Accion is a global nonprofit dedicated to building a financially inclusive world with access to economic opportunity for all, by giving people the financial tools they need to improve their lives. We are building the next generation of top-tier microfinance institutions, and over time have helped build 65 such institutions in 32 countries on four continents that today reach millions of clients. Our impact investing initiatives are pushing beyond microfinance to catalyze more than 20 innovative start-ups dedicated to improving the efficiency, reach and scope of financial services to the poor. And our Center for Financial Inclusion is helping to build a stronger industry with high standards. Currently our work spans 24 countries, including the U.S., where we are the nation's largest nonprofit microfinance network.
Accion Venture Lab is an Accion-sponsored initiative to invest in and support seed-stage financial inclusion enterprises, catalyzing innovation in financial inclusion and enhancing the way financial services are delivered to the poor. Venture Lab focuses on companies that are post-R&D but have not yet proved their concept or achieved meaningful revenue traction, filling the support void for seed-stage companies. Venture Lab focuses on investment opportunities in Latin America, Africa and India but remains globally opportunistic, leveraging Accion’s global footprint and 50-year experience investing in and building financial services business in emerging markets. For more information, please refer to our website or download our Information Sheet.
We are currently recruiting an Investment Associate, who will be based in West Africa (Accra or Lagos). S/he will report to the Senior Investment Officer of Africa for Venture Lab and will support all aspects of Venture Lab, including deal sourcing, analysis/diligence, transaction closing/process management, and post-investment support to investee companies. The role will be highly entrepreneurial, spanning emerging market venture investing, consulting/management, and entrepreneurship, with a focus on cutting edge innovation in financial inclusion.
We are particularly interested in candidates with experience living and working in West Africa, working with social enterprises, venture capital investing, or financial inclusion and technology businesses. We are looking for someone available to start by November 2016.
- Venture Investing: Provide support on the identification and assessment of new investment opportunities, including completing prescreening analysis, conducting background research and financial modeling, and collecting/analyzing diligence documents.
- Lead prospecting and strategy formulation for our global investments (with the potential to “own” on a region of interest), including market research, sourcing, building referral network, defining engagement model, and liaising with in-country-based Accion staff
- Portfolio Support: Provide portfolio management support to investee enterprises, including (as applicable) creation of a business plan, financial modeling, strategy, lead generation/prioritization, introductions/connections, fundraising, and leveraging Accion resources and expertise to benefit the investee.
- Operational Support: Assist with the management of deal roster/deal log on Salesforce, coordination of documentation and data rooms (as necessary), process improvements to enhance internal effectiveness and productivity, and liaising with internal and external partners on matters such as financial reporting, budgeting, legal compliance, and HR.
- Create, track and analyze internal metrics related to investment performance and social impact.
- Knowledge Sharing: Research and development of thought pieces around key themes or sectors, sharing learnings within Accion and via blogs / social media.
Qualifications and Requirements:
- Minimum 3 years relevant experience across technology, management consulting, venture capital, private equity, investment banking, and/or marketing.
- Bachelor’s degree required; MBA preferred.
- Passion for entrepreneurship and market-based solutions to poverty.
- Strong strategy, research and analysis skills and intrinsic business acumen. Advanced computer/web skills including Word/Excel/Powerpoint, Salesforce, and social media preferred.
- Ability to thrive in a dynamic, high performing team environment and ability to work effectively with individuals from diverse backgrounds.
- Experience working in or with start-ups or growth-stage enterprises.
- Outstanding relationship management skills and ability to earn the respect of Accion colleagues, investors and enterprises. Existing network within impact investing, VC or financial inclusion a plus.
- Domain expertise in financial products or services (in particular for the underserved), especially innovative or disruptive technology, products or delivery channels preferred.
- Exceptional written and oral communication and presentation skills. Ability to communicate data and insights in a structured fashion.
- Fluency or familiarity with West Africa. Experience working and/or living in the region is a plus. Language skills beyond English are a plus.
- Demonstrated versatility, with the ability to work seamlessly between headquarters and the field.
- Willingness to embody our values of excellence, respect and passion for social change.
- Excellence: Accion staff should always put forth their best effort in all activities, strive for high quality of collective and individual performance; and demonstrate honesty and integrity at all times while in the workplace and while working on behalf of the organization.
- Respect: Accion staff should value one another’s roles and responsibilities as much as their own, be encouraging, and value the diverse and unique perspectives of colleagues. They should honor obligations and commitments to each other and to external partners.
- Passion for Social Change: Accion staff should be committed to making a difference in the lives of those less fortunate, value the greater good of the organization over personal gain, and promote a productive workplace by acknowledging the accomplishments of others.
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