We are hiring a Country Manager!
Founded in 2014, Kidogo is a rapidly growing non-profit social enterprise with a mission to unlock the potential of young children in East Africa’s low-income communities through quality, affordable, early childhood care & education.
The science is clear: 90% of brain development takes place in the first 5 years of life, with the most critical gains seen in the first thousand days of life. And yet, the majority of young children in the earliest years (0-3 years old) are left in undesirable conditions, particularly in urban informal settlements (slums), when mothers need to work. This leads to children entering school with poor developmental outcomes (health, cognitive, socio-emotional) and being locked in the poverty cycle.
Kidogo exists to ensure young children, regardless of where they are born, are able to reach their full potential. We translate global research & best practices into fun and engaging activities for babies and toddlers that can be implemented at scale in community childcare settings.
Using an innovative social-franchising model, we equip women (“Mamapreneurs”) with the knowledge, skills and tools to start or grow thriving childcare micro-businesses serving their local community. Kidogo is currently the leading childcare network in Kenya, with over 150 childcare centres directly transforming the lives of over 4,000 young children in 13 communities in 3 counties. We are currently testing a partnerships model, where we extend the franchise model in collaboration with actors such as employers or local government.
The Kidogo Family is a fun, passionate, driven group of over 50 young (and young at heart) professionals who are reinventing the childcare system to unlock the potential of young children. As a rapidly growing organization, we have been doubling our reach every year. But as we look to the future, we have ambitions to scale much larger, both within Kenya, and across East Africa and to reach 100,000+ children with high quality early care & education!
About the Role: The Country Manager is a newly created role that will help shape our operational model to deliver our impact in a lean way that will allow us to scale exponentially. You will be responsible for building systems and culture to drive scale, ensure we create and flawlessly execute plans and continue to grow Kidogo across Kenya and into new markets.
You will report directly to and work in close partnership with our CEO and Founder who leads overall strategy, fundraising and global partnerships. In charge of all Kenya operations, you will manage and support the Management Team in Kenya including Programs, Finance & Admin, and M&E with overall accountability for achieving ambitious goals in Kenya.
Success in your role will mean building a roadmap to scale, translating the vision into action-oriented workplans, and ensuring strong execution across the board. If you’re a passionate, driven leader looking for a new adventure, and to create extraordinary impact in the lives of children & families this is the perfect opportunity for you!
Your responsibilities will include
Lead Strategic Planning efforts and Manage our growth
- Contribute to annual and long-term strategic planning efforts
- Identifying & driving key strategic and operational adaptations to our operating model to match and enable our ambitious growth plans
- Provide thought partnership to the CEO & board around strategic decisions, partnerships, operations etc.
- Contribute to East Africa expansion plans & strategies for the future
Build the Systems and Culture necessary to make the strategic vision come to life operationally
- Spearhead an intentional experimentation and prototyping culture in line with our 2021 theme “Intentional Learning at Scale”. This includes overseeing the creation of prototypes, setting the intention and goals for each and tracking progress and learning with the teams.
- Build and maintain systems and processes to support our franchising model including rapid quality improvement, training & mentoring, and quality assurance at scale
- Shaping team’s routines, norms and culture to enable significant growth and scale, e.g. communication, decision making, etc.
