PROGRAM LEAD, UNDEREMPLOYMENT AND WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT

Acumen is seeking an individual with 6 - 9 years of experience in early stage business and investing who wants to make a significant impact in underemployment.

Acumen

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 $115 million in 113 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.     

About Acumen India

Acumen’s commitment to India began in 2002 when we deployed capital to Aravind Eye Care Systems and then consequently set up our India office in 2006. In India, Acumen has now invested more than $30 million in 32 companies. These investments have impacted over 15M lives directly. Some of the companies we have invested in, such as Labournet, Ziqitza Healthcare, LifeSpring Hospitals, Orb Energy and Water Health International, have grown significantly and become a critical part of the landscape. They have become pioneers for several others to follow. Additionally, we have developed 96 fellows on the journey to moral leadership.

Acumen India 3.0 is the recently redefined strategy.to positively impact the lives of 30 million people living in poverty in India by 2023 by focusing on disruptive, market-based solutions in two problem areas: underemployment and farmer livelihood. It’s a big lift and we want you to be a part of it. The Acumen India investment team is responsible for finding, vetting, and managing investments, and helping scale chosen game-changing social enterprises in the focus areas.

About the role

There are a myriad of reasons why the poor often remain underemployed. In turn, disguised employment & underemployment are fundamental reasons for rising inequality and Poverty. Getting and keeping a job is difficult if you lack access to education, training, placement networks, transportation, health care, child care, and food. Although we’ve named this role “underemployment and workforce development”, we want to think more broadly. We’re interested in investing in disruptive solutions that help the poor find, attain, and keep a job.

This role will work closely with our portfolio team to continually inform them about this space and recommend areas that can be targeted for investments; with our leadership team to leverage the talent of our Fellows; and with fundraising and strategic partnerships to ensure we bring relevant players to the table, as we want to impact 30 million lives by 2023 and we know we have to work with others and create an ecosystem that solves the issues in this problem area. This role will develop to be the fountainhead and leading voice in the problem area and create the insights and knowledge to drive larger systems change.

This will be a critical role developing strong working relationships with portfolio companies, gaining key insights on their work, determining areas of collaboration, and facilitating partnerships to foster a community of practice.

Responsibilities include:

  • Play a key role in the development, impact, and success of Acumen’s country portfolio.
  • Build an exhaustive network of relationships—corporate, entrepreneurial, NGO, academic, investor, advisory—to identify, cultivate, and recommend new investment and fundraising opportunities and also to provide strategic post investment resources to investees
  • Play a key role in collaboratively shaping Acumen’s strategy, voice, and influence in the area
    •  Support Portfolio teams to source, manage and grow companies. Help design ways to measure social and financial returns on investments
    •  Setting annual targets and reviewing the utilization of budget on the Employment interventions program.
    • Work closely with the Business Development team to raise sector-specific capital
  • Engaging with portfolio companies through site visits and research to obtain, and share, a deeper understanding of their core strengths, which can be leveraged by other companies
  • Documenting knowledge & Insights on organizations in a well-formatted and succinct  manner and identify potential replicable capabilities & models that can be shared
  • Recognize patterns in the sector, distill lessons learned, share emerging insights across Acumen stakeholders, investees, donors, policy makers, government, and key opinion leaders.
  • Representing Acumen at national and international level events in the focus area

Qualifications:

  • A passion for helping the poor better their own lives.
  • A deep understanding of the workforce development and a willingness to understand the lives and challenges that the working poor face.

Ideal candidates will have some of the following experiences:

  • 7-10 years of management consulting or operational experience and a proven track record of delivering operational and management support to companies or internal units; Or
  • 7-10 years of principal investing experience with a focus on underemployment, including financial and operational due diligence of private companies.
  • Candidates with postgraduate degrees in relevant fields (management, public policy, and humanities and the social sciences) would be preferred, from institutions of repute
  • Significant experience developing and influencing multinational and multilocational relationships.
  • Demonstrated commitment to the public/non-profit sector. If not direct experience working in a nonprofit, involvement in local charities or global initiatives.
  • Strong business and commercial acumen
  • Excellent project management and time management skills
  • Strong interpersonal skills, ability to build and maintain stakeholder relationships
  • Outstanding writing and oral communication skills in English;
  • An excellent understanding of finance, venture capital investing principles, business models, the market, the ecosystem, regulatory constraints.
  • A proven track record of—or high comfort-level with—fundraising.
  • Experience with early stage businesses and entrepreneurs is a plus.

Additional characteristics we look for in all roles at Acumen:

  • Commitment to and enthusiasm for the organization’s mission to change the way the world tackles poverty, and respect for our core values: generosity, accountability, humility, audacity, listening, leadership, integrity and respect.
  • Ability to thrive when there is ambiguity, remain cool-headed when there are curve balls, and withstand the tests of a rapidly changing environment with resilience and resolve.
  • A sense of humor (really).

Compensation

Acumen offers a competitive compensation package commensurate with experience, including full benefits.
 

Deadline

The deadline to apply for this position is 3rd September 2018 but candidates are encouraged to apply early, as applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

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