Job Title: SunnyMoney Brains - Manager, Kenya
Location: Nairobi, with frequent travel to rural Kenya
Reporting to: SunnyMoney Managing Director (Nairobi based)
SunnyMoney is the subsidiary company of SolarAid, an innovative, fast-growing, organisation working in Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia which focuses on business based solutions to poverty. Our aim is to enable the world’s poorest people to have access to clean, renewable power.
We do this by selling solar lights to rural households and building momentum in the solar market.
Our mission as a company is to Eradicate the Kerosene Light from Africa by the end of this decade. We call this our Big Hairy Audacious Goal – our “BHAG”. To find out more, go to www.sunnymoney.org
The SunnyMoney Brains Programme
A challenge for an organisation seeking to become a profitable social enterprise is to continue investing in innovation while the rest of the company becomes a well-oiled sales machine.
Clearly to achieve its “BHAG” SunnyMoney needs to continue testing new approaches and new ideas which may be considered too risky for a growing business where roles are focused on delivering growth and profitability.
To address this challenge SunnyMoney is setting up an innovation unit: the SunnyMoney Brains programme. This is how it will work:
• Attracting ideas from everywhere: Creation of ideas will come from the entire organisation and wider partners from both business and academia we collaborate with. SunnyMoney will openly share our top level problems and invite solutions. New ideas we wish to investigate, model and test will be seeking to solve the major obstacles we have identified; as well as finding ways to make our business more effective.
• Allocating dedicated resources: Dedicated human resources will be required to concentrate on testing new ideas; quite separate from the teams focusing on selling lights and hitting targets. Management of such projects might be complex in the initial stages. This will be the SunnyMoney Brains team.
• A pool of projects: As we are operating in rural Africa it is likely pilot projects will take time to set up. To make best use of a dedicated team we would combine a range of new ideas that can be progressed in parallel, each at different stages, and working to integrate any successful projects into our main programme.
• Fail → learn → leap: We envisage many projects taking place and expect a large number of ‘failed’ projects where the critical learning we gain helps progress our insights for future success. Many of SolarAid’s leaps taking us forward have followed rethinking approaches through learning from past failures.
• Leveraging interest in social enterprise: We will be able to cost-effectively leverage available smart and highly driven individuals to join SunnyMoney Brains from business schools and socially driven businesses through internships, placements, and secondments; offering research capability, project management capability and blue-sky thinking.
• Disseminating our learning: Where our insights and application lead to breakthroughs in our business; we will share and disseminate our learning rapidly across the business.
SunnyMoney is now recruiting an exceptional Manager to help us build and lead this exciting new initiative.
Duties and Responsibilities
- Help shape the SunnyMoney Brains programme into a fully operational unit in the next six months
- Recruit and manage a rolling staff of 5-6 interns, fellows and seconded professionals
- Work with the Senior Management Team to identify milestones and targets for the SunnyMoney Brains programme and design projects accordingly
- Find innovative solutions to problems identified by the Senior Management Team and find ways for SunnyMoney to increase its sales and improve its services. Taking solutions from the conceptual phase to proof of concept.
- Write new project proposals to be presented to Senior Management for approval
- Manage the SunnyMoney Brains programme budget and allocate funds and resources to specific projects
- Design and implement focused field-based research, trials and pilot projects to test new distribution models, product offerings or commercial strategies
- Take full responsibility for the management of trials and pilot projects taking place in Kenya (extensive fieldwork will be required)
- Conduct market research, run surveys and focus groups.
- Collect and analyse qualitative and quantitative data to a high standard
- Create reports for internal and external audiences to present and summarise research findings
- Work closely with senior management to transfer learnings from trials and pilots into SunnyMoney’s core operations
- Assist the fundrasing team in seeking funds for the programme and participate in grant applications to fund new projects.
- Use crowdfunding platforms to raise funds for new projects.
- Build partnerships with academic and research institutions.
- Build and maintain close ties with the main industry players to build partnerships and develop joint projects
- Remain aware of the state-of-the-art solutions in end-user finance/pay-as-you-go, and new business and distribution models
- Work in close collaboration with the Social Impact & Research Manager to join efforts when possible, share resources and contribute to the company’s social impact research.
- Work with the Marketing department to develop communications materials which summarise our findings
- Work with the Fundraising and Marketing team to ensure that donors and social investors are kept aware of the programme’s work and achievements. Providing information as required.
- Work with the Marketing department to develop a section of the website to include a regularly updated dashboard, case studies and downloadable documents.
- Find ways to integrate crowdsourcing into the SunnyMoney Brains activities and engage young and innovative thinkers in SunnyMoney’s cause.
Person Specification Skills/ knowledge
- Highly self-motivated individual with an entrepreneurial spirit and a drive to succeed
- Able to make decisions, take the initiative, originate action and be responsible for the decisions made
- Strong problem solving skills and creative thinking - with a proven ability to “think outside the box”
- University degree (preferably an MBA or a business degree) with a minimum of 2 years of relevant work experience
- Excellent project management skills
- Strong business and commercial acumen
- Strong financial ability (prepare budgets and to monitor expenditure) & understanding of financial modelling
- Staff management skills
- Ability to work individually and as a team
- Excellent communication skills
- Excellent oral and written English
- Knowledge of Kiswahili (added advantage)
- Experience working in developing countries and adapting to new environments and cultures
- Willingness to travel and work in rural Africa
- Understanding of the off-grid lighting market and commitment to developing the pico solar market & reducing reliance on kerosene for lighting
- Experience in developing, planning and executing pilot/trials projects from scratch
- A track record of implementing field based research projects and/or market research studies,ideally in an African context
- Computer literacy (project planning, spreadsheets, word processing, email/internet)
Terms and conditions
- Notice period: two weeks within probationary period, three months thereafter
- Annual leave: 25 days
- Salary commensurate with experience
- The contract of employment will contain full details of the terms and conditions
How to apply
Interested applicants please email CV together with a covering letter which explains how you meet the criteria in this job description to firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: Please entitle your email subject line with: Your Name, “SunnyMoney Brains - Manager” and save letter together with CV in one attached file.
Deadline for applicants: 14th January 2012
Please note we will contact shortlisted candidates to hold initial phone interviews before inviting the final candidates in for face to face interviews. Only candidates selected for the phone interview will be contacted.