Business Development and Access to Finance Lead – Asia Region

Heifer International
  • Location
    Kathmandu, Nepal
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    Jul 30

Position description

Heifer International is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, status as a protected veteran, among other things, or status as a qualified individual with disability.


The function is an overall summary of how the job specifically relates to the global strategic mission. Impact Ventures and the deployment of Capital is an essential component of the Accelerate Strategy under Objective #3. The primary function of this position is to support access to finance for Heifer field teams and program participants; facilitate market-based enterprise development as a means of development; and maintain regional strategic access to finance partnerships as an extension of Heifer’s Impact Venturing division. This role will communicate directly with field teams regarding the coordination of opportunity identification, information gathered and support for analysis and recommendation. This position will be responsible for exploring appropriate financial service providers and maintain long-term and productive/functional relationships with funding institutions (BFIs, Venture Capitalists, Angel Investors, Private Investors, and program beneficiaries (individual farmers, cooperatives, Community Agro-Vet Entrepreneurs (CAVEs), traders, butchers and processors and so on).  

Essential Character Traits

Highly motivated and inspirational leader, superb listener and communicator, relationship builder, energetic and positive, team builder, strive for a shared vision, impact-driven and innovative, organized, having the strong business acumen, pro-active, respect for procedures and norms, curious, analytical, socially sensitive, values-oriented, conviction towards holistic sustainable development.  


A.  Access to finance (40%) 

·      Explore, assess, and identify appropriate financing providers and opportunities and float those opportunities to potential clients (individual/cooperative/corporates MSMEs). 

·      Collaborate with B/FIs to develop, improve, and scale up appropriate financial product and services for all possible type of MSMEs.

·      Assist bank staff in identifying potential clients (MSMEs) among the target groups and building a pipeline of impact ventures deals.

·      Support the MSMEs, Coops and Value Chain (VC) Actors to develop bankable business plans.

·      Advocacy at different levels to enhance the access to finance for smallholders.


·      Develop dossier of potential service providers, products (including risk mitigation products) and clients for continuous updating.

·      Regular communications with service providers to build rapport and good relationship.

·      Appropriate financial products available in selected value chains. 

·      Develop awareness and training materials for B/FIs to encourage agri-friendly products.

·      Develop templates to help assist Bank and Financial Institutions (BFIs) in identifying potential clients.

·      Carry out policy research during year 1 on value chain financing gaps and create/implement corresponding advocacy plan throughout the project life.

·      Documentation of potential new opportunities for improved financial accessibility for collaboration with the prototype coordinator.

B.  Business capacity development of VC actors (40%) 

·      Prepare manuals, briefs, guidelines, technical papers and other Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials related to Access to Finance (A2F).

·      Mobilize consultants, and experts as and when needed. 

·      Orient, coach and follow up the concerned staffs and implementing partners. 

·      Provide expert advice to project staff and related firms/enterprises on financial analysis and access to finance.

·      Support the operationalization and tracking of business and marketing plans for the project’s  producer associations, hubs and other businesses through joint planning, monitoring, and collaboration with the project teams.

·      Provide formalized training or guidance to staff to identify potential clients (medium and large enterprises) and enable them to complete and submit their grant or loan applications.


·      Develop staff’s capacity building plan in the field of Value Chain Financing (VCF) and A2F.

·      Develop/Update the training manuals/materials on various aspects A2F and VCF and deliver to build the capacity of staffs of Heifer and Partners.

·      Develop and deliver the package of tools and techniques on agriculture finance and risk assessment to staffs of BFIs and Cooperatives.

·      Develop knowledge document and access to information to build financial intelligence, financial literacy and financial management capacity of smallholder farmers and MSMEs. 

C.  Leadership and General Operation (15%) 

·      Lead the access to finance component in Heifer’s East and Southern Africa programs, liaise with technical leads in HQ for increased effectiveness, and align the local implementation with global goal of Heifer’s Impact Ventures.

·      Assist M&E team in providing social impacts that result from Impact Venture’s investment activity. 

·      Establishing contacts and building/maintaining relationships with potential implementing partners such as financial institutions (Bank and Financial Institutions (BFIs), Private/Public/Investment funds, Impact Investing Companies, Venture Capitalists, Donors, etc.) and MSMEs/agribusinesses;

·      Represent Heifer at relevant   forums to share the good practices, lessons learnt and elevate the critical constraints on access to finance. 

