East Africa Regional Director- Challenges Worldwide

East Africa Regional Director- Challenges Worldwide

Location: Rwanda (frequent travel)

Salary: £30k  


About the Organisation

As a group of Social Enterprises and a Charity (Challenges Worldwide) we know that if enterprises grow, everyone benefits through increased earnings and stable jobs leading to growth in the wider economy. We provide innovative solutions that engage, grow and connect people to emerging opportunities for development and investment. We believe that a thriving community of small businesses is the single most important driver to improve peoples’ livelihoods and encourage prosperity in emerging economies.Our vision is to create an environment where small businesses can access the same quality of affordable services that have enabled international businesses to be so successful. We are a social venture which aims to achieve this vision by providing business growth services and investment support to accelerate the growth of enterprises with potential for huge value addition in emerging economies, currently sub-Saharan Africa. We also offer our network and expertise to international/British businesses looking to extend their reach quickly and efficiently into the areas where we operate. In so doing, we believe we can deliver increased revenues/profits for our customers, new market opportunities for our partners and strong returns for us. We work predominantly in sub-Saharan Africa providing support to SMEs, entrepreneurs and young people through a variety of practical, technology-led programmes. 

Incubation: suite of advisory, qualifications, events and support services
Acceleration: an extended growth process for selected cohorts of entrepreneurs
Consolidation: trade links and investment in high potential enterprises and markets
Analytics: research and analysis identifying sector and market opportunities
Business growth services: bespoke consulting projects with external stakeholders

The Team
Challenges in country delivery arms work with enterprises and young people, constantly identifying needs and signposting opportunities from within regional and international markets. We create a coherent operating model that is able to deliver relevant information and support to the whole value chain from a local perspective. 

The Project Management team is primarily responsible for the design and delivery of projects which are fully aligned with Challenges strategy of supporting the growth of SMEs. 

The Business Development Team is primarily responsible for growing engagement with Challenges and diversifying income. 

The Role

In the Regional Director role you will lead the growth of Challenges work in East Africa. You will engage new partners; developing strong working relationships and seek new revenue streams in line with Challenges model of incubation, acceleration, consolidation, analytics and business growth services. Estimated time allocation is 75%. You will also be responsible for the oversight and support of all assigned projects. Initially this will be the Rwanda Coffee project and the Climate Justice Initiative. Estimated time allocation is 25%.

Skills, Experience and Personal Qualities
•    Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent experience 
•    Previous senior management/leadership experience preferably in an overseas capacity
•    Strategic thinking and a track record of effective strategic management
•    Experience of planning, developing and leading projects or programmes
•    Experience of budget management and reporting
•    Experience managing multi-country teams
•    Excellent understanding of security risks and mitigation in a developing country context
•    Strong project management skills, including project development, monitoring and evaluation
•    Offices
•    Deep understanding of enterprise development and entrepreneurship in the context of international development
•    Ability to develop and maintain positive relationships with a range of partners
•    Able to represent the organisation at a senior level
•    High level of IT competence, particularly Microsoft Office
•    Strong communication skills both verbally and in writing
•    The ability to explain complex information clearly and simply
•    Fluent written and spoken English

•    Ability to develop and maintain positive relationships with a range of partners
•    Flexible and adaptable with an ability to prioritise tasks and meet deadlines
•    High level of motivation, able to work independently as well as part of a team
•    An interest in private sector development in a developing country context

We are an equal opportunities employer and welcome applications from all suitably qualified persons regardless of their race, sex, disability, religion/belief, sexual orientation or age

Main Responsibilities 

Regional Directorship 
•    Work closely with the Senior Management Team (SMT) and country managers to establish and execute regional strategy in-line with Challenges’ priorities and country contexts
•    Build regional network of external partners and represent Challenges externally
•    Actively source business opportunities for Challenges Worldwide in East Africa
•    Support Country Managers in operational strategy

Project Management
•    Ultimate responsibility for the oversight and management of all country projects 
•    Ensure project delivery structures are in place for all projects and are disseminated to all relevant parties
•    Provide strong leadership of the assigned projects, working to ensure both short and long-term positive impacts and outcomes are achieved within agreed timelines and within budget

Financial Management 
•    Responsibility for oversight of country financial management, monitoring and reporting systems and ensuring that timely information is supplied to the UK  
•    Preparing and managing budgets and financial projections
•    Preparing and monitoring cash-flows and predicting future trends
•    Keeping abreast of in country relevant financial regulations and legislation
•    Ensure that record keeping complies with donor and  Challenges UK requirements

•    Support and oversee  project staff and ensure that any line managed staff are supported in a clear runway, through Challenges’ performance management and development systems  and in accordance with agreed HR policies and practises
•    Support in identifying and securing the services of the most appropriate consultants or staff for each project  and ensure that any necessary pre-deployment briefings are carried out
•    Ensure that adequate staff records are kept and that these comply with data management requirements 

•    Keep up to date with the country situation with respect to civil unrest/security issues and ensure that any issues are communicated in a timely manner to UK staff.
•    Responsibility for drawing up and maintaining a country security strategy, for developing mitigation actions and taking actions required to ensure the safety and security of all staff, including evacuation if required.

•    Responsibility for ensuring compliance with all relevant local company/NGO legal and regulatory requirements
•    Responsibility for  the smooth running of  in-country offices including adherence to legal and regulatory requirements 

Stakeholder Relationships
•    Maintaining  strong  relationships with existing  in-country stakeholders and external partners and forging strong relationships with new  stakeholders

How to Apply

Please send CV and cover letter to Dory McIntosh at dory.mcintosh@Challengesworldwide.com 

This position remains open until a suitable applicant is identified. Early applications are encouraged.

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