"Positioning You for Success"

Director of the Village Enterprise Accelerator

Employer: Village Enterprise

Location: Kampala, Uganda

Reports to: COO


About Village Enterprise:

Village Enterprise’s mission is to end extreme poverty in rural Africa through entrepreneurship and innovation. Village Enterprise has started over 33,000 businesses, trained over 136,000 new small business owners and lifted over 700,000 people out of extreme poverty. Over 80% of our business owners are women. After one year in our program, the standard of living for our business owners increases by an average of 35% and savings increase by 200%. And after four years, 75% of our businesses are still in operation.


What We Do:


We believe in the power of the entrepreneurial spirit to transform lives. Village Enterprise equips people living in extreme poverty in rural Africa with the capital, tools and training to start sustainable businesses and form savings groups. Our graduates generate income and savings from their small businesses that improves their standard of living and breaks the cycle of poverty for their families. Multiple RCTs have provided strong evidence that Graduation programs like ours have a significant impact on ending extreme poverty. Village Enterprise has been recognized as one of the organizations that is successfully implementing this evidence-based approach. Village Enterprise has also received two years of consecutive top ratings from the following organizations:  Charity Navigator (4-star), Guidestar (gold), and Great Nonprofits (“top rated”).


In the past five years, Village Enterprise has focused on growing our impact and scale in following areas:


  • Innovation and technology. The Village Enterprise Accelerator pilots, tests and incubates innovations that address the unique needs of the ultra-poor. In 2013, Village Enterprise received a Rockefeller Foundation's 100 Next Century Innovators award for the SMART mobile application.  (


  • Partnerships. Village Enterprise has partnered with FHi360, Wildlife Conservation Society, and others to scale its impact. In 2015, we were selected by both Bain & Co. and SV2 (Silicon Valley Social Venture Partners) as an impact partner. (


  • Rigorous monitoring and evaluation. In addition to expanding our internal M&E efforts, Village Enterprise is conducting a three-year RCT with Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA). ( Results are due in the spring of 2017.



The Accelerator:

To achieve our mission of ending extreme poverty in rural Africa through entrepreneurship and innovation, Village Enterprise recently launched an Accelerator to provide advisory services to larger NGOs and governments. The Village Enterprise Accelerator will effectively replicate cost-effective, evidence-based approaches to poverty alleviation in rural Sub Saharan Africa, as well as act as a research partner and innovation hub in refining those approaches.  The Village Enterprise Accelerator will become self-sustaining by 2021 through earned revenue.



About the Job: 

Village Enterprise seeks a dynamic and innovative leader to lead and grow the Village Enterprise Accelerator.  We are seeking a highly strategic thinker and thoughtful individual with the passion, leadership skills, and business acumen required to develop a new social enterprise within the organization.  


The Village Enterprise Accelerator is poised for significant growth and the Director is expected to lead and grow the Accelerator’s revenue and impact. During the next five years, Village Enterprise plans to expand to additional African countries through partnerships, significantly grow the Village Enterprise innovations arm, and continue to develop innovative approaches to ending extreme poverty in rural Sub-Saharan Africa. See attached Village Enterprise Accelerator Concept Note ( )


Job Description


Accelerator Leadership and Management

  • Build, lead, and manage a dynamic team of social entrepreneurs who are committed to ending extreme poverty
  • Identify, prioritize and develop highest impact opportunities for the Accelerator
  • Finalize the Accelerator Business plan with the COO and CEO. Collaborate with Senior Management Team to create functional multi-year (3+) budget for the Accelerator, and its integration into current operations.  Achieve goal of making Accelerator a profitable arm of the organization by FY21
  • Manage and grow Annual Budget (from $125,000 in FY17 to $1 million in FY20) and report on any advances or setbacks accordingly
  • Identify and clearly communicate the impact of the Accelerator on internal and external programmatic improvement. Ensure Accelerator growth and develop continues to improve Core Program and aligns with the mission of Village Enterprise


