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Shortlist and Spire: Building Africa’s First Full-Stack Talent Platform

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Shortlist and Spire: Building Africa’s First Full-Stack Talent Platform
By Grace Horwitz 


Last November, Spire Education, one of Blue Haven’s portfolio companies, merged with Shortlist, a talent sourcing and screening business operating across India and Kenya. The merger was a first for the Blue Haven portfolio, but also for the broader human capital industry in East Africa. With complementary offerings, the combined Shortlist-Spire team is now capable of supporting clients across the talent spectrum. As Shortlist CEO, Paul Breloff, put it in his November announcement, “This is a match made in heaven…Shortlist can help companies build their teams, and Spire can help make sure those teams are equipped with the skills needed to succeed.” As we celebrate the three-month anniversary of the Shortlist-Spire union in Nairobi this week with Paul, Jenn (former Spire CEO and now MD of Africa for Shortlist and Spire) and the rest of the Shortlist-Spire team, here’s why we’re excited to have them in the Blue Haven family.

Last year, Lauren and I discussed why human capital is important to us as investors. While our website is littered with the logos of portfolio companies, a more accurate depiction of what we’re betting on might be a photo collage of the teams behind them. Companies are only as good as the people that run them, and that means hiring, training and retaining the best talent. Regardless of the industry, most executives cite people as their most important asset. However, in their quest to retain more “A-players,” very few feel as though they’ve cracked the code to maximize potential across roles, levels, and functional areas.

This problem is particularly challenging for quickly-growing small and medium sized businesses that lack dedicated resources and the staff time to focus on talent. As part of a small organization, I’m familiar with this tension. It took my boss, Lauren, over a year to hire her first Associate (me) because she was juggling days that looked like this. We just hired our second Associate, Sarah, and I’m positive I’ve underdelivered in the onboarding and training category in more ways than one (sorry Sarah!). This makes for a vicious cycle — small and medium sized businesses are painfully constrained for time and resources, making it difficult to invest in hiring, upskilling, and retaining employees, which in turns puts even more pressure on an already overworked team — a so-called talent hamster wheel.

The reality is, sometimes we need help from the outside. But when it comes to hiring and developing your employees, it can be hard to find the right partner. The traditional mode of outsourcing HR activities tends to be of the transactional, hit-and-run nature — hire a head hunter to track down a bunch of CVs ASAP, and they do it, but without understanding culture, the business itself, or what soft skills a candidate will require. Or management brings someone in to conduct a half-day training for junior staff, and while you may feel pretty good after a couple of trust falls, three months down the road you realize that the exercise had no real impact on your employees’ performance. And when these talent service providers are all separate companies, you spend a lot of time re-explaining exactly what you’re looking for in an ideal team member — wouldn’t it be nice if the same people who hired your new sales team were the ones who trained them too?

Point solutions that claim to offer “just-in-time” support are not always the best approach, especially in the context of building an effective team that is capable of achieving its full potential over time — weeks, months and years. Most firms (unless you’re Google) don’t have the privileges of skimming the best candidates from the top of a stagnant talent pool. That means employers have to start taking a more integrated and proactive approach across the talent life cycle to truly optimize investment in talent. They will need to leverage a combination of technology and human touch to test the competencies of candidates rather than taking resumes at face value and spend time with employees to teach the soft skills and attitudes that drive success in management roles.

Having seen our portfolio companies struggle with talent issues of all flavors and varieties, we are pumped about what Shortlist-Spire is bringing to market in Kenya. Spire and Shortlist focus on different pieces of the talent value chain, but long-term results will be mutually dependent. While Shortlist screens candidates on the basis of competency (not just CV and connections!), Spire helps those candidates reach their full potential through end-to-end talent development and training. In an ideal world, this makes for a seamless bump-set-spike model of maximizing human potential. Though I think both Paul and Jenn would agree that there is still lots to figure out, the Blue Haven Team is excited to be along for the ride!

Originally published on Medium.

Tags:  East Africa  talent 

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Preparing for Scale: Developing and Retaining Talent

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, November 1, 2017

The EY “Preparing for scale” webinar series aims to support impact entrepreneurs and their management teams to overcome barriers to growth. Presented in association with AcumenEchoing GreenANDE and Toniic, the webinar series will provide insightful, practical advice on how to understand and overcome these barriers to growth, as well as tangible examples of how they have been overcome in practice by leading impact entrepreneurs. 

