Catholic Relief Services SME Strengthening and Financial Services Specialist Jobs in Uganda

Catholic Relief Services SME Strengthening and Financial Services Specialist Jobs in Uganda

Project Summary

  • The Vines Project, implemented by CRS Uganda, is a five-year, $13 million Food for Progress project that will make Uganda the world’s next leading supplier of high-quality vanilla.

  • Vines will leverage the expertise of CRS and its partners to enhance the production of safe, pure vanilla and develop sustainable market links with US vanilla companies, directly transforming the lives of 16,200 farmers, 836 supply chain actors and
    create 15,820 new jobs to reach 32,856 vanilla stakeholders.

  • The Vines strategy reflects best practices in sustainable development and will leave Uganda with a robust vanilla farming community resilient to the boom/bust nature of the market and a cadre of private sector agricultural extensionists to support more sophisticated production, processing, and marketing needs.

    Job Summary

  • As the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Systems Strengthening & Financial Services Specialist you will directly provide support for various forms of business and financial capacity building for vanilla value chain stakeholders.

  • You will contribute to efforts to develop more agile types of farmer organization so that farmers can be better business partners with traders and processing companies.

  • You will help develop and implement certification schemes for Ugandan vanilla and strengthen direct trade business models to secure vanilla markets.

  • You will facilitate agricultural lending to SMEs involved in the vanilla value chain. You will support the design and delivery of relevant training.

  • You will coordinate with partners on market analysis, business planning, farmer business capacity building, agripreneur and youth training, input supply and business relationship management.

    Job Roles and Responsibilities

    • Under the guidance of the SME and Financial Services Program Manager, you will implement program activities that seek to improve business and financing for Ugandan vanilla market chain actors, ensuring efficient and effective project implementation including the timely completion of high-quality work plans, accurate reports, and other mandated deliverables.

    • You will implement project work-plans, ensuring deliverables are met on time and with high quality.

    • You will deliver training to support implementing partners in the area agribusiness development and financial service provision;

    • Support the promotion of adequate linkages to local public and private sectors stakeholders;

    • Provide overall support for agri-business and financial service development to the program;

    • Implement program activities related to SME systems and financial services;

    • Assist growers and processors to adopt new technologies and techniques to increase the quality and quantity of production;

    • Strengthen the linkages among actors in the respective value chains and foster cooperation through strengthened industry associations; and

    • Build the availability, quality, capacity, and sustainability of SMEs and Private Service Providers

    • Promote the quality and appropriateness of activities to achieve the target indicators in a cost-effective, timely, and sustainable manner;

    • Provide technical advice through quarterly coaching sessions and daily support.

    • Perform any other duties as assigned by the SME Manager.

    Typical Background, Experience & Requirements

    Education and Experience

    • A Bachelor’s Degree in a relevant field including international development, agriculture, economics, business, marketing, and/or supply chain management.

    • Minimum 8 years demonstrated experience with USG or other similar development projects focused on value chain and market systems & access development, including improving financial services for the poor,

    • Demonstrated ability to work and coordinate effectively with a wide variety of stakeholders, including national and local government, donors, community-based organizations, and the private sector

    • Strong strategic, analytical, systems thinking, and problem-solving skills, with capacity to see the big picture and ability to make sound judgment and decisions.

    • Experience engaging partners and strengthening partnerships. Knowledge of CRS partnership strategy a plus

    • Established relationship with and/or substantive knowledge of agribusiness firms

    • Critical thinking and creative problem-solving skills with ability to make sound judgment.

    • Proactive, results-oriented, and service-oriented.

    • Strong Microsoft Word and Excel skills.

    Required/Desired Foreign Language

    • English fluency, including excellent oral and written skills, required


    • Must be willing and able to travel up to 50% within Uganda.

    Key Working Relationships

  • Supervision: Supervise two field technical staff

  • Internal: Chief of Party, Partner Organizations, Head of Programs.

  • External: Government, Peer Agency, Farmer Groups, Private Sector Organizations Agency-Wide Competencies (for all CRS staff)

    These are rooted in the mission, values, and principles of CRS and used by each staff member to fulfill his or her responsibilities and to achieve the desired results

    • Serves with Integrity

    • Models Stewardship

    • Cultivates Constructive Relationships

    • Promotes Learning

    How to Apply

    • Email a cover letter and CV only to by October 2nd, 2020 at 5:00pm.

    • Large files and/or scans of documents will lead to rejection of your application, in the subject line of the email, copy and paste – SMESTRENGTHENINGANDFINANCIALSERVICES

    • All applications that do not contain this exact subject line will be rejected and not read

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