Program Director Asia

Remote
Full Time
Programs
Experienced

About Seedstars

Seedstars is a group headquartered in Switzerland / Geneva on a mission to impact people’s lives in emerging and frontier markets through technology and entrepreneurship. We operate 2 main activities to achieve our mission: (A) We work in partnership with development agencies, governments, corporate partners, and private donors to develop entrepreneurship ecosystems, create jobs, and fuel income growth. (B) We invest in high-growth technology companies in impactful sectors (fintech, ed-tech, agritech, health tech, etc) in emerging markets.

About SAFEEM

SAFEEM (Swiss Association For Entrepreneurship in Emerging Markets) is a Geneva-based non-profit organization on a mission to support entrepreneurs in emerging markets through technology and entrepreneurship. SAFEEM is an independent organisation that operates in partnership with Seedstars, a global investment holding with a similar goal of impacting people's lives in emerging markets through technology and entrepreneurship. The organization works with Seedstars staff and has an Equivalency Determination (ED) certificate from NGOsource, proving its equivalence to a Certified Public Charity. SAFEEM has previously collaborated with various organizations such as UN Environment (UNEP), GIZ, European Union, Visa Foundation, and more to fuel economic growth and create jobs in emerging markets.

About the Programs business

Seedstars Programs consults multilateral and bilateral organisations, governments, and private sector foundations on customized interventions and financing solutions for small and growing businesses (SGBs) in emerging markets. Our goal is to create thriving entrepreneurship ecosystems and generate positive social and economic impact in the global south and developing economies. 

We support our clients in:

  • Developing entrepreneurship ecosystems (insights and advice on policy, finance, culture, support infrastructure, human capital, and markets) based on our proprietary Seedstars Index.
  • Designing and co-creating customized interventions and implementing programs based on the segmentation of businesses and their specific needs.
  • Setting up innovative development finance facilities and managing capital flows (VC & Equity program funds, Convertibles, Catalytic finance instruments, Impact linked finance, blended finance, result or revenue-based finance, loans, mezzanine, grants, etc.).
  • Measuring and managing the impact of programmatic interventions.

The majority of our projects are sustainable development goal (SDG) driven and tackle some of the world's most pressing challenges like climate action, gender equality, migration, and financial inclusion.

About the Program

SEED inclusivity (Seedstars Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Development Inclusivity) is a comprehensive entrepreneurship intervention that is designed to provide support to entrepreneurs with disabilities and disability-supporting businesses through capacity-building, access to financing pathways, ecosystem development, and engagement with key stakeholders in Asia.

About the position

We are seeking a highly motivated, hands-on, self-starter and entrepreneurial Program Director to join our team in Asia. The successful candidate will play the leading role in launching, developing, implementing, and managing strategy to ensure program success. They will be responsible for the growth and scale of the project including but not limited to business development and partnerships for the program as a whole. They will manage team onboarding and coordination, program overview, donor partnerships, pipeline development, proposal follow through, and seek grant opportunities for the program. The Director will report to the program success lead. 

This is a fully remote opportunity starting in Q2, 2024, for a two-year program initially, with the possibility of an extension. 

Preference is given to applicants based within UTC+4 to UTC+9 time zones. 

Only shortlisted applicants will be contacted.

Responsibilities

  • Program management
    • Serve as the main point of contact for the funding agency and manage partner relationships (KPI alignment, deliverable validation, feedback, etc.).
    • Collaborate with the Seedstars Central Programs Team to develop new partnerships and fundraising conversations.
    • Coordinate and collaborate with the client and funding agency.
    • Communicate with all stakeholders (internal, startups, mentors and clients).
    • Lead, coordinate and train the team staffed for the program.
    • Lead in hiring of any additional team members.
    • Project administration (contract finalisation, invoicing, budget tracking, reporting, etc.).
    • Manage curriculum development & program design.
    • Design and execute key initiatives to drive success for the program.
    • Mentor participants in the program.
  • Stakeholder Engagement and Partnership Building:
    • Identify and assess potential partners and stakeholders, including government entities, NGOs, women's associations, ecosystem enablers, and private sector organisations.
    • Develop and maintain strong relationships with key partners to foster collaboration and support the program's objectives.
    • Act as the primary point of contact for partners, addressing their needs, concerns, and inquiries promptly.
  • Strategic Planning:
    • Develop and implement a comprehensive partnership strategy aligned with the program's goals and objectives.
    • Collaborate with cross-functional teams to ensure alignment between partnership activities and program milestones.
    • Create and manage partnership plans, timelines, and budgets.
  • Monitoring and Evaluation:
    • Collaborate with the Monitoring and Evaluation team to develop and implement a robust system for tracking and reporting on program outcomes and impact.
    • Develop and maintain accurate records and reporting on business development performance, including financial reports and KPIs.
    • Track, monitor and evaluate program metrics and milestone completion.
    • Use data and feedback to assess the effectiveness of partnerships and make data-driven recommendations for improvement.
    • Provide high-quality reporting to the funding agency.
  • People Leadership
    • Lead activities to increase the competitiveness of our team, and improve the performance of our programs, and enhance our reputation regionally and globally. 
    • Innovate and facilitate processes for knowledge transfer and sharing across the Programs team.
    • Hire, coach, mentor and upskill a growing disturbed cross-functional team. 

Your profile 

  • Your mindset 
    • Passion for problem solving and striving for excellence. 
    • Knack for coordination.
    • Ability to work independently and collaboratively in a multicultural and fast-paced environment.
    • Excellent team player with high levels of empathy.
  • Your Experience 
    • 5+ years progressive experience in a leading development sector, or entrepreneurial support organisation in running entrepreneurship capacity building programs in collaboration with bilateral & multilateral organisations, private sector foundations and governments, or experience as a founder in the inclusivity and disability space.
    • Strong understanding of disability issues, inclusive policies, digital technologies, and their role in economic and social development.
    • Deep knowledge and experience with our target client groups and donors (bilateral & multilateral organizations, NGOs, private sector foundations, etc.) 
    • Strong leadership and management skills.
    • Excellent communication, negotiation and relationship management skills.
    • Strong project management, organizational and time management skills.
  • Nice to have 
    • Deeply involved in and knowledgeable about the startup ecosystem in your country or region with a strong network. 
    • You are either a local entrepreneur or innovation enthusiast.

 Why our employees love working with us

  • We are on a mission that is bigger than all of us: to impact people’s lives in emerging markets.
  • You get many growth and learning opportunities early on, including impactful and skills-enhancing roles in innovative programs.
  • Robust onboarding to translate our values and ways of working into successful outcomes.
  • Excellent networking opportunities, including exposure to thought leaders and SMEs in the field of entrepreneurial support.
  • An entrepreneurial culture where you’re surrounded by a vibrant and diverse team.
  • Autonomy and flexibility with a flat hierarchy and a strong belief that responsible people should have the freedom to do their work when and how they want.
  • We were awarded as one of the most democratic workplaces in the world due to our freedom-centered practices. 

We are an equal opportunity employer with a diverse mix of nationalities and backgrounds represented in our company. We truly value diversity and believe that the cultural landscape of our organization should reflect the types of work that we engage in and the places that we do it. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status and strongly encourage women, people from emerging markets, and those from historically underrepresented groups to apply to all of our roles at Seedstars.

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