• 5 months ago

    Job Description

    One Acre Fund works to make African smallholder farmers more prosperous. We supply everything farmers need to grow more food and earn more income. We provide quality farm supplies on credit, deep in rural areas, and training to improve farmers’ harvests. We serve 800,000 clients in six countries across Eastern and Southern Africa, and we aim to reach 1 million farm families by 2020.


    One Acre Fund’s Impact Ventures Department aims to build ultra-scalable new channels and business models that can grow to serve more than half a million farmers in just a few years. We have a diverse portfolio of investments, from large government partnerships to short-term behavior change campaigns, to rural retail shops, to tree seedling nurseries. What they share is a commitment to improving millions of farm families while maintaining operations that are cost-neutral or financially efficient, to reach as many people as possible.


    The Impact Ventures Program in Malawi focuses on distributing tree seedlings to farmers using a decentralized tree nursery model. It wants to diversify its service and product portfolio through the introduction of innovations that aim at increasing farmer impact while maintaining operations that are cost-neutral and financially efficient. We are scaling with the goal of serving hundreds of thousands of farmers annually within the next 3-5 years.


    In your role as the Growth and Innovation Associate, you will work with the Impact Ventures Lead in co-strategizing on new, high impact pathways that help shape the program’s overall strategy. You will lead strategy development on program activities to dramatically improve our impact per farmer and de-risk our path to grow. With support from the program lead, you will establish the program’s strategic direction by conducting field research and data analysis to inform decisions and develop relevant plans to build goals. Experience in market research, innovations, and business operations are some of the essential skills required in this role

    You will report into the Impact Ventures Lead and will manage field staff and work with other support departments to implement the activities. You will also model out possible scenarios for future program growth with consideration of products proposed to scale.

    In detail you will manage:

    Impact and Business Model Strategy: – You will be the lead in conducting field and market research to identify and roll -out new high impact products, services, or business models for the program. Examples of what this might look like include:

    Conduct tree species variety trials to identify new tree varieties to add to the program portfolio or,

    Identify new services the program can add that would increase the impact on our farmers such as farmer training to limit deforestation

    Identify program model changes that can increase program financial efficiency such as exploring partnership opportunities

    Explore partnership ideas with the private sector and government

    Scale strategy and execution- Gathering and using field data to build robust scale strategies and provide direction to grow the program across multiple districts in the next couple of years. This would involve:

    Spend significant amounts of time in the field scouting new possible areas of expansion

    Identify risks and map out possible measures for minimizing their impact on expansion such as seed supply and field staff retention

    Build a clear multi-year execution calendar for expansion that provides details on staff and budget needs


    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 contribute to shape a growing organization and build a rewarding long-term career.


    We are looking for one exceptional professional with 5+ year(s) of work experience and a passion for our mission. Candidates who fit the following criteria are encouraged to apply:

    Strong educational background; degrees in Rural Development, Marketing, International Development, Business administration, Environmental economics,

    5+ years of relevant work experience which includes qualitative and quantitative research on smallholder agriculture, with an emphasis on the use of improved technologies or new business models, including some work around agroforestry.

    Experience in Extension Services, or implementing development programs in rural locations.

    Demonstrated leadership experience at work, or outside of work, and an enthusiasm for learning.

    Prior experience with research and extension project design and management, ideally including participatory methods, on-farm trials, surveys, and focus groups

    Passion for working with and training others, with strong experience in contributing to capacity building and professional development of colleagues and direct reports

    Humility. We have a fantastic and likable team. We are looking for passionate professionals who combine strong leadership skills with good humor, patience.

    We place a lot of value on the ability to proactively respond to open and frank feedback to grow as individuals and a team and constructively and respectfully give feedback

    Language: English required. Chichewa – advantage(but not required)

    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. We will appreciate your flexibility in confirming a start date.

    Zomba, Malawi

    Commensurate with experience

    Full-time job

    Health insurance, housing, and comprehensive benefits

    No. Malawian nationals are strongly encouraged to apply.

    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 address. Please report any suspicious communication here ([email protected]), 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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