Position Title: Program Lead

 

Location: U.S (Northeast region preferred)

Work-place type: Hybrid

 

Reports to: Executive Director

 

 

 

ORGANIZATION MISSION and VISION: 

Shared Interest mobilizes the resources for Southern Africa’s economically disadvantaged communities to sustain themselves and build equitable nations.

 

Shared Interest envisions just and vibrant Southern African nations that eliminate disparities, uphold their people’s basic human rights, and serve as models of economic justice.

Position Summary:

The Program Lead will join our team at an exciting new stage in our 28-year history – helping lead, manage, and scale the impact of our loan guarantee investment fund that catalyzes local financing to Southern African black-owned small and growing business, agricultural organizations, and smallholder farmers.  Reporting to the Executive Director, the Program Lead will oversee the issuance of loan guarantees to black borrowers serving disenfranchised communities in Southern Africa, manage the guarantee portfolio to mitigate risk, measure the impact, assist in communicating our story to stakeholders, and provide leadership in the areas of finance, operations, and strategy for the organization.  Importantly, the Program Lead will oversee the successful implementation of the new Shared Interest business model by leading a high-performing team of program consultants and staff in South Africa, Eswatini, Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique. On an ongoing basis, the Program Lead will review SI’s programs, products, and services and develop new offerings as needs emerge. She or he will be responsible for all activities pertaining to program implementation, including staffing, budget, and contracts. The Program Lead will inform the Executive Director, and ultimately the board of directors, of all program issues and accomplishments. 


The Program Lead role is based in the U.S. and will be expected to travel at least 40 percent of the time to provide on-site Southern Africa program leadership.

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

 

Program Management

  • Work with the Executive Director and the senior management team to provide strategic program leadership, planning and management for scaling SI’s new business model in Southern Africa to economically empower the black-owned SME sector in the region.

  • Lead a high-performing team of third-party advisors and staff in Southern Africa to oversee the sourcing, due diligence, and execution of transactions, as well as the ongoing monitoring and evaluation of loan guarantees after placement.

  • Cultivate relationships with Southern African lending partners and other stakeholders at key points in the transaction cycle.

  • Work with consultant(s), third-party advisors, and legal counsel to establish and maintain SI’s legal presence in South Africa and other countries as required.

  • Partner with Senior Director, Foundation, and Investor Relations to provide critical program reports, updates, and impact reports needed to engage and retain new and existing social impact investors.

  • Partner with Senior Director, Operations on program budget planning and regional office/ program support (program consultant/vendor agreements, contracts, Travel and Expenses).

  • Ensure that all program activities operate consistently and ethically within the mission and values of Shared Interest.

  • Prepare and submit an annual operational budget to the CEO and CFO for review and approval, manage effectively within this budget, and report accurately on progress made and challenges encountered.

  • Ensure the continued financial viability of Shared Interest program/service units through sound fiscal management.

 

Transaction, Portfolio, Risk, and Impact Measurement and Management

 

  • Oversee issuance of guarantees to borrowers from SI’s targeted communities by working with SI’s third-party advisors to conduct due diligence, structure transactions with local lenders, and issue letters of credit.

  • Work with financial institutions to expand and tailor their lending practices to black-owned small- and medium-sized enterprises, especially women entrepreneurs.

  • Ensure optimal allocation of capital from a risk and impact perspective, managing geographic, sector, and duration exposure while adhering to SI’s Credit Risk Policies and Procedures.

  • Staff the Credit Risk Committee (CRC), by working with CRC chair to provide materials on pipeline deals, program updates and reports, and presentations from Africa-based consultants.

  • On behalf of the CRC, assume responsibility for mitigating and managing the risk of the individual loan guarantee positions and overall portfolio according to SI policies and committee guidance.

  • Work with third-party advisors to develop strategies for the mitigation and management of risk for each loan guarantee.

  • Work with third-party advisors and staff to identify appropriate impact measurement and management metrics and tools for SI’s work and oversee the collection of and analysis of impact data.

  • Manage SI’s pipeline, determining if a transaction fits the organization’s risk and impact objectives, whether and when to move a deal into due diligence, and bringing it for CRC approval at the appropriate time.

  • Along with the Executive Director and Director of Finance, identify and develop strategies to lessen operational and financial risks to the organization.

 

Strategy

 

  • Work with the Executive Director and Senior Director of Operations to create and obtain board approval for the annual budget.

  • Develop and update five-year forecast for program delivery.

  • Develop systems change strategies aimed at moving Southern African banks and other financial institutions to provide low-income black borrowers with access to the region’s own abundant capital by leveraging SI’s new business model and guarantee fund.

  • Work with consultant(s), and third-party advisors, and legal counsel to establish and maintain SI’s legal presence in South Africa and other countries as required.

  • Provide strategic program updates to the Board and participate in SI Board meetings.

