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6 Nov 2019

Program Partner, MSME (Tourism) at Mastercard Foundation

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Mastercard Foundation is a global foundation based in Toronto, Canada. Our programs promote financial inclusion and advance youth learning in Africa. The Foundation was established in 2006 through the generosity of Mastercard when it became a public company. From inception, the Foundation was designed to be a separate entity and independent from Mastercard. Our policies, operations and funding decisions are made by our President and Board of Directors.

The Foundation believes that youth employment is key to unlocking prosperity, both for youth and their societies. Enabling young women and men from disadvantaged communities to secure dignified and fulfilling work will ensure inclusive development and economic growth in Africa.

Values are timeless, they transcend and rise above all. They guide everything we do, as employees of the Foundation.  We share a common vision of a world where everyone has the opportunity to learn and prosper. We make mistakes, we reflect, and we grow so that we can impact our world – it’s why we are here. We are ambitious and driven. We encourage you to bring your bold ideas, curiosity, and expertise to your work. We laugh at ourselves and with each other. We are a team. Our journey together makes our impact even more meaningful.

The Foundation values innovative and fresh thinking as it strives to become a global thought leader. Its work is achieved by a strategic, nimble and highly entrepreneurial team with a proactive and results-oriented approach to its philanthropic activities. The organization’s culture is shaped by people who are driven and passionate about the Foundation’s mission.


Micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) play a critical role in employment and job creation in Sub-Saharan Africa. To address youth unemployment, the demand for labour will need to increase and it will need to increase within firms. In its new strategy, the Foundation has committed to efforts that improve the quality and quantity of jobs in African countries and working with MSMEs is vital to this mission. Constraints facing the growth of MSMEs fall under the following categories: investment climate, access to infrastructure, access to markets, access to finance, and training and skills. The Foundation will pursue systemic approaches to diagnose and work on several interventions that range from the firm to the bank to the policy level to address these constraints within target countries.


Reporting to the Country Representative, Uganda, the Program Partner will work collaboratively with the Uganda Country team, MSME Technical Expertise Group and other Foundation technical and managerial staff to develop partnership pertinent to Young Africa Works (YAW) in Uganda strategy and support the implementation of such programs. YAW in Uganda is focusing on key priority sectors providing opportunities for young people to secure dignified and fulfilling jobs: Agriculture, Tourism, Construction/Housing, and other emerging sectors. They will interact effectively with senior members of partner organizations to develop and design programs to support MSME start-ups and growth; and incorporate the MSME segment’s needs into the Foundation’s country strategy. They will also serve as a member of the MSME Technical Expertise Group and support the development of country strategies.


  • Support and contribute to the ongoing definition and development of Country Office strategies and expansion. This work could include conducting due diligence of potential partners and projects, reviewing project design and appropriate documentation, reporting and data collection as well as budget reviews.
  • Identify challenges and opportunities facing MSMEs, including those in the multiple growth sectors opportunity that can be unlocked through education, labour and financial systems to drive job growth.
  • Manage current and future programs as appropriate and distill learnings for Foundation staff.
  • Provide perspective and expertise on emerging issues and trends in youth employment, MSME sector and entrepreneurship growth in Africa.
  • Communicate progress and learnings from projects to colleagues and the wider development community.
  • Build relationships with partner organizations, communities of practice, and global stakeholders.
  • Serve as a local point of contact and collaborator across a range of interested parties including partner organizations, government officials, young people, and private sector leaders on issues of common concern to leverage positive impact toward common goals
  • Represent the Foundation and collaborate with key internal and external stakeholders.
  • Identify and overcome barriers to team effectiveness by sharing knowledge and learnings while offering insights and possible solutions to issues and/or program challenges.
  • Contribute insights to the Foundation’s thought leadership on youth employment in Africa.


  • Master’s degree or equivalent experience in Finance, Business, Development Economics and/or Financial Inclusion.
  • Minimum of seven (7) years of experience in business development, financing and non-financial support to MSMEs or new enterprises is highly preferred. This should include commercial experience and project management in enterprise business development, investing in and/or financing MSMEs in developing countries.
  • Minimum of five (5) years leadership and management experience including managing staff and coaching, mentoring and providing feedback.
  • Strong understanding of MSME segments (from early stage startups to growth-stage SMEs) in Africa and the systemic challenges constraining their growth, with a particularly understanding of the Ugandan context.
  • Solid experience in the Tourism or Construction/Housing sector.
  • Understanding of the role MSMEs can play in economic transformation and job creation.
  • Experience with MFIs, banks or investment companies operational in Africa to finance SMEs.
  • Experience living and working in Africa; knowledge of African social, economic and political contexts would be an asset. Experience living and working in Uganda is highly desirable.
  • Strong budgeting skills with the ability to manage a portfolio of commitments
  • Strong ability to communicate progress and learnings from projects to colleagues and the wider development community.
  • Excellent project management skills, including multi-stakeholder projects.
  • Excellent presentation and listening skills.
  • Strong interpersonal skills with the ability to be flexible and adaptable.
  • Proactive, engaged and a self-starter.
  • Excellent prioritization and time management skills.
  • Ability to work both independently and as part of a team.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills in English. Knowledge of local languages is an asset.
  • You are flexible, adaptable, and able to execute a range of job duties and changing priorities.
  • You possess excellent verbal, written, and presentation skills with the ability to articulate information to a variety of constituents across cultures.
  • You possess professional maturity, sensitivity with different cultures, and impeccable integrity that exemplify the Foundation’s values.
  • Ability to travel up to 20%
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