·      Document and publish best/success cases, briefing notes, reports, etc.

·      Coordinate with other team members with high focus on Heifer’s development model (Values Based Holistic Community Development (VBHCD) and Heifer’s Accelerate Objectives).


·      Lead project implementation plan development for access to finance component with clear timeline and deliverables during the first 6 months of the project.

·      Develop/update the strategic documents for Value Chain Financing for the project that includes, not limited to, implementation manual, training manual, challenge fund guidelines, etc. within year 1 of the project.

·      Assist M&E team to develop M&E framework in access to finance within the first six months of the project.

·      Support PME department on project monitoring, progress reporting and result measurement at all milestone reviews and during annual impact monitoring. 

·      Relevant Strategies in place ensure participation of vulnerable groups in Access to Finance (A2F) (women, marginalized, landless, disaster affected etc.).

·      Fully coordinated functioning of Heifer’s development model.

D.  May perform other duties as assigned (5%)


1.   A Bachelor’s Degree in Agribusiness, Agricultural Economics, Finance or related fields.

2.   At least five (5) years’ experience in fields related to agro-business development and cooperative/hub development. This person must show proof of experience in creating and/or managing a successful and profitable agribusiness.

3.   Demonstrated strong writing and oral presentation skills in English. 


Preferred Requirements

1.   Master’s degree or equivalent in the fields of Agriculture Economics, Business Administration, Entrepreneurship, Business Development, Finance or other related field, plus five (5) years in a mix of value chain competitiveness, investment promotion, or agriculture development.

2.   Five (5) years’ management level work experience.

3.   Significant experience in building public/private partnerships, preferably in the agricultural and livestock sectors.

4.   Demonstrated experience in conducting business, investment analyses, and capital budgeting and sufficient evidence on how the results were used to develop viable business ideas and subsequently tangible businesses. 

5.   Proven experience in building the capacity of agribusinesses, managing knowledge, measuring progress, planning, and innovating within the livestock industry.

Most Critical Proficiencies

·      Practical knowledge and understanding of key access to finance opportunities and constraints along agriculture value chains in rural Africa. 

  • Demonstrated experience in training and capacity building of financial services providers, smallholder farmers/rural SMEs and base of the pyramid consumers. Experience in addressing gender inequality in financial market systems highly preferred.
  • Ability to work independently – and take initiative while also having strong team building skills.
  • Excellent analytical skills and ability to verify information.

·      Knowledge of Market Development, Value Chain and Public/Private Sector Engagement.

·      Strong skills in market analysis, feasibility studies, enterprise budgeting and finance. 

·      Ability to analyze and interpret financial statements, cash flow statements, financial ratios and business projections.

·      Excellent management, communication and interpersonal skills.

·      A good understanding of and sensitivity to issues associated with poverty, hunger and the knowledge of the context in which non-profit organizations operate.

·      Demonstrated understanding of the economic, social, and cultural dynamics of agriculture/livestock production systems in Africa.

·      Demonstrated networks and trust relations in East African financial market. 

·      Experience with both formal and informal finance mechanisms. 

·      Proven track-record in rolling out new and innovative rural financing products, including value chain finance instruments.

·      The successful candidate will have excellent technical and leadership experience in expanding access to finance, business development services and training. 

·      Experience in financial institution and enterprise level technical assistance, training and training curriculum development.

·      Interest in the livestock sector and women’s economic empowerment. 


Essential Job Functions and Physical Demands

·      Ability to prepare and present documents in a well-designed and attractive format with superior attention to detail.

·      Capacity to interact effectively with people from different cultures and work with governments and donor agencies. 

·      Ability to maintain highest ethical standards at all times.

·      Strong leader and team player.

·      Willingness and ability to assign and review the work of direct reports.

·      Proven team and customer care skills with the ability to train and work cooperatively with a diverse staff, including field staff in several locations.

·      Constant face-to-face, telephone and electronic communication with colleagues both within and outside the country.

·      May require constant sitting and moving; working at a computer for extended periods.

·      Ability to work with sensitive information and maintain confidentiality.

·      Ability to perform multiple tasks with minimal supervision.

·      Ability to lift and carry up to 20 pounds (9 kilograms) floor-to-waist.

·      Willingness to work with a flexible schedule.

·      Willingness to travel both locally and internationally.

Application instructions

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