Acumen West Africa is looking for an experienced Portfolio Associate Director to join our team.  We’re looking for someone with 7-10 years of venture capital, private equity, or other investing experience and a proven commitment to tackling global poverty. The right candidate is creative, self-motivated and someone who thrives in complexity and nuance.


Acumen is changing the way the world tackles poverty by investing in companies, leaders and ideas. We invest patient capital in businesses whose products and services are enabling the poor to transform their lives. Founded by Jacqueline Novogratz in 2001, Acumen has invested more than $106 million in 96 companies across Africa, Latin America, South Asia and the United States. We are also developing a global community of emerging leaders with the knowledge, skills and determination to create a more inclusive world. In 2015, Acumen was named one of Fast Company’s Top 10 Most Innovative Not-for-Profit Companies.

Acumen West Africa

Acumen’s commitment to West Africa began in 2013. Today, we have a strong foundational portfolio and are ready to take our efforts in the region to the next level, especially focused on investments in renewable energy and agriculture.  Portfolio companies like Pagatech, Green Energy Biofuels and Farmers Hope are revolutionizing their markets and pioneering development paradigms. Core to achieving our mission of changing the way the world tackles poverty is a willingness to learn at the edge, to build a portfolio that is innovative not only in the investments it makes, but also in the types of financing it attracts, the partnerships it builds, and the investment vehicles and structures that it employs to create more inclusive models of capitalism.

About the Role 

The Portfolio Associate Director will evaluate new investment opportunities, conduct due diligence on high potential opportunities as they arise, and structure deal terms. You will use your finance and investing skills to evaluate the growth and return potential of social enterprises from both a financial and social impact perspective. You will also prepare analysis for presentation to Acumen’s Investment Committee. In addition, you will play a critical role shaping Acumen’s portfolio strategy, management process, team and influence in West Africa. The Portfolio Associate Director reports to the West Africa Director.

More specifically, you will:

Investing Lead

  • Identifying, cultivating, and reviewing a pipeline of fresh investment opportunities providing critical services to the poor in the United States
  • Conducting thorough due diligence and investment analysis, including financial modeling, valuation review and structuring
  • Preparing, presenting, and maintaining detailed and compelling investment documentation for Acumen’s Investment Committee and Board of Directors

Portfolio Management

  • Assessing portfolio company needs related to post investment support; designing and implementing post-investment management interventions
  • Designing and evaluating key metrics to measure the social and financial returns on investments.
  • Serve in a senior relationship capacity for Acumen West Africa, developing close contact with portfolio company promoters, including representing Acumen on portfolio company Boards
  • Develop long-term relationships with external stakeholders including funders, advisors, thought leaders, sector and functional experts to provide business development and strategic post-investment management across the West Africa Portfolio
  • Overseeing portfolio data systems to ensure accurate data on pipeline and portfolio under-management

Desired Qualifications and Experience

  • 7-10 years of experience in venture capital, private equity, investment banking, or investment management;
    • Bonus if experience with financial and operational due diligence of early stage businesses
  • Superior financial, modeling and business analysis skills; demonstrated by prior experience.
  • Familiarity with the social enterprise and impact investing sectors; demonstrated commitment to serving the poor is preferred
  • Strong ability to take initiative with research and analysis and produce valuable results in conditions of uncertainty
  • Solid operational skills including problem solving and project management skills, including ability to work and deliver projects independently, proactively and under pressure

Who You Are:

  • An Adaptable Self-Motivator – You proactively take initiative. You thrive in ambiguity and handle fast-paced environments with ease, never missing a deadline nor losing your cool
  • A Creative Problem Solver – You’re industrious and a deep researcher. You can do a lot with a little. You’re persistent and resilient, and view roadblocks as simply new obstacles and puzzles to solve.  
  • An Inquisitive Detective – You’re unequivocally inquisitive. You’re always questioning, always probing, and never blindly accepting
  • A Clear & Active Communicator – You communicate exceptionally, both in writing and verbally. You build strong relationships quickly and possess a strong ability to present arguments and analysis in a clear and succinct manner
  • A Mission-Aligned Team Player – You’re fully committed to, and enthusiastic about, Acumen’s mission and business model. You practice our core values: generosity, accountability, humility, audacity, listening, leadership, integrity, and respect


The deadline for this position is August 4, 2017. Candidates are encouraged to apply early, as applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

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