Thursday, September 1, 2011

Head of EduFinance, Opportunity International Network

The Opportunity International Network is a leading global coalition of microfinance companies and banks dedicated to helping those in poverty transform their lives through the provision of microenterprise financial services. Our goal is to provide a sustainable bridge between the marginalized poor and opportunities for enterprise and income generation.
 Founded in 1971, today, Opportunity International provides loans to over 1.5 million clients in almost 30 countries in Africa, the Asia Pacific Rim, Eastern Europe and Latin America.  Our unique global network combines worldwide reach with local expertise and unites 42 Implementing Partners and six Support Partner organizations into a single affiliation with a common mission, vision and commitment. For more information, visit

An important element in developing our outreach to support the poor is the EduFinance initiative. The Head of EduFinance will create, own and drive performance of a holistic EduFinance plan through the provision of support to the local, micro-finance institutions within the Opportunity International network (the “Implementing Members”) which execute the actual banking and technical assistance programs of the EduFinance initiative.  This position acts as an advisor to these banks, as the global coordinator for funding, technical assistance and related activities and, as point person in which capacity they will also, identify possible hurdles relating to funding or implementation early and devise strategies to deal with them.

Reporting to the Africa Head of Risk (on a temporary basis pending appoint of a Chief Relationship Officer, Africa) the Head of EduFinance will be responsible for managing all aspects of our initiatives related to increasing the quality of education for the poor in the developing world and access to that education as a means of enabling holistic transformation in the lives of students.

The Head of EduFinance will specifically be responsible for:

Leading the scale-up through our global network of members of an innovative microfinance school loan program which, while focused on Africa, currently covers India and the Dominican Republic in addition.  Loans provided through this program will finance private schools of all sizes focused on the provision of a quality values-based education to those children living in poor communities.  The proprietors of these schools (“edupreneurs”) are typically unable to otherwise access funding for the development of their schools.
Leading the scale-up through our network of members of an educational loan product for the parents of students who may need to smooth the payments required to keep their children in school.
Managing and deploying the capital to be used by members to support these loan programs.  This capital will be deployed from a centrally managed fund to our members predominantly in the form of debt and equity.
Supporting the efforts of fund-raisers globally to raise capital for this effort.
Our intent is that through the EduFinance initiative we will empower over 1 million poor families in developing countries to overcome the obstacle of getting a quality education for their children.  Opportunity is currently piloting this school loan product and sees it as an important element in alleviating poverty over the medium to long term.

The Head of EduFinance will work collaboratively as a member of the Network team to create strategy, set direction, design work processes and provide leadership for EduFinance.  The Head of EduFinance will lead the overall strategic direction of EduFinance through our Implementing Members, ensuring maximum outreach, sustainability and transformational impact.  This role will ensure that EduFinance reflects Opportunity’s commitment to a regulated banking model, mission and core values and that the organization has the capacity, systems and personnel needed to achieve the EduFinance mission on a longer term basis.

The Head of EduFinance will also be focused on the following:
Working with the local Implementing Members to develop a business plan suitable for that country in terms of outreach deliverables, quality borrowers, capital needs, etc.
Working with the local Implementing Members to develop in the eduprenuers the skills to evaluate their financial position and make judicious borrowing decisions.
Developing within the staff of the Implementing Members the skills to evaluate appropriately the capabilities of the schools for lending on the basis of:  financial sustainability, debt service capacity, commitment to students, quality of teaching, and values being taught.
Assisting the Implementing Members to scale the loans extended to schools in a manner that will permit the establishment of a firm foundation to ensure long-term sustainability and transformation
 Additional responsibilities will include:
Short and long term planning, implementation and monitoring of the EduFinance program
Provision of support, training and assistance to the Implementing Members in the design and execution of their business plans and product development
Working with Support Members to ensure funding for the EduFinance program
Ongoing evaluation of the transformational impact of the EduFinance program
Preparing and presenting the progress of the EduFinance initiative to its investors which will include Opportunity International Support Members as well as the Leadership Team.
Provision of reports on the EduFinance program to the Head of Risk, Africa and as otherwise required.
Creating/fostering within the team a culture of passionate commitment to customer service, teamwork and integrity through empowerment, continuous improvement/development, regular performance management reviews, feedback and goal setting

Excellent leadership, management and business development skills, as well as a superior communicator
Prior involvement or commitment to education and evidence of a passion to provide educational opportunities for children
Minimum of 10-15 years experience in finance and business development with 5-10 years experience at the global level
A sound grounding in credit analysis and commercial banking origination, loan structuring, and risk management skills as demonstrated through the candidate’s work experience
A proven track of success in business development and marketing
Excellent financial skills and the ability to develop financial products
Demonstrated ability to build, develop and lead a diverse and geographically dispersed team of senior professionals
Strong history of quickly building relationships, gaining credibility and partnering with business leaders and peers
Ability to diplomatically work in a variety of cultural settings, with actual living and work experience in developing countries
Good understanding of and commitment to the Opportunity International Network structure, mission, corporate values, and Christian motivation as expressed in the ability to incorporate the mission and values in the work area
Has a passionate belief in the importance of Micro Enterprise Development and entrepreneurial development in general, as the most effective way to help the world’s poor transform their lives
Flexibility and willingness to travel a minimum 50% of the time are critical
Undergraduate degree required; Masters degree preferred.

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