 

ANDE hosted the most recent webinar on this series, with a focus on talent. Click the link below to access the recording and presentations. Please note, you will have to "register" first, and then you will have full access to the recording. 

 

Developing and retaining talent

Tuesday, 24 October 2017, 15:00 GMT

 

Speakers:

  • Antony Maina, ANDE - Antony represented ANDE's work on talent in our East Africa Chapter.
  • Jay Lee, Rippleworks - Jay covered how to enhance the employee value proposition as a means to developing and retaining talent.
  • Caroline Gertsch, Amani Institute - Caroline explained a model for leadership and management development training programs.
  • Glynis Rankin, Creative Metier - Glynis discussed the value of executive coaching in developing and retaining talent.

 

Access the recording here. 

Tags:  Scale  talent 

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​Agora Partnerships Launches Application for 2017 Accelerator Cycle 2 Class

Posted By Elysa Neumann, Agora Partnerships, Thursday, March 9, 2017
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKRdMGQbY_Q&feature=youtu.be

 
Agora Partnerships has launched applications for its 2017 Accelerator program.
 
Through its flagship Accelerator program, Agora Partnerships strives to accelerate the shift to a sustainable economy by providing entrepreneurs who are intentionally building businesses that solve social and environmental challenges in Latin America and the Caribbean with the resources they need to grow. Since 2011, 125 companies working in 19 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean have participated in the Agora Accelerator, raising USD $52MM in capital and creating over 5,000 jobs. This year, in solidarity with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Agora Partnerships is aligning our Accelerator tracks to advance the SDGs.
 
The Accelerator is a 4-month program designed to provide high-potential entrepreneurs with the knowledge, network and access to capital necessary to create system change, through in-depth, personalized, 1:1 consulting; access to the Agora Partnerships’network of mentors, investors, and capital opportunities; and a global community of peers.
 
Agora’s Accelerator program is designed for companies who are solving social and environmental challenges in Latin America and the Caribbean, matching the following criteria: 
 
  • early or growth stage, past proof-of-concept; 
  • currently looking for investment to scale; 
  • legally incorporated as a for-profit structure with basic accounting systems in place; 
  • average annual income of USD $50K to $2MM; and, 
  • with a clear, measurable and sustainable impact.
 
Agora Partnerships looks to work with entrepreneurs who embody the leadership qualities of agency, empathy, curiosity and perseverance.
 
To apply to Agora Partnerships’ 2017 Accelerator click here.
 
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Agora Partnerships is a network committed to leveling the playing field for entrepreneurs by finding innovative ways to drive more human, social, and financial capital to the leaders and ideas that will make our world a better place. To learn morevisit: AgoraPartnerships.org

Tags:  Acceleration  accelerators  Agriculture  Business  Caribbean  central america  energy  Entrepreneurship  Environment  impact  impact investing  impact investment  innovation  Latin America  nicaragua  SGBs; Environment; accelerators; energy  small and growing agrobusiness  social ent  social enterprise  social entrepreneurship  social impact  sustainability  talent  Women 

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Workshop: Build a Career in Impact Investing

Posted By Ryan Steinbach, Impact Business Leaders, Monday, January 16, 2017

Location: Washington DC, USA

First Round Deadline: February 1

Build a career investing in what matters. The Break into Impact Investing Talent Accelerator is a 3-day intensive workshop in Washington DC for finance professionals and MBA students who want to build an exciting career in impact investing. As impact investing continues to demonstrate its ability to scale social and environmental innovations, investment firms will need a greater number of talented professionals to develop and manage the next wave of impact investment vehicles and funds. From February 18-20, Break into Impact Investing will prepare you for a career in this growing industry by:

  • Deepening your understanding of impact investing in an intensive 3-day workshop taught by leading practitioners from Washington DC-based impact investing organizations. Our practitioner instructors will discuss the industry landscape, provide real examples of impact investment deals, and share their own journeys into the space.
  • Positioning you for success with individualized assessment tools that will help you get clear on your next career move and practical workshop sessions designed to help you stand out in the impact investing hiring process.
  • Connecting you with impact investors based in the DC area who are hiring for open positions. In addition to our line-up of instructors, the workshop will end with a closed networking event, featuring top impact investing organizations in the region.

