IKEA Social Entrepreneurship & NESsT - Poland and Romania Accelerator Program
NESsT is an international non-profit organization with offices in Europe and Latin America, and a global leadership team based in the U.S. NESsT’s major goal is to transform lives by investing in social enterprises that provide dignified employment for communities facing isolation, discrimination, lack of job skills and poor education. We believe that locally-based social enterprises are uniquely qualified to transform these communities. These enterprises are on the ground, have the trust of the communities and have created businesses aligned with their best interests.
IKEA Social Entrepreneurship B.V is a registered entity within Inter IKEA Group*, based out of Delft, the Netherlands. It provides financial support to intermediaries, who support social entrepreneurs, and directly to social entrepreneurs themselves. IKEA Social Entrepreneurship aims to create greater opportunities for people who are vulnerable and marginalized to live a better everyday life. It also contributes to transforming IKEA into a more circular, entrepreneurial and sustainable business. Through its co-created accelerator programmes IKEA Social Entrepreneurship shares IKEA knowledge to support social entrepreneurs with their business scale up plans and encourage growth within and outside the IKEA value chain.
There is a large gap that currently exists in the ecosystems where both IKEA and NESsT are present. Social entrepreneurs are often given support to launch their initial business ideas; but then they are often left on their own to validate and grow their businesses. There is a blatant lack of support for this “missing middle” stage, when entrepreneurs continue to need business services as well as philanthropic and soft capital support to build out their businesses.
NESsT along with IKEA Social Entrepreneurship have joined forces in a three-year partnership through the IKEA Social Entrepreneurship & NESsT - Poland and Romania Accelerator to address this gap and support 10 social enterprises working across Poland and Romania. This partnership will equip the 10 social entrepreneurs to grow their enterprises and provide dignified employment and income to 1,200 vulnerable people in these countries. This in turn will impact their families, other community members and customers, an estimated 15,000 people.
This co-created and tailor-made accelerator program has been designed alongside IKEA regional representatives. It will see that the social enterprises receive hands-on guidance from the NESsT team and advisors, and IKEA co-workers to support the social entrepreneurs with their business scale up plans.
Specifically, the program will provide these 10 growth social entrepreneurs with the business services and appropriate financial capital needed to manage and grow their business and impact. They will be better positioned to improve their storytelling to reach business and social impact objectives. And they will be better able to manage their social enterprise impact. The program also aims to help IKEA and other corporate partners to become more inclusive and sustainable. This will come about by helping the social enterprises in the program to improve their access to IKEA coworkers as volunteer mentors and the IKEA value chain as well as the coworkers and value chain of other corporations. Overall the program will increase the awareness of IKEA customers in relation to social enterprise products and services, and will disseminate best practices to the wider social enterprise sector.
The programme in Poland and Romania will give particular emphasis to areas that are critical in the region as the world transitions into a greener world economy. It will demonstrate the potential of social entrepreneurship to move people out of poverty, transitioning them to new sustainable sectors and upskilling them in new competencies, while at the same time running business that are environmentally neutral and can be role models for others.
Through this collaboration, IKEA and NESsT will demonstrate and share the practices that are best suited to help social entrepreneurs scale their impact.
The Portfolio Manager will support the investment strategy for a portfolio of high impact social enterprises in Poland.
The Portfolio Manager will oversee NESsT’s “due diligence” review of enterprises, analyzing their financial sustainability and impact potential and proposing investment recommendations for review and approval by the NESsT investment committee.
This position will support enterprises once they enter the NESsT portfolio, including assisting the enterprise team to validate their business models and to develop their management and governance, commercial and financial systems as well as networks and strategies needed to grow their businesses for greater impact and scale.
The Portfolio Manager is also responsible for communications related activities to increase the visibility and positioning of NESsT and the portfolio among key stakeholders as defined by the program communication plan.
The position will report to the NESsT-IKEA Program Director and will also work closely with local and international team members to continue to develop and improve NESsT business services and impact methodology overall, and to contribute to the growth of the social enterprise sector.
This is a full-time position based in Warsaw, Poland.
Key Duties & Responsibilities:
- Develop Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for Program Director approval, monitor grant disbursement and expenses reported by enterprises supported by NESsT.
- Implement business services, focusing on strengthening the management and governance, marketing and sales, operations and financing and social/environmental impact of each enterprise. Leverage competencies of external mentors and advisors from NESsT’s corporate partners.