Technical Assistance and Partnership Development

  • Identify new Accelerator Partners and funders, working closely with COO and Partnership Management Team.  Identify opportunities for VE to deliver technical assistance. 
  • Build 2-3 flagship partnerships to bring the VE program to at least 3 countries by FY20
  • Establish at least 2 research partnership to expand VE’s thought leadership
  • Represent Village Enterprise at events, conferences and other activities as needed to promote and support the Accelerator.  This may require international travel
  • Work closely with US Development Team on Accelerator Marketing materials and messaging, making them consistent through both US and Field Operations


Innovations Management

  • Analyze current piloting and research systems to prioritize and design adjustments needed to achieve goals of the 5-year Strategic Plan
  • Manage Innovations Staff responsible for curriculum development/training.  Guide team in designing adaptations and adjustments that produce high quality results
  • Manage Innovations Staff to prioritize components of the current program that are most appealing and marketable to outside research and funding
  • Collaborate closely with the MEL Director to develop the Monitoring, Evaluation, Learning and Research components of the Accelerator
  • Develop timeline for proper Accelerator marketing and integration into the industry


Reporting and Administration

  • Provide monthly reporting on Accelerator progress and growth. Develop a quarterly assessment of Accelerator, identifying areas of improvement and achievements to the Board of Directors
  • Provide on-going reporting to Senior Management Team on Accelerator and how different components of operations are affecting its growth and development
  • Develop reporting mechanism to partners and funders for Accelerator activities
  • Participate and contribute to Management Team Meetings. Assist in general operations as needed



  • Education:  BA/BS required; MA/MS/MBA desired in Economic Development or a related field
  • At least 7+ years working in social enterprise development and/or international development.  Experience in the poverty reduction, microenterprise and/or microfinance fields preferred.
  • At least 5+ years demonstrated success in a leadership role managing staff in either the for-profit or not-for-profit sector in a small to mid-size company or organization
  • Successful team management and organizational culture development
  • Demonstrated track record of revenue development through partnerships
  • Experience working/growing social enterprises in the area of economic development
  • Experience working with communication campaigns which deliver compelling messages and communicating those messages to wider audience
  • Experience participating in and/or leading the design and implementation of research initiatives and pilots that lead to increased efficiencies and adjustments to activities or programs that helped further their impact and reach. 
  • Experience working in a developing country or emerging economy required; experience in Africa required; experience in rural East Africa preferred.
  • Experience in the international development field required;
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills required as this role will involve preparing reports and presentations
  • Strong interpersonal and networking skills, ability to develop and manage many professional partnership opportunities at once
  • Demonstrated passion for innovative approaches to poverty reduction around the world, including but not limited to social entrepreneurship and business development in Africa
  • Fluency in English is required; working knowledge of French/Swahili is helpful
  • Willingness to live and work in East Africa. Willingness to travel internationally for conferences and events
  • A minimum two-year time commitment; three years preferred


 Compensation Package

Competitive compensation package based on education and experience; includes the following benefits:


  • Competitive Salary and Benefits Package  
  • Comprehensive international health insurance
  • Kenya and Uganda Work visas
  • All in-country travel, phone, internet and accommodations related to work
  • 21 Days Paid Time Off Per year


Application Process:
Your cover letter should at least address the following topics:

1) Why you are interested in the position and Village Enterprise.

2) How you believe your skills and experiences will meet the needs of the position.

3) How you learned of this position.

Village Enterprise has hired Global Recruitment Specialists to assist with this recruitment effort. Please send your cover letter explaining how you believe your skills and experiences meet the needs of the position and the organization and an updated copy of your résumé/CV to:

Patrick Shields, Executive Director and Search Manager
Global Recruitment Specialists "Positioning You for Success"
501 Westport Avenue, Suite 285, Norwalk, CT 06851 USA Telephone: 203-899-0499
Email: Web: