Business Development Services Component Lead



Since 1963 and in 146 countries, ACDI/VOCA has empowered people in developing and transitional nations to succeed in the global economy. Based in Washington, D.C., ACDI/VOCA is a nonprofit international development organization that delivers technical and management assistance in agribusiness, financial services, enterprise development, community development and food security in order to promote broad-based economic growth and vibrant civil society. ACDI/VOCA currently has approximately 49 projects in 30 countries and total revenues of $151 million.


Business Development Services Component Lead, Rwanda


The anticipated Nguirza Nshore project in Rwanda will facilitate emergence of a dynamic off-farm sector and will strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem, business development services and access to finance. By alleviating constraints to entrepreneurship, off-farm businesses will be expanded in both urban and rural environments and will stimulate employment opportunities for rural populations. Nguirza Nshore is a forward-thinking project which is designed for flexibility in response to learning and dynamism in the environment.  The project is funded by USAID and is envisioned to start in 2018.


ACDI/VOCA seeks a dynamic, progressive, and private-sector oriented technical component lead who brings proven experience in Rwanda working on BDS initiatives to grow SMEs.  The BDS Lead will be responsible for project’s engagement with a range of BDS providers and other similar ecosystem actors, both private and public. S/he will provide a balance of component management and strategy development, oversight of a small team of technical staff, grantee/ challenge fund support, and direct technical assistance.


The ideal candidate will be familiar with a variety of business models for BDS providers to support SMEs across a range of growth stages and sub-sectors. The individual will have exposure to marketplace realities which include off-farm agriculture and non-farm industries.


  • Provide technical leadership and strategy development for the project’s support to BDS providers and other actors in Rwanda’s entrepreneurial ecosystem
  • Oversee a small technical team of technical experts and facilitators - which in turn will engage through a diverse set of activities with a larger number of BDS providers, networking organizations, and other stakeholders in the entrepreneurial ecosystem – to achieve the project’s goals and outcomes
  • Provide direct technical assistance and advisory services as needed
  • Track progress towards core component indicators and learning objectives, and propose strategic adaptations in response to market shifts
  • Engage, coordinate, and collaborate with other donors and implementing partners active in the BDS focus areas.


  • Master’s degree or equivalent in business, economics, finance, marketing, or related area.
  • A minimum of 5 years of experience in technical advisory initiatives targeting BDS providers, entrepreneurs, ecosystem development, or a combination of the above
  • Expertise in business planning and strategy development; various business models for BDS provision, product pricing, investment, and entrepreneurship development  
  • Demonstrated passion for using innovative approaches to solve complex development problems, with practical experience mobilizing and working with diverse teams
  • Knowledge of the landscape of ecosystem actors and understand a range of BDS models and SME services in Rwanda
  • Previous experience working in Rwanda required, with some exposure to other countries in the region preferred
  • Some prior experience managing small teams preferred, with technical strategy development, activity planning, and relationship building with public and private stakeholders
  • Excellent networking and communication skills
  • Fluency in French and/or Kinyarwanda, as well as English, required.

Please apply online at No phone calls please. Only those candidates considered for an interview will be contacted. ACDI/VOCA is an equal opportunity employer. Women, minorities and people from diverse groups are encouraged to apply.


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