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Associate, Product – Aceli Africa

Nairobi, Kenya
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Company Description


Aceli Africa is a market-enabling facility to mobilize over $600M in private sector lending for agricultural SMEs in Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Zambia by 2025. To achieve this goal, Aceli Africa provides financial incentives to increase the risk appetite of ~40 financial institutions (commercial banks, non-bank financial institutions, and social lenders) to make loans ranging from USD $15K-$1.5M to inclusive agricultural SMEs, while also facilitating technical assistance to SMEs to expand the ability of high-potential businesses to qualify for and manage financing.

Aceli launched in September 2020 and, to-date, has secured $75M for activities in the five initial focus countries for 2020-25 from multiple donors and development actors, such as the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, IKEA Foundation, Swiss Development Corporation, UK FCDO, and USAID. Aceli Africa is an initiative of the Global Development Incubator (GDI), a nonprofit incubator of social impact initiatives based in the United States with an affiliated entity based in Kenya.


Job Description


Incentives are Aceli’s primary “product” offering and are used to unlock increased private sector lending to agricultural SMEs. The Product team plays a critical role within the organization and consists of two functions: a product design function, which is responsible for market research and incentive adjustment calibration; and a product operations function, which oversees loan reviews, incentive payments, and data. Across these two functions, the team: oversees information-gathering to help Aceli assess if its product is well calibrated to the market; provides input into the design of the incentive program, alongside other senior leaders within the organization; manages the rollout of adjustments to the program; ensures that loans submitted by lenders are aligned with Aceli’s guidelines; and manages incentive payouts to lenders.

The role holder will support the product design function. Specifically, the role holder will support the Manager, Product across various workstreams: our annual benchmarking exercise, which is an extensive, data-heavy market research piece conducted with Aceli’s lending partners and carried out by a consulting firm on our behalf; as well as our annual audit, incentive budget modeling, incentive adjustment design, roll-out, and monitoring. This individual will also be involved in developing web-based dashboards for internal and external use.

This role will require someone with strong critical thinking skills and strong data analysis and interpretation skills. This role will involve looking at market and internal data to make recommendations and decisions about how Aceli’s product should evolve and how we should engage with lenders. The role holder will need to be comfortable with cleaning and crunching data, but also with spotting and interrogating trends and with making proposals about the way forward. Over time, s/he will independently manage small data projects with our lenders – therefore, the ability to plan and stay on top of details is also key.

The role will report to the Manager, Product and is a full-time position with GDI Kenya, a non-profit entity registered under Kenyan law.

Key Responsibilities

  • Support in multi-month process for Aceli’s annual benchmarking and annual audit: data collection with lenders, data cleaning, relationship management with the firms that carry out the work on Aceli’s behalf
  • (Related to the above) Support in the internal synthesis / distillation of the deliverables from these firms. This may include PowerPoint design, drafting of memos, etc. intended for public-facing audiences
  • Support the incentives product design / adjustment process – from helping with putting the evidence together, modeling/estimating the impact of potential changes, and working with multiple teams within Aceli and with lenders to implement these.
  • Support and ultimately manage ad-hoc data / analysis projects with lenders – for example, investigating the performance of one aspect of our incentive program with a subset of lenders
  • Support in the annual incentive budgeting process – collating and doing the first cut of the analysis, providing input and helping to sense-check the assumptions and outputs of the model
  • Develop and maintain data dashboards built on PowerBI/Tableau for internal and external use.
  • Support the CEO, MD, and Executive Office in running special analyses for internal and external communications – including for periodic reports to the Board, Steering Committee, as well as current and prospective funders.



  • Minimum of four years of relevant work experience, with at least two years in a management/strategy consulting firm, with demonstrated upward mobility during your tenure
  • A bachelor’s degree in finance or other data-related fields
  • Excellent PowerPoint development skills
  • Excellent Excel analysis skills. Bonus for data visualization skills in PowerBI or Tableau
  • Familiarity with the agri-SME sector in East Africa. Beneficial if this knowledge extends to agri-SME lending
  • Bonus for previous work experience in finance or investing
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, as demonstrated by experience developing senior-level and external-client communications
  • Other attributes: strong attention to detail, curious and entrepreneurial mindset, excellent time management, and openness to feedback
  • Personal commitment to having a positive impact on farmer livelihoods and economic development in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Additional Information


If you believe you can clearly demonstrate your abilities to meet the relevant criteria for the role, please submit your application quoting in the subject line the Job Title “Associate – Product”, and attach your detailed CV, cover letter stating your interest in and qualifications for the position, e-mail address and telephone contacts.

Applications that do not include a cover letter tailored to this position will not be considered. 

The Global Development Incubator is an Equal Opportunity Employer and considers all applicants based on merit without regard to race, sex, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, disability or any other characteristic protected by applicable law.