Energy 4 Impact SME Advisor (Moving Energy Initiative) Job in Nairobi, Kenya

Job title: SME Advisor – Moving Energy Initiative
Reports to: Programme Manager – Moving Energy Initiative
Based in: Nairobi, Kenya

Energy 4 Impact: Energy 4 Impact supports businesses that provide energy access to off-grid communities in Africa. We believe that businesses can offer the best solutions to energy poverty. 

We help them access capital, technology and operational advice so they can become profitable and sustainable. Expanding clean energy markets improves livelihoods and accelerates economic growth.


We deliver demand-driven, practical, and customised support to SMEs, project developers, social enterprises, and micro-enterprises that provide renewable energy services to off-grid communities through high-quality business, financial and technical mentoring and advice. 

Our team of 90 people includes primarily locally based professionals who are supported by a small head office in London.

The organization is comprised of:
  • Country Teams in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Senegal. These teams provide business and technical skills training and mentorship to micro-enterprises that deliver “last-mile” energy services, and support them to access finance from MFIs, SACCOs and local banks.
  • Advisory Services team in Nairobi that provides consulting and advisory to SMEs, project developers and social enterprises, and supports them to secure corporate/project financing.
  • Administrative and support staff based in our London HQ and Nairobi regional head office.
Energy 4 Impact (E4I) is funded by major development agencies e.g Sida (Sweden), DfID (UK), World Bank, USAID, Barclays, OFID, and EU.
Since our founding in 2006, we have leveraged $55+ million of grant funding to support more than 3,000 businesses.

The Moving Energy Initiative: The Moving Energy Initiative (MEI) is a collaboration between Energy 4 Impact, Chatham House, Practical Action Consulting, the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the UK Department for International Development (DFID).

The initiative seeks to identify how innovation in policy and practice within the humanitarian sector can improve access to sustainable energy among displaced populations and camp operators. 

Funded by the UK’s Department of International Development (DFID), the initiative will develop, research and test appropriate sustainable energy solutions, coupled with innovative delivery models, for heating, cooking, lighting, water & sanitation, communication or other purposes. 
The results from the research are expected to inform and influence the sustainable energy policies, priorities and operations of donors, host governments, national and international organisations in the humanitarian sector. 
The programme is also expected to increase and improve private sector engagement in the provision of appropriate, market-tested and evaluated energy products and services.

The second phase of the programme, which started in June 2016 and runs for 18 months, will implement a series of initiatives aimed at addressing identified bottlenecks and demonstrating new approaches on the ground. 

These initiatives are split into 8 nested work streams that combine a mix of global and local interventions led by the consortium partners which include improving camp level energy management systems, implementing low carbon projects and developing market based solutions in locations in Kenya, Burkina Faso and Jordan. 
The programme aims to build the evidence base and case for change for humanitarian systems to improve the provision and management of energy services to displaced people.

The Role: This role will sit within the Advisory Services Team to provide support to the Moving Energy Initiative. 

The role will work with clients from the private sector and humanitarian field to develop appropriate and sustainable solutions to improve access to energy products and services for displaced populations.
In addition the advisor will work with camp operators to design guidelines and interventions to improve their management of energy for operational purposes. 

The role will primarily work with clients in Kenya but may also provide remote support to programme partners operating in Jordan and Burkina Faso. 

The clients will include businesses providing energy products and solutions such as small-scale assets for power generation and distribution, non-wood based fuels, solar home systems and solar charging services. 
The role will also work to establish financial mechanisms to provide long term and sustainable funding to future interventions in the sector supporting energy access in displaced contexts. 
In addition to the private sector, the advisor will engage with a range of stakeholders including humanitarian organizations, local government, donors and displaced people to implement appropriate solutions, demonstrate new approaches on the ground and generate evidence that will create a paradigm shift in the way energy services are provided. 

Responsibilities for the role include;

  • Working with humanitarian organisations and the private sector to develop a pipeline of projects that could sustainably address current energy needs in humanitarian settings. Working with project developers to refine the technical and financial scope of their proposals.
  • Leading the design of funding mechanisms for energy projects in humanitarian settings based on consultations between potential donors and project developers. Managing the design of the fund structure, institutional arrangements, evaluation criteria, project specifications etc.
  • Conducting feasibility into activities to create a viable market opportunity for non-wood based fuels in camp settings including consultation with private sector actors to design the required support mechanisms for the market. Designing a private sector support packaged based on these consultations.
  • Developing procurement processes and contracts that could be used for tendering energy infrastructure contracts in a refugee camp setting. Managing the tendering process if the contracts go ahead.
  • Coordinating the review and evaluation of project proposals and preparing the necessary documentation for disbursement of small grant awards.
  • Monitoring and evaluation of grants that have been awarded to project developers for low carbon energy projects and market development activities. Provision of technical assistance during the implementation of the projects.
  • Supporting the design and implementation of market based interventions under the programme including proposed activities and partners for implementation.  Inputting into project documents, work plans and budgets.
  • Supporting the design of tools for use by humanitarian actors to improve energy data management and camp level planning of energy interventions.
  • Inputting into programme reports to communicate activities with partners and donors and toolkits disseminating findings from the programme.
  • Managing relationships and communication between MEI and the private sector to ensure their effective involvement and input throughout the programme.
  • Supporting monitoring and evaluation activities across the programme to ensure data and evidence on programme interventions are accurately captured.
  • Support in other programme management and operational activities as required.
  • 5+ years’ experience in energy project development, operations, or financing; or experience in early-stage entrepreneurship,
  • (and/or)
  • 5+ years’ experience in management or strategic consulting or financial advisory;
  • Experience working in the energy sector in East Africa with a strong focus on private sector engagement and development;
  • Understanding of energy technologies for cooking and lighting and power generation applications;
  • Experience in project management, management of small scale grants and monitoring and evaluation of projects;
  • Experience working with rural and off-grid business models and technologies, and an understanding of the unique challenges faced by businesses operating in Africa;
  • Experience in procurement and contracting for energy projects and services is a plus.
  • Good team building and motivational skills with an ability to work with a diverse mix of professionals and deliver;
  • Very strong communication skills, both oral and written. Ability to interact with a range of stakeholders at the private sector, NGOs and community level;
  • Ability to see the big picture and connect the dots;
  • A can-do and collaborative mindset – comfortable with the ambiguities and demands of a rapidly evolving and entrepreneurial environment with a team from diverse backgrounds;
  • Strong organizational skills with the ability to put frameworks and structures in place for effective implementation and monitoring of projects;
  • Passionate about working in the impact space.
How to Apply
To apply, please send your CV, along with a cover letter outlining your experience and suitability for this position to 
Please use ‘Application for SME Advisor – Moving Energy Initiative’ followed by your full name in the email subject line.
Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. 
The deadline for this position is midnight on 25th September 2016.

GVEP International is an Equal Opportunity Employer and encourages applications from qualified individuals regardless of race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation or disability.

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