  • Collaborate with aligned investors, field building organizations, and others to increase awareness of the role of guarantees and Shared Interest’s work and to strengthen the enabling environment for entrepreneurs and low-income communities.

  • Identify opportunities to expand SI’s impact through innovative transaction structures, new program offerings, additional investment products, etc.

 

Qualification and Requirements:

The Program Lead will be thoroughly committed to the Shared Interest mission and bring proven success in one or more of the following areas:  impact investing, inclusive finance, community investing, social entrepreneurship, and non-profit program and operations management.  The Program Lead will work closely with the Executive Director to implement the organization’s new strategic plan and business model.  In addition, the ideal candidate will have many, if not all, of the following professional and personal qualities, skills, and characteristics:

 

  • At least 10 years of experience in increasing leadership positions in performance and outcomes-driven organization, preferably with a social impact focus.

  • Core skills, knowledge, and experience necessary to create, implement, and manage projects and programs addressing small business financing needs in Southern Africa:

    • Economics (multi-countries, micro and macro)

    • Credit gap-financing and banking/financial services

    • SME, climate, and agricultural value chain finance

    • Financial inclusion, including digital financial services

    • Fixed income and investment instruments

    • Credit risk mitigation and management

    • Impact measurement and management

    • Finance and operations

    • Investor Relations

  • Familiarity with credit analysis and portfolio management, including comfort with financial modeling and balance sheet analysis, transaction structuring (blended finance a plus), and ability to estimate and manage risk at the individual loan and portfolio level.

  • Experience in working with international development partners and financial institutions (specifically in South and Southern Africa).

  • Proven ability to work effectively and collaboratively, both internally and externally with diverse groups of stakeholders, cultures and BIPOC communities.

  • Can point to tangible examples of reporting and program measurement and evaluation.

  • Displays integrity, strives for excellence in her/his work, and has experience leading others to new levels of effectiveness and programmatic impact.

  • Demonstrated commitment to racial, social, and economic justice and the ability to work effectively across and in support of communities of color.

  • Strong written and verbal communication skills; a persuasive and passionate communicator with excellent interpersonal skills.

  • Outgoing, optimistic personality.

  • Passionate about Shared Interest’s mission and able to promote and communicate the vision, mission, and values of Shared Interest to external and internal stakeholders.

  • Knowledge of the socially responsible and impact investing landscape (including recent trends, key actors, and investors’ return and impact goals) and familiarity with private debt instruments preferred.

  • Ability to travel domestically and internationally, spending at least five months of the year in Southern Africa.

 

Compensation:

This is an outstanding opportunity to lead a highly-effective nonprofit’s program area and partner with the Executive Director and senior management team. Shared Interest will offer a competitive compensation package including base salary, health, 401k, and vacation benefits.

Shared Interest is an Equal Opportunity employer. Personnel is chosen on the basis of ability without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, marital status, or sexual orientation, in accordance with federal and state law.

 

Education:

  • A Bachelor’s degree from an accredited four-year college or university is required, ideally with major course work in business, finance, economics, or international affairs.

  • An advanced degree in business finance, international development, or equivalent professional qualifications demonstrating impact or community investment knowledge is highly preferred.

 

About Shared Interest

Shared Interest was established in 1994 by founding partners who were deeply rooted in the anti-apartheid movement with an unwavering passion for human rights and economic justice. The organization was founded to address the stark reality that while political power changed hands with the fall of apartheid, the system’s economic inequalities remained deeply embedded in South African society. Shared Interest was designed to mobilize South Africa’s significant financial and human resources to build a more equitable nation. Instead of making direct loans itself, the organization would facilitate guarantees to move South Africa’s banks to provide low-income black borrowers with access to the country’s own abundant capital in order to create sustainable pathways out of poverty.

 

To respond to South Africa’s particular economic conditions and needs, Shared Interest established a guarantee fund to move highly capitalized South African banks to lend to community development financial institutions, cooperatives, emerging enterprises, and farms that, in turn, have supplied credit, affordable homes, and jobs to more than two million low-income black South Africans. The economic empowerment work and impact of Shared Interest has recently expanded to Southern Africa, (South Africa, Eswatini, Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique). Our work has provided more than $30 million in loan guarantees that have unlocked more than $130 million for low-income borrowers and benefitted more than 2.3 million people from primarily black disenfranchised communities in Southern Africa. Shared Interest’s latest strategic plan and new business model is designed to achieve its guiding star by working with at least 10 new Southern African commercial lenders in seven countries -- benefiting 100,000 low-income South and Southern Africans in low-income communities – 60 percent of them women and youth.

 

Shared Interest values a truly diverse workforce and a culture of inclusivity and belonging, respect and integrity, cultural sensitivity, and global innovation. Our goal is to attract qualified candidates and encourage applications from all individuals without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law.  

 

 

Interested candidates should submit a cover letter and resume to Amye Jameson, Senior Director of Operations at humanresources@sharedinterest.org.