Business Development Services (BDS) Senior Specialist - ACDI/VOCA



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ACDI/VOCA is currently a subcontractor on a five-year program entitled “Feed the Future Ghana Trade and Investment (GTI) Activity” funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The aim of the GTI Activity is to enhance economic growth in Ghana by facilitating growth in export-oriented trade, stimulating investment related to high-value commercial crops, promoting job creation, particularly among women and youth, and promoting economic diversification.

GTI’s objectives seek to improve the systems in which firms operate to support enterprise-level productivity and growth. GTI will facilitate investment to firms that trade goods across borders, spur innovation, and build the capacity of the entire trade sector.

Pursuant to its mission, ACDI/VOCA is seeking an experienced and talented professional for the Business Development Services (BDS) Senior Specialist position. The position will be based in Accra and is responsible for providing technical implementation support in Component C of the GTI activity, which aims to increase investments, particularly for Small and Medium Enterprises (SME).

The BDS Senior Specialist will support the project primarily in the areas of business development, marketing, product/service development, and organizational capacity building. This person will report to the GTI SME and Entrepreneurship Development Director.

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Position Specific Duties and Responsibilities:

The Business Development Service Specialist is responsible for ensuring that at least 80 percent of businesses, especially SMEs, report increased incremental income. S/he will play a strong facilitative role in driving growth through BDS providers and ensuring sustainability of a dynamic sector all along the farm-to-market supply chain. The position holder must build on existing BDS programs to better meet SMEs’ demands, which will drive sustainability.

  • Facilitate the development of the BDS market in target value chains, identifying private sector investment and other support to garner sustainable improvements and impact.?
  • Provide technical leadership for BDS Landscape Assessments and sector-specific market studies for BDS providers
  • Develop and maintain relationships with supply-side and demand-side BDS actors
  • Facilitate BDS and technical assistance to businesses in targeted value chains to enhance competitiveness, grow exports, promote investment, and generate employment.
  • Assist SMEs in their business plans and feasibilities, advising them on risk factors and how to mitigate them
  • Coordinate partners including private enterprises, community-based organizations and NGOs working on value chain and market development interventions
  • Facilitate linkages in the value chain among producers, aggregators, inputs providers, logistics providers, associations, anchor firms and end-users
  • Create tools and processes to ease investment and transaction
  • Build the capacity of BDS to develop scaled service offering across the three business phases (startup, growth, and established) consisting of “tailored” advisory to “bundled” services for SME groups with similar needs
  • Incentivize BDS providers with pay-for-results performance incentives to serve SME clients, with a special interest in businesses led by marginalized groups.
  • Enable equal access to SME services for women-, youth-, and persons with disabilities-led firms
  • Enhance BDS providers’ capacities to develop relationships between SMEs, financial services providers (FSPs), and other value chain actors to increase the supply of appropriate financing

Unified Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Provide leadership in identifying inclusive market development opportunities, understanding evolving market trends, conducting targeted research on new/potential market channels, business models, or partnerships.
  • Identify constraints, market-based solutions, and incentives to integrate market actors into efficient market systems.
  • Utilize market facilitation approaches to strengthen input and output market systems and increase trade and investment in targeted value chains.
  • Develop?relationships between beneficiaries and key stakeholders in target value chains that will enable them to access?increased opportunities.
  • Engage private sector partners to foster sector buy-in and program sustainability.
  • Ensure programming supports inclusive growth, with attention to ensuring equitable benefits for women, youth, persons with disabilities, and other marginalized populations.
  • Collaborate internally and externally to synthesize, share, and apply learning methods for market systems change.
  • Ensure productive relationships with GTI consortium members, other implementing partners, GTI stakeholders and USAID.?
  • Serve as program representative at relevant events as needed.?
  • Provides input to annual work plans, weekly reports, quarterly and annual reports, success stories, briefs, and any other communication needs requested by the project.
  • Performs other duties and special programs, as assigned.

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Required Skills or Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree in agribusiness, agriculture, marketing, economics, business, finance, development, or related field.
  • Minimum 8 years of progressively responsible agriculture value chain investment management experience, facilitating relationship between BDS provider/FSP, working with programs that are of a similar scope and complexity. USAID program experience is highly preferred.
  • Demonstrated experience in implementation of SME development, finance, investment, market systems and private sector engagement.
  • Demonstrated in-depth knowledge of and experience managing SME development, finance, investment, market systems and private sector engagement programs.
  • Proven ability to facilitate high-value partnerships with communities, private and public-sector stakeholders
  • Knowledge of livelihood and./or food security programming is an advantage
  • Knowledge of regional, cross-border and international trade procedures, market information systems, and quality standard requirement for agriculture.
  • Demonstrated experience providing training or mentoring value chain actors with a proven network of agriculture SMEs, BDS and FSP.
  • Ability to work effectively within tight deadlines, excellent analytical and report writing skills
  • Fluency in English required, Ghanaian languages preferred.
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