Business Finance for the Poor in Bangladesh

Job Title:  Challenge Fund Coordinator
Project: Business Finance for the Poor in Bangladesh (BFP-B)
Contract start date: Immediate Contract end date:  February 2020
Primary supervisor:
Challenge Fund Component Manager
Secondary supervisor: Team Leader
Supervises: None
The Department for International Development (DFID) is the UK Government Department responsible for eradicating poverty in the world’s poorest countries. DFID Bangladesh (DFIDB) manages a comprehensive portfolio reflecting a number of DFID priorities. In line with the UK Government’s overseas development assistance priority agenda of Financial Inclusion and within the Growth and Private Sector Development component, DFIDB has initiated the Business Finance for Poor in Bangladesh (BFP-B) programme. The programme is managed by Nathan Associates London Ltd.
BFP-B is a multi-faceted 5-year programme that will specifically target Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs) that are currently unserved or underserved by the formal financial sector, but may represent credible borrowers with sound business propositions, ideas and activities. The programme will incentivise commercial banks and microfinance institutions (MFIs) to reach out to financially excluded clients using innovative channels, such as agent banking and mobile money (financial services), while foregoing traditional collaterals, such as land and cash. The BFP-B aims to incentivize commercial banks and micro finance institutions to reach out to financially excluded clients using innovative channels- such as mobile phones, while foregoing traditional collateral. It will also provide requisite training and advisory services to MSEs themselves for developing their skills to access finance, and will work with regulators/ policy makers to facilitate a conducive environment for MSE lending.One component of the BFP-B programme is a Challenge Fund which promotes the development of innovative services and products to stimulate increased lending to MSEs, particularly women-owned enterprises. On the demand side the challenge fund will cost-share innovative proposals to provide various kinds of Business Development Services (BDS) relevant for MSEs, such as accounting, new product development, marketing, financial literacy, and business planning services.  On the supply side, a second window of the challenge fund will cost-share innovative proposals on improving the products, channels, and business models of banks and MFIs.The Challenge Fund has to date contracted 36 projects over 4 rounds with an investment value of £13million.
Principal Responsibilities
Under the overall strategic direction of the Team Leader BFP-B and reporting to the Challenge Fund Manager, the Challenge Fund Coordinator is expected to provide knowledge leadership on grantee and partner management while managing the challenge fund’s MFI, insurance and e-commerce portfolio.The Challenge Fund Coordinator’s specific responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
  • Market scanning and keeping abreast of major trends and developments in the MFI, Insurance, ecommerce sub-sectors and identifying/communicating disruptive ideas, models, and players.
  • Ensuring development of theory of change, support calculation, work plan, performance based budgets and means of verification for each deal.
  • Monitor and manage the MFI, Insurance and e commerce portfolio, ensuring assistance when needed and restructure portfolio based on performance of investments.
  • Prepare reports and presentations for investors, donors, investment committee, and the government.
  • Contribute to preparation of knowledge products on the MFI, Insurance and ecommerce especially high impact investment models, and support both above the line and below the line communication efforts.
  • Maintain strong relationship with clients and contribute to developing and maintaining relationship with wider stakeholders in private sector and donor community.
  • Provide knowledge leadership across BFP-B on MFI, Insurance and e-commerce sub-sectors.
TimeframeThe Challenge Fund Coordinator will work full-time in Dhaka until February2020. 
Key Qualifications and Experience Criteria
  • Graduate degree in Economics / Finance / Business Administration / Development Studies / Development Management or any other relevant subject.        
  • At least 5 years’ experience of working in the donor funded projects with clear orientation of intervention management, partner management, with particular focus on product development, Alternate delivery Channel, design of SME products, process, policies and procedures, business targets and sales strategy.
  • Thorough understanding of MFI, Insurance, e commerce and evolving Financial Inclusion landscape of Bangladesh.
  • Ability to provide technical support to partner organisations from MFI sector, Insurance companies and e commerce companies to achieve their project milestones, overcome challenges and showcase best practices.
  • Excellent portfolio management skills, including monitoring of progress, financial management and development of risk assessments.
  • Excellent report-writing and communication skills in English is essential.
  • Willingness to travel to both grantee offices and field to support the project.
  • Language skills: Fluency in English and Bengali.
Interested candidates are requested to send their CV (in prescribed format) with a one page cover letter justifying their competency for this position to: BFP-B Admin and Finance Manager:

Application deadline: 23 May 2019

Applicants should be available for interview in week commencing 26th May

BFP-B offers equal employment opportunity