Break into Impact Investing is hosted by Impact Business Leaders (IBL) – a social enterprise that develops talented professionals into the next generation of leaders in social enterprise and impact investing. Join the 240+ professionals who have participated in IBL’s programs around the world and who are now emerging leaders at organizations such as, Acumen, Village Capital, The International Finance Corporation, and Asia IIX. Only 25 highly qualified professionals will be accepted into this program. If you’re ready to accelerate your impact investing career, apply for our program today. If you know someone who is ready to start investing in what matters, share our workshop and encourage them to reach to out IBL Marketing Director, Ryan Steinbach: rsteinbach@impactbusinessleaders.com

Tags:  impact investing  talent 

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New report - 'Training Talent: Best practice in workplace learning & management development in Africa'

Posted By Rebecca Harrison, African Management Initiative, Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Effective managers and entrepreneurs hold the key to Africa’s prosperity. Yet organisations cite a talent gap, and traditional training models seem to be broken. Africa needs a fresh approach to help millions of managers, entrepreneurs and professionals build the skills needed to drive their organisations – and the continent - forward.  

This new report by the African Management Initiative (AMI) draws on fresh data on Africa’s critical talent gap and presents new insights on how to address it through workplace learning and development. We list eight key findings about what is needed, and about what effective workplace learning looks like in an African context, with a particular focus on SGBs. 

This report is a must-read for senior leaders in African organisations who want to address the talent gap in their own organisations. It is also invaluable for impact investors ad intermediaries who want to build talent in portfolio companies, donors interested in workforce development, banks and investors looking to strengthen small business clients, university leaders that want to equip graduates for jobs and anyone with an interest in developing Africa’s next generation of entrepreneurs, managers and professionals. 

Our findings include insights on where demand for training is most urgent - what kinds of organisations most need to prioritise talent development, and what level in the organisation is most vulnerable? We look at what kind of skills are needed most – the results are sometimes surprising. 

We also look at what works, drawing on international best practice and our own experience developing talent in African organisations. We argue that to translate training into improved performance, organisations must look beyond individual skill-building to the embedding of organisational habits. We push beyond traditional training approaches such as courses and workshops to explore experiential learning, on-the-job feedback and accountability. We look at how technology can enable sophisticated personalised learning at vastly reduced cost. Finally we present our own preferred ‘blended learning’ solution and share data that illustrates how effective workplace learning programmes can deliver real results.

Download the full report here. Get in touch with Rebecca Harrison at rebecca@africanmanagers.org for more information about AMI or the report, and look our for us at the ANDE annual conference!

 

Tags:  east africa  South Africa  talent  Training & Events  West Africa 

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LGT VP is looking to nominate professionals for the Summer Cohort 2016 of the ICats Fellowship Program

Posted By Tom Kagerer, LGT Impact, Wednesday, January 20, 2016
Updated: Wednesday, January 20, 2016

LGT Venture Philanthropy is currently welcoming applications for the ICats Fellowship Summer Intake 2016 starting mid-year

We are looking for passionate professionals with an undergraduate degree and at least two years of full-time work experience in a relevant field who are motivated to use their skills in a meaningful way. Impact Fellows work full-time for 11 months with portfolio and partner organizations in Latin America, Africa, India, Southeast Asia, China and the UK.

There are no Investment Associate (IA) opportunities for this fellowship intake since all positions are currently filled. However, we encourage candidates with suitable IA backgrounds to apply to the Impact Fellowship as their skills are also highly demanded by social organizations.

Application deadline is February 29th, 2016.

Read the attached ICats Factsheet or visit the ICats Website for more details and information on how to apply. Also visit our ICats Blog where current and former ICats Fellows report on their challenges, work environments and lifechanging experiences.

Download File (PDF)

Tags:  career in social change  career in social changeSocial Entrepreneurship  fellowship  global  impact career  impact investing  philanthropy  social entrepreneurship  social impact  talent 

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Careers in Social Enterprise Program Jan. 3-9- Applications Closing Soon!

Posted By Kimberly Hendler, Impact Business Leaders, Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Impact Business leaders (IBL)  guides experienced professionals to build exciting careers in social enterprise and impact investing. Are you a professional with 5-15 years of experience interested in making an immediate impact on the most pressing challenges of our time, including access to clean energy, healthy food, quality education and economic opportunity? Know someone who is? If so, they can get connected to career-advancing, full-time roles at organizations that are tackling these challenges at IBL@Darden 2016.

 

Participants in IBL complete a rigorous, three part program.  

 

1.     Strengthen your understanding of social enterprise in an intensive 7-day workshop held at the Darden School of Business. This workshop is taught by social enterprise leaders who show you how to excel in the space.

