusinesses, managing knowledge, measuring progress, planning, and innovating within agriculture value chains.
Most Critical Proficiencies
- Practical knowledge and understanding of impact investment management preferably in the Agri finance and Investment space.
- Excellent analytical skills and the ability to perform investment due diligence and verify information.
- Knowledge of market development, value chain, and public/private sector engagement.
- Strong skills in market analysis, feasibility studies, enterprise budgeting, and
- Ability to analyze and interpret financial statements, cash flow statements, financial ratios, and business projections.
- Practical knowledge and understanding of key access to finance opportunities and constraints along agriculture value chains in rural
- Demonstrated experience in training and capacity building of financial services providers, smallholder farmers/rural SMEs and base of the pyramid consumers.
- Experience in addressing gender inequality in financial market systems highly preferred.
- Ability to work independently – and take initiative while also having strong team building
- Excellent management, communication, and interpersonal
- A good understanding of and sensitivity to issues associated with poverty, hunger and the knowledge of the context in which non-profit organizations operate.
- Demonstrated understanding of the economic, social, and cultural dynamics of agriculture/livestock production systems in Africa.
- Demonstrated networks and trust relations in Africa’s financial markets.
- Experience with both formal and informal finance
- Proven track-record in rolling out new and innovative rural financing products, including value chain finance instruments.
- The successful candidate will have excellent technical and leadership experience in expanding access to finance.
- Experience in financial institutions and enterprise-level technical assistance, training, and training curriculum
- Interest in the livestock sector and women's economy.
Essential Job Functions and Physical Demands
- Ability to prepare and present documents in a well-designed and attractive format with excellent attention to detail.
- Capacity to interact effectively with people from different cultures and work with governments and donor and DFI agencies.
- Ability to maintain the highest ethical standards at all times.
- A strong leader and team player.
- Willingness and ability to assign and review the work of direct reports.
- Proven team and customer care skills with the ability to train and work cooperatively with a diverse staff, including field staff in several locations.
- Constant face-to-face, telephone and electronic communication with colleagues both within and outside the country.
- Ability to work with sensitive information and maintain confidentiality.
- Ability to perform multiple tasks with minimal supervision.
- Willingness to work with a flexible schedule.
- Willingness to travel both locally and internationally.