Agribusiness is a key sector of focus for the Trade and Competitiveness Global Practice and the World Bank Group at large. infoDev’s Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Program (AEP) www.infodev.org/agribusiness) aims to support the growth of high growth potential small and early-stage agro-processing enterprises. The target entrepreneur for infoDev’s programming is typically in the range of making an annual turnover of $50,000 to $300,000, and has significant potential to grow in domestic, regional or international markets. The aim of the program is to support those entrepreneurs that can become the market leaders of tomorrow.
The AEP’s focus is to derive new solutions and build local institutional capacity in World Bank client countries to connect entrepreneurs with the knowledge, capital and markets they need to grow their enterprises. Over time, the intent is that these solutions can be scaled up through the programming of the World Bank Group and its development partners.
As a basis for the roll-out of the AEP, infoDev conducted deep-dive assessments and extensive consultations with more than 700 entrepreneurs, farm-level organizations, international corporations, academic institutions, financiers and governments. While there are significant differences amongst countries, recurring firm-level challenges were identified amongst pioneering agro-processing entrepreneurs and business enablers that seek to serve them.
This led infoDev to develop a new solution, which is referred to as an Agribusiness Innovation Center (AIC). infoDev is currently in the process of implementing the first two AICs in Nepal and Tanzania respectively. Over time, additional implementation countries will be added. Given the broader mandate of infoDev and thus the AEP to contribute to the advancement of knowledge of how to best enable the growth of small and early-stage firms, the AEP will also invest in analysis of alternative approaches to agro-processing enterprise development, as well as in performance monitoring and evaluation tools to derive lessons and insights from the use of the AIC model.
The AEP is the youngest program in infoDev’s portfolio. The Agribusiness Specialist will therefore have a great opportunity to help build out this new business line.
Note: If the selected candidate is a current Bank Group staff member with a Regular or Open-Ended appointment, s/he will retain his/her Regular or Open-Ended appointment. All others will be offered a 2 year term appointment.
Duties and Accountabilities
infoDev is seeking to hire an Agribusiness Specialist to form an integral part of its Agribusiness Entrepreneurship team. The Agribusiness Specialist will be a Task Manager and will work with the Program Coordinator to:
- Supervise the implementation of the AICs, initially in Nepal and Tanzania, to be followed by additional countries. This includes delivering technical assistance to local organizations that are implementing the AIC model. It will include recruiting and managing a team of short-term technical consultants based in the client countries and abroad to ensure timely and high quality delivery of advisory support
- Ensure regular interaction with colleagues across the World Bank Group that work on agribusiness and initiate collaboration on activities or analytical products focused on growing small pioneering agro-processing firms
- Build strong linkages with like-minded organizations in the agribusiness field to build stronger AICs and advance the WBG’s knowledge base on how to grow agro-processing SMEs
- Oversee the production of analysis on alternative solutions targeting growth of agro-processing SMEs such as shared processing facilities, supply chain linkage programs, early-stage finance solutions etc., including working with the communications to take the products through the peer review, editing, design and dissemination process
- Manage the day-to-day work program and budgets of the AEP, monitoring progress and resolving bottlenecks, and ensuring that all administrative and fiduciary requirements of the WBG are adhered to
- Prepare strategies, work programs and reports for Sr. Management and Donor Committee
- Support the M&E Specialist with developing adequate performance management and evaluation tools for AICs and the AEP at large
- Support the Communications team with ensuring a steady flow of strategic marketing and communications activities that supports the AEP strategy and targets. This includes writing blogs, case studies and stories to provoke debate, feature progress and illustrate ideas and models put forth by the AEP.
- Actively seek opportunities to grow the AEP.
- Master’s degree in business, entrepreneurship or equivalent experience in a relevant discipline plus at least five to seven years of related experience
- Experience in agribusiness SME development in a developing country context
- Knowledge of alternative actors that support agribusiness SME development in developing countries
- Knowledge of the agribusiness sector, including the firm-level and industry-level challenges associated with growing competitive agro-processing companies beyond a micro level in a developing country context
- Knowledge of SME support mechanisms, including incubators/accelerators, commercial and non-commercial finance, public private partnerships, supply chain linkages and eco-systems for sustainable enterprises;
- Significant project management experience, including with managing virtual teams;
- Demonstrated drive to grow and build programs, including ability to innovate and adapt;
- Effective communication skills, including the ability to speak articulately and persuasively, and to write concisely;
- Proven ability to work effectively in complex, multicultural teams in a matrix management environment;
- WBG experience and experience from Sub-Saharan Africa or South Asia are preferred.
- Operational Project Management - Demonstrates broad knowledge of project management tools & methodologies
- Risk Management – Demonstrates understanding of key risks and mitigation measures; interprets background analysis and proposed solutions.
- Knowledge & Experience - Demonstrates broad knowledge of the core issues in T&C
- Client Orientation - Takes personal responsibility and accountability for timely response to client queries, requests help when needed.
- Drive for Results - Takes personal ownership and accountability to meet deadlines and achieve agreed-upon results, working to remove obstacles that may impede execution or overall success.
- Teamwork (Collaboration) and Inclusion - Collaborates with other team members and contributes productively to work and output, demonstrating respect for different points of view.
- Knowledge, Learning and Communication - Actively seeks knowledge needed to complete assignments and share with others, communicating and presenting information in a clear and organized manner.
- Business Judgment and Analytical Decision Making - Analyzes facts and data to support sound, logical decisions in own and others' work.