Social Business Manager
- Mercy Corps
- Deadline for Applications
- Where to Apply
ABOUT MERCY CORPS:
Mercy Corps is a leading global humanitarian agency saving and improving lives in the world’s toughest places. With a network of experienced professionals in more than 40 countries, we partner with local communities to put bold ideas into action to help people recover, overcome hardship and build better lives now, and for the future. In these places, Mercy Corps listen to local voices to prioritize people’s most urgent needs, taking a long-term view and promoting innovative solutions that drive true change. Mercy Corps has been operational in Liberia since 2002, most recently implementing programs in food security, peace building, and youth empowerment.
Prospects (Promoting Sustainable Partnerships for Economic Transformation), funded by the Swedish government and Chevron, is a two-year youth livelihood and empowerment program created to respond to the unemployment and livelihoods challenges of Liberian youth. The program targets 8,000 ‘work-ready’ youth (18-35), who have some education and/or skills but are unemployed or underemployed, predominantly in the urban areas of Monrovia, Buchanan, and Gbarnga. One component of the program seeks to take an innovative social enterprise approach to correct market failures in the connections between young people and the job market. The initiative, called New Day, is the first of its kind in Liberia.
The New Day model is composed of an information provision piece, in the form of a youth-targeted newspaper/website providing info on vacancies, opportunities, and work-readiness content, and a job-matching piece, in the form of a vetting system and database of candidates available offline/online to employers. The aim of New Day is to be an innovative solution to labor market failure. It is intended that New Day be run as a financially sustainable entity by a local Liberian business, with incubation within Mercy Corps in the early phase.
GENERAL POSITION SUMMARY:
The Social Business Manager will be responsible for strategy and management of the New Day venture. S/he will define incubation methods, identify partners and handover strategy, and lead day-to-day management of staff and activities during incubation period. This includes managing editorial and other staff including contract/freelance writers and designers, directing expansion into online media, engaging technology staff or contractors as necessary, targeting and initiating business partnerships with employers, and overseeing marketing efforts for the venture. S/he will have overall responsibility for the New Day budget within the Prospects program, and drive profitability of the business.
ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS:
Strategy, Leadership and Business Model Development
– Grow long-term business model including products, financials, timelines, and partnerships
– Ensure ongoing programmatic excellence, quality of output and customer service, as well as consistent rigor of finance and administration
– Ensure compliance within applicable legal and regulatory frameworks
Consolidate product offering and systems for product delivery
– Ensure consistent production and distribution of the New Day newspaper publication and job-matching services
– Lead market research, concept development, and testing of new products. This will include collaboration with the Results, Learning and Research team on Prospects.
– Enhance quality control procedures, and methods for identifying results/impact, as well as developing customer feedback channels
– Oversee likely transition of New Day to an online job-matching platform for employers
– Engage and oversee technical staff or contractors to develop online interface and architecture as required
Partner Identification and Capacity Building
– Identify and assess local business partners with the potential to take over the New Day venture
– Build the capacity of selected partner(s) to manage the New Day venture, achieving both financial profitability and social objectives
– (Potentially) Managing Mercy Corps staff seconded/placed in above institutions
Financial and Staff Management
– Oversee financials of business operations, providing clear guidance to Mercy Corps (and partner) management on financial health and viability of the enterprise
– Manage Mercy Corps budgets associated with New Day
– Build, develop, lead and retain a high-performance team
Marketing and relationship management
– Represent the venture both within Mercy Corps and externally. Communicate results with an emphasis on lessons learned and elements of the program that can be replicated
– Promote the New Day brand among the Liberian private sector and youth
– Maintain relationships with the local business community and related government and non-governmental bodies
– Build partnerships in new markets, establishing relationships with employers and community leaders
As part of our commitment to organizational learning and in support of our understanding that learning organizations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities they serve – we expect all team members to commit 5% of their time to learning activities that benefit Mercy Corps as well as themselves.
Accountability to Beneficiaries
Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts towards accountability, specifically to our beneficiaries and to international standards guiding international relief and development work, while actively engaging beneficiary communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.
Any other tasks requested by the Prospects Program Manager
SUPERVISORY RESPONSIBILITY: 3 staff members, outside contractors
REPORTS DIRECTLY TO: Prospects Program Manager
WORKS DIRECTLY WITH: Employment and Entrepreneurship Manager, Employment and Entrepreneurship Assistants, Operations and Finance teams
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:
ü Advanced degree preferred, ideally an MBA or related field
ü Track record of effectiveness in leadership roles, including 3 years of management experience
ü Experience working in start-up business
ü Experience conducting market research and/or product testing
ü Demonstrated experience in capacity building of partners and/or staff development
ü Management excellence with the ability to coach staff, manage, and develop high-performance teams, set and achieve strategic objectives, and manage a budget
ü Fluent spoken and written English
ü Experience working in Africa (including with local partners) a plus
1. Passion, integrity and a positive attitude
2. Action-oriented, entrepreneurial and innovative approach to business planning
3. Strong written and verbal communication skills; a persuasive and passionate communicator with excellent interpersonal and multidisciplinary project skills
4. Leadership talent, ability to be self-direct and manage a team
5. Willing to learn and adapts well to new environment and changes
LIVING CONDITIONS/ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS:
The position will be based in Monrovia, and may require minimal travel to other urban centers (less than 10%). Liberia is recovering from 14 years of war and instability, as well as the direct and indirect impacts of the Ebola crisis, but is in a stable situation at present with a growing economy. Monrovia and towns in outlying areas are generally very safe, though come with the same safety considerations as any other African capital. Life in Monrovia is basic but comfortable, with good accommodation, and a busy expatriate scene and supermarkets full of western goods at western prices. This is an accompanied post for partners and children.
Mercy Corps Team members represent the agency both during and outside of work hours when deployed in a field posting. Team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws, customs and MC's policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.