Monday, July 29, 2013

East African Short-term Associates Posts

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Acumen is looking for two short term associates to work in our East Africa office. This is an outstanding opportunity for individuals with a
few years of work experience, a
higher degree, exceptional energy
and commitment to global
development to help grow our
investment portfolios.
Acumen started as an idea. 11 years
later we have a proven model that
combines the best of charity and
investing to change the way the
world tackles poverty.
Acumen is a non-profit venture fund
with a vision to help build a world
beyond poverty through investing in
companies that deliver critical goods
and services in water, health,
housing, energy, agriculture, and
education; leaders who are paving
the way for new approaches to
fighting poverty; and the spread of
ideas that will give the world the
knowledge and the understanding to
change how the world tackles
Passion, entrepreneurial spirit, and
commitment to tackling the issue of
global poverty are just a few of the
things that the staff at Acumen have
in common. What we aim to
accomplish with our work is no easy
task, and we need dedicated, high-
caliber people to reach our goals.
Acumen has invested more than $85
million of patient capital in more
than 70 social enterprises in South
Asia, East Africa and West Africa that
have collectively served more than
100 million customers. We have
teams on the ground in India,
Pakistan, Kenya, Ghana, and New
York, and we aim to build strong
local structures that are deeply
interconnected to the global
organization through shared goals.
East Africa
Acumen's commitment to East Africa
began in 2004. Today, we have over
$17.6 million in approved
investments and 12 portfolio
companies across healthcare, energy,
water & sanitation, agricultural and
education. Portfolio companies like
M-Kopa, Sanergy, and Virtual City,
are revolutionizing their sectors and
pioneering new development
paradigms. The office is staffed with
a full-time team of professionals
from diverse backgrounds including
investment banking, venture capital,
management consulting, law, and
Acumen East Africa is well-resourced,
has a strong foundation, and is
ready to take our mission to the next
level. Core to our success is the
ability to identify, resource, and
build a world class portfolio that
demonstrates the power of patient
capital to solve the problems of
poverty in India and the world more
broadly. Equally important is to
leverage our experience into insights
that compel this ecosystem of
funders, operators, and policy makers
to catalyze a broader paradigm shift
in the battle against poverty.
See who is talking about us, here.
Position Description
Acumen East Africa will hire two
short term Associates to help
analyze new markets within our
portfolios, develop tools for
benchmarking new pipeline, perform
due diligence, document market
research and enable knowledge
These associates will be able to use
their business skills in researching
and analyzing organizations,
producing sector strategies and will
get practical insights into a new
approach in social investing. The
business analysis will focus primarily
in four portfolio areas:
• Health – invests in technology that
presents an opportunity to
profoundly alter market dynamics in
the healthcare landscape of the
developing world.
• Agriculture – invests in self-
sustaining, scalable enterprises that
focus on both supply of inputs for
agriculture, and on broader financial
innovations that provide economic
access to the poor.
• Water – invests capital and
management support in financially
sustainable and scalable enterprises
that make safe and sufficient water
accessible to the poor.
• Energy – invests capital and
management support in financially
sustainable and scalable enterprises
that make renewable energy options
accessible to the poor.
Acumen also provides hands-on
management support to enterprises
in its portfolios, and short term
associates are also asked to assist
with specific projects addressing
management challenges of portfolio
companies. Some deliverables in the
past have included financial models,
competitor analyses, marketing
strategies, and an exploration of
export opportunities.
The Short Term Associate will work
with a Portfolio Lead to:
• Conduct relevant market research/
sector mapping depending on the
portfolio you will work with.
• Screen early stage pipeline against
Acumen Fund’s due diligence
• Collect, organize and analyze data
from existing operations to
determine key trends and drivers for
company performance.
• Analyze a potential investment to
develop a growth strategy, and
identify the risks and mitigants
• Support internal staff in the
drafting of internal documents such
as Acumen’s investment memos and
building financial models.
• Support internal staff in developing
the portfolio of investments that
Acumen Fund will consider funding
• Work with internal staff to provide
post investment support our existing
Qualifications & Characteristics
• Candidates with a graduate-level
degree or similar
• Experience in financial analysis
and modeling, particularly in venture
capital or private equity
• Management consulting experience
• Commitment to Acumen's mission
• International work experience
• Academic training or work
experience focused on health, water,
agriculture, or energy
• Ability to take initiative with
research and analysis and conduct
work on their own
• Capacity to work with a team in
different countries/cultures
• Capability to present investment
ideas in memoranda to senior
management and advisors
Additional characteristics we’re
looking for in all roles at Acumen:
• Commitment to, and enthusiasm
for, the organization’s mission and
business model, and respect for our
core values: generosity,
accountability, humility, audacity,
listening, leadership, integrity,
• Moral Imagination: The humility to
see the world as it is, and the
audacity to imagine the world as it
could be. It also includes but is not
limited to the following:
o Displaying high level of
empathy in all relationships and
o Possessing deep self-awareness
and ability to identify own strengths
and weaknesses
o Actively
listening and focusing on hearing
what others are saying
• Good understanding of financial
concepts and our investing model
• Solid operational skills including
problem solving and project
management skills, including ability
to work and deliver projects
independently, proactively and
under pressure
• Effectively collaborates with and
across teams, seeks and provides
constructive feedback
• Exceptional relationship and
interpersonal skills: courtesy, tact,
patience and strong team
• Strong communication skills and
ability to be a “storyteller” of our
• Ability to thrive when there is
ambiguity, remain cool-headed when
there are curve balls, and withstand
the tests of a rapidly changing
environment with resilience and
• Curious – always questioning,
always probing, and never blindly
• A sense of humor (really)

Apply Online