Senior Director, Social Enterprise and Great Lakes Region – Women for Women International

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Overview

Women for Women International (WfWI) has been investing in the Great Lakes region of Africa in Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo for over 20 years and has served almost 200,000 women. We have been able to offer support, tools, and access to life-changing skills to help women move from crisis and poverty to stability and economic self-sufficiency.

As we have done in other countries that move out of conflict and into stability, we are seeking to transition our Rwanda Country Office to a local NGO that remains closely connected to the WfWI family as an independent local partner. Simultaneously, we aim for our social enterprise in Rwanda, the Urugo Women’s Opportunity Center (WOC) to strengthen its sustainability and closely integrate with the newly established local NGO over the coming years.

Along with this transition in Rwanda, there are strong linkages to our work in DRC as we continue to serve over 5,500 women per year. In addition, we have exciting scope for expansion and new partnerships in the broader Great Lakes region.

Purpose

We are looking for a strong, entrepreneurial leader to build on our legacy for empowering and impacting the lives of women in the Great Lakes region while taking us to the next phase for sustainability and scale. Key outcomes include the successful establishment of the local Rwanda NGO with close integration with the WOC, and implementation of a hybrid model (Local NGO and For-Profit Social Enterprise) to ensure sustainability.

While initially the majority of this role will be focused on supporting our transition and sustainability in Rwanda, there are strong linkages to our work in DRC and elsewhere in the Great Lakes region. This position will be responsible for providing leadership of the Country Director in DRC, as well as assessing new opportunities for expansion through our own program expansion or through strategic partnerships.

Duties and Responsibilities

Leadership, Strategic Vision & Oversight of the Management of the Rwanda Country Office (CO) and Social Enterprise (WOC):

The Senior Director has direct oversight responsibility for the Rwanda Country Director and the WOC Executive Director.

  • Create a strategic vision for sustainability of a holistic social enterprise model in Rwanda, incorporating the NGO activities with the for-profit business activities.
  • Oversee transition of Rwanda program to local NGO with very strong integration with the social enterprise. Ensure there is clear communication, objectives and accountability with the leads on specific functions related to the transition.
  • Provide mentorship, coaching and development for Directors.
  • Consistently evaluate the financial health of the for-profit social enterprise and provide creative solutions for sustainability.
  • Assess opportunities and risks for scaling of micro social enterprises at WOC.
  • Assess program growth, challenges, track outcomes with Directors on a regular basis.
  • Serve as a thought leader by coordinating the team to advance programs, partnership, impact and reach. Design creative ways to elevate the impact, sustainability and visibility.
  • Ensure Country Offices are following best practices on financial controls and ensuring sound management of office operations.

Leadership, Strategic Vision & Partnerships for other Great Lakes Region Activities:

The Manager in collaboration with the VP of Global Programs will have direct oversight of program activities, partnership and expansion considerations within the region.

  • Provide direct management, mentorship and coaching of the DRC Country Director with support from the VP Global Programs and other country support staff.
  • Lead on expansion assessments, including opportunities and risks, within the region.
  • Accountability and oversight of strategic partnerships within the region.
  • Support implementation of expansion or partnership efforts within the region.
  • Contribute to organization-wide strategic thinking and design of new approaches, initiatives, and partnerships.

External Engagement & Fundraising:  

  • Successfully engage and manage existing relationships within the region; continue to cultivate and build innovative partnerships to further the mission and vision and diversify sources of funding.
  • Lead diversified fund development efforts in partnership with the Directors, Board and business development lead, focusing on individuals, local authorities and ministries, industry corporations, and grant-making organizations.
  • Lead and represent the organization to external audiences and stakeholders.

Qualifications and Requirements

  • Master’s level degree or equivalent post-graduate qualification in relevant field (or 10+ years’ experience in lieu of advanced degree)
  • Minimum of 7 years relevant work experience, of which at least 5 years at senior operations level in social enterprise, nonprofit or business operations in developing countries (prior experience as Country Director or Regional Director highly desirable)
  • Minimum of 5 years’ experience managing senior leadership teams
  • Experience in the social sector or for-profit organization required
  • Prior profit and loss or operation experience, particularly in social business context required.
  • Proven ability to raise and oversee the management of funds from major foundations, corporations, multilateral institutions and governments (including USG).
  • Familiarity with managing budgets, financial reporting, grant writing and reporting.
  • Professional experience in East Africa required, with preferred experience in Rwanda, DRC and/or Burundi.
  • Professional experience working successfully across offices and regions (experience working closely with US or UK offices desirable).
  • Excellent written and verbal English required.
  • French, Kinyarwanda and/or Swahili language skills strongly preferred.
  • Understanding and experience of gender issues in country offices and proven commitment to addressing gender inequalities in all key areas of responsibility.
  • Proven ability to lead and manage during a time of change.
  • Strong computer skills in MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Email applications.
  • Ability & willingness to spend at least 25% of the time traveling in sometimes remote and potentially unstable locations.

Leadership Competencies

  • An entrepreneurial and creative approach to developing new, innovative ideas that will stretch the organization and push the boundaries.
  • Proven leader with a passion for women’s empowerment, social enterprise, and advocacy. An inclusive, low-ego, relationship-oriented leader able to build on the current success of the organization in close collaboration with its principals.
  • Ability to lead through others with a style that is equitable, collegial, approachable, flexible, candid and diplomatic.
  • A natural convener and builder of collaborative relationships with great integrity and authenticity. Collaborative and a keen listener, but also able to give clear direction and to act decisively.
  • Strategic mindset and experience in leading an organization through growth and change/restructuring.
  • The ability to create and communicate ambitious but realistic goals and implementation plans that are achievable and successful.

Application Instructions

We will be reviewing applications on a rolling basis, so please apply at your earliest convenience through this portal. This position is based in the Great Lakes region, with a preference for Kigali, Rwanda. National candidates from the region are encouraged to apply.

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

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