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Market Access Entrepreneur

Seeking entrepreneurs with 5+ years of experience in agribusiness to design and launch new ventures to connect smallholder farmers to markets to maximize the profit our clients capture from their land.

Job overview

Location
Kenya, Rwanda
Career Level
Professionals

About One Acre Fund

Founded in 2006, One Acre Fund supplies 1 million smallholder farmers with the agricultural services they need to make their farms vastly more productive. Our 7,000+ team is drawn from diverse backgrounds and professions. With operations across six core countries in Africa, we make farmers more prosperous by providing quality farm supplies on credit, delivered within walking distance of farmers’ homes, and agricultural training to improve harvests. On average, our farmers harvest 50 percent more food after working with One Acre Fund. 

To learn more about our work, take a look at our Why Work Here blog for more information.

ABOUT THE ROLE

The Market Access Entrepreneur will be an important player in one of our organization’s biggest opportunities to create impact: developing new models to connect our clients to markets. To date, One Acre Fund has focused on improving yields of subsistence food crops through supplying quality inputs and training. The organization—and the farmers we serve—are now ready to take the next step into higher value crops and connecting to markets.

Over the past year, the organization has researched and identified higher value crops that would be suitable for our clients’ profile and have local, domestic, or international markets. You would embed with our Kenya or Rwanda country program to bring at least one of these opportunities from an idea to an integrated venture that will eventually serve thousands of farmers. The role would report to country Innovations Leadership.

Responsibilities

We are looking for an entrepreneur to act as a business owner within One Acre Fund—your primary objective is to start a business that sources crops from smallholder farmers.

  • Increase farmers' incomes through market access: We are looking for an entrepreneur to find creative ways to make markets work better for smallholder farmers, then grow the solution into a business. Examples of potential businesses include: establishing an aggregation business that sells to existing crop buyers, setting up a processing facility to source from OAF clients and add value, or making partnerships with retailers in both developed and emerging markets. The objective is to increase the income generated from farmers' land by providing a stable market for profitable crops.
  • Provide technical expertise: Use knowledge of the agribusiness sector to design ways to aggregate from thousands of farmers, identify buyers or partners, and move the produce to the final market.
  • Lead the business scale up: Once a business model has been identified, work with existing One Acre Fund teams, including the field team, to grow the business and integrate it with One Acre Fund's model.
  • Build with growth in mind: In the next five to ten years, One Acre Fund envisions providing ample opportunities to our clients to access markets across multiple value chains. We have an existing base of 1 million clients across East Africa and are continuing to quickly grow. While this role would start with one impactful venture as a preliminary objective, the goal would be to build ventures that can scale to hundreds of thousands of farmers within the initial country and eventually influence the design of similar enterprises in other OAF program countries.

Career Growth and Development

We have a strong culture of constant learning and we invest in developing our people. You’ll have weekly check-ins with your manager, access to mentorship and training programs, and regular feedback on your performance. We hold career reviews every six months, and set aside time to discuss your aspirations and career goals. You’ll have the opportunity to shape a growing organization and build a rewarding long-term career.

Qualifications

Across all roles, these are the general qualifications we look for. For this role specifically, you will have:

We are looking for candidates with 5+ years of work experience in private sector agribusiness roles that involved sourcing from smallholder farmers, ideally in East or Southern Africa. Candidates who fit the following criteria are encouraged to apply:

  • Entrepreneurial experience launching or growing businesses
  • Experience leading businesses that source from smallholder farmers in East Africa 
  • Experience in the following values chains is preferred: fruit & nut trees (macadamia, avocado), groundnuts, edible seeds (chia and sesame), or coffee 
  • Experience with multiple technical aspects: aggregation logistics, contract agreements , quality standards, processing, export regulations, or certification requirements
  • Leadership experience in multicultural environments 
  • Service-oriented approach to collaborative work 
  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Language: Fluent English required, other East African languages (e.g. Swahili, Kinyarwanda)

Preferred Start Date

Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, start dates can vary significantly by role. We are adapting rapidly to Covid-19 and most of our team is now working remotely. Given the changing environment, we will appreciate your flexibility in confirming a start date.

Job Location

Nairobi, Kenya or Kigali, Rwanda (with up to 30% of time spent at the rural headquarters in Kakamega, Kenya or Rubengera, Rwanda)

BENEFITS

Health insurance, housing, and comprehensive benefits

Sponsor International Candidates

Yes; African Nationals are strongly encouraged to apply. 

APPLICATION DEADLINE

We hire on a rolling basis which means that applications are reviewed and processed on a continuous basis until a hire is made.

One Acre Fund never asks candidates to pay any money or pay for tests at any stage of the interview process. Official One Acre Fund emails will always arrive from an @oneacrefund.org address. Please report any suspicious communication here (globalhotline@oneacrefund.org), but do not send applications or application materials to this email address.

We are committed to equal employment opportunity regardless of race, color, ancestry, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, age, marital status, disability, gender, gender identity or expression. We are proud to be an equal opportunity workplace.

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