Lead Entrepreneur, East Africa
Starting July 8, 2019 | Part Time | Based in Kenya
Applications are due July 1 , 2019
Participant develops high quality, affordable assistive products, like wheelchairs, so that people with disabilities can participate more in society. We are a commercial company, registered as a Benefit Corporation. We are a seed stage startup that functions as a virtual team. Currently, our team is four full time workers who live in the USA, Canada, and Argentina.
We plan to release our first wheelchair Product1 (see demo video here) in November 2019. In 2020 we will release two additional wheelchairs. We design our products for localization. As demand builds, we can easily shift production to the local market to improve access and create jobs for people with disabilities.
Several large global organizations have joined to form atscale2030.org. This initiative has chosen Kenya as the first major location for activities, which focus on improving access to wheelchairs and hearing aids. One initiative is the innovationchallenge.fund, which currently has applications open for an accelerator in Nairobi. Applications are due July 15, 2019.
Participant already has interested customers in Kenya and we expect to develop a significant business there by selling to government, NGOs, and local providers. The accelerator presents a good opportunity to co-create the business with an energetic local entrepreneur who can learn local market needs and develop partnerships with other groups. For the entrepreneur, the accelerator activities are an excellent networking, professional development, and educational opportunity.
At this time Participant is exploring the scope of our Kenya activities and an excellent Entrepreneur is needed to move forward rapidly.
Local Operations and Joint Venture Framework:
As a manufacturer, Participant will design, manufacture, and ship products (fully assembled or unassembled parts) to Kenya, as needed to satisfy demand. The Kenya venture will be a joint partnership between Participant and local parties, who may be the Kenyan entrepreneur or an organization. Participant will support the Entrepreneur with product promotion materials, advertising budget and materials, customer leads, leadership development, finance and accounting, logistics, travel to HQ in Colombia, and advice on the management of the Kenyan operation.
Participant will collaborate with the Entrepreneur on the application to the accelerator. The Entrepreneur will represent Participant at all accelerator activities and the Entrepreneur will need to be articulate on all aspects of Participant’s mission, products, and business. Participant will compensate the Entrepreneur with a modest per hour rate for the application period. If accepted, Participant will sponsor the Entrepreneur with a modest salary for the period of the accelerator. During the accelerator, Participant will visit multiple times to collaborate on the development of the business plan and for local feedback on Product1. If the business outlook is favorable after the accelerator, Participant will hire the Entrepreneur and launch the enterprise.
This role is likely to be very difficult and requires a passionate, resilient person who can be trusted to carry important responsibilities. It has potential to be impactful for many people with disabilities in East Africa. The role includes opportunity for international travel, significant compensation, and ownership in our company.
Activities of the Local Operation:
Marketing and sales of wheelchairs and other products - develop relationships with customers, promote the Participant brand and products, and support Participant with information about local customer needs.
Product support - demonstrate products and train on the provision and use of products.
Build an efficient supply chain - manage importation of products and gradually, responding to local demand, increase the local value added by sourcing local upholstery manufacture, assembly, and refurbishing.
Demonstrated effectiveness as an entrepreneur in building a commercial enterprise
Experience in quality management of a physical product with either a local or import supply chain
Successful track record for product sales and a high level of customer satisfaction
Intimate knowledge of assistive technology as an AT provider or user or caregiver
Experience using the 8 Steps of wheelchair provision (optional)
Resilience, hustle, determination, and willingness to work extremely hard and overcome obstacles
Ability to make and execute a plan based on an evaluation of the commercial landscape and stakeholders
Excellent communication (speaking and writing) using web technology, face to face, and as a public speaker
Basic knowledge of business administration and marketing
Ability to use the google suite and cloud based software (must have internet access)
Ability to work independently, build relationships, and work effectively with a remote team
Tenacity and ability rebound and solve problems with creativity and teamwork
Participant’s People Profile:
The right people doing great teamwork can produce excellent results that cause transforming impact for our users. We look for people with these characteristics:
Purpose-driven: passion and drive to make a real impact with our social mission agenda
Empathy: deep understanding and shared feelings with our product users, customers, teammates, and other stakeholders.
Mastery: continuously learn and develop to remain an expert in your functional area
Autonomy: courage to make choices and take ownership
CreAction: creativity that moves to smart action and results. This flows from a curious nature and interest to collaborate with a variety of personalities and stakeholders.
User Focus: a humble and data based mindset centered on our product users that follows the build - measure - learn cycle for continuous improvement of products and team
Fun: we strive to create a fun, relaxed work environment that encourages meaningful interactions, collaborative approaches and creates a cohesive team.
Participant is an equal opportunity employer. It prohibits discrimination based on age, color, disability, marital or parental status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status or any other legally protected status in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws. We believe this is the right thing to do, and we do it whether or not the local laws require it.
We prefer to hire people with disabilities.
To apply email your cover letter and resume in one .pdf to firstname.lastname@example.org
Please include a 2 minute selfie video answering the question: Why should we pick you for this role?