Program Officer – Access to Finance

Job ID 657

Program / Project Support India   Odisha


Heifer International is an equal opportunity employer.  All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, status as a protected veteran, among other things, or status as a qualified individual with some form of specially-abled.


The Program Officer- Access to Finance will lead Heifer’s project activities on connecting producer owned cooperatives and self-help groups with financial institutions. S/he will lead development and execution of the overall strategic vision, goal and objectives of the access to finance component. 

RESPONSIBILITIES AND DELIVERABLES: (including approximate percentage effort)

Enterprise Development (30%):

  • Formulate the enterprise development strategy for signature programs.
  • Implement policies, procedures, systems and tools for enterprise development in alignment with Heifer’s signature program strategy.
  • Facilitate enterprise development activities for self-help group (SHG) members, community agro-vet entrepreneurs (CAVEs), cooperatives and value chain actors.
  • Map the value chain actors, flow of information and products, infrastructure, financial institutions to help strengthen the enterprises.
  • Deliver capacity building activities in the areas of agribusiness, value chain and market development.
  • Monitor, support and backstop the various categories of enterprises for effective functioning.
  • Prepare manuals, briefs, guidelines, technical papers and information, education, and communication (IEC) materials related to Access to Finance (A2F) and enterprise development.

 Marketing & Branding (30%):

  • Implement policies, procedures and systems for market development in alignment with Heifer’s signature program strategy (including operational guidelines for collection center, transport vehicles, etc.).
  • Share internal intelligence and knowledge on business development issues and trends within the livestock sector.
  • Contribute to corporate and sector marketing plans, prepare donor strategies, and contribute to branding of commodities among stakeholders.
  • Connect cooperatives to the end market for sale of products.
  • Facilitate multi-stakeholder consultation meetings, workshops, and business-to-business meetings for better market linkages.
  • Facilitate functional relationships with value chain and market actors to overcome bottlenecks in the market system.

 Access to Finance (40%):

  • Implement access to finance strategy for the signature program.
  • Explore, assess, and identify appropriate financing providers and opportunities and float those opportunities to potential clients (individual/cooperative/corporates MSMEs).
  • Collaborate with BFIs to develop, improve, and scale up appropriate financial products and services for all type of MSMEs.
  • Assist bank staff in identifying potential clients (MSMEs) among the target groups and build a pipeline of loan deals.
  • Expand access to risk mitigation products, such as agriculture/livestock insurance.
  • Identify financial gaps among value chain actors.
  • Engage the financial intermediaries such as banks and MFIs allocating capital for Heifer Programs.
  • Facilitate the guarantees or underwriting of loans and debt/equity investment opportunities.
  • Build a pipeline of potential impact venture opportunities.
  • Facilitate the process of accessing potential impact investments.
  • Support the MSMEs, cooperatives, producers and value chain actors to develop bankable business plans and connect with relevant financial and non-financial service providers.
  • Facilitate the financial literacy and education of cooperatives and women and youth entrepreneurs


  • A Bachelor's Degree or equivalent from a recognized university in the fields of Agriculture Economics, Business Administration, Rural Development, Enterprise Development or other related field and a minimum of seven (7) years of field and technical experience with commercial sector, agribusiness development in a mix of economic growth/trade, value chain competitiveness, investment promotion, or agriculture development.
  • Previous experience of target-based capital deployment from financial institutions to producer organizations.
  • Clear understanding of the goat, vegetable, agri-product value chains.
  • Innovative, analytical, and solutions oriented.
  • Knowledge of enterprise development and linkages to poverty alleviation.
  • Significant experience in building public/private partnerships.
  • Experience working with farmer producer organization programs.
  • Experience in the commercial sector with skills to develop and evaluate investment opportunities and promote such opportunities to financial institutions.
  • Strong consumer marketing, financial analysis and management skills.
  • Proven experience in building the capacity of partner institutions to document and disseminate industry information, manage knowledge, measure progress and plan and advocate within the industry.
  • Track record of building strong client and stakeholder relationships.
  • Ability to generate innovative solutions in work situations.


  • Strong interpersonal/people management skills and excellent oral and written communication skills a must.
  • Excellent organizational and leadership skills.
  • Proficient knowledge of word processing, spreadsheets, presentation tools, electronic mail (Microsoft Office preferred) and internet.
  • Demonstrated proficiency in Hindi, English and other local languages, both oral and written.
  • Excellent command of report writing, analysis and presentation skills using Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
  • Experience in supporting and monitoring field-based programs in the country.
  • Ability to prepare and present documents in a well-designed and attractive format with superior attention to detail.
  • Ability to understand, appreciate and implement Heifer’s Values-Based Holistic Community Development model.
  • Demonstrated creativity, ability to think systematically, willingness and ability to incorporate innovative solutions.
  • Willingness and ability to travel extensively throughout India.
  • Ability to work with sensitive information and maintain confidentiality.
  • Ability to manage and execute multiple tasks with little supervision while meeting sometimes inflexible deadlines.