Head of Gender Lens Investing and Gender Inclusion at Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF) – May 2024

Head of Gender Lens Investing and Gender Inclusion

  • The Head of Gender-lens investing and inclusion will develop and scale AECF’s portfolio of work focusing on women’s economic empowerment (WEE) and gender-lens investing. The incumbent will lead ambitious quality control of existing programs, build and co-create strategic partnerships with key institutions, derive analytical insight and business analytics from our impact data, promote AECF’s thought leadership, and strengthen internal capabilities across the investment process and portfolio management practices, supporting AECF’s growth into a gender inclusive fund manager and advisory firm.

Duties & responsibilities

Corporate and internal capabilities strengthening (35%)

  • Develop, upgrade, and implement AECF’s Gender Policy (internal) and Gender-lens investment Strategy (external – market-focused). Collaborate closely with teams across AECF to ensure that AECF’s gender lens investing offering is fully embedding across all systems, governance documents, operating procedures; ensure effective roll out of key products developed by the gender team including those related to training and capacity building, tools; and manage internal;/external communications.
  • Embed gender inclusion consistently across the whole investment cycle post-programme launch. This might require you to rethink some steps or tools for portfolio sourcing, due diligence, or investment decision-making processes.
  • Lead quality control over all AECF programmes, gender-related deliverables, reporting, and knowledge. Manage and support the growth and development of the gender team in partnership with the Director of Partnerships.
  • Contribute to the digitalization, automation, and high-quality enhancement of AECF’s impact data collection, analysis, and insight generation. This might include contributing to the development of AECF gender and climate risk toolkit, the development of shared AI enabled due diligence platforms, alignment on high quality industry standards, training and capacity building sessions.
  • Develop and promote critical tools to increase gender inclusion across our portfolio and across development finance in Africa. This can be done through gender toolkit development for other investors, banks, or our investees, and leadership programs. This requires a solid understanding of the existing gaps and intentionality to collaborate with other institutions to promote truly additional and context-relevant tools.

Insight and thought leadership (40%)

  • In close collaboration with the impact team and industry partners, lead the gender insight generation practice of AECF. Insights and knowledge products focus on advancing gender inclusion and equality and women’s economic empowerment, creating jobs for women and girls across sub-Saharan Africa. Produce and promote stories and voices that amplify the impact of women entrepreneurs and investors across the continent.
  • Act as a thought leader in the field and promote AECF’s impact, learnings and interventions in local, national, regional and international events, networks and communities.
  • Build knowledge and approaches to analyze the impact at the nexus between women’s economic empowerment and peace, climate resilience, livelihood strengthening, and job creation.

Securing partnerships and resources to deploy high-impact gender-lens and women economic empowerment investments (25%)

  • Design, pitch, fundraise for, and launch value propositions and GLI / gender-inclusive investment facilities. We focus on addressing the needs and aspirations of women entrepreneurs operating in sub-Saharan Africa, focusing on MSMEs and financial intermediaries to unlock access to skills, capabilities, networks, markets, and finance for growth.
  • Networking and partnership building: Alone, we cannot achieve structural change. We expect you to be creative and proactive in building strategic alliances across sub-Saharan Africa with complementary, unusual, or high-visibility actors and institutions leading to systemic change (e.g., community or religious leaders; banks or agriculture anchor firms; governments or WROs).
  • Establishing credibility with other gender-lens investors or investors targeting the SME segment and attracting commercial financing into women leaders. Contribute to AECF’s role as a pipeline builder and investment catalyzer for women-led businesses through advisory, blended transactions, and matchmaking.

Suitable candidates should possess:

  • Graduate/Master’s Degree in Finance, Gender Studies, Entrepreneurship, or other relevant field of study.
  • A minimum of ten (10) years of experience in income generation from partnerships, secured and leading high-profile engagements in sub-Saharan Africa with a strong track record of securing gender-lens investments.
  • Strong commercial acumen and deep understanding of women’s economic empowerment and gender-lens investing space in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Experience in financial engineering for inclusive investment vehicles and experience developing proposals for bilateral donors, philanthropies, and in partnership with commercial investors in blended vehicles.
  • Excellent analytical and communication skills with the ability to prepare proposals, reports, and concept papers to a high level of proficiency.
  • Thought leader, curious and analytical mindset, innovative, and passionate about women empowerment.
  • Experience in leading teams and committed to empowering the team.
  • Fluency in English is essential. French is an added advantage.

Submit Your Application

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Interested and qualified? Go to Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF) on www.aecfafrica.org to apply