 

2.     Discover exciting career opportunities in social enterprise with IBL’s personalized career matching process. To support you in your job search, we source hundreds of challenging, mid-level roles and pre-screen them based on your skills and aspirations.  

 

3.     Position yourself for success in one-on-one career counseling sessions with IBL’s Executive Director, David Kyle. David has extensive global experience in business, social enterprise, and impact investing with well-known organizations such as Citibank, Acumen Fund, Calvert Foundation, and the Indian School Finance Company.

 

Are you ready to join the 76 professionals who have found roles in social enterprises around the world? Apply for the IBL@Darden program today. There are only 25 seats available, and they are filling up fast. Apply today.

 

Want to learn more about how IBL can help you build an exciting career in social enterprise? Visit our website, www.impactbusinessleaders.com, or email IBL's Director of Business Development, Kim Hendler at khendler@impactbusinessleaders.com.

 

Tags:  career in social changeSocial Entrepreneurship  impact investing  jobs  Social Entrepreneurship  talent 

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Career Accelerator: Social Innovation Management Fellowship - Call for Applications

Posted By Geraldine Hepp, Amani Institute, Monday, December 14, 2015
Updated: Monday, December 14, 2015

Change someone's life - share this opportunity for aspiring changemakers to join a global Fellowship and take their career to the next level! 

We have received some of our best applicants thanks to people like you, and we would love to see the power of our community once again - so we can find the changemakers who are looking to build the professional skills and global networks needed to lead change effectively.

You can learn more about our Post-Graduate Certificate in Social Innovation Management and its changed structure here
Amani Institute Graduates now have an exciting opportunity through our partnership with Lynn University, where our program counts 25% towards a new MBA in Social Innovation Management that can be completed both on campus or online.

The most effective way to share this is via direct 
recommendation and shouldn't take longer than 3 minutes of your time but could mean a life-changing opportunity for someone in your network.

Fellows who have benefitted most from this program have been:

  • Career-switchers
  • Recent Graduates
  • Social change sector professionals 

committed to taking their work to the next level. Selection criteria:

  • A University degree (undergrad or masters)
  • At least two years of practical experience (either working or volunteering)
  • Evidence of commitment to social change through your personal and/or professional life
  • Strong desire to develop yourself further both professionally and personally
  • Interest in gaining a further global perspective to your previous experiences

Find a sample text, an infographic and a video for you to pass on below but also feel free to directly nominate and connect us via Email, allowing for a no-strings attached conversation with someone you nominate as a potential Social Innovation Management Fellow

_____________________________________________________________________
Feel free to use the below infographic about the different phases of the program and the following sample text for easy sharing:

Dear [Name],

Considering your passion for meaningful work, I highly recommend Amani Institute'scutting-edge 10 month Post-Graduate Certificate in Social Innovation Management: 4 months field immersion in Kenya or Brazil, 10 professional skill-building courses taught by global experts, a customized apprenticeship, 3 inspiring field trips, 20+ like-minded classmates from around the world, and much more. 

In 10 months, expand your professional network, get global experience in how to tackle some of the toughest challenges, and learn how to change the world! Apply now: bit.ly/amani2016

Learn more about Amani Institute's partnership with Lynn University if you are interested in an MBA in Social Innovation Management herebit.ly/SocInnMBA

Application Deadline: January 11th, 2016
Program start: February 1st, 2016

Download File (PDF)

 Attached Thumbnails:

Tags:  Base of the Pyramid  business training  capacity development  career in social changeSocial Entrepreneurship  CSR  diaspora  East Africa  education  emerging markets  fellowship  impact evaluation  innovation  Latin America  social entrepreneurship  social innovation  talent 

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Two Upcoming Webinars on Careers in Social Enterprise

Posted By Kimberly Hendler, Impact Business Leaders, Thursday, November 19, 2015

Join Impact Business Leaders for a special careers webinar:

How to Align Your Career with Your Values: Social Enterprise and Impact Investing

featuring David Kyle, Executive Director and Founder of Impact Business Leaders

November 24, 2015 at 2:00 p.m. EST -  RSVP: http://bit.ly/1iFf3fJ

December 9, 2015 at 12 p.m. EST - RSVP: http://bit.ly/1SCUrRq


Interested in shifting into a career with greater meaning and impact? Wondering if it is possible to leverage your professional experience in a field more aligned with your values?

