Program Lead, Youth Financial Inclusion and Investment

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia YES | Your Employment Solutions

We are recruiting. If you are a Program Lead, Youth Financial Inclusion and Investment ready to build something new and increase your impact, read on!


Mastercard Foundation seeks a world where everyone has the opportunity to learn and prosper. Through its Young Africa Works strategy and Canadian EleV program, the Foundation works with partners to ensure that millions of young people, especially young women, access quality education, financial services and dignified work. Mastercard Foundation was established in 2006 through the generosity of Mastercard when it became a public company. The Foundation is independent with its own Board of Directors and CEO.


We have entered a very exciting time at the Foundation as we scale up our operations across Africa to realize our Young Africa Works strategy. Our role at the Mastercard Foundation is to be a catalyst. Our Young Africa Works strategy focuses on working with others to spur systemic change so young people have the opportunity to find work that is dignified and fulfilling.

The Foundation has opened offices in Rwanda, Kenya, Ghana, Senegal, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Uganda, building a broader leadership presence in Africa to develop specific strategies that support youth employment. Within a country, we work with governments, the private sector, educators and other funders to improve the quality of education and vocational training, prepare young people for the work force, expand access to financial services for entrepreneurs and small businesses, and connect job seekers to dignified and fulfilling work.

We are ambitious and driven. Our values transcend and rise above everything else as our guide. We encourage you to bring your bold ideas, curiosity, and expertise to your work. We laugh at ourselves and with each other. We are a team. Our journey together makes our impact even more meaningful.


Reporting to the Country Head, the Program Lead, Youth Financial Inclusion and Investment will work collaboratively with other Foundation staff such as country team members; Design & Learning, Impact and Finance team members as well as other Program Leads and Partners (e.g. gender; youth engagement; digital economies, education finance, MSME growth).

She/he will provide expertise to help identify constraints that prevent young people from access to markets, finance and capital. She/he will support the development and design of financial inclusion and investment opportunities for young people, startups and MSMEs. This requires strong internal working efforts with the Program Leads for MSME, Agriculture, Technology, Education/ Skills in Ethiopia and experts from across the Foundation. She/he will drive alignment of youth financial inclusion programming with nationally identified priorities and the Foundation’s country strategy. This role will shape significant components of the Foundation’s country programming portfolio in collaboration with local partners.

The Program Lead will support the Foundation in developing perspectives regarding financial inclusion and access to capital and markets and approaches in Africa that can contribute to the Foundation’s thought leadership globally.


Program portfolio design and innovation:

  • Identify issues and trends that affect access to finance, capital and markets that young Ethiopian people face in their efforts to develop careers in MSMEs and as job-creating entrepreneurs.
  • Leverage expertise to review proposals, shape diagnostics and the Foundation’s strategic priorities and desired outcomes in Ethiopia.
  • Provide financial inclusion and investment opportunities development expertise to support design and management of programs in Ethiopia and other priority countries as required, proactively pursuing opportunities for program integration and innovation.
  • Oversee iterations and review of strategic outcomes, programs, and interventions within the youth financial inclusion and investment domain.
  • Support the design and delivery of appropriate mechanisms to monitor effectiveness and impact of financial inclusion and investment interventions in consultation with colleagues in Impact team.

Program and impact delivery:

  • Support and/or manage current or future programs as appropriate, which may include, reviewing narrative and financial reporting, undertaking regular partner/site visits and providing technical support to partners as needed.
  • Identify collaboration opportunities and facilitate implementing partner coordination as needed to achieve shared outcomes.
  • Track program progress and collaborate with colleagues in Impact and Design & Learning teams to collect / validate data and distill learnings for the country teams as well as wider Foundation staff.
  • Raising programmatic issues to Country Program Lead and Country Head as they arise and leveraging Foundation resources to resolve.

Stakeholder engagement:

  • Identify and engage with potential financial sector actors for country-based programming and support the development of program proposals that leads to providing opportunities for young people and their MSMEs access to finance, capital and other appropriate financial products. 
  • Build and maintain relationships with the private sector, particularly focusing on financial institutions, partner organizations, government representatives and other key stakeholders at the country-level, communities of practice and global stakeholders.

Who You are:

  • Graduate degree, preferably in MBA and Economics
  • Minimum 5-7 years of relevant experience leading program interventions with partner organizations/grantees; financial sector and investment experience is desirable.
  • Strong understanding of key issues, challenges and trends in financial inclusion in SubSaharan Africa and particularly in Ethiopia.
  • Knowledge of, and experience designing and implementing, best practices in financial inclusion, investment and MSME access to finance and financial services.
  • Experience working within or on the periphery of the financial sector and having both microfinance and commercial banking experience is preferred
  • Experience working with financial technology companies, and an understanding of how these actors can integrate solutions and business lines with MFIs and Commercial banks
  • A strong understanding of the current and evolving policy and regulatory landscape of Ethiopia's financial sector; understands the National Bank of Ethiopia
  • Experience developing out retail financial products and services across sectors- agri, services, manufacturing, retail; sizes- MSME; demographics, age, gender
  • Has worked with financial instruments such as guarantees, equity investments, debt structuring, etc.
  • Has worked with development finance institutions- local and international- and broader philanthropic/donor actors and understands how they act as promoters of private sector impact especially within the financial sector
  • Strong partnership management capabilities and an ability to be agile in a range of situations/contexts. Someone that adds value to the conversation whether they be speaking with corporate in financial institution, venture capital investors, or implementing development partners.
  • Strong ethics and understanding of conflict of interest, competition and safeguarding within the private sector
  • Demonstrated ability to lead diagnostic and analytic work as well as project design, partner identification and implementation.
  • Excellent project management skills, including multi-stakeholder projects with senior levels of government and the private sector.
  • Experience working with or in partnership with non-profit, private or public sectors, particularly in a role relating to financial inclusion, access to capital and markets in Africa.
  • Knowledge of financial inclusion aligned with one or more growth sectors (e.g. agri-food systems, hospitality, manufacturing, construction, creative industries) would be an asset.
  • Knowledge of skills and MSME development and financing approaches is highly required
  • Knowledge of the access to finance, capital and market issues surrounding vulnerable groups (e.g. young women, refugee or displaced youth, youth with disabilities etc.) would be an asset.
  • Experience in working for top consulting firms and financial service providers is advantageous • Strong analytical, problem solving, prioritization and time management skills
  • Demonstrated written, presentation and spoken communication skills in Amharic and English is required.
  • Strong interpersonal skills with the ability to be flexible and adaptable and comfortable with ambiguity.
  • Is willing to be the last one to talk in a room and facilitates inclusive discussion
  • Proactive, engaged and a self-starter. Ability to work both independently and as part of a team.
  • Good organizational skills and demonstrated ability to handle multiple tasks.
  • Flexible, adaptable, and able to execute a range of job duties and changing priorities.
  • Possess excellent verbal, written, and presentation skills with the ability to articulate information to a variety of constituents across cultures.
  • Possess professional maturity, sensitivity with different cultures, and impeccable integrity that exemplify the Foundation’s values.
  • Is willing to travel up to 30 - 40%.

The Mastercard Foundation values the unique skills and experiences each individual brings to the organization and we are committed to creating and maintaining an inclusive and accessible environment for everyone. Completion of satisfactory business references and background checks are essential conditions of employment.

Interested applicants can apply by sending their CVs to with subject title Program Lead, Youth Financial Inclusion and Investment before April 7th, 2020.

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