Business Management Advisory Coordinator, Africa

Root Capital

Root Capital

Posted on Thursday, September 28, 2023

About Root Capital

Agriculture is the key to unlocking a better future for billions of people. But while rural families sustain the world, they struggle to sustain themselves. Root Capital is a nonprofit social impact investor that puts its money where others don't – in underserved agricultural businesses.

We provide financing and business training to agricultural enterprises in the "missing middle" - those that are too big for microloans but too small for commercial lenders. As these agricultural businesses succeed and scale, they become engines of impact that help farming families, communities, and economies to flourish.

Founded in 1999, we are the largest social investor in agricultural businesses. As both a lender and a nonprofit, our unique model allows us to go where other financiers don’t and support agricultural enterprises so they can succeed and grow. Our world-class team of experts identifies, partners with, and invests in exceptional agricultural entrepreneurs in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

Over 23 years, Root Capital has invested $1.8 billion in more than 750 agricultural enterprises, proving these under-served businesses are bankable and investable. We have shown that access to finance helps these enterprises succeed and fuels the economy. Root Capital’s investments and essential business and finance training have impacted 10 million farming families through job creation, financial security, and climate resiliency. Headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, we currently have offices in Costa Rica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Colombia, Peru, Ghana, and Kenya.

Position Overview

The Business Management Advisory (BMA) Coordinator for Africa leads the technical coordination of the BMA service for active Lending clients or pipeline organizations in our Africa region, including the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda. This role is responsible for identifying the strengths, weaknesses and potential opportunities to create impactful and tangible change in growing agribusinesses, with an emphasis on business management essentials.

The Advisory team is responsible for the design, implementation, quality assurance, monitoring, and partnership management, of business Advisory services – including Business Management Advisory- to rural agribusinesses, in line with Root Capital’s mission.

The BMA Coordinator for Africa actively participates in the design and planning of the BMA service and is responsible for coordinating and monitoring implementation across the countries where we offer advisory, currently: the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda. Advisory services are provided by 10+ BMA advisors across the countries we support; these are sector experts who offer customized support to the businesses we serve.

This role requires a strong technical understanding of business management, in particular for rural, agricultural enterprises, to lead the continued growth, improvement and innovation of the service. Additionally, the coordinator will facilitate effective integration of a holistic Advisory service package with other coordinators in areas including gender equity, climate resilience and digital business intelligence. Beyond the immediate Advisory team, they’ll also be a key liaison with other Client Services teams including Lending and Business Development to cultivate a robust pipeline of future clients and support retention of existing clients while de-risking our portfolio. As this role actively ensures the quality and impact of the BMA service, the Coordinator works in close coordination with global colleagues across the quality management, monitoring and evaluation and innovation teams.


Advisor Management & Oversight of Service Implementation (50%)

Advisor Recruitment, Onboarding & Continued Training

  • Lead the selection and contracting of BMA Advisors.
  • Design, coordinate and communicate new BMA Advisors onboarding plans.
  • Design processes and offer regular feedback to advisors on the quality of their results, services and products delivered. Conduct on-site observations and coaching sessions as needed.
  • Champion continued training and development of BMA Advisors by identifying training needs, developing and facilitating relevant content to fill any methodological gaps and promote effective, impact-driven service delivery.
  • Assess compliance of BMA advisors on any required/pre-requisite trainings.

Advisor Management

  • Collaborate with the Head of Advisory (HoA) in regional BMA work plan to connect client need with relevant advisor expertise. Evaluate the skills of advisors and assign advisory services accordingly.
  • Partner with BMA advisors with work plan development based on assigned clients.
  • Review and offer feedback on BMA advisor workplan execution vs goals and deliverables.
  • Monitoring of advisors performance, effectiveness via regular check-ins.
  • Construct agendas and facilitate regular BMA-service level calls for BMA advisors in the region.

Planning/Service Oversight

  • Coordinate and supervise the planning, execution and performance evaluation of business management advisory activities, on-site and workshops, according to regional goals and Organizational Key Results.
  • Prepare and present periodic reports and summaries of the performance of annual plan activities for regional advisory management for use or other interdependent areas including consolidated qualitative data, key results, stories, challenges and lessons.
  • In particular, ensure core BMA tool application in the appropriate cycle (namely Agribusiness Diagnostic and Financial Fundamentals).

Quality Assurance and Reporting

  • Assessment of advisor deliverables (monthly reports and deliverable packages) for quality and clarity of information before monthly liquidation.
  • Monitor and offer feedback on the impact, feasibility and scalability (follow-up of key metrics related to impact goals) of BMA service delivery and identifying areas for improvement.
  • Collaborate with the Africa and Global Advisory Management team to define processes and quality parameters for the planning and execution of BMA activities and guarantee their compliance.
  • Prepare and present reports on service quality for Advisory management and contribute to donor reporting on BMA activities.

