Role: Finance Fellow
Venture: KWANGU KWAKO LIMITED
Location: Nairobi, Kenya
Deadline: July 14, 2019
About Kwangu Kwako Limited
Kwangu Kwako Limited enhance and save lives through providing improved housing to families living in informal settlements and low-income areas of Kenya. Our product is a simple, modular precast structure made by local people from locally available materials.
Our proposal is different because it benefits all the stakeholders, tenants, the community and also to the landlord/investor. It is our belief that other solutions have been slow to gain significant traction because they were not attractive to the major stakeholders who control 86% of the land – the landlords. Kwangu Kwako provide a solution that is attractive to the landlords AND significantly improves housing for the tenants. In addition to this, the landlords themselves will be investing in the solution thereby securing buy-in and self-financing of the improvement.
We have completed our concept phase and are embarking on our implementation phase. This is an exciting time to join Kwangu Kwako but will need a very special person. Being a small company about to scale, we need to set up processes, procedures, you will need to be flexible as new challenges will arise each day. There is no manual, few processes. We outsource basic accounting and the founders do the rest at the moment. It will be for you to take a look at the current state and help us set up finance systems and processes for the business to grow into. There will be lots of ambiguity at first, lots of autonomy, and lots of fun. If the thought of that excites you then let’s talk.
This will be a period of huge transformation for us and the successful candidate will be pivotal in fast-tracking us to success. We need to quickly become an increasingly sophisticated, highly intricate organization with many moving parts. We are about to move from small production volumes to full scale commercial production in less than 12 months.
In partnership with Kwangu Kwako, as a Fellow with Engineers Without Borders Canada (EWB Canada), you will be placed as a Finance Fellow with Kwangu Kwako to work with their team in Kenya. Throughout your Fellowship with EWB, you will receive guidance, mentorship and financial support from the community in Canada and in East and West Africa.
About Engineers Without Borders Canada (EWB)
EWB is a free-thinking charitable organization that brings people and ideas together to tackle the most crucial causes of poverty and inequality. We nurture talent and leadership, enable social entrepreneurship and advocate for policy innovations to cross-breed systems-changing innovations to ensure economic and public opportunity reaches everyone, including the most underserved and marginalized populations, especially women and girls.
Through our leadership curriculum and Fellowships Program, we offer experiential learning opportunities in Canada and sub-Saharan Africa to launch future shapers equipped to understand and re-engineer complex social systems. For more information, visit ewb.ca.
Kwangu Kwako seeks a dynamic, experienced and imaginative financial mind to develop innovative solutions to set the standards/processes and long term effectiveness of our financial team and financial sustainability to impact way beyond the period of the fellowship. You will design, test, and project manage, the implementation of solutions to improve critical internal financial services. An immediate need is to help us formulate new and innovative customer finance products for our high ticket sales. Nothing exists at the moment that fits with our customers’ ability to pay and provide security. We have lots of ideas but need a tenacious and dynamic mind to help us find that missing gem of an idea that breaks the mould for us. There will also be the fun of translating the founders clunky, overly complex demonstration of Excel chaos in many areas! You will need to be flexible and adaptable to an ever-changing business. Your work will have a significant impact on the growth of Kwangu Kwako, not just from a day-to-day perspective, but also in terms of environmental, social and economic impact for residents of informal settlements.
As a Finance Fellow for Kwangu Kwako Limited, your responsibilities will include:
- Setting up our financial protocols and procedures and also our finance team;
- You will almost have a blank canvas to set the landscape for our future in terms of finance;
- We also need help with funding and investor pitches and diligence, modelling, etc. Basically everything from accounts payable to strategic financial planning. You will help to source, design and potentially mobilise a whole new finance team, capacity build and then leave a highly functioning group that can take the company to the next level of expansion.
Key Result Areas: (Measurable goals)
- Work directly with a Co-Founder to develop and deliver improvements in the finance/procurement/investor and donor relationship areas;
- Liaise with Venture Gender Inclusion Specialist to coordinate efforts to increase Kwangu Kwako Limited’s gender score (tasks will include applying a gender lens to identify new and/or untapped markets, increase productivity, effectively mitigate risks and costs, enhance economic empowerment of marginalized groups including women, identify opportunities to increase female talent and leadership within Kwangu Kwako Limited.
- By the end of the fellowship:
- Business model refined, improved, investor-friendly in terms of presentation and data;
- Business model supports Kwangu Kwako Limited ability to improve its score on the EWB Gender Score Card;
- Business and project budget and cash flow systems, tracking and projection in place and operational;
- Effective inventory and project cost control and management systems in place;
- 2-3 new customer finance products designed, tested and hopefully funded.
Sound exciting? Here’s who we are looking for.
Skills & Qualifications
The Fellow will need the following qualities:
- Have travelled independently in developing countries and demonstrable ability to navigate in challenging communities. Your work will involve you working independently in Nairobi’s informal settlements at times. You need to have a strong instinct, humanity, humility and be resoundingly streetwise;
- Excellent analytical skills – data collection, statistics, data modelling. Highly skilled in Excel and preferably experience of Quickbooks;
- Project management experience – how to manage projects, break down problems, develop methodologies, frameworks and develop implementation plans;
- Human centered design skills – understanding and working with our teams and communities, how to get to the why rather than the what and developing design and process innovations from this information;
- Knowledge of Gender Lens Investing – Experience in GLI considered an asset;
- Awareness of cross-cultural communication and ability to maintain constructive relationships with a diverse set of key stakeholders
- Resoundingly pragmatic;
- Hold a continuous, restless desire to improve yourself, your project teams, and your organization;
- The ability to conceive, design, test, evaluate potential solutions and implement recommendations;
- A collaborative mentality;
- Deep-rooted empathy and humility;
- Powerful communications skills – particularly in presenting ideas.
More qualitatively, we are looking for people who have the desire to take on a whole new challenge in a whole new context, a tenacity and drive to keep going in the face of frustrations and set-backs inevitable in working in a developing country and in a small company. We believe that we are on the cusp of transformative change and we seek people who believe their skills will deliver that transformation.
Educational & Experience
- Degree in Finance or similar. Minimum 3 years (preferably 5) work experience in a similar area and deliverables;
- Experience working independently in an unstructured environment;
- Experience in the Africa environment and/or as an independent traveler will be an added advantage.
- For inquiries about the EWB Fellowship experience, please contact: email@example.com
- For inquiries about the role with Kwangu Kwako, please contact: Beth Foster
For further details, please refer to our website.