Business Development Manager

  • Role: Business Development Manager
  • Venture: The Somo Project
  • Location: Nairobi, Kenya

About The Somo Project

The Somo Project is an incubator that works with entrepreneurs to build high-impact businesses in underserved areas. We provide them with the training, mentorship, capital and market access they need to succeed. Our team of 11 staff and 32 volunteers operate in 6 low-income areas in Nairobi.

Our program includes:

  • A rigorous 12-week Entrepreneurship Bootcamp;
  • Long-term advisory relationships with local and remote business leaders;
  • Early-stage grants;
  • Later-stage growth capital in the form of loans;
  • Market access assistance;
  • Networking and growth partnership opportunities.

Our entrepreneurs come from underserved areas and are building businesses that bring positive change to their communities. We measure our success not only by the number of entrepreneurs we train and graduate, but also by the economic and social impact of their businesses in their communities. Our program focuses on market-based solutions driven by local entrepreneurs to solve high-impact, local problems with self-sustaining businesses.  The businesses cover a wide range of sectors from renewable briquettes, to computer programming courses, to African dolls made from recycled materials.

About You

The Business Development Manager is in charge of working with Somo entrepreneurs within the Acceleration program, and reports to the Executive Director.  Somo’s Acceleration Program is a 2-year program that works with qualifying entrepreneurs who have graduated from Somo’s Entrepreneurship Bootcamp. During this process, we work with them at every stage of their journeys starting and expanding their businesses.  This includes providing entrepreneurs with start-up capital, advisory help, additional training, and increased market access.  The Business Development Manager is responsible for solving issues as they arise, getting involved with the communities we work in, and being a support system to the entrepreneurs.  This role encompasses the realities of being involved in people’s everyday lives — being a firefighter, a confidante and a friend to our entrepreneurs.


As a Business Development Manager for The Somo Project, your responsibilities will include:

Manage Somo’s Grant making:

  • Assisting new entrepreneurs in registering businesses and setting up bank accounts;
  • Helping create start-up schedules schedules and budgets;
  • Distributing grant capital;
  • Doing follow-up site visits to business premises.

Assist Somo entrepreneurs (around 30 businesses) in growing and scaling their enterprises — working hands-on with each enterprise.  This includes:

  • Lead the growth of Somo’s start-up businesses by coaching and advising in areas such as financial tracking, growth strategy and partnership development;
  • Find volunteers to work directly with businesses on key start-up needs;
  • Help entrepreneurs prepare for pitches to potential clients, other investors or partners;
  • Work with entrepreneurs on growing their confidence and ability to pitch;
  • Advise entrepreneurs on brand improvement;
  • Talk through key business development areas.

Monitoring and Evaluating

  • Manage Somo’s monitoring and evaluation.  Including working with entrepreneurs on reporting, assisting in evaluating their reports and collecting data from individual businesses, and organization as a whole;
  • Evaluate statistics on Somo’s impact, compile this data and send monthly reports;
  • Design new programs in response to organizational goals and field-wide trends;
  • Advise the Board on organizational growth strategies, processes, and procedures.

Sound exciting? Here’s who we are looking for.

Skills & Qualifications

We are looking for an exceptional leader and doer who shares our passion. The Business Development Manager is expected to contribute fresh ideas and improve existing structures. Top candidates will typically have the following:

  • At least BA in a related field.  A masters is preferred.
  • Several years of experience in a leading role at a non-profit,  consulting firm, investment firm, bank, or experience as an entrepreneur or leader at a high-growth company;
  • Strong communication skills and analytical abilities, as well as insightful, structured way of presenting information;
  • Ability to effectively work with people at all levels and backgrounds;
  • Interest in guiding and mentoring Somo entrepreneurs.
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