Acumen East Africa Director
We are looking for a dynamic individual to lead Acumen East Africa through a new chapter.
You are an entrepreneurial leader who is unafraid to take risks. You boldly pursues opportunities for social impact. You are unwavering in your commitment to serve people living in poverty.

About 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. We have invested more than $115 million in 113 companies across Africa, Latin America, South Asia, and the United States. We are disrupting the way social impact is measured—our approach is lean, iterative, and customer-centric. We  have developed a global community of emerging leaders with the knowledge, skills, and moral courage to create a more inclusive world. To date, we’ve positively impacted the lives of 270 million people and trained 445 leaders... and we are just getting started. 

About Acumen East Africa
Since 2003, the East Africa team has invested $29M in 26 companies. Their efforts have positively impacted 118 million lives and counting. We’ve trained 134 emerging leaders… people dedicated to addressing the challenges of poverty in the region. And we believe our best work is still to come. We now see a stronger case than ever to invest in the future of East Africa and we would like your help.

About the role
The Director will partner with leaders across Acumen to define the strategic direction of Acumen East Africa: the role of investment in creating meaningful change for people living in poverty; the role of measuring impact to understand whether we are moving the needle; the role of our Fellows program in developing moral leaders. To succeed, the Director should see a vision for the region, develop significant partnerships—with institutions, policy makers, corporations, donors, and business and development leaders—raise funds, manage the investment portfolio, aid in the expansion of our Fellows program, and lead and develop the East Africa team.

Direct investments, impact measurement, and the Fellows program to positively impact the lives of people living in poverty.

Prove the power of patient capital and social entrepreneurship as tools to tackle poverty in East Africa.

  • Define East Africa’s strategic direction. In collaboration with Acumen leaders clarify how Acumen’s philanthropic capital can best be put to use.
  • Determine a path to financial sustainability for Acumen EA portfolio; identify and secure new funding sources to support investing.
  • Lead the expansion of the portfolio, working with global and local portfolio team members, to propose new investments and ensure that the screening, diligence, structuring, and deal execution are consistent with Acumen investment standards.
  • Direct and oversee the management of the existing portfolio—review portfolio company performance, problem solve challenge areas with investment managers, and lead efforts to prepare for, negotiate, and execute exits.
  • Directly advise portfolio company CEOs in key business areas including but not limited to governance, strategic finance, and social impact measurement.
  • Ensure that portfolio companies accurately track and report social, financial, and operational metrics through our annual review process and Lean Data projects.
  • Systematically capture and share lessons and insights from East African companies with support from our Impact and Marketing teams.

Clarify and share Acumen’s voice in East Africa, to elevate sccial impact-first capital and the moral leaders we are cultivating.

  • Build strategic relationships and partnerships with policy makers, lead corporations, business and development leaders, universities, and media, to strengthen patient capital’s growth in the region.
  • Explore and build large-scale institutional funding partnerships.
  • Build key donor relationships within and outside East Africa, in partnership with the global business development team.
  • Oversee different community engagement activities, including work with advisors and other initiatives.

Help grow the East Africa Fellows program: 

  • Provide guidance and support for the expansion of Acumen Fellows program in EA, in partnership with the local and global Leadership team.
  • Engage with funders and strategic supporters of Acumen EA Fellows program.

Maintain an operationally self-reliant country office with a strong talent bench and sound management systems.

  • Develop the annual goals and budget in partnership with Acumen global finance team. Ensure expenditures are within approved budgets.
  • Mentor and develop the Acumen East Africa team, provide guidance on their individual responsibilities, and develop a professional development program for team members.
  • Ensure compliance with laws, regulations, and global policies.


  • Post Graduate degree in related disciplines (e.g. Engineering, Sales/Marketing, Business Admin) and an MBA.
  • 15 years of experience in strategy, operations, finance, business development. Individuals with background in private equity or venture capital will be preferred.  Understanding of East African financial markets and regulations is a plus.
  • Entrepreneurial prowess; proven ability to identify opportunities, develop strategy, mobilize resources and execute, iterate, and adapt.
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills; ability to manage relationships with investees, advisors, funders and internal stakeholders
  • The skills and willingness to fundraise.
  • Demonstrated accomplishment in building, managing, and motivating teams, especially through periods of change or uncertainty.
  • Very strong financial and business analysis skills
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills; ability to present arguments and analysis in a succinct manner to Acumen management, partners, and investees
  • Fluency in English

Additional characteristics we seek for 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 in ambiguity, remain cool-headed when there are curve balls, and withstand the tests of a changing environment with resilience and resolve
  • A sense of humor (really).

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

Candidates are encouraged to apply early, as applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis; deadline to apply is October 15, 2018.

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