Impact Investment Project Lead

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Help us grow our impact investment work with rural SMES

We have an exciting opportunity for you to coordinate our impact investment work delivered through the ACRE platform (Access to Capital for Rural Enterprise: Practical Action Consulting (PAC) is looking for a dynamic and enthusiastic individual who can lead this work, working in close coordination with our country and regional office staff in Africa, Asia and Latin America, external consultants and the four other members of the ACRE consortium.

This is real opportunity to develop your skills in coordinating a programme of support to rural SMEs in the agricultural and energy sectors which aims to  facilitate debt and equity finance through a syndicate model and a pool of impact-first investors.

In this role you will provide overall project management as well as supporting and leading on due diligence to assess both commercial viability of enterprises and social impact potential using IRIS metrics. You will join the UK-based PAC Inclusive Markets team and will work remotely with staff and consultants overseas. You will also be expected to travel for this role. This post is offered on a 12-month fixed term basis with the potential for extension depending on funding.

We are looking for a committed and creative individual, with first-hand knowledge and practical experience of managing SME development programmes in an international development context and facilitating access to finance. 

Date of expiry12th Sep
Salary£34,031 - £38,283, depending on experience
LocationNr. Rugby, Warwickshire, UK (with International Travel)
Full/Part timeFull Time
Employment statusFixed Term
Other terms12 months fixed-term contract

To develop Practical Action’s impact investment work through our role in the ACRE (Access to Capital for Rural Enterprises) consortium: In doing so, apply skills in business metrics, business performance management, commercial analysis, annual business planning and strategic planning.


The role is focussed on Practical Action’s work on impact investment across our Regional and country offices, ACRE consortium partners and Syndicate Manager. The role will manage and deliver the ACRE impact investment model with a strong emphasis on delivery through support to local office staff and local and international consultants.


The post holder will drive forward Practical Action’s impact investment work, specifically our role in the ACRE consortium, and support programme staff and consultants to deliver pipeline from enterprise identification through to the preparation of business plans for potential investors. This will include:

• Project management: Plan budget, personnel, timeline of activities and deliverables. This will require sound international project management skills in the form of upward management   and matrix management in a context of limited budget and no direct line management responsibility.

• Pipeline: Supporting country office staff and consultants to identify, screen and assess potential enterprises through the ACRE process

• Due diligence: Coordinate and supervise local teams and consultants to carry out due diligence on enterprises. This includes supporting both commercial and financial analysis and analysis of the social impact potential of the enterprises using IRIS metrics and the potential broader impact on market systems.

• Monitoring and evaluation: Supporting country office staff to develop and implement monitoring plans covering both financial and social impact performance of enterprises.

• Leadership: Lead the internal ACRE Management Team (AMT) which coordinates the operational strategy for the ACRE project.

• Representation: Represent Practical Action within the ACRE Executive Committee.

• To represent PAC and Practical Action at international meetings

• To ensure coordination and synergies between ACRE and other teams in PAC and Practical Action

• To undertake any other tasks as assigned by the Private Sector and Inclusive Markets Consultant.

More detail of the responsibilities and tasks are outlined in Annex 1

Overseas travel will be necessary, according to project and management requirements.



The priority is to develop and maintain strong working and supportive relationships with country and regional offices (both Practical Action and PAC staff); PAC UK, the Senior Advisor on Private Sector and Market Systems in Policy and Practice, the Programme Support Team and members of the ACRE Management Team (AMT). The post-holder will also develop working relationship with team leaders, project managers and their teams in each country.


The post holder will be expected to represent PAC and Practical Action externally. S/he will be expected to maintain and develop relationships with ACRE consortia management (specifically as a member of the ACRE Executive Committee) and in particular the ACRE Business Development Managers, project teams, associate consultants and counterparts in INGOs, funders, and occasionally, investors.

The post holder is responsible for leading the ACRE project and providing support and guidance to international staff delivering ACRE with no direct line management responsibility.

The post holder is responsible for the day-to-day management of the assigned ACRE project budget.


