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Enterprise Specialist Job in Eldoret, Kenya

Mercy Corps exists to alleviate suffering, poverty and oppression by helping people build secure, productive and just communities. 

Driven by local needs, our programs provide communities in the world’s toughest places with the tools and support they need to turn the crises they confront into the opportunities they deserve. 

Mercy Corps is looking for committed and dynamic individuals to take up the following position:

Youth Enterprise Specialist

Location: Eldoret

Program / Department Summary:

The Yes Youth Can (YYC) initiative is a complimentary program funded by the USAID and was designed to empower Kenya’s youth population in areas recovering from the post-election violence in 2007/8, through building capacity of youth groups and organizations to engage with markets, governments and communities, and to pursue their legitimate needs and interests more effectively in a way that builds positive inter-ethnic networks.

Mercy Corps manages two regional awards, the Rift-Valley Program which is based in Eldoret, and the Central Program which is based in Thika.

General Position Summary:

Youth Enterprise Program Specialist is a senior level position with Mercy Corps Kenya.

It will be primarily responsible for providing leadership of the Economic Empowerment under the youth Investment fund component of the Yes Youth Can (YYC).

The USAID-funded project to genuinely empower youth in Kenya to develop themselves for greater voice in national and local reforms and to create new opportunities for livelihoods that meet the aspirations of young Kenyans.

The program will support youth in achieving positive change in three major areas:

(1) increased work skills/employment;

(2) increased citizenship/civic engagement, and

(3) increased inter-ethnic engagement.

It is expected that activities will include youth-driven mobilization initiatives that benefit communities and promote citizenship; creation of opportunities for life and employment skills; and initiatives to bring together youth of different ethnicities.

The Youth Enterprise Program Specialist will work closely with the Chief of Party to implement the current YYC Rift Valley regional program Youth Investment fund component (Bunge SACCOs).

The activities under this component include SACCO education on compliance for the CMC & SC committees, entrepreneurship training for youth starting businesses after acquiring loans from the SACCOs, job-skills, value-chains/market linkages and linkage to Value Chain analysis information for SACCO loan Products.

The Youth Enterprise Program Specialist will be responsible for designing and delivery of livelihoods training, SACCO Supervision and management, managing consultants, including international and national sub-grantees, and contractors.

Essential Job Functions:
  • Member of the YYC Central Program leadership team in partnership with Chief of Party and Country Director;
  • Direct supervision and indirect supervision of Field Officer and SACCO chairpersons in the four Counties under the program.
  • Provide technical insight and advice for economic empowerment programming especially on SACCO components , including loan products, membership recruitment, committee meetings, compliance and employment activities, combining experience with practical on-the-ground identification of opportunities and constraints
  • Provide technical leadership in value chain/market analysis to identify opportunities for improved Loan products for the SACCOs and business opportunities for young people and other beneficiaries
  •  Provide technical leadership and management of County Youth Bunge SACCOs component across the YYC Program.
  • Provide technical and management leadership of any small enterprise grants issued by the CBF to individual bunges
  • Management and mentorship of local program staff and other partners namely the youth county boards, and County bunge SACCOs gradually transferring skills and capacities;
  • Work with program staff on an ongoing basis to ensure smooth planning, preparation, implementation, and joint monitoring and evaluation of program activities and achievements towards program goals.
  • Facilitate deliberate linkage of YYC  economic empowerment mandate to  respective County government ministries, projects and staff to ensure sustainability and ownership
  • Participate in the YYC programs’ strategic development and way forward process
  • Provide training and  mentorship to MC staff on Enterprise Development and related strategies and applications
  • Support other Mercy Corps programs towards the attainment of their respective PMPs.
  • Represent Mercy Corps in related thematic working groups within the Counties
  • Engage with Government of Kenya national and County Government departments on economic development initiatives in conjunction with the Chief of Party.
  • Represent Mercy Corps in donor-driven forums/meetings in conjunction with the Chief of Party.

Organizational Learning

As part of Mercy Corps’ agency-wide Organizational Learning Initiative, all team members are responsible for spending 5% of their work time in formal and/or non-formal professional learning activities.

Accountability to Beneficiaries

Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts towards accountability, specifically to our beneficiaries and to international standards guiding international relief and development work, while actively engaging beneficiary communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.

Supervisory Responsibility: Supervision of the Yes Youth Can, Field Officers.


Reports Directly To: Chief of Party, Yes Youth Can

Works Directly With: Country Director, Program Managers, Gender and Civic Engagement Specialists, M&E staff, Operations/Finance Staff, other MC Kenya as well as global MC staff.

Knowledge and Experience:   
  • MA/S or BA/S and compensatory work experience in Cooperative management  business administration, economics/economic development, or international development;
  • Minimum of 5-7 years’ experience in international development;
  • Technical expertise in youth economic empowerment, Microfinance including Savings and Credit Cooperative Societies general livelihoods and economic development
  • Experience managing youth, micro-enterprise, community microfinance, job skills/employment, civic engagement, agricultural value-chains, program design and program M&E
  • History of working effectively and respectfully with host government, NGOs, contractors and other partners;
  • Ability to effectively convey programmatic goals, enlists partnerships, and work with a range of program and external stakeholders;
  • Fluency in Kiswahili

Success Factors:
  • Innovative, decisive and inclusive leadership approach
  • Creative and insightful as regards development programming including the relationships between youth development, economic empowerment, peace-building and reconciliation
  • Excellent communication and team-building techniques
  • Proven experience managing and building capacity of diverse teams (expatriate and national)
  • Cultural knowledge, sensitivity and respect
  • Commitment to oversee projects for their duration
  • Ability to engage with strategic institutional partners as well as current and potential donors

How to Apply

Interested candidates who meet the above required qualifications and experience should submit on or before December 13, 2013 at 4.00 p.m a cover letter, detailed Curriculum Vitae (CV) listing three professional references( including a recent supervisor) to

Applicants must clearly indicate on the email subject: The position and location they are applying for, e.g “Youth Enterprise Specialist - Eldoret”

Applications without the right subject heading will be automatically disqualified.

Please do not attach any certificates.

(ONLY Qualified short-listed candidates will be contacted)

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