KENYA: Director Business Engagement (Finance)

IDH Farmfit Fund, Business Support and Intelligence Center
The 500 M smallholders farmers globally are deprived from essential services to properly develop their farming systems and increase household incomes. In Africa, regional food security for the rapidly growing population crucially depends on the successful integration of smallholder production in regional value chains. This requires companies, civil society and government to innovate together, develop business models and forge new supply chain collaborations. IDH Farmfit Business Support drives this transformation by supporting companies and financial institutions to analyze, innovate, and scale their smallholder business models. Drawing on the lessons from analyzing and supporting 100+ companies, the Farmfit Intelligence Center generates strategic insights into best practices and key success factors in smallholder inclusion. Farmfit Business Support and Intelligence Center are Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and DFID. To take these smallholder business models to scale, the Farmfit Fund has been launched. This is a 100 M dollar fund – and a 1 billion dollar guarantee – that invests in companies and banks for smallholder finance, with the objective to lift at least 3 M farmers out of poverty and make farmer finance a mainstream investment class.

In line with the recent launch of Farmfit, IDH is recruiting a

Director Business Engagement (Finance)
this position is based in Nairobi, Kenya

Position overview
The Director Business Engagement (Finance) is one of the two key business engagement partners of the Farmfit Team. They seek and assist their private sector clients – agribusiness companies, banks, technology providers – to improve their business models for serving and/or sourcing from smallholder farmers (Service Delivery Models or SDMs). The Directors provide evidence-based advice to senior management on business operations, supply chain management and financial sustainability of the company. The Director Business Engagement (Finance) specifically provides financial advice to Farmfit partners and engaging in strategic discussions with CFOs, supporting them in building sustainable business models securing the necessary finance to fund their sourcing models. They support these companies to deepen and expand their services to smallholders, including the structuring and monitoring of blended finance investments. They are part of the management team of Farmfit Africa, reporting to the Managing Director Farmfit Africa.

Core job functions

  1. Establish and maintain relations with agribusiness companies working on local, regional and international value chains that are potential clients for adoption or improvement of their farmer service delivery models (SDMs);
  2. Lead in the build-up of a high-quality portfolio of SDM and TA-projects in food crops for local and regional markets and coach the SDM analysts and SDM Managers in their day-to-day management of SDM analysis and TA-projects;
  3. Advising senior management of agribusiness companies, banks and digital solution providers on their supply chain management, sourcing, quality assurance and marketing practices, providing practical expertise, authority, technical assistance, co-investment and advice on blended finance solutions and scaling up of business operations;
  4. Supporting agribusinesses in the implementation of new or improved business models with smallholders as clients and/or suppliers.
  5. Actively manage key/large business accounts and identify requirements to ensure effective and professional project management support;
  6. Conduct SDM analyses with the support of an analyst.
  7. As portfolio manager, participate in appraising, supervising and /or evaluating business proposals from key business clients; Serve as a broker for companies to partner with financial institutions and technology providers for effective farmer support;
  8. Serve as a mentor to the staff in the Farmfit program and peer reviewer/advisor to other teams working in the sector;
  9. Support the Managing Director in representing Farmfit at external events with a sectoral focus, as well as lead on/participate in selected, relevant tasks;
  10. Support the Managing Director in growing Farmfit, both in resources as well as in expansion of the community of stakeholders and contributing to the further strategic development of Farmfit

We are looking for senior professionals from the (for-profit) private sector and/or consultancy sector with at least 15-20 years of professional experience in various African countries. More specifically, the following skills are required:

  • A Degree in (agricultural) Economics, Business Management, (agricultural) Finance, Development economics or other relevant discipline;
  • High levels of entrepreneurial and professional skills, capability and tenacity to drive continued business engagement
  • At least 10 years of experience in agribusiness and finance, with proven skills in the implementation of activities to support agribusiness and value chain development in developing countries;
  • Outstanding understanding of agribusiness models and their financing needs, especially in an African context.
  • Recognized substantive leadership/opinion leader role among local private sector partners in food crop/staples or export/cash crop value chains in Africa;
  • Strong interpersonal skills, proven team orientation and leadership qualities;
  • Computer literacy, especially Microsoft Office with advanced skills in MS-Excel and Power Point;
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills as well as external relations/networking skills
  • Good command of spoken and written English is essential. Command of Portuguese and French will be an advantage.


IDH offers a dynamic international environment and an enthusiastic and passionate team. As an IDH team member you can contribute to positive global change. This is a full-time position for an initial period of two years, with the possibility of extension. We offer a consultancy contract with a competitive remuneration.

For more information about IDH, please visit For questions about this position, please contact Tony Bruggink, Director Fresh & Ingredients, at +31 (0)6 531 657 56.

How to apply
Qualified candidates are invited to send an application (motivation letter and 2-page resume in English) as soon as possible, to Iris van Oort, mentioning “Director Business Engagement” in the subject line. Candidates should have permission to work in Kenya.


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