Senior Program Officer-Access to Finance

Job ID 702

Program / Project Support India   Bihar, Patna


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 identify, sexual orientation, age, status as a protected veteran, among other things, or status as a qualified individual with disability.

The role of the Senior Program Officer- Access to Finance will be to lead Heifer’s project activities on connecting the 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.

 Essential Character Traits: 
Go Getter Attitude, Empathetic, Emotionally Intelligent, Honest, Compassionate, Patient, Highly motivated and inspirational leader, superb listener and communicator, relationship builder, energetic and positive, team builder, strives for shared vision, impact-driven and innovative, organized, having strong business acumen, pro-active, respect for procedures and norms, curious, analytical, socially sensitive, values-oriented, committed to holistic sustainable development.   




1.    Access to finance (50 %)


·         Explore, assess, and identify appropriate financing providers and opportunities and float those opportunities to potential clients (individual/cooperative/corporates MSMEs)

·         Collaborate with B/FIs to develop, improve, and scale up

Appropriate financial product and services for all possible type of MSMEs.

·         Assist bank staff in identifying potential clients (MSMEs) among the target groups and building a pipeline of loan deals

·         Supports the MSMEs, coops and Value Chain (VC) Actors to develop bankable business plans.

·         Advocacy at different levels to enhance the access to finance for smallholders.

·         Identify new opportunities such as mobile banking, mobile money, ICT based solutions, BLB etc. to improve accessibility of financial services and efficiencies,

·         Expand access to risk mitigation products, such as agriculture/livestock insurance.

·         Organizing stakeholder meetings centered towards capital deployment goals.



·         Develop dossier of potential services providers, products (including risk mitigation products) and client for continuous updating.

·         Regular communications with service providers to build rapport and good relationship.

·         Appropriate financial products available in selected value chains.

·         Develop awareness and training materials for B/FIs to encourage Agri-friendly products.

·         Develops templates to help assist Bank and Financial Institutions (BFIs) in identifying potential clients.

·         Carry out policy research on value chain financing gaps and create/implement corresponding advocacy plan throughout the project life.

·         Documentation of potential new opportunities for improved financial accessibility for collaboration with the prototype coordinator.

·         Planning and mobilization of parallel co-funding in the form of financial support to the value chain.

2.    Business capacity development of the bankable business plan for the FPOs, VC actors, SHGs and MSME Entrepreneurs (30%)


·         Prepare manuals, briefs, guidelines, technical papers and other information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials related to Access to Finance (A2F)

·         Mobilize consultants, and experts as and when needed.

·         Orient and coach the farmers on financial support opportunities from different institutions. Follow up with FPOs, VC actors and SHGs.

·         Provide expert advice to project staff and related firms/enterprises on financial analysis and access to finance

·         Provide formalized training or guidance to staff to identify potential clients (medium and large enterprise) and enable them to complete and submit their grant or loan applications.

·         Work in collaboration and consultation with Regional Program Office (RPO) and Country Program Office (CPO) team.







·         Develop Staff capacity building plan in the field of Value Chain Financing (VCF) and A2F

·         Develop/ Update the training manuals/materials on Various aspects A2F and VCF and deliver to build the capacity of staff of Heifer and Partners,

·         Develop and deliver the package of tools and techniques on agriculture finance and risk assessment to staffs of BFIs and Cooperatives,

·         Mapping different financial support institutions, banks and organization for financial deployment for the FPO, VC actors, SHG business.

·         Build strong networking system with different financial institutions.

·         Involve in engaging FPOs, VC actors and SHGs with different financial connect.

·         Develop knowledge document and access to information to build financial intelligence, financial literacy and financial management capacity of smallholder farmers and MSMEs.

·         Support the team in activity-based reforecasting based on the capital deployment targets achieved and planned.

·         Internal and external field visits are organized following the organizational protocol


3.    Develop business relationships with value chain actors (forward market linkages) (20%)


·         Facilitate multi-stakeholder consultation meetings, workshops, and business to business meetings for better market linkages.

·         Support in organizing B2B Meetings with potential VC actors for stronger market linkages.

·         Support the identification of public, private and producer organizations for joint initiatives to establish viable and sustainable business ventures in forward linkages of poultry and other agriculture value chains (i.e. slaughterhouses, meat processing, live animal market, livestock/meat transport, high quality meat outlets etc.).

·         Relationship building between FPOs, MSME, value chain actors and financial institutions.





·         Potential VC actors/stakeholders (forward market linkages) identified for better market linkages.

·         Functional relation established with market actors to overcome bottlenecks in the market system.

·         Livestock/Chicken market investment plan developed and implemented in partnership with public, private, producers.

·         Assist in organizing field visit of the stakeholders and value chain actors.

·         Monitors program implementation progress with respect to utilization of capital deployed and relationship between value chain actors and FPO.

·         Training and building capacity of FPO board members, Heifer and partner staff on financial skills


 Minimum Requirements:

A Bachelor’s degree from a recognized university in Business Administration, Rural Development, Enterprise Development or other related field and minimum of five (5) years of experience with an international organization in a similar context is required.

 Preferred Requirements:

A Master’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 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.

 Most Critical Proficiencies:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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

 Essential Job Functions and Physical Demands:

  • Preparing and presenting documents in a well-designed and attractive format with superior attention to detail.
  • Ability to understand, appreciate and implement Heifer’s Value Based Holistic Community Development.
  • Demonstrated creativity, ability to think systematically, willingness and ability to incorporate innovative solutions.
  • Willingness and ability to travel extensively throughout India.
  • May require constant sitting; working at a computer and focusing for extended periods and performing office environment activities while on the road and/or in remote conditions.
  • Working with sensitive information and maintaining confidentiality.
  • Ability to manage and execute multiple tasks with little supervision while meeting sometimes inflexible deadlines.