Wasafiri – Business Development Manager.

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Wasafiri is a global consultancy, incubator and institute helping leaders and organizations tackle some of the world’s most complex problems. From our offices in Kenya, UK and the USA, we bring a well-established track record of helping our clients achieve impact at scale on the systems related to conflict and governance, extreme poverty, food insecurity, and environmental sustainability. Together, we’re helping build a more peaceful, equitable and sustainable world. We are proud of the work we do, and looking to invest in a Business Development (BD) Manager who can bring new energy, ideas and capacity to help us have even greater impact in our work.

Summary of the role

Purpose: To help identify and create commercial opportunities for Wasafiri to increase our impact on the systems related to conflict & governance, food insecurity & extreme poverty, climate change and environmental sustainability.

Salary: GBP £40k-45k plus package – depending on experience

Working Arrangements: Flexible

Location: Flexible – We have offices in Nairobi, Kenya; Brighton, UK and Asheville, USA.

We are proud of the work we do, and looking to invest in a Business Development (BD) Manager who can bring new energy, ideas and capacity to help us have even greater impact. At its core, this role will help us in three ways;

Helping increase our impact on complex problems
We’re a team driven by the collective purpose of tackling complex problems. We’re proud of the work we do on issues of Conflict & Governance, Food Systems & Inclusive Growth, Climate & Nature. We see the BD Manager as being part of this collective effort, similarly energised by this mission, and someone who is able to bring their distinctive contribution to Wasafiiri’s journey of finding ever-more powerful opportunities for transformative impact.

Contributing to our team, culture and distinctive ways of working
We’re a small organisation, with an agile, distributed way of working. As such, the BD Manager will be right at the heart of our commercial efforts, working flexibly and closely with people leading on delivering our projects, with those who lead our portfolios and impact areas, and with people supporting our operations, finance and marketing. As such, they need to bring a deep sensitivity to working within a diverse team with an inclusive culture, and an emotional intelligence to the relationships at the heart of it.

Helping identify and develop new business
We see the BD Manager working right across the spectrum of developing new business; helping to position Wasafiri and engaging with our client networks, spotting new opportunities and overseeing our pipeline, qualifying potential bids, developing partnerships and consortia, coordinating proposal design and development processes, developing budgets and helping us learn as we go. It also means bringing a real insight and track record of working with our clients, with a particular focus on knowing the way new opportunities are brought to market for;

We would anticipate that great candidates will be familiar with the pace and nature of the work; we take a very responsive and entrepreneurial approach to new opportunities as they emerge, which can mean managing multiple bid processes in parallel, delivering to tight deadlines, having to balance the competing needs of quality and efficiency. This means we’re looking for someone who brings a demonstrated track record in the field.

They will report to Hamish Wilson, Wasafiri’s Co-Founder and Director for Innovation, and work alongside our Commercial Officer Ana Nikolic and Digital Engagement Officer Lucy Chapman.

 Primary Responsibilities

Monitoring market trends & identifying opportunities (Approx 20%)
The market is constantly changing. We’re looking for someone who can stay close to emerging trends and dynamics in the market, and help inform the way we engage with new and existing clients. This might include;
• Monitoring trends in the international development sector, with a particular focus on our client clients
• Working with portfolio and delivery leads to identifying ways we can engage more engaging more effectively with existing clients and client networks
• Monitoring key business development platforms and portals and share new opportunities across the team
• Work with portfolio and bid leads to help qualify specific opportunities

Coordinating bid development processes & (Approx 30%)
Coordinating bids can be stressful. We’re looking for someone able to work brilliantly with diverse bid teams, pulling together lots of different kinds of ideas and material from a (potentially) wide range of staff and consultants to ensure a timely, quality submission. This might entail:

• Setting up new bid development processes, workplans and teams
• Identifying and onboarding new consultants to help prepare proposals
• Overseeing and coordinating the process of preparing new bids, ensuring the bid team is well informed, cohesive and supported throughout the design of the proposal
• Integrating technical, commercial and other inputs in a timely and coordinated fashion
• Helping design project team and consultant profiles, and assisting in their identification and recruitment
• Engaging with consortium partners on larger bids

Helping prepare & submit proposals (Approx 30%)
The BD Manager will also help prepare proposals. We’re looking for someone who knows what a quality technical and commercial proposal package looks like, and someone with a keen eye for ensuring with comply with eligibility criteria and requirements.

• Preparing capability statements and summaries of our track record
• Supporting the preparation of bid budgets and workplans
• Working with the Commercial Officer to ensure our submissions are compliant with client procurement rules and regulations
• Working with consortium members on issues such as partnering agreements, compliance, budget development, technical input and work-planning
• Oversee the final preparation, packaging and submission of proposal documentation, including with copy editing, formatting and layout

Strengthening our commercial management (Approx 20%)
We’re constantly striving to improve our quality and competitiveness. We’re looking for someone who can help us strengthen our commercial approach and ways of working. This might look like;
• Leading lesson-learning reviews of recent proposal processes
• Working with the Commercial Officer and Director to oversee our pipeline management platform / Customer Relationship Management system
• Contributing to reviews of our commercial plans, competitiveness, performance, priorities and approach
• Providing bi-weekly reports on our commercial performance, helping set up and manage our regular commercial coordination meetings

Our Ideal Candidate

Essential – energy and approach
The energy and approach of the person we’re looking for is just as important as the skills and expertise they bring. Our ideal candidate will quickly grasp what the ‘Wasafiri spirit’ looks and feels like in practice, and be able to help our culture grow and evolve. In particular, they will bring;

• A hunger to be part of Wasafiri’s journey of systems-change: Someone who brings energy and curiosity to our journey to learn more about how to make change happen in complex systems, and how to increase our impact on complex problems,

• An eagerness to play their part in an entrepreneurial, collective team effort: Someone who recognises that their success is bound up in the success of the wider team, who is brilliant to work with, who sees their contribution as part of a wider effort,

• A proactive problem-solver: Someone who is up for getting stuck in, who welcomes taking the initiative, and is proactive in spotting opportunities, resolving problems and making decisions.

• Knows what it means to deliver with quality: Someone with a keen eye for detail, who understands what quality looks like, and knows what it takes to deliver and operate with the highest of professional standards,

Essential – skills and experience
• Professional background: Minimum 3-5 years business development experience within an international development context, ideally with development consulting organisations, contractors, INGO’s or similar,

  • Client experience: Experience working with international development donors, foundations and clients, including having an up to date working knowledge of their market priorities, ways of working and procurement processes,
  • Proposal coordination experience: Proven track record of coordinating bid development processes. (The candidate must be able to produce evidence of contributing to multi-million dollar bids, involving complex consortia arrangements).
  • Proposal development experience: Experience in contributing to the design and development of proposals; including compliance, budgets, workplans and packaging. Working with bid teams and consultants.
  • Academic background: At minimum a Master’s degree in fields relating to international development, foreign relations, political science, public or business administration,
  • Sectoral / thematic background: Must have familiarity and working knowledge of a range of the sectors and markets relevant to Wasafiri’s work (these could relate to areas such as conflict, governance, food security, inclusive growth, climate change, environmental sustainability
  • Communication skills: Outstanding writing, analytical and communication skills with attention to quality and detail, ability to convey complex concepts clearly and concisely. Fluency in English is essential. Working knowledge of French a plus
  • Technology skills: Must be able to demonstrate above-average skills and expertise in Microsoft Word, Powerpoint, Excel.

Method of application

To apply for the role please:

  1. Click here to download and complete the application form and the detailed Job Description. Please note that we will not accept submissions without a completed application form.
  2. Include a CV that is not longer than 3 pages.
  3. If you have one, please include a link to your LinkedIn profile.
  4. Please submit the application form and CV to opportunities@wasafirihub.com

Midnight GMT April 23, 2021. We will review applications as they arrive. Due to the volume of applications we are expecting, we will only be able to respond to candidates that make it to the interview stage.




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