• Technical Assistance Manager at TechnoServe Inc.

  • Posted on: 12 May, 2011 Deadline: 24 May, 2011
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  • TechnoServe is an international, non-profit economic development organization founded in 1968 out of a conviction that a vibrant private sector is an essential foundation for economic growth and poverty reduction. TechnoServe undertakes targeted, catalytic technical assistance and other programming to increase the competitiveness of entrepreneurs, businesses and industries that in-turn provide sustainable employment, inclusion of the poor and increased incomes. TechnoServe operates in 25 developing countries with over 900 employees. A substantial portion of our work is in agriculture, enhancing farm productivity and commodity quality and addressing gaps in processing and other agribusiness capacities. Our programs increase smallholder access to new technologies, aggregation and storage mechanisms, markets, critical information and finance. TechnoServe also undertakes structured programs to identify and support high potential entrepreneurs in various sectors through leadership mentoring networks, formalization support, access to capital and development of sustainable business services such as accounting, finance, marketing and human resource management.

    Job Title: Technical Assistance Manager

    Program Description:

    A new African investment fund has been created to support the medium-term economic development of SMEs and small farmers operating in the agriculture sector in Africa by mobilizing meso-level service providers. Specifically, the fund aims to enable small businesses, small-scale farmers, farmers’ organizations and cooperatives to benefit, either directly or indirectly, from investment in rural financial services providers that serve these target groups.

    Position Description:

    The Technical Assistance Manager (TA Manager) will drive the process for the allocation of technical assistance funds. The TA Manager will identify a team that will directly manage the diligence, implementation, reporting, administration and other tasks pertinent to the delivery of technical assistance. The TA Manager will coordinate closely with the fund management teams, as many potential TA projects will be derived from or related to the fund’s investment portfolio. It is envisioned that the TA Manager will be based in Johannesburg or in one of the other major cities where the fund maintains a presence, in order to facilitate communication and coordination.

    The TA Manager will be responsible for the following activities:

    • Participate in due diligence visits and team discussions to assist in the identification of TA opportunities
    • Create proposals for suggested projects for approval by the investment fund
    • Provide guidance on budgeting for all proposed projects
    • Source providers to implement the actions required by approved proposals
    • Monitor the implementation of TA projects
    • Manage the TA Team, ensuring the completion of financial and administrative tasks such as bank communications, approvals/transfers and documentation
    • Prepare technical, financial and monitoring evaluation reports


    Within five years, it is anticipated that the project will strengthen the capacities of at least 20,000 small-scale farmers and outgrower associations through linkages with supported small businesses and large scale enterprises. In addition, 15-30 SME agribusinesses will be able to expand due to capital investment. Finally, TechnoServe anticipates that at least 10,000 outgrowers and at least ten rural SMEs will have improved access to relevant rural financial services.

    Required Skills Experience

    In order to assist in diagnosing and structuring TA opportunities, the Manager will have an acute understanding of technical assistance and donor-funded programs. Specifically, the TA Manager should have:
    • A focus on development through private-sector initiatives
    • Strong relationships with the global donor-base
    • A track record of success in designing technical assistance programs both for commercial entities and small farmers
    • A robust network of technical assistance providers through either in-house capabilities or relationships developed from previous technical assistance experiences

    In addition, the ideal candidate will have:

    • Masters degree in business, economics, agriculture or related field preferred
    • SME investment or fund management experience, preferably in Africa
    • 7-10 years experience in management consulting, business management, business education, agriculture or agro-processing
    • Excellent oral and written communication skills
    • Proven track record in fundraising or business development
    • Proven ability to work in multi-cultural work environment
    • Strong diplomatic skills to support effective work through implementing partners and business development with donors and partners
    • Willingness to travel domestically and internationally, as necessary

    Application Instructions:

    To Apply: Please submit a resume, cover letter, salary history and three professional references to: rwilson@tns.org. Please place “Program Manager” in the subject line. No phone calls please. Only those individuals identified as “short-listed candidates” will be contacted.
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