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Business Development Specialist

Heifer International

Marketing & Communications

USh Confidential
1 month ago

Job Summary


Job Description/Requirements


Heifer International is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, status as a protected veteran, among other things, or status as a qualified individual with disability.

Heifer Project International in Uganda is set to implement a 5-year project funded by the Master Card Foundation under its program the Young Africa Works. The Strengthening Agribusiness for Youth Employment-SAYE project seeks to improve socio-economic wellbeing and resilience of young people in the Busoga sub-region by 2029. The project will focus on four intervention areas; skills development, equitable access to markets, innovative and inclusive finance and creating an enabling environment to realize the desired outcomes. The project target is to reach 250,000 young people between 16-35 years (70% females and 3% youth with disabilities). The project will achieve this target through collaboration between The Consortium for Enhancing University responsiveness to Agribusiness Development Limited (CURAD), The Federation of Small & Medium Enterprises (FSME), Financial Sector Deepening Uganda (FSDU) and ASIGMA group.

 The Organization 

Heifer International is a global development organization on a mission to end hunger and poverty in a sustainable way. We work with farmers and their communities to identify and invest in business opportunities that deliver living incomes. Since launching in 1944, Heifer International has assisted more than 40 million families to build sustainable food and farming businesses that strengthen rural economies and put people on a pathway to Sustainable Living Income. We work with local farmers, and food producers because we believe ending poverty begins with agriculture.

Heifer International started work in Uganda in 1982 and has since reached and helped over 5 million families across the country. Heifer has worked in 52 districts of Uganda and currently, we are present in 15 districts of Central, Eastern and Northern Uganda. In the last 12 years, Heifer Uganda has reached over one million families through agriculture and environmentally sound economic development programs.


The Business Development Specialist under the overall guidance of the Project Director and in close collaboration with the cluster coordinators will be responsible for designing and implementing appropriate interventions within the project with an aim of creating strong and profitable youth agri-enterprises. This will be achieved through capacity building of partner organisations in business planning, financial management, development of management structures and systems, provision of business advisory services, development of key marketing and financial linkages in financial services, input services and naturing strong partnerships with both public and private players. 


A. Business Development (50%)

Support MSMEâs in capacity building of youth agri-hubs, enhancing training packages, and ensuring effective delivery of business and financial management training programs. Analyze and conduct feasibility studies to assess and develop new business investment and financing options. Provide advice and assistance in the establishment and maintenance of business and financial records keeping systems. Undertake capacity assessment and due diligence for agribusiness business organisations. Develop business models clearly showing the value preposition of agribusiness companies and young people and how it will leverage the opportunities in the production and market environment.  Support and track the development of business, strategic, and human resource management plans for youth agri-hubs, groups, cooperatives, and producer organisations.  Develop work packages that address access to business development services including and access to finance to stimulate job creation for youth.  Research and identify innovative financing mechanisms, grants, and investment opportunities for young entrepreneurs, and provide guidance and support in accessing these resources. 

B. Agri-Hub development and Management (20%)

Liaise with cluster coordinators to establish viable business focused youth groups, producer organisations and cooperatives which have strong leadership, management, and succession systems in an environment of transparency and ownership. Support in the development of guidelines for the formation, management and governance of youth groups, cooperatives, and producer organisations. Facilitate the transformation of youth groups/associations into formally registered cooperatives. Monitor and evaluate the progress of youth beneficiaries, assess the impact of interventions, and provide regular reports to project stakeholders. 

C. Capacity building (15%)

Support partners in building the capacity of small and medium enterprises to be able to support youth groups to create partnerships with key business development service providers. Undertake constant appraisal, assessment and assessment of agri-enterprises, market opportunities, status, trends, and business developments. Develop strategies to realize commercial opportunities and minimize risks to the business. Support partners to develop BDS and innovative financial inclusion models and approaches, create financial linkages between the village savings and lending associations, saving and credit cooperatives, and Micro finance institutions. Develop and implement strategies to facilitate the acquisition of market-driven skills among youth, ensuring their relevance to current industry demands.

D. Partnerships and Engagement (10%)

 Incorporate within the framework of the project, potential win-win business opportunities which can attract different value chain actors to engage in transactional relationships with the farmer producer organisations and develop a platform for achieving the partnerships. Organize business forums and multi-stakeholder value chain platforms. Collaborate with project partners to identify new market and investment opportunities, taking the lead in developing robust and successful business models that secure new deals, contracts and long-term relationships for youth and private sector.

E. May perform other duties as assigned (5%)

Minimum Requirements

 A bachelorâs degree in Agribusiness or Agricultural Economics with at least 7-10 years of proven experience managing agri-business projects, hands-on experience testing and iterating on different Business Development models, ability to identify and rectify market failures around BDS delivery and should possess insights into challenges of creating and maintaining sustainable BDS models.

Preferred requirements

Competitiveness, investment promotion or agriculture development. Significant experience in building public/private partnerships, preferably in the agro-processing sector.  Demonstrated experience in conducting business investment analyses, and the ability to translate results into viable business ideas and subsequently tangible businesses. Proven experience in working with a consortium of partners and ability to build their capacity. Previous experience in the commercial sector with skills to develop and evaluate investment opportunities and promote such opportunities to financial institutions. Strong consumer marketing, financial analysis, and management skills. Prior experience in supporting and monitoring field-based programs in the country.  Ability to generate innovative solutions in work situations.  Broad knowledge and understanding of the project selected value chains. Excellent command of report writing analysis and presentation skills using Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

Most Critical proficiencies

 Innovative, analytical, and solutions-oriented A good understanding of and sensitivity to issues associated with poverty, hunger, unemployment and the environment, and knowledge of the context in which non-profit organizations operate. Knowledge of youth workforce development issues, especially in rural communities of the Busoga region in Uganda, and understanding of enterprise developmentâs link to poverty alleviation. Good understanding of the different value chains within the agribusiness and non-agribusiness ecosystem.  Excellent organizational skills, including strong attention to detail. Proven experience in building the capacity of partner institutions to document and disseminate industry information, manage knowledge, measure progress and plan and advocate within the industry. Proficient knowledge of word processing, spreadsheets, presentation tools, electronic mail (Microsoft Office preferred) and Internet Demonstrated proficiency in English, both oral and written. Ability to work in a team.

Essential Job Functions and Physical Demands

Excellent interpersonal skills with the ability to relate to individuals diplomatically and tactically. Ability to integrate financial services within a value chain with the view to foster trust and build a strong relationship between value chain actors and financial services providers. Ability to work with sensitive information and maintain confidentiality. Motivated to work responsibly with little supervision. Demonstrated high degree of honesty and integrity. Constant face-face telephone and electronic communication with colleagues and the public. Constant sitting, standing, and walking with occasional bending and lifting; may work at a computer for extended periods of time. Ability and willingness to work with flexible schedules. This role will involve travel within the targeted project area.

NOTE: The Mastercard Foundation adheres to the highest standards of care related to its programs, those involved in carrying out its mission, and the millions of young people it supports in accessing dignified and fulfilling work. The Foundation has a zero-tolerance policy for all forms of misconduct and takes seriously its responsibility to improve the safety and well-being of the young people who participate in its programs. This duty of care is shared by the Foundationâs partners. As such, during recruitment of staff for Foundation supported programs, all necessary mechanisms are put in place to ascertain that candidates under consideration share our commitment to safeguarding.

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