Platform Associate @ Mercy Corps - London, UK
Location: UK: London
Salary: 35K-40K based on experience
Closing Date: Apply with CV and Cover Letter before December 24th
Candidates must have the right to work in the UK at the time of application.
About Mercy Corps
Mercy Corps is powered by the belief that a better world is possible. To do this, we know our teams do their best work when they are diverse and every team member feels that they belong. We welcome diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be stronger and have long term impact.
Program / Department Summary
Mercy Corps Ventures (MCV) is the impact investing division of Mercy Corps, a leading global development agency. 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 generating a pipeline of impactful, scalable companies that are de-risked and ready for later stage investors – and can bring idle impact investing dollars to the table.
We’ve closed 30+ investments to date across East Africa, West Africa, Latin America, and SE Asia since our founding in 2015. We have two recorded exits, >80% follow-on rate, and aim to close an additional 20+ deals through 2022. The Venture Associate will join MCV at an inflection point with ample opportunity to learn, drive results, and contribute to overall growth.
For more information, please refer to our Ventures Overview, 2019 Annual Impact Report and Medium Blog.
The Position Summary
The Platform Associate will join Mercy Corps Ventures’ growing Post Investment Team (Platform). He/she will work closely across Mercy Corps Ventures’ team to design, deliver and coordinate world class post-investment support for MCV portfolio companies. He/she will play a critical role in continuing to build our post-investment offerings and develop catalytic partnerships. The role will be highly entrepreneurial, spanning emerging market ventures support, portfolio engagement, and entrepreneurship, with a focus on cutting edge digital tech.
The successful candidate will be expected to lead all aspects of the core post-investment support stack, with support from the Post Investment Lead and MCV team. Responsibilities include portfolio engagement, development of new offerings, and collaboration with initiatives and pilots. They will be a proactive and natural collaborator, able to connect with entrepreneurs, identify key bottlenecks, and implement the right-fit engagement.
The Platform Associate will directly help high-growth social ventures scale by leading MCV post-investment advisory and support engagements . You will collaborate with diverse, virtual teams across emerging markets, and your hands-on approach to solving recurring challenges will help companies build permanent capabilities to drive inspiring, meaningful social impact. You will work directly with CEOs of leading social ventures, best-in-class technical advisors, and partners from top global companies to solve the ventures’ toughest scaling challenges. This is an ideal role for anyone who wants to learn what it takes to become a world-class operational leader at a high-growth startup.
In this role, you will work directly with the Head of Platform, domain experts, and portfolio founders. This is a great role for anyone looking to work deeply with startups, understand multiple emerging markets and sectors, and have exposure to the full investment lifecycle.
Specifically, you will:
Design and Coordinate the Delivery of Venture Support: Onboard new portfolio companies. In conjunction with founders, assess companies’ operational challenges and design a post-investment support plan. Execute and manage multiple post-investment projects concurrently, including our core offerings. These include but are not limited to:
- Impact Management and Metrics
- Financial Systems
- Market Analysis and Unit Economics
Build and Guide Agile Teams: Bring together stakeholders (including consultants, MC field offices, advisors and MCV team members) to quickly form venture support project teams.
Partnership Development: Build and maintain an unparalleled network of other ecosystem stakeholders (advisors, mentors, corporates, consultants, accelerators, investors) that can add value to portfolio companies and/or offer scaling pathways.
Results-Driven Project Management: Create project plans and milestones, hold stakeholders accountable, and lead weekly meetings to build permanent capabilities within portfolio companies
Contribute to MCV Growth: Directly shape our overall strategy, impact, and team culture.
Contribute to MCV Pilots. Contributing to pilots and Initiatives as needed and in planning with Head of Venture Growth.
Other essential Responsibilities
Play a Pivotal Role in Designing MCV Approach to Gender Investing: Research, share, and drive overall strategy on MCV approach to gender in the functional areas of investing, post-investments, and pilots
Thought Leadership & Agency Representation
- Maintain strong relationships with social entrepreneurs, impact investment funds, accelerators, and other ecosystem actors in order to provide our ventures and Mercy Corps teams with resources and opportunities
- Proactively develop knowledge resources and thought leadership, including preparation of documents on investment status and lessons for the industry
- Represent MCV publicly at conferences, events, and working groups as needed.
Reports Directly To: Head of Venture Growth
Works Directly With: Mercy Corps Ventures Team
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 Qualification & Transferable Skills
- MBA or related post-graduate degree or relevant matching experience in entrepreneurship, banking, social innovation, or related field
- 2+ years of business experience with a proven track record of driving workstream independently, ideally in an early stage venture capital Fund and/or impact investing ecosystem actor in Latam and/or Sub Saharan Africa
- Domain expertise in gender-lens investing
- Hands-on operational experience as a founder or with a social enterprise
- Excellent problem-solving skills and ability to get things done
- Strong strategic thinking skills. Able to navigate complex environments and develop a clear, focused, and ambitious vision
- A team-oriented, “low-ego” individual who works collaboratively in a high-performance environment; just as comfortable strategizing in a boardroom with the C-team of a startup as chatting with a smallholder farmer customer in Northern Ghana
- Fluent in written and spoken English (French is a plus)
The ideal candidate will have relevant educational experience +2 years of impact investing and/or banking and/or start-up experience. The candidate is excited about supporting entrepreneurial solutions for some of the toughest problems communities face. The person has an ability to rapidly connect with entrepreneurs, partners, and co-investors to find areas for collaboration. They will have experience investing in and/or growing innovative companies in frontier markets and a demonstrated commitment to social impact. They will have the desire and ability to play an impactful role in a highly collaborative, dynamic, mission-driven and team-oriented culture.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
The position is based in London, UK and it requires up to 20-25% travel pending clearance, which may include travel in base locations throughout West and East Africa and possibly to insecure locations where freedom of movement is limited and areas where amenities are limited.
Candidates must hold authorization to work in base location and cannot be provided or facilitated by Mercy Corps.
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 and have signed on to the Interagency Misconduct Disclosure Scheme. 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.