infoDev (www.infodev.org) is a program of the World Bank which works at the intersection of innovation, technology, and entrepreneurship to create opportunities for inclusive growth, job creation and poverty reduction. infoDev assists governments and technology-focused small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to grow jobs, improve capacity and skills, increase access to finance and markets, ensure the appropriate enabling policy and regulatory environment for business to flourish, and test out innovative solutions in developing country markets. We do this in partnership with other development programs, with World Bank/IFC colleagues, and with stakeholders from the public, private and civil society sectors in the developing world.
infoDev is staffed by an expert Secretariat housed in the Financial and Private Sector Development (FPD) Vice Presidency of the World Bank Group. We leverage our work with complementary programs of FPD and other World Bank Group units, using the following strategic priorities:
- Facilitate the creation and growth of innovative technology enterprises (particularly SMEs) that in turn, support and lead to the growth of competitive industries;
- Support the commercialization and adoption of technologies, such as ICTs and climate technologies, by building capacity and skills, providing technical assistance, and enhancing access to finance and markets.
- Promote sound enabling environments for innovation and technology entrepreneurship to flourish, by disseminating cutting edge research and best practices, connecting communities of practice, building capacity and skills, and convening stakeholders.
infoDev is a global thought leader in ICTs for development (ICT4D) and in small business incubation for innovative entrepreneurs, start-ups and enterprises. infoDev’s global incubation network spans some 400 incubators in over 100 countries. It connects more than 20,000 small and medium enterprises and has helped create over 270,000 jobs. infoDev’s ICT4D work, in particular, its cutting edge research and analytical products have helped regulators and policymakers around the world create sound enabling environments for ICT access and use to flourish.
infoDev’s work is a continually iterative process. We communicate with our stakeholders on an ongoing basis through communities of practice, surveys and interviews, social media, focus groups, and direct feedback during training sessions. Our analytical work helps frame our work in the field. This adaptive format enables infoDev to build strong partnerships, work with a wide range of stakeholders, coordinate joint action among bilateral and multilateral partners, and deliver innovative programs on a national, regional and global scale. It also allows us to design demand-driven programs that are grounded in the realities of the developing countries we serve. infoDev’s donors support the use of technology and innovation for development. They see a key role for a strong and robust private sector in growth, development, competitiveness, and poverty alleviation. They believe that access to information and ICTs opens opportunities for inclusive development, across all economic sectors and parts of society in developing countries.
infoDev is currently implementing an ambitious work program, which includes several interesting initiatives:
- The “Entrepreneurship Program for Innovation in the Caribbean (EPIC)”, helps growth oriented Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the Caribbean region use small business incubation as a tool to help technology enabled start-up entrepreneurs and grow competitive industries. The capacity of incubator managers and policymakers to support MSME development is an area of focus, as is the special needs of Caribbean women entrepreneurs. The program will also provide seed funding to promising MSMEs to help them successfully scale their operations, in recognition of the fact that access to finance is an important barrier for these enterprises to succeed.
- The “Climate Technology Program (CTP)” aims to create a network of Climate Innovation Centers (CICs) to accelerate the development, deployment, and transfer of locally relevant climate technologies. CICs help developing countries innovate technologies and business models that meet local needs and as a result, address climate change mitigation and adaptation issues, as well as meet their “Green Growth” objectives by supporting domestic climate and clean technology sectors for economic development, competitiveness and job creation Services offered by the CICs include financing, technical assistance, market information, policy advice and capacity building. CICs are expected to contribute over 70 innovative climate technology enterprises, generate over 20,000 direct and indirect jobs, and mitigate 1.5-2m tons of C02. A global network of CICs will facilitate and catalyze cross border, south-south, and north-south collaboration, market access and sharing of knowledge and contacts.
- The “Creating Sustainable Businesses in the Knowledge Economy Program” (CSBKE) is a public-private partnership with the Government of Finland and Nokia. This program explores how to improve the productive capacity of enterprises, particularly SMEs, as engines for sustainable and equitable development. It also evaluates how innovation facilitates development, in areas such as value-chains, policy frameworks, and broader innovation eco-systems. It incorporates a number of creative and cutting-edge activities, such as mobile applications laboratories, social networks, access to finance and market mechanisms for technology SMEs and innovative agribusiness value chains. The program has global components, but its main focus is on Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe and Central Asia (ECA).
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
As part of its innovation and technology entrepreneurship agenda, infoDev created an Access to Finance (A2F) work program, focusing on how best to assist innovative and technology-enabled enterprises to gain access to the right sorts of finance and to grow new markets. infoDev seeks to do this via the design and development of new financing facilities, creating and strengthening enterprise enablers, such as incubators, accelerators, and angel and mentor networks, and working with a range of public and private sector partners in the area of new venture and start up financing and technical assistance. With this goal of “mentorship based capital” for start-ups in mind, infoDev aims to pilot regional early-stage financing vehicles and undertake an analytical agenda around these issues.
infoDev is seeking to hire an A2F Specialist, who will report to the Program Coordinators who lead our major programs listed above. Specifically, the A2F Specialist will be tasked to:
- Design, implement and oversee a range of A2F projects and activities, in line with the results agreed with infoDev’s donors, and according to the fiduciary requirements of the World Bank, the implementing capacity of the client countries, and the specific needs of local business communities. This includes scoping and feasibility analyses, efficient and cost-effective project planning and implementation, regular interaction and engagement with a range of local stakeholders in the client countries from the public, private and NGO communities, and regular briefings to Bank and IFC colleagues to ensure that these projects support and are consistent with larger World Bank and IFC private sector development goals;
- Provide detailed advice and hands-on technical assistance to a range of Bank/IFC colleagues, client countries and other relevant stakeholders on good practices, international trends and developments for assisting small business entrepreneurs, and regularly keeping pace with innovative new approaches to assisting SMEs, start-ups, entrepreneurs and innovators in the developing world;
- Form part of the team that designs and implements new thematic accelerators and incubators, such as mobile applications labs, agriculture innovation and entrepreneurship centers and climate innovation centers, focusing on the financing dimensions of these projects;
- Understand and provide practical input on the link between infoDev’s activities to help incubators, entrepreneurs and innovators and the need for sustainable business enabling environments as well as appropriate financing for these entities;
- Work with the Program Manager to develop a comprehensive A2F strategy for infoDev including assessment of client needs, evaluation of infoDev core capabilities to meet needs, development of products infoDev can offer or facilitate to offer, and an appropriate approach for design and deployment within World Bank Group procedures and processes;
- Seek and realize opportunities to develop and deploy infoDev A2F products in conjunction with other relevant World Bank Group initiatives and projects and forge close links to the appropriate WBG units and teams;
- Implement A2F products consistent with relevant World Bank procedures including procurement guidelines; procedures for grants; environmental and social safeguards and financial management (FM);
- Develop and pursue strategies to leverage infoDev A2F products and related funding by drawing in additional funding sources, including other World Bank projects, other bi- and multi-lateral development agencies, client governments, and commercial and impact investors;
- Keep up-to-date on latest development in the A2F sector both inside and outside the World Bank Group and forge links for infoDev to these other actors;
- Create or catalyze regional angel/mentor networks that benefit from diaspora and other national and international angel networks;
- Investigate innovative mechanisms to lower transaction costs for scale-down investments in the $25,000 to $1 Million range
Selection and Criteria
- At least a Masters degree in business administration or similar discipline and minimum five to seven years of related Bank and/or external experience. Experience in the World Bank would be a plus;
- Understanding of and experience with the A2F needs on entrepreneurs, SMEs and other new ventures in client countries
- Understanding of and experience working with World Bank Group in the A2F sector
- Understanding of and experience working with financial products blending concessional with more commercial funding
- Understanding of how provision of appropriate financing can fit within a holistic package of services (eg, business advisory services) to assist entrepreneurs, SMEs and other new ventures in client countries.
- Desire to develop and implement innovative A2F approaches and products for developing countries.
- Experience working in climate technology sectors (renewable energy, energy efficiency, agriculture and water supply) considered a plus.
- Demonstrated knowledge of business incubation, business acceleration, and other relevant means of enabling early-stage enterprises to start and grow;
- Knowledge of innovation support systems, including relevant actors such as financiers, R&D and/or university institutions, government ministries, and other local and international organizations and actors;
- Demonstrated understanding of World Bank Group instruments and operations, including the relevant guidelines, procedures and fiduciary requirements will be a plus;
- Excellent project management skills and track record in successfully planning and executing projects in developing countries or emerging markets;
- Excellent communication skills, including the ability to communicate effectively with staff, clients and partners at junior and senior levels;
- Excellent writing skills and command of the English language.
- Ability to work independently, willingness to learn, a positive, energetic and ambitious work attitude, and aptitude to work within a team environment;
- Results orientation; and
- Capacity to manage multiple complex tasks in parallel;
- Operational Project Management - Demonstrates broad knowledge of project management tools & methodologies; identifies key risks and mitigation measures; interprets background analysis and proposed solutions.
- One FPD - FPD Knowledge & Experience - Demonstrates broad knowledge of the core issues in FPD's strategies and policies, and promotes FPD agenda and expertise in the Country Office and in the financial and/or private sector stakeholders.
- Client Orientation - Takes personal responsibility and accountability for timely response to client queries, requests or needs, working to remove obstacles that may impede execution or overall success.
- Drive for Results - Takes personal ownership and accountability to meet deadlines and achieve agreed-upon results, and has the personal organization to do so.
- Teamwork (Collaboration) and Inclusion - Collaborates with other team members and contributes productively to the team's work and output, demonstrating respect for different points of view.
- Knowledge, Learning and Communication - Actively seeks knowledge needed to complete assignments and shares knowledge 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 regarding own and others' work.
To apply for this position click here.
Once in the World Bank Jobs page, type in the following details:
Job #: 130293
Job Title: Access to Finance (A2F) Specialist
Job Family: Finance & Private Sector Development
Job Type: Professional & Technical