Overseeing all Kenya operations
- Ensuring creation and tracking of departmental workplans and budgets
- Working closely with all departments and teams, supporting them in working towards meeting their goal
- Strengthening organizational controls & communication to ensure efficiency & effectiveness
- Closely supporting the Partnerships team to solidify and execute on childcare collaborations with partners (e.g. government, employers, etc)
Coaching and developing the management team & organization as a whole
- Help build the capacity of the Management Team by providing coaching, regular feedback, and rigorous performance management
- Support professional development through organizing team training / offsites, mentoring high-potential talent, and creating a pipeline of future leaders
- Bring your own skills and experience to bear, particularly in regards to articulating what it takes to scale a service organization such as this one
Who we are looking for
- You are passionate about creating social impact
- You have been involved in designing or refining an efficient operational model for scale
- You have at least 5 years of experience in senior management positions and have been involved in organizations at the tipping point of scaling
- You have considerable experience working with low-income communities in Kenya, preferably in the urban informal settlements
- You have previous experience managing a dynamic team, with a track record of helping people achieve ambitious goals
- You have strong financial acumen to ensure effective resource allocation and efficiency including budgeting, negotiating with suppliers, and financial management
- You have strong past results in creating and implementing processes, ability to influence adoption in the team and iterating based on what you’re learning
- Preferably, you have some previous experience leading prototyping, lean testing, human centered design type work to drive learning (or are excited to learn these techniques)
- You keep yourself organized, yet lift your head up to think strategically on the regular
- You are excited to roll up your sleeves and spend some time where the magic happens: theKidogocentres in the heart of urban informal settlements
- You are a leader with a passion for transforming bold ideas into actionable strategies and relish the challenge of applying a range of approaches to answer complex questions
- You can draw upon your network of social impact organizations and professionals to support Kidogo’s mission & vision
You will fit in the well with the Kidogo Family, if you are:
- A natural leader: You inspire your teammates to stretch themselves, to challenge their assumptions and to constantly improve through direct mentorship, as well as serving as an example.
- You create a sense of mutual accountability, inspire action and follow up effectively to ensure momentum.
- Fiercely compassionate: You exercise empathy and treat all people with respect and dignity. You combine the urgency of getting things done while appreciating the complexities of working in urban informal settlements.
- Visualize path to goal: You are extremely strategic. You understand how decisions get made, you can take in multiple inputs simultaneously, make decisions with imperfect information and chart a path forward for your team. You stay focused on the most important things not getting lost in the noise.
- Adaptable / Agile: You have a willingness to learn and adapt. You are comfortable revisiting and refining aspects of a program and iterate based on lessons learned during the development lifecycle.
- Intra-preneurial: You see solutions, not challenges. You have a gritty, experimental spirit and actively find opportunities to reach our goals in more effective ways by exercising creative resourcefulness.
- Do-er: You are efficient, organized and use your time effectively. You have the ability to juggle many projects of varying urgency and importance at the same time and can prioritize effectively. You seamlessly balance both urgent short-term tasks with larger long-term projects.
- Wear multiple hats: You are able to see problems from different perspectives and can balance competing demands (i.e., sustainability and quality). You are also comfortable juggling detailed tasks one minute and larger strategic questions the next.
Why work with us?
- Opportunity to make a meaningful difference in the lives of children, their families and communities: We work in an untapped and niche market, pioneering a unique solution in early childhood care & education.
- A place for your ambition! We’ve been doubling our reach every year and are one of the fastest growing childcare networks in the world. You will play a transformative leadership role in a young organization at an inflection point reach its lofty goals
- We provide a lot of autonomy, take decisions fast and spearhead an open-door policy
- Kidogo is part of exciting international networks and platforms – a great opportunity for exposure and personal and professional growth
- Be part of a fun, friendly and energetic young team – a start-up at our core of our culture that is able to adapt and evolve
The role is based in Nairobi (office in Kilimani), with occasional travel to our expansion counties (Mombasa, Kisumu).
Ideal start date is March 2021.
We will agree on a six-month probation period with mutually agreed upon performance and learning objectives.
Want to apply?
Read this guide with tips on our selection process: http://bit.ly/CandidatesGuide
Apply by filling out the application survey under this link: https://bit.ly/KidogoCountryDirector
The selection process will include a personality test, a case study, interviews, visits to Kidogo centers and reference checks.
It will be carried out in collaboration with Edge Performance, our HR partner based in Nairobi.
All official communication regarding the role will come from email addresses in the domains kidogo.co and edgeperformance.co.ke