- Assist Program Director in coordinating volunteer engagement and learning opportunities for corporate partners. This mentoring network provides technical and business advisory services and helps leverage other investors and donors.
- Assist in NESsT’s efforts to identify new partners that can hire program beneficiaries trained by portfolio enterprises.
- Manage and organize events related to the portfolio including retreats, site visits (for NESsT and/or donors/partners/investors), exchange visits, webinars, mentoring and coaching sessions and local and regional conferences.
- Provide on-going management, monitoring, evaluation, impact measurement and reporting on new and existing investments, with an eye towards recommending opportunities for continuous improvement.
- Conduct due diligence, financial modeling and develop investment packages (grants, recoverable grants, patient loans) for social enterprises that are being assessed to enter the NESsT-IKEA portfolio in Poland. Develop the Investment Memo for presentation to the Investment Committee.
- Once they enter the portfolio, work closely with portfolio enterprises to develop annual financial and social goals as well as business services plans to help enterprises reach their goals.
- Actively work to position NESsT as a social impact investor with a strong track record in growing social enterprises and creating dignified employment. Activities include coordinating with Program Director and the Global Communications Team to produce press releases and articles to communicate impact to the wider audience, media monitoring, and maintaining regular communication through social networks.
- A bachelor's degree and 5 years minimum of progressively responsible experience in finance, strategy and consulting, and knowledge of impact investing are required. Experience in investment banking, private equity, venture capital is also useful. Knowledge of the retail industry is a plus.
- Strong analytical skills, financial modeling experience and the ability to approach tasks in a highly organized, logical and diligent manner.
- Strong corporate and commercial network and capacity to generate value through this network.
- Demonstrated experience in and commitment to social impact. This can include volunteer positions. Experience in an enterprise or work with social enterprises is a plus.
- Commitment to environmental impact. Experience in at least one of the following areas is a plus: sustainable economy, circular economy, renewable energy, climate neutrality, reducing carbon emissions.
- Language: native Polish speaker, and good to excellent verbal and written skills in English to be an effective communicator among diverse internal and external audiences.
- Ability to effectively work under pressure, manage multiple tasks simultaneously and produce high-quality work within tight time constraints
- Ability to work in teams (on-site and virtual)
- Ability to be flexible, resourceful and innovative in a small, dynamic, nonprofit environment.
- Familiarity and comfort with Microsoft Office (Excel, Word, Power-Point) and Google Apps. Salesforce experience a plus.
- Availability to travel locally or internationally.
Will be commensurate with work experience and skill provided.
NESsT offers a competitive salary and benefits. The non-monetary compensation includes a unique opportunity to be part of a meaningful global organization that is changing the world by investing in emerging market businesses that offer employment, sustainable income and an improved quality of life for people who face the greatest barriers to work. This person will be hired as an employee, not an independent contractor.
Location: Poland– working from home office or co-working space in Warsaw.
Schedule: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. with one-hour lunch break. Due to the fact that NESsT is an international organization, online meetings, trainings, and conferences sometimes occur outside of these hours.
Travel: This position requires some travel (i.e. visits to NESsT portfolio members)
Start Date: Preferable March 1, 2021. The initial contract will be for 3 months. After a successful 3-month review, the contract will be extended to be permanent. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled, but interviews will begin in February. Only short-listed applicants will be contacted. No phone calls, please.
Please apply for this position by March 1st at the link: https://nesst.bamboohr.com/jobs/view.php?id=30
by uploading the following materials in English:
- Thoughtful cover letter explaining why you're the right fit for this role and your available start date. Also please tell us about a time when you had to manage others who didn’t directly report to you. How did you do it? What did you achieve? What challenges did you face? How did you overcome those challenges?
- Statement on salary requirements.
NESsT is proud to be an equal opportunity employer committed to identifying and developing the skills and leadership of people from diverse backgrounds.
Respond to general inquiries about NESsT, provide communications/media outreach support in Poland. Assist in the production of blogs, newsletters, publications, photo essays, videos related to the NESsT portfolio and initiatives.
Help portfolio enterprises to develop a communications strategy and plan that will contribute to positioning them with existing and potential clients, as well as NESsT enterprises with the overall social impact sector.
Manage internal systems related to knowledge management and data management and develop reports (technical and administrative) regarding the performance of the portfolio or due diligence members.
Lead the process of evaluating candidates for the NESsT’s portfolio, including preliminary assessment of business potential and social impact