Venture Building Project Manager (Jobtech for Refugees) NGO Careers at Mercy Corps

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About Mercy Corps

Mercy Corps is a global humanitarian organization working in over 40 countries at the front lines of today’s biggest crises. Mercy Corps has built a reputation for innovative economic development programming, particularly working with start-ups, and hosts a venture capital arm called Mercy Corps Ventures. Its youth employment work places a focus on jobtech (read more here), which it has worked with jobtech for over a decade – investing, supporting product innovation, and conducting research on the opportunities for the sector. In late 2021, Mercy Corps launched the Jobtech Alliance, an ecosystem-building initiative around inclusive jobtech in Africa.

Complementing emerging work that we’ll be doing across 10 countries in Africa, we’ve just secured funding focused on product/operational innovations with start-ups in Uganda to increase job access for refugees. The program will deploy a range of supports to start-ups including technical assistance, project delivery support, grant capital and connections to partners, and complement it with support to refugees to access these new opportunities.

The Position

We are recruiting a Venture Building Project Manager responsible for overall operational management of the Jobtech for Refugees project in Uganda. S/he will be responsible for end-to-end engagement with jobtech start-ups and contributing to overall Jobtech Alliance strategy led by the Kenya-based Jobtech Director. The Venture Building Project Manager will be responsible for developing a pipeline of exciting jobtech platforms with potential for employment outcomes with refugees, working with them to develop concepts for Mercy Corps’ interventions, managing selection and onboarding, and managing support packages to both start-ups and refugee groups to realise results. S/he will be well-equipped to interact with corporates and bigger start-ups, and will bring a strong network.

Key Responsibilities


  • Responsible for day-to-day management of the Jobtech for Refugees project in Uganda. Develop timelines, targets, manage a small team (two other fulltime staff)
  • Manage day-to-day budget and spend, in coordination with the Jobtech Alliance Director.
  • Coordinate with our partners responsible for technical assistance with start-ups, BFA Global.
  • Provide written progress reports in line with donor requirements.


  • Conduct market research to guide start-up outreach and investment strategies.
  • Map, develop and maintain relationships with relevant external stakeholders to widen pipeline, including accelerators and start-up networks.
  • Develop a pipeline of exciting jobtech start-ups across multiple African markets with the potential to achieve greater scale, impact, and/or inclusivity.
  • Work with pipeline start-ups to identify potential concepts for partnership, collaboratively deciding on packages of support (and required support to refugee-led organizations to enhance engagement with jobtech platforms).
  • Lead due diligence up to review by the Selection Committee, and oversee the contracting and onboarding of selected start-ups.


  • Manage engagements with partner start-ups, coordinating external technical assistance providers, deployment of finance, and connections to other project partners.
  • Monitor performance of portfolio, continuing to adapt interventions to maximise impact. Feed back into overarching program strategy.
  • Manage partner milestone reporting, fund disbursement from Mercy Corps, and monitoring requirements.
  • Feedback learnings to the wider Jobtech Alliance team based in Kenya and Nigeria


  • Continue to adapt tools and strategies to achieve greater impact with refugee populations
  • As required, design support for refugees seeking to gain access to jobtech platforms, and coordinate through team for rollout through refugee-led organizations


  • We operate as a ‘do-tank’, ensuring that learnings from this emerging sector are shared back to the community. Document lessons learned, write up experiences from portfolio start-ups for the Jobtech Alliance blog, host webinars for the Jobtech Alliance, or more.

Supervisory Responsibility

3 team members (Private Sector Engagement Coordinator, Community Engagement and Training Officer, MEL Officer)


Reports Directly To: Director / Jobtech Alliance

Works Directly With: Director of Programs, Start-ups, External partners, Research and MEL Director, Finance and Operations Teams, Human Resources

Accountability to Participants and Stakeholders

Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our program participants, community partners, other stakeholders, and to international standards guiding international relief and development work. We are committed to actively engaging communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.

Minimum Qualification & Transferable Skills

  • Minimum Qualification. Transferable Skills and person specifications

    • Minimum of 6 years experience working with start-ups, Venture Capitals, accelerators or other start-up ecosystem actors. This could involve working on business strategy, market research, product, operations, or investment. We welcome diversity of experience.
    • Through-the-roof EQ, with excellent communication skills (written and verbal), and a collaborative approach to working with others. Experience in senior management teams, and working with senior leaders in the start-ups space.
    • A history of excellence in achieving results and self-management.
    • At least 2 years experience in project management roles
    • Outstanding analytical capacity, with capacity to bring clarity for others and make quick decisions.
    • Experience working in or with jobtech platforms is a strong plus.
    • Other pluses include experience working with refugees or MBA/equivalent
    • It’s a national position, only nationals are eligible to apply

Success Factors

You are an entrepreneurial self-manager, who is passionate about start-ups and employment impact. You have through-the-roof EQ, with an ability to build new relationships and manage existing ones effectively. You have outstanding analytical capacity, and can quickly see both business as well as impact opportunities. You love getting your hands dirty.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

Based in Kampala, Uganda.

Ongoing Learning

In support of our belief that learning organizations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities we serve, we empower all team members to dedicate 5% of their time to learning activities that further their personal and/or professional growth and development

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Achieving our mission begins with how we build our team and work together. Through our commitment to enriching our organization with people of different origins, beliefs, backgrounds, and ways of thinking, we are better able to leverage the collective power of our teams and solve the world’s most complex challenges. We strive for a culture of trust and respect, where everyone contributes their perspectives and authentic selves, reaches their potential as individuals and teams, and collaborates to do the best work of their lives.

We recognize that diversity and inclusion is a journey, and we are committed to learning, listening and evolving to become more diverse, equitable and inclusive than we are today.

Equal Employment Opportunity

Mercy Corps is an equal opportunity employer that does not tolerate discrimination on any basis. We actively seek out diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be collectively stronger and have sustained global impact.

We are committed to providing an environment of respect and psychological safety where equal employment opportunities are available to all. We do not engage in or tolerate discrimination on the basis of race, color, gender identity, gender expression, religion, age, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, disability (including HIV/AIDS status), marital status, military veteran status or any other protected group in the locations where we work.

Safeguarding & Ethics

Mercy Corps is committed to ensuring that all individuals we come into contact with through our work, whether team members, community members, program participants or others, are treated with respect and dignity. We are committed to the core principles regarding prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse laid out by the UN Secretary General and IASC and have signed on to the Interagency Misconduct Disclosure Scheme. We will not tolerate child abuse, sexual exploitation, abuse, or harassment by or of our team members. As part of our commitment to a safe and inclusive work environment, team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner, respect local laws and customs, and to adhere to Mercy Corps Code of Conduct Policies and values at all times. Team members are required to complete mandatory Code of Conduct e-learning courses upon hire and on an annual basis.

Closing date for receiving applications: July 11, 2022

Click Here to Apply

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