• At least 8 years’ experience of working in international organisations, with 5 years’ overseas experience, in a variety of contexts, with increasing levels of management and leadership     responsibilities

• Preferably a post-graduate degree or higher in a relevant subject, or 10 years’ experience.

• Experience in providing support to inclusive SMEs in an international context

• Skills in business and business finance management, an understanding of business metrics, business performance management, commercial analysis, annual business planning and   strategic planning.

• Proven ability to lead and inspire a team of capable individuals to deliver a team agenda while meeting individual performance targets.

• Proven experience of international project management, team building and project support and of delivering capacity building covering a range of programme issues.

• Proven ability to collaborate effectively with a diverse group of advisors and professionals, ideally in multiple geographic locations.

• High level project management skills, with an in depth understanding of one or more of the following: Private sector development, inclusive market systems, enterprise      assessment/support or finance analysis.

• High level understanding of core principles of good practice in development covering areas such as: gender and social inclusion; strategic partnerships and consortia building; local    partner capacity development; beneficiary and partner feedback; participatory approaches.

• Excellent written and oral communication skills, with a clear ability to communicate to a variety of audiences.

  Excellent English language, knowledge of French/Spanish would be advantageous.

• Computer literate, including Microsoft Office, and in particular financial spreadsheets in Excel, with good statistical and/or qualitative data analytical skills.

• Strong personal empathy with Practical Action’s vision and mission and values.

• Ability to travel for up to 10 weeks per year.


All Practical Action staff work towards demonstrating excellence and with our core behavioural values. We seek to:

• Be inspired and inspiring about our work.
• Demonstrate dynamism in what we do.
• Be good at connecting and collaborating.
• Learn and share knowledge.
• Demonstrate creativity in doing their job.
• Be focused on getting the job done.

Annex 1 - Responsibilities for Acre
Specific responsibilities under ACRE likely to include:

• Reviewing process documents for all prospects

• Act as the first reviewer of enterprise prospects by preparing and supporting local teams to apply high level ACRE filters, prepare initial outline documents of enterprises and review these against the ACRE criteria in a critical manner

• Work with the ACRE Business Development Managers to review detailed enterprise assessments and support the provision of additional due diligence, either directly or through internal staff ox external consultants

• Support country teams to prepare technical assistance proposals and coordinate the provision of technical assistant to enterprises by external consultants in liaison with country teams and the ACRE Business Development Managers

• Review and support M&E plans, both for the ACRE project as a whole and M&E of enterprises as they progress along the pipeline

• Coaching teams to make critical strategic decisions: What to progress, what not to progress, what to prioritise; where to seek further support and funding

• Staff capacity building: This will involve supporting the development of local teams in being able to explore how ACRE and impact investment becomes part of their broader programme work (primarily agriculture and energy), and assisting in delivering or sourcing external capacity building if required. This will involve prioritising limited resources to do so.

• Ensuring compliance to key contracts: TA funding contracts, the terms and arrangements of the grants (as defined by the funders and by the ACRE consortium lead, Christian Aid). Ensure that these are followed by local teams who are drawing down grant resources. Reporting on the contracts (financial and narrative)

• Develop and oversee annual ACRE support budgets

• Participation in Executive Committee of ACRE consortium: Monthly calls, quarterly face-to-face meetings. This includes review and approval of ACRE process issues, fundraising, knowledge and learning sharing

• Internal and external communication on ACRE including updating webpages and disseminating learning and best practice.

• Establish and maintain strategic communication with staff in country and regional offices and the UK to provide updates on ACRE / impact investment activities.

• Co-ordinate the HO ACRE Management Team (AMT) and lead monthly meetings.

• Knowledge management: Maintain effective access to key resources and documents from the consortium to Practical Action staff using SharePoint

For further details and details on how to apply


To access the full job description please complete the form on the "Download" tab 

Closing date for return of completed applications is 12Th September 2016

We positively welcome applicants from all sections of the community.

All candidates must have the pre-existing right to both live and work in the UK

NO Agencies


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