Business Development Advisor – EAYIP
Job ID 391
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.
East Africa Youth Inclusion Program (EAYIP) is a five-year program (2016-2021) supported by Mastercard Foundation (MCF) and Heifer International. In Uganda, the program targets 15,000 poor youth directly with an anticipated 45,000 youth indirectly reached through the creation of jobs and entrepreneurship opportunities by the end of the five years. The project is implemented in 6 districts in Uganda- Amuria, Bugiri, Kiboga, Luwero, Ngora, and Wakiso. The program creates employment and enterprise development opportunities in agricultural value chains for youth aged 15-24 years.
The Business Development Advisor (BDA) will work closely with the Country Program Manager and Cluster Coordinators, to provide leadership to business development activities, stimulate uptake of credit to increase the overall level of competitiveness of youth and hub businesses for job creation and income growth within the project area. S/he will be responsible for the oversight of field-based business development activities. S/he will collaborate with the hubs, group and individual youth enterprises, commercial service providers, off takers, and regulatory bodies/ boards to enhance value-chain actors’ benefits and leverage service delivery at each level of contact with both young entrepreneurs and customers. S/he will also work closely with private sector players (processors, input suppliers, financial service providers), government agencies and development partners to align appropriate business development services that improve the business performance of the hubs, and individual young entrepreneurs within the project area.
ESSENTIAL CHARACTER TRAITS:
Proactive, creative thinker, a team player and able to structure and manage complex tasks.
RESPONSIBILITIES & DELIVERABLESA. Strengthen Agribusiness Hubs and Sustainability (50%)
- Ensure that the youth hubs within the project area have an efficient and functional commodity supply chain by establishing collection and marketing centres.
- Ensure that existing hub business ideas and enterprises are well structured and managed to create revenue for self-sufficiency to increase credit uptake and repayments.
- Support hubs to identify potential priority areas of investment and develop business strategies/plans that will address the commodity value chain for the hub.
- Identify investment opportunities in the value chains and coordinate and support business strategies and plans for the clients
- Ensure that youth enterprises and hubs are well linked to have access to inputs, services and markets that are important to increase production, productivity, and incomes.
- Ensure hubs and youth enterprises have functional systems and structures including finance and business management systems and tools, implement check and balances.
- Support hubs to develop/review and implement solid business and marketing plans in to achieve revenue goals.
- Support hubs to develop fundraising strategy and offer technical support for hubs to apply and secure concessional grants/small subsidies.
- Build capacity of youth savings groups and support hubs to develop and grow the capacity of SACCOs to facilitate access to credit.
- Support and handhold the hubs and young entrepreneurs to access affordable financing from existing credit facilities.
- Offer agribusiness development services to agribusiness and targeted youth young entrepreneurs in the project areas
- Analyze the agribusinesses’ current and past budgets, expenses, sales, revenues and product deficiencies to provide recommendations for business growth.
- Continuously participate in identifying new business opportunities that could impact on job creation for youth in agribusiness.
- Support internal re-organization of hubs by offering on spot support and other advisory support services. Continuously assess and provide on support technical support to hubs and young entrepreneurs; identify business growth and capacity needs; coordinate relevant training that adds value.
- Create strategic partnerships with key business development service providers and other stakeholders to promote the growth of agribusinesses (Access to Finance, markets, product development, Regulation/Registration e.t.c).
- Work with other business development service providers and other stakeholders to develop creative strategies to promote the growth of the hubs.
- Provide training and other technical support services based on the needs of the hubs and young entrepreneurs.
- Together with the project team provide continuous mentorship and coaching to ensure sustainable growth of hubs businesses.
- Ensure Hubs and youth enterprises in the project area have viable business focus, with strong leadership, management, and clear growth strategies with transparency and ownership.
- Build and strengthen sustainable business partnerships among hubs and key value actors mainly off-takers and commercial service providers.
- Develop and roll out alternative digital financing through SACCOs and strengthen existing channels with banks
- Support hubs to develop and roll out resource mobilization strategies to enhance business investments and growth.
- Ensure hubs have developed strategic and operational plans and understand holistically the specific commodity value chain landscape and the key drivers of growth. The focus to be on taking a quantum leap in commodity marketing, and production enhancing services so that the hubs are a catalyst in the commodity development of the cluster.
- Improve governance, financial and management skills of hubs and management through the design and delivery of business-related training programs.
- Hubs develop and roll out key business lines to offer services to members such as credit provision, market information, extension, and training as well as market access.
- Ensure hubs and youth businesses understand and comply with contractual obligations and procedures of donors and regulatory
- Initiate and create linkages of youth hubs and enterprises with the wider BDS ecosystem including opportunities for mentoring and coaching by other peer youth entrepreneurs.
- Business performance and progress reports developed and shared each month for management review and to inform hub business strategies.
- Provide timely documented evidence to commercial service providers including financing partners on the key gaps and opportunities to increase efficiency in accessibility of services.
- Participate in project team and national business meetings, to help plan, and deliver on the project objectives as appropriate.
- Participate in business learning forums at District and national, and best practices documented and shared.
- Bachelors’ Degree or equivalent in the fields of Agriculture Economics, Business Administration, Enterprise Development, or another related field,
- At least 5 years of professional experience in the field of youth in agribusiness, agriculture, and Agri-enterprise capacity building. Have a technical experience with commercial sector, agribusiness development in a mix of economic growth/trade, value chain competitiveness, investment promotion, or agriculture development.
- A Master’s Degree in the relevant field will be an added advantage
- Significant experience in building public/private partnerships, preferably in the agricultural sector.
- Strong consumer marketing, financial analysis, and management skills.
- Strong hands-on experience in managing or providing technical support to producer organizations.
- Knowledge of market system development
- Experience business start-ups, mentoring and coaching
- Excellent command of report writing, analysis and presentation skills using Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
- Track record of building strong client and stakeholder relationships.
- Ability to generate innovative solutions in work situations.
Most Critical Proficiencies:
- A clear understanding of the agricultural value chain.
- Innovative, analytical, and solutions oriented.
- Knowledge of enterprise development, market systems approach and linkages to poverty reduction.
- Strong interpersonal management skills.
- Excellent oral and written communication skills
- Excellent organizational skills.
- Proficient knowledge of word processing, spreadsheets, presentation tools, electronic mail (Microsoft Office preferred), and the Internet.
- Demonstrated proficiency in English and other local languages, both oral and written.
Essential Job Functions and Physical Demands:
- Preparing and presenting documents in a well-designed and attractive format with superior attention to detail.
- Demonstrated creativity, ability to think systematically, willingness and ability to incorporate innovative solutions.
- Quantitative and qualitative approaches to evaluation and ability to communicate MLE concepts clearly with leadership, partners, and staff at all levels.
- Willingness and ability to assign and review the work of direct reports and to use participatory management skills with junior and senior staff.
- Willingness and ability to travel extensively throughout the project area.
- May require constant field travel, working at a computer and focusing for extended periods of time, 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.