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Wednesday, March 15, 2017
Schooner Africa Fund Agribusiness Consultant Job in Kenya
We are hiring an Agribusiness Consultant
About Schooner Africa Fund
Schooner Africa Fund is a start-up impact investment fund that seeks to support early stage companies that are innovating and addressing inefficiencies within the agricultural value chain in East Africa. Our mission is to help bring smallholder farmers into the marketplace. We believe that a more inclusive agricultural ecosystem is the answer to the challenges of food insecurity and poverty in the region.
Schooner Africa Fund works with a broad range of asset classes though PRIs (Program Related Investments) to grow and develop promising companies that are using technology and business-based innovations within the fields of sustainable agriculture, agroforestry, and related fields of biotechnology.
We have a medium to long-term investment horizon and social, environmental and financial return expectations. We bring to bear, not only ‘patient’ capital, but experience, a strong network of partners and collaborators and typically orient towards taking an active role in our investee companies. Schooner Africa Fund’s offices are in Nairobi, Kenya. The pictures give you an idea of the type of entrepreneurs we work with!
About the role
We are seeking someone with a strong agricultural background who knows East Africa well from an agribusiness standpoint.
The candidate will be required to spend a significant amount of time in the field, working with the farmers in every aspect of agriculture with a particular emphasis on technology and equipment which can improve outcomes.
This position will require capability to do budgets, planning, and an analysis of capital expenditures.
It is a very hands-on position, where we will fund and develop demonstration farms to broaden our outreach.
We are exploring innovative financing models including taking an equity interest.
At the present time we have one demonstration farm under development and a working relationship that should lead to an investment with another farmer who will run a demonstration farm, both in Uganda.
Responsibilities will include:
Supporting our existing investees and projects:
Assess the current state on these farms (including the existing plans and the on ground team’s ability to create profitable agri ventures)
Advise and train on tools and strategies to increase farm yields: farm design, irrigation, crop rotation, seed and inputs selection, breed choice, animal husbandry tactics etc
Lead the co-creation of a business and operating plan, with clear milestones and route to profitability (incl. market access strategies)
Monitor and report on the progress of the farms. Build trusted working relationships with these farmers (they’re in rural Uganda).
Identifying and vetting opportunities for future investments
Research widely to identify opportunities for our loan, equity and grant money to support an improved agricultural ecosystem in East Africa
Develop assessment criteria, vetting checklist and procedure
Engage with potential investees, vet them and give recommendations to the team.
Supporting projects, research and definition of investment and portfolio strategy
Research trends in the agribusiness space to feed into our activities and strategies
Advise the senior team at Uganda Rural Development and Training (URDT) on the business side of projects supported by Schooner grants
With the Nairobi team, create, support and implement any new projects that help SAF reach their objectives
Who you are
You are entrepreneurial, socially conscious, and passionate about helping small scale farmers improve their income
You possess practical experience with farm finance, irrigation, soils, crop rotation, seed selection, animal husbandry, access to market etc
You have strong networks in the agribusiness ecosystem in Kenya and Uganda
You are comfortable in a start-up with few structures and call yourself a self-starter
You have at least three years of experience in planning, supervising implementation and evaluating agricultural businesses incl. access to market
You enjoy learning and keep yourself updated with new agricultural trends and technology
Having engaged in financing of agribusiness ventures and understanding relevant investment options for different contexts is an added advantage
You have good diagnostic and decision making skills
You know how to communicate effectively (verbal and written skills)
You are able to work independently and proceed with objectives without close supervision
You take initiative and have critical thinking skills
You are flexible, resourceful and solutions-oriented
You hold a Bachelor and ideally a Masters degree in agriculture, agribusiness or related fields
You have a valid driver’s license
You are able to work outside during the heat of day and can walk several miles per day
You are technologically savvy and proficient in Microsoft Office applications
You have the cultural fit to work at Schooner Africa Foundation if:
You desire to serve farmers and others involved in the agricultural industry
You are self-motivated, have a willingness to work and good work ethic
You have high energy, are mature and enjoy working autonomously and as a member of a team.
You are willing to work longer hours into the evening on occasion to accommodate the US-based team.
Why work with us?
Purpose-driven organization and role.
Get exposed to agribusiness realities. Learn about social innovation across the continent and design your own personal and professional learning journey.
You will join a youthful, international and ambitious team.
You get to interact with the investment and philanthropic community across East Africa.
This opportunity will be based either in Nairobi or Kampala and involves travel 40% of the time. Travel and accomodation in these rural areas is very simple.
Working hours can extend into the evening given regular communication with US-based colleagues is required.
We will arrange a 3-month probation period with learning and performance objectives.