Mercy Corps – Senior Venture Building Manager/Jobtech Alliance

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The Position

We are recruiting a Senior Venture Building Manager responsible for end-to-end engagement with jobtech start-ups. The Senior Venture Building Manager will be responsible for developing a pipeline of exciting jobtech platforms with potential for significant employment outcomes, working with them to develop concepts for Mercy Corps’ interventions, managing selection and onboarding, and managing advisory support to realise results. S/he will also be the Venture Building lead for startups seeking to onboard refugees in Uganda.  S/he will be well-equipped to interact with corporates and bigger start-ups and will bring a strong network. Expect us to move fast, make mistakes, learn a lot, and re-start a few times. You’ll be traveling up to 30% of the time across different African markets.

Essential Responsibilities


  • Contribute to the overall venture building strategy of the program, and our private sector engagement model for Jobtech for Refugees.


  • Map, develop and maintain relationships with relevant external stakeholders to widen pipeline, including accelerators and start-up networks.
  • Develop a pipeline of exciting jobtech start-ups across multiple African markets with the potential to achieve greater scale, impact, and/or inclusivity (particular focus in Uganda)
  • Work with pipeline start-ups to identify potential concepts for partnership, collaboratively deciding on packages of support. Where beneficial, identify linkages between Mercy Corps country portfolios and pipeline start-ups.
  • Lead due diligence up to review by the Selection Committee and oversee the contracting and onboarding of selected start-ups.


  • Manage interventions with partner start-ups, coordinating external technical assistance providers, deployment of finance, and connections to other project partners.
  • Coordinate with Jobtech for Refugees Project Manager on refugee-related sprints.
  • Monitor performance of portfolio, continuing to adapt interventions to maximise impact. Feed back into overarching program strategy.
  • Manage partner milestone reporting, fund disbursement from Mercy Corps, and monitoring requirements.
  • Where suitable, Venture Builders could be deployed for brief secondments to partners to support implementation of interventions.


  • We operate as a ‘do-tank’, ensuring that learnings from this emerging sector are shared back to the community. Document lessons learned, write up experiences from portfolio start-ups for the Jobtech Alliance blog, host webinars for the Jobtech Alliance on key topics, or conduct exploratory research on emerging topics – you’re the boss.
  • In partnership with portfolio start-ups and other Jobtech Alliance members, identify key research topics and build collaborative research on key topics surfacing from our work.
  • Where relevant, collaborate with country teams to share lessons learned and identify synergies and opportunities for integration and expansion.

Supervisory Responsibility

  • None.


Reports Directly To: Director/Jobtech Alliance

  • Works Directly With: Start-ups, External partners, Research and MEL Director, Venture builders, Finance/Contracts Manager, Mercy Corps country teams, Mercy Corps Youth Employment Technical Support Unit

Accountability to Participants and Stakeholders

  • Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our program participants, community partners, other stakeholders, and to international standards guiding international relief and development work. We are committed to actively engaging communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.

Minimum Qualifications & Transferable Skills

  • A history of excellence in achieving results and self-management.
  • Minimum of 6 years’ experience working with start-ups, VCs, accelerators or other start-up ecosystem actors. This could involve working on business strategy, market research, product, operations, or investment. We welcome diversity of experience.
  • Through-the-roof EQ, with excellent communication skills (written and verbal), and a collaborative approach to working with others. Experience in senior management teams and working with senior leaders in the start-ups space.
  • Outstanding analytical capacity, with capacity to bring clarity for others and make quick decisions.
  • Experience working in or with jobtech platforms is a strong plus.
  • Other pluses include experiences with portfolio management or MBA/equivalent.

Success Factors

  • You are an entrepreneurial self-manager, who is passionate about start-ups and employment impact. You have through-the-roof EQ, with an ability to build new relationships and manage existing ones effectively. You have outstanding analytical capacity, and can quickly see both business as well as impact opportunities. You love getting your hands dirty.