Service-Level Coordination (25%)

  • Offer inputs/feedback on regional Client Services strategy and planning as per Lead Cultivation and Client Engagement plans.
  • Collaborate with Business Development, Lending and Risk colleagues to generate a multi-faceted client perspective and approach that generates portfolio resilience. (ie. Collaborate with BusDev to coordinate Leads workshops, with Lending on required BMA support and synergy and with Risk on any important client observations).
  • Engage with Client Services colleagues to support client identification, selection and prioritization for BMA services including catalytic funding opportunities (Resilience Grants and Talent Partnerships)
  • Coordinate with other Advisory Service Level coordinators (in areas of climate resilience, gender equity, and digital business intelligence) to develop integrated client Advisory work plans and deliver the appropriate service mix.
  • Represent Root Capital at events and forums to share discussions, results, models, lessons learned from the program being coordinated.

Service Design, Innovation & Learning (25%)

  • Participate as part of a global BMA Working Group along with other Regional BMA Coordinators to advance service strategy, new product development exchange ideas and facilitate learning.
  • Design, create, review, socialize training content, curriculum materials, and tools for BMA services.
  • Engage in the global transfer of BMA innovations/service developments and adapt/contextualize materials and best practices from other regions.
  • In collaboration with Innovation colleagues, contribute to the development of new advisory themes, approaches or methodologies under the BMA service.
  • In collaboration with the HoA and Innovation colleagues, plan, monitor and guarantee the execution of pilot and innovation projects.
  • Consolidate learning, document lessons, evaluate pilots and provide recommendations and inputs for decisions on scalability, impact and improvement.
  • Contribute to the continuous improvement of BMA services - program design: definition of processes and quality parameters for the planning and execution of BMA and guarantee their compliance.
  • Stay up to date, informed on latest developments in relevant value chain markets, training methodologies and areas business management advisory to influence continuous improvement.

The description of this position is intended to provide general guidelines on the nature and level of the position and does not represent an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, tasks and skills required of an individual in this position.

Required Qualifications

  • Commitment to Root Capital’s mission.
  • Understand and model our Leadership Principles.
  • University degree- preferably in business management, economic development, agricultural economics, accounting or related field.
  • Experience of more than 8+ years in processes related to rural development or strengthening of agricultural companies or SMEs.
  • Leadership experience with direct supervision and coaching responsibilities. Supervision experience within remote work context a plus.
  • Demonstrate pedagogical competencies, preferably in training design with participatory methodologies, diverse participants, and rural environments.
  • Experience and skills in project management including workflow planning, task scheduling and implementation.
  • Entrepreneurial spirit, personal and professional maturity, excellent communication and interpersonal skills and the ability to communicate complex ideas effectively and in a compelling manner.
  • Superior interpersonal and communication skills (written and verbal) in English (additional language capabilities strongly preferred, including French or a local language); strong ability to maintain open communication with multiple teams, and use of sound judgement on when to engage peers and/or supervisor.
  • Ability to effectively engage different actors of diverse backgrounds, languages, culture and experience, including but not limited to: external, and high level audiences, NGO leaders, donors, agribusiness leaders, and smallholder farmers, global colleagues; proven ability to build and manage strategic partnertships.
  • Creative thinker and active problem solver; ability to identify challenges and develop innovative solutions.
  • Self-starter with ability to manage and prioritize multiple competing tasks and stakeholders; ability to thrive in a dynamic and entrepreneurial team environment.
  • Humility and empathy; ability to work with and identify the needs of farmers and agribusinesses operating in complex, challenging rural environment.
  • Ability to manage their work independently, with a high degree of responsibility.
  • Advanced or medium-advanced skills in Excel.
  • Experience in using suites for business management: electronic calendars and agendas, email, virtual document storage, collaborative documents, etc. Salesforce knowledge a plus.
  • Interest and commitment to gender equity and ability to operate with inclusion lens.
  • Familiarity with impact investing, agricultural development, finance, and/or international economic development strongly preferred.
  • Ability and willingness to travel frequently (roughly 30-40% of time) to mostly rural areas within East Africa where our clients operate, and elsewhere in Africa and beyond on occasion.
  • Authorized to work in Kenya.

Root Capital provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, active military or veteran status, age, physical or mental disability, medical condition, pregnancy (which includes pregnancy, childbirth, medical conditions related to pregnancy and childbirth, and breastfeeding and expressing breast milk), sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by law. Root Capital is committed to creating a dynamic work environment that upholds our leadership principles of: empowerment, equity, integrity, service, and transparency.