Full-Time

Social Impact

Movemeback African oppportunity location
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo

BrightLife - Business / Country Expansion Consultant Movemeback African opportunity cover image

Description

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is home to over 85 million people, of whom 80% live without household electricity. In widespread recognition of the abundance of solar resources to meet the country’s unmet energy demands, various donors along with the local government have prioritized supporting the uptake of solar energy over the coming years.

 

With a mission to alleviate poverty through lasting solutions that help people build assets, create jobs, and raise their standard of living, FINCA International (FI) first launched in DRC in 2003 by establishing FINCA DRC to serve the country’s vast unbanked population. FI is now seeking to incorporate and undertake the business launch of its distributed renewable energy company, FINCA Plus LLC (doing business as BrightLife) in DRC to increase access to affordable energy to low-income households.


The consultant will develop a comprehensive and detailed business plan and lead the following three distinct task areas:

  • The successful incorporation of FINCA Plus, LLC in DRC, including a 5-year business plan to identify regions of launch, products offering, staffing and customer engagement strategies, etc.
  • Launch of a pilot project to stress-test and verify business planning assumptions, test customer uptake, and make business planning revisions, if necessary
  • Development of a successful technical proposal for submission to leading solar energy funder(s) by a specified deadline

Each activity will be market and demand-driven, tailored to local needs and conditions, putting BrightLife on a track to
become profitable over a defined period of time.

 

Activities & Key Deliverables
The consulting activities will include three distinct tasks, detailed below, and will culminate in the presentation of a detailed narrative, supported by market data, with proposed intervention models, action plans, basic financial projections and risk assessments. The analysis should be comprehensive, but with a special section focused on how to engage and sell SHS to households and small enterprises.

 

Task Area 1: Incorporation of BrightLife in DRC

  • Conduct a market and risk assessments of communities where BrightLife would operate, develop a detailed multi-year business plan and budget for market entry and expansion, set up a legal structure, and document importation requirements/fees of identified SHS/clean cookstove product partners.
  • With the support of FINCA’s legal team and administrative counterparts, lead efforts to locally register FINCA Plus LLC in-country
  • Developing a business partnership with FINCA DRC and identifying additional local partners for outreach
  • Identifying key staff and board members (to be named in the funding application)

Task Area 2: Design and Manage Pilot Project

  • Trial of 100 SHS sales in pre-selected communities
  • Setting up skeleton support systems for sales and after-sales
  • Establishing a sales agent network
  • Building a core team for the pilot

Task Area 3: Proposal Development

  • Learning trips to Uganda to understand BrightLife’s business model and expansion plan (and what can be repurposed as part of the business plan/budget in the funding application)
  • Interacting with the key donors and stakeholders
  • Lead author of the funding application, especially the business plan and budget sections
  • Leading due diligence if BrightLife is selected for an award
  • Pre-bid trip from FI team for oversight of consultant’s work and to meet with partners

Criteria

Qualifications

  • Bachelor of Science in renewable energy engineering, supply chain management, business administration, international development or related field
  • At least 2 years of work experience, with preference for applicants with prior experience in design of and/or administration of renewable energy company programs, especially focused on rural distribution to low-income hh;
  • Ideal candidate also has skills in business planning and entrepreneurship, strong writing, and analytical skills.
  • Proven experience in researching, formulating, and implementing new initiatives in developing countries or other challenging environments; financial planning experience a plus
  • Experience in SSA, preferably DRC
  • Computer Skills - Microsoft Office

Competencies

  • Innovation: Displays original thinking and creativity; Meets challenges with resourcefulness; Generates suggestions for achieving results; Develops innovative approaches and ideas; Presents ideas and information in a manner that gets others' attention
  • Strategic Thinking & Communication: Develops strategies to achieve organizational goals; Understands organization's strengths & weaknesses; Analyzes market and competition; Identifies external threats and opportunities; Exceptional ability in communication, networking and negotiation
  • Project Management: Develops project plans; Coordinates projects; Communicates changes and progress; Completes projects on time and budget; Experience working with NEFCO, USAID Power Africa, or other key solar-sector donor a plus
  • Problem Solving: Identifies and resolves problems in a timely manner; Gathers and analyzes information skillfully; Develops alternative solutions; Works well in group problem solving situations; Uses reason even when dealing with emotional topics
  • Adaptability: Adapts to changes in the work environment and successfully works in different cultural settings and with a variety of stakeholders; Manages competing demands; Changes approach or method to best fit the situation; Able to deal with frequent change, delays, or unexpected events

Benefits

  • Globally competitive salary

About BrightLife

BrightLife, a FINCA International company is a social enterprise which combines innovative financing, community networks and the highest quality clean energy brands to improve lives of people at the Bottom of the Pyramid (BOP) and unlock the productive potential of Ugandans. Our product line includes a growing range of solar home systems, entry-level solar lights, solar appliances, and clean cookstoves which can be purchased in pay-as-you-go instalments, and are sold through a network of direct sales agents, community networks, and strategically selected distribution partners. More than 100,000 Ugandans have already utilized BrightLife’s unique distribution and financing model to better their lives. BrightLife’s Pay-As-You-Go solar distribution model gives out affordable loans to customers who previously had no access to energy.

 

BrightLife is uniquely linked to the FINCA International family of social enterprises, which includes 20 financial institutions across four world regions and more than 30 years of experience in reaching underserved communities and individuals. FINCA’s financial service operations in Africa span DR Congo, Malawi, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia.