MBAs Without Borders Advisor – Cote d’Ivoire

MBAs Without Borders
Deadline for Applications
Where to Apply


Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire with travel to Benin and Ghana (up to 30%);
Twelve-month assignment, approximately June-July 2016 – May-June 2017


The selected MBAs Without Borders Advisor will play an integral role on the PATH Business Advisory Team by providing actionable, pragmatic advice and technical assistance to the PSI-led development of 3 5 specific sanitation business models in Cote d’Ivoire and Benin as part of the USAID/West Africa regional urban sanitation project, Sanitation Service Delivery Project (SSD).


As the leader in global health innovation and as an international nonprofit organization, PATH saves lives and improves health, especially among women and children around the world. PATH accelerates innovation across five platforms—vaccines, drugs, diagnostics, devices, and system and service innovations—that harness their entrepreneurial insight, scientific and public health expertise, and passion for health equity. By mobilizing partners around the world, the PATH team takes innovation to scale, working alongside countries primarily in Africa and Asia to tackle their greatest health needs. Together, PATH and its partners deliver measurable results that disrupt the cycle of poor health.

PATH’s lead for this project has supervised five MBAs Without Borders assignments of 3-12 months since 2008 with a strong track record of success for both PATH and the MBA Advisors. They are PATH’s lead-user of the program and resource for best practice.


The Sanitation Service Delivery (SSD) project is a USAID/West Africa regional urban sanitation project that is implemented by PSI in collaboration with PATH and Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP). The project aims to improve sanitation outcomes by developing and testing scalable business models that engage private sector service providers, and by contributing to the creation of a strong enabling environment for sanitation in West Africa. PATH plays a technical assistance and advisory role on the project team, for sanitation product engineering and business-model development respectively.

The PATH Business Advisory Team on this project, including the selected MBA Advisor, will work closely with PSI ground teams to provide actionable, pragmatic advice and technical assistance to the PSI-led development of 3-5 specific business models in urban/slum environments in Cote d’Ivoire and Benin, and to supportive parallel work streams including development of the partnership ecosystem.

While the PATH team leader owns the overall strategy that frames PATH’s recommendations and advisory efforts, the Advisor will have opportunities to own substantial strategy-level outputs, especially in the second-half of the assignment. In addition, the Advisor will play a valued, mentoring and capacity-building role with local staff.

Project Activities:

In 2016, the primary focus of this project will be on the tangible definition and test-driven refinement of the offering—what specifically people are meant to buy—at the heart of each business model. In this process, the team will utilize a “lean-startup”-style approach involving action-oriented iteration-cycles of customer inquiry, testing mock-ups, measurement, and refinement—with a focus on what is essential.

The MBA Advisor will provide business consulting services through PATH’s team-based approach. This work will include the following:
•       Interviews and meetings with consumers, (potential) partners, and other stakeholders.
•       Analysis, including creation and refinement of documentation.
•       Reviews of documentation generated by others, to provide suggestions and follow-up questions.
•       Pragmatic advice to end-client (PSI) managers and ground teams.
•       An emphasis on the Lean Startup methodology and related practices, including creative approaches to mock-up, test, and iterate on business models.
•       Due diligence on potential partners, offerings, and plans.
•       Advice and technical assistance across a wide variety of areas as required for the project.
•       Contribution to the relevant sections of various routine reports, such as quarterly and annual reports to USAID.
•       Regular, in-depth communication with the other members of the PATH Business Advisory Team including the Seattle-based team leader and Dakar-based counterpart. You will be expected to work in close alignment with the PATH team.
•       Brief, weekly report to indicate progress on assigned work streams/deliverables and how your effort was allocated across work streams during the week.
•       Other activities may be assigned as needed.

Additional context:

Most activities will relate to 3-5 business models under evaluation for Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire or Cotonou, Benin (note the project focuses on urban/slum environments). Current ideas are listed below for illustration. These are subject to change.
1.      Innovation in market for low-income rental housing, with a product/service (such as a landlord certification scheme) that creates value for both landlords and tenants, and includes sanitation.
2.      Facilitation of entrepreneurship, management capacity, and business models for operators of septic tank pump-out trucks to improve sanitation, customer value, and operator viability.
3.      Technical assistance to the government departments responsible for the sanitation system, with a focus on preparing a rational infrastructure investment plan for development bank support.
4.      Direct-to-consumer solutions that include installation of household/local infrastructure (toilets and appropriate connections, for example), customer support, quality assurance, and financing.
5.      Other initiatives, including potential cooperation with other sanitation-focused projects in Cote d’Ivoire, Benin, or Ghana.


The position is set to begin in June or July 2016 beginning with a three-day training with PATH in Seattle, Washington and various virtual training sessions with MBAs Without Borders staff. The position is set to complete in May or June 2017.


•       Master’s in Business Administration or similar graduate business degree required (e.g., MSc in Marketing, Finance, Applied Economics, Management).
•       Four plus years of business experience, preferably in consulting, marketing, operations, finance, market research, and/or entrepreneurship.
•       MBA with experience or other relevant combination of degree/experience.
•       Experience with and affinity for providing mentorship and coaching.
•       Previous exposure to emerging markets (minimum two weeks).
•       Ability to commit for the entire duration of the assignment. Ten days of leave will be provided.
•       EU, UK, US, Canadian, Norwegian, or Swiss citizen or permanent-resident. This is required in order to minimize visa issues. We are unable to make exceptions.
•       Bilingual French/English. Must be completely fluent in French or English, with strong working proficiency in the other language (written and spoken).
•       Given PATH’s highly team-oriented culture, a commitment to communication and teamwork is a primary expectation.


Since 1990, PYXERA Global has matched talented and experienced MBA graduates with skill-based volunteer assignments in emerging markets around the world. Over this time over 1,000 highly skilled MBAs have strengthened and supported more than 4,000 enterprises, entrepreneurs, governments, and NGOs.

MBAs Without Borders (MWB) Advisors, utilize their business acumen and skills to provide pro bono consulting services to promote growth, entrepreneurship, and economic development around the world.

MBAs Without Borders assignments are not salaried, however, PYXERA Global ensures that Advisors are fully supported during their assignment. Through the program and its partners the MWB program provides the following benefits to Advisors:

•       A generous living stipend to cover meals and incidentals
•       Housing
•       Travel and transportation
•       Health and evacuation insurance

In addition to logistical and administrative support provided by PYXERA Global, Advisors are also able to draw upon the experience of PYXERA Global’s team, consultants, and former Advisors to support their work. As a volunteer program, the MWB program meets the criteria accepted by most financial institutions to allow for deferment of student loans for participants during their assignment.

Additional Information

Please complete and submit your application online by April 4, 2016:
If you have any questions, please email