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Project Assistant – Financial Inclusion
Summary of the role
DanChurchAid (DCA) seeks highly talented and dynamic individual for the position of Project Assistant – Financial Inclusion. The position holder will be based in Kakuma and will report to the Project Officer – Financial Inclusion (PO-FI). The overall objective of the post holder is to support in the implementation of varied financial inclusion services aimed at enhancing entrepreneurship for micro, small and medium enterprises in Kakuma refugee camp, Kalobeyei Settlement, and the host community. The position holder will primarily support micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSME) to grow their businesses to sustainable and profitable ventures.
The main responsibilities of the Project Assistant – Financial Inclusion are:
- Lead in the identification, mobilization and formation of different community/youth groups/enterprises and prepare them to access support through varied DCA led initiatives.
- Carry out business assessments in collaboration with partner Financial Service Providers (FSP) to identify entrepreneurs’/enterprises qualifying for DCA support through among others Business Development Services (BDS) and internal financing initiatives.
- Regularly visit and provide onsite support to onboarded businesses/ entrepreneurs.
- Provide informed, strategic, and realistic advice to help clients meet their objectives for business growth.
- Onboard selected businesses and or entrepreneurs into the project, including conducting information sessions on the requirements and process for participation.
- In collaboration with FSPs, ensure compliance with processes, procedures, and best practices related to access to finance, including loan applications, appraisals, and repayments for enterprises.
- Maintain up-to-date project participants business information in an accurate manner using the applicable project management tools.
- Support the PO-FI in ensuring that minimum standards for project management and accountability are met.
Financial Inclusion Technical Assistance:
- Provide technical assistance to implementing teams in areas of financial inclusion, working alongside other DCA supported project partners,
- Support the formation and strengthening of Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLA), including through training on financial literacy.
- Support in the running of development of youth enterprise revolving fund in conjunction with the Financial Service Provider
Training & Capacity development:
- Identify training needs of project participants and incentive workers and explore options for meeting them.
- Support the PO-FI manage and carry out training for all recruited entrepreneurs (refugees and host entrepreneurs) onboarded into the project.
- Enhance the capacity of incentive workers as the first line of engagement with enterprises.
- Participate in all relevant trainings offered by the project.
Mentorship, Linkages, Collaboration and Partnership
- Advise entrepreneurs on financing and investment opportunities/challenges within their line of businesses.
- Champion and lead innovative and cost-effective approaches in line with project participant’s business objectives.
- Link clients to opportunities that enhance their business growth within the project area, including access to finance and market linkages.
- Coordinate with the Food Security & Livelihoods (FSL) as well as the Financial Inclusion team for holistic approach to project participants needs.
- Directly lead, manage, and motivate the Incentive Workers engaged in the project, ensuring that they have clear objectives and receive regular supervision and reviews.
- Ensure incentive workers attend and participate in weekly and monthly project management meetings as per schedule.
- Ensure timely recruitment and replacement if the need arises of highly competent incentive staffs in the project.
- Monitor and provide objective feedback related to incentive staff performance, including objective-setting, probation & performance reviews to promote professional growth and development.
Communicating & Reporting
- Prepare and share project reports in a timely manner.
- Continuously collect data using varied approaches to inform timely project actions and decisions.
- Communicate program details to host & refugee project participants.
- Communicate to DCA leadership about any gaps/challenges faced by clients during program implementation.
- Perform any other duties as assigned.
Key Qualifications and Experience
- A degree in social science, business management or related courses. A diploma with relevant experience is also acceptable.
- Proven experience in working with youth targeted MSMEs on access to finance and business development services.
- First-hand experience in developing and reviewing innovative financing and loan products for entrepreneurs in a lending institution/micro-finance is preferred.
- Experience in supporting implementation of community-led savings schemes.
- Solid understanding of loan regulations in Kenya, including Sharia compliant business financing.
- Experience in providing financial advice, financial education, business mentorship and coaching to entrepreneurs.
- Able to assess customer financial status and advise on suitable products and limits.
- Understanding of challenges and opportunities for refugee led small and medium enterprises in the refugee context.
- Experience working with refugee populations/enterprises or in a refugee context will be an added advantage.
- Excellent relationship management skills in a multi-stakeholder context.
- Good interpersonal skills and a proven team player.
- Self-driven and results-oriented in challenging refugee/rural working environments.