On these webinars, David Kyle, will explain the fields of impact investing and social enterprise, including examples of values-aligned companies he has worked with around the world. Through sharing his own career path and lessons learned in developing and scaling social enterprises and impact investing institutions, David will inspire you with ways you can get involved in the exciting and quickly growing field of social enterprise and impact investing.


About David:

Prior to starting Impact Business Leaders in the Fall of 2013, David had spent the previous two years as COO of the Bethesda-based Calvert Foundation. Prior to this role David lived in Hyderabad, India for three years where he was the Founder and CEO of the Indian School Finance Company, a for-profit finance company that provides medium term debt capital to private schools serving very low-income families. The still thriving ISFC was one of a string of start-ups David has led over the past 20 years, starting with building a Citibank subsidiary into a full service commercial bank in Lisbon, Portugal from 1990-96; building Citibank’s first global intranet system in the late-1990s from London; establishing a new country organization for Save the Children in Brazil upon leaving Citibank in 2001; and, as COO and Chief Investment Officer, building operations for Acumen Fund in East Africa, India, Pakistan and New York from 2003-07. Prior to  his career in social enterprise, David spent 20 years in the corporate and investment bank of Citibank working successively in Brazil, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, Portugal and the UK. David went to Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut and has an MA in International Relations from the Johns Hopkins University.

About the host:

Impact Business leaders (IBL) is your guide to building an exciting career in social enterprise and impact investing. The program includes a practitioner-led, 7-day workshop on social enterprise, a matching process to currently open job opportunities in social enterprises and impact investors, and personalized career counseling. Get connected to career-advancing, full-time roles at organizations that are tackling pressing global challenges at IBL@Darden 2016 at the University of Virginia from January 3-9, 2016. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis until the cohort is filled - so we encourage you to apply asap.

PS - If you cannot make it but are interested hearing more about IBL’s upcoming program, IBL@Darden in the USA, please email Kim Hendler directly at khendler@impactbusinessleaders.com.



Tags:  capacity development  impact investing  Jobs  presentation  Social Entrepreneurship  talent  Training & Events 

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Join IBL for 11/13 Webinar: How to Align Your Career with Your Values

Posted By Kimberly Hendler, Impact Business Leaders, Friday, October 30, 2015

Join Impact Business Leaders for a special careers webinar:

How to Align Your Career with Your Values: Social Enterprise and Impact Investing

featuring Ross Baird, Executive Director and Founder of Village Capital

November 13, 2015

12:00 p.m. EST

Registration: http://bit.ly/1WgsO1o


Interested in shifting into a career with greater meaning and impact? Wondering if it is possible to leverage your professional experience in a field more aligned with your values? On this webinar, Ross Baird of Village Capital will explain the fields of impact investing and social enterprise, including examples of values-aligned companies he has worked with around the world. Through sharing his own career path and lessons learned in developing and scaling Village Capital, Ross will inspire you with ways you can get involved in the exciting and quickly growing field of social enterprise and impact investing.


About the presenter:

Ross Baird is the Founder and Executive Director of Village Capital is a seed-stage venture firm that has invested in 33 ventures over the past four years in seven countries solving social and environmental problems. Before launching Village Capital, he worked with First Light Ventures, a seed fund focused on impact investments. Prior to First Light, Ross worked on the development of four education-related start-up ventures: the Indian School Finance Company in Hyderabad, India; the National College Advising Corps in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and two ventures using technology to promote civic participation. He has a MPhil from the University of Oxford, where he was a Marshall Scholar, and a BA from the University of Virginia, where he was a Truman Scholar and a Jefferson Scholar. Ross serves as an instructor and a Board Member for Impact Business Leaders.


About the host:

Impact Business leaders (IBL) is your guide to building an exciting career in social enterprise and impact investing. The program includes a practitioner-led, 7-day workshop on social enterprise, a matching process to currently open job opportunities in social enterprises and impact investors, and personalized career counseling. Get connected to career-advancing, full-time roles at organizations that are tackling pressing global challenges at IBL@Darden 2016 at the University of Virginia from January 3-9, 2016. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis until the cohort is filled - so we encourage interested professionals to apply asap.


RSVP for the webinar at http://bit.ly/1WgsO1o

PS - If you cannot make it but are interested hearing more about IBL’s upcoming program, IBL@Darden in the USA, please email Kim Hendler directly at khendler@impactbusinessleaders.com.


Tags:  impact investing  Jobs  leadership  presentation  program  Social Entrepreneurship  talent  Training & Events 

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