Business Development Specialist



Sales & Business Development
Kampala, Uganda
Posted on Thursday, May 23, 2024

Are you ready to use your business development and sales acumen to play a pivotal role in restoring vision for millions of people in low-income settings across Uganda? Would you like to work for an organization that combines the best of business and social impact practices?

VisionSpring, an international social enterprise, seeks a Business Development Specialist to develop new customer relationships and drive the sale of eyeglasses, primarily in the healthcare sector. While the Business Development Specialist will pursue sales directly by approaching hospitals, eye hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare providers, they also will increase the depth and breadth of eyeglass distribution channels by growing a network of channel partners in Uganda uncovering untapped customer demand for eyeglasses in other market sectors and working with partners that serve low-income communities. The Specialist will foster and manage assigned accounts, grow sales across multiple optical product categories (reading glasses, frames, sunglasses, etc.), and seamlessly execute all aspects of the sales process. Based in Kampala, the Specialist will report to the Africa Region Director based in Lagos, Nigeria.

This role is a contract-based, full-time position for the initial period of one year. As with other contractors with whom we have worked for many years, we expect the successful candidates to be willing to be long-term contractors for VisionSpring.

About You

  • You are an entrepreneur at heart and want to build a socially oriented business. The prospect of becoming an expert in the optics industry excites you.
  • You are accustomed to being a top performer in a high-growth environment. Achieving targets fills you with a sense of drive and satisfaction.
  • You are self-motivated and deliver excellent results without the daily direct supervision of an on-site manager.
  • You are adept at business-to-business and institutional sales and fully understand the sales management cycle. You are particularly adept at wholesale selling and have a knack for expanding the distribution of physical products.
  • You are strategic in your approach to new business, actively networking and doing research to identify new partners and nurture relationships. You are constantly seeking new and creative ways to reach your target market and go above and beyond what is required to do it.
  • You have the experience, maturity, and confidence, as well as the communication skills, to interact with people in senior positions. You can get others excited about the possibilities that are unlocked by working with VisionSpring.
  • You have a special talent for negotiating with partners for a win-win closure of deals.

About Us

  • We are creating access to affordable eyewear, everywhere. Clear vision creates opportunities for increased learning, work, safety, civic participation, and quality of life.
  • As a social enterprise, social change motivates us first. Our focus on sales and revenue targets serves and advances our mission objective—to increase functioning, productivity, and income earning potential for our low-income consumers by correcting refractive error with eyeglasses.
  • We are working to transform the systemic dysfunction of an optical market that has failed to deliver eyeglasses—a 700-year-old technology—to 2.5 billion consumers in need of vision correction, most of whom live on less than $4 a day.
  • We serve low-income consumers, not as beneficiaries but as customers. Our customers expect a high-quality and affordable product, and they will spend limited discretionary income for the immediate and tangible benefits of vision correction.
  • By selling eyeglasses, we awaken new demand and seed a viable market. By selling new eyeglasses we are able to serve four times as many people per dollar input than the alternative of donating recycled ones. To efficiently scale, we must deliver each new unit with lower cost.
  • We run our business on both sales metrics and social impact measures. We exploit a range of organizational forms and practices to get the job done.
  • We believe in scaling our impact, not our organization. We are a lean team of doers.

What You’ll Do

New Business Development

  • Conduct research, network, and cold-call to pro-actively identify and pursue new opportunities to grow partnerships with eye hospitals, clinics, and other health service providers; assist them in introducing or expanding their optical services.
  • Contact and stimulate engagement with known potential partners; transform them into satisfied customers.
  • Meet and surpass monthly, quarterly, and annual sales targets by winning new and repeat orders.
  • Grow and manage the channel partner network. Use your creativity to find new paths, and expand existing ones, to bring eyeglasses to our target population.
  • Engage and consistently follow up with existing and new accounts, deliver the highest levels of customer service.
  • Faithfully and accurately enter all sales activity—calls, conversations, emails, meetings, WhatsApp, SMS, etc.—into Salesforce, a customer relations management (CRM) system provided by VisionSpring.
  • Help to represent VisionSpring at local industry forums, peer groups, market development events, seminars, conferences, etc.

Account Management

  • Service and manage assigned accounts. Maintain existing close relationships and assure that we are building new relationships that will last.
  • Strengthen relationships with all key opinion makers and stakeholders.
  • Periodically affirm that we are reaching our target population by reporting customer data and KPIs.
  • Regularly follow up with customers for pre- and post-sale documentation and payments.
  • Solicit feedback and gather testimonials from customers so that their words can inform our marketing collateral.

Donor Engagement & Fundraising

  • Cultivate and nurture a portfolio of funders, including governments, institutional foundations, corporate and individual donors, by expanding long-term relationships with VisionSpring’s philanthropic investors and building new partnerships with prospective donors.
  • Support the continual improvement of our organizational donor stewardship practices to maintain the effectiveness and integrity of VisionSpring collaborations. Proactively communicate with donors and look for ways to engage philanthropic investors in order to keep them connected to our work.
  • Ensure donors receive timely, comprehensive, and accurate reports.
  • Prepare thoughtful and what can be complex and multi-layered proposals and requests for renewal funding, working collaboratively with program/field staff on proposal writing, objectives, indicator development, and budgeting.
  • Develop and monitor the opportunity pipeline and calendar for punctual execution of proposals, reports, trips to the field, and other forms of engagement.
  • Leverage VisionSpring’s Salesforce customer relationship management system to track written communications, meetings, submissions, and gift processing, with strict attention to data integrity.
  • Manage the fundraising tracker for potential funders of our work in Uganda


  • Bachelor’s degree or Higher National Diploma.
  • 3 to 5 years of professional experience in business-to-business and institutional sales.
  • Current home residence is Kampala and a willingness to travel up to 50% of the time within the country. Excellent written and spoken communication skills in English, and other local languages.
  • Experience creating and delivering sales presentations using PowerPoint slide decks.
  • Computer software skills, especially Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
  • Priority consideration will be given to candidates with these areas of experience and assets: institutional sales within the healthcare or pharmaceutical sectors; knowledge of vision care and/or optical services; comfort using Salesforce or another CRM; existing rolodex of contacts in healthcare/pharma/vision care sectors; and/or personal vehicle.
  • Some experience in fundraising is desirable but NOT a MUST as this role is 80% sales related and 20% fundraising.


  • Salary based on experience and education in line with VisionSpring salary benchmarking.
  • VisionSpring offers competitive benefits, including health insurance, gratuity funds, and generous vacation/personal time.


  • Please update your CV to include a phrase or sentence describing the business of each organization where you have worked. Applications without this information are disadvantageous in the process.
  • Please submit your application, including a thoughtful cover letter and your CV/résumé. Applications without this information are disadvantageous in the process.
  • Please note, only candidates invited to interview will be contacted.
  • At VisionSpring, diversity, equity, and inclusion are directly aligned with our core value to advance equity. Our mission is predicated on removing a fundamental barrier to full economic and social participation—uncorrected blurry vision. The values that underpin our mission energize our commitment to a diverse and inclusive team. A diverse team also allows VisionSpring to approach problems with nuance and develop unique insights that drive an outsized positive impact in the world. We actively recruit, develop, and retain talented people from diverse backgrounds and support everyone in being exactly who they are. VisionSpring is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes people from all experiences, abilities, and perspectives to apply.