Small Medium Enterprise and Financial Services Specialist (SME & FS Specialist)

at Farm Africa
Location Gambella, Benishangul, Oromia, Ethiopia
Date Posted April 29, 2020
Category Agriculture
Business Administration
Job Type Full-time
Currency ETB



Effective agriculture has the power to change lives. It underpins prosperity, food security and stability the world over. Farm Africa focuses on transforming agriculture and managing natural resources sustainably. We champion a holistic approach that boosts yields, protects the environment and connects smallholder farmers to thriving markets.

We work with different types of farmers in a range of regions. Their local situations vary, but the problems they face are all too familiar: lack of training and technology, inadequate inputs, no finance, vulnerability to climate change and poor links to markets.

We have an ambitious strategy to expand our work over the next five years. We’ll increase our impact. Lift more communities out of poverty. Work with more corporate partners who share our vision. Open up more agricultural markets. Provide more expertise.

Farm Africa Ethiopia has been implementing a project entitled ‘Livestock for Livelihood’ (L4L) in SSNP region in South Omo zone since March 2018.


The SME and FS Specialist will work closely with the project field team and provide relevant capacity building and technical assistance to (i) project partners in implementing project interventions; and (ii) encourage active participation of and networking between individuals and communities in recognizing market and finance problems, identifying solutions and implementing project activities related to the identified solutions.

The post holder will also build capacities of communities and institutions in markets and finance. She/he will work closely with community facilitators, community leaders, committees and local government development agents. She/he takes part in community meetings for information gathering, exchange and carries out participatory planning supporting field implementation. She/he is responsible for advice around innovative market and finance based solutions and how to link these to sustainable NRM. As part of this she/he will work to ensure the establishment of effective linkage between all relevant partners.


The post holder will have a key role advising on field level innovative market and finance solutions to forward the development of SMEs.

Key responsibilities are

  • Support project piloted market engagement initiatives in project target woredas to set up and implement sustainable market and financing solutions
  • Ensure that all project activities are contributing towards the development of sustainable and scalable gender-inclusive market systems.
  • Facilitate and lead field level market studies and analysis to review opportunities for interventions to strengthen opportunities for women’s economic growth within the project.
  • Facilitate field level studies and activities related to market engagement within the project.
  • Provide SME and Financial Service technical backstopping for the project staff in relation to the project market led activities
  • Support the documentation of lessons from piloted financial and market initiatives with appropriate stakeholders in all aspects of project planning, monitoring, and implementation for project activities
  • With project staff and the project coordinator, identify required training for, Private Sector, community and project staff and assist in identifying trainers and / or providing delivery of training and capacity building.
  • Establish/ strengthen linkages with the private sector in order to create climate change mitigation interventions that have positive impact on environment and rural livelihoods
  • Support gender development for enhanced Natural Resource Management
  • Provide regular reports of work done on specific assignments undertaken
  • Coordinate with appropriate stakeholders in all aspects of project planning, monitoring, and implementation
  • Keep up to date with developments in the sector, including best practice examples, to ensure on going organizational and personal development and learning
  • Act as an active member of the project team by identifying and exploring opportunities to improve project implementation and guarantee it’s sustainability
  • Contribute to the implementation of Farm Africa’s strategy
  • Participate in broader Farm Africa meetings with other project staff members, as requested by line manager
  • Perform other duties as assigned by the Supervisor.

These essential functions are not to be interpreted as a complete statement of all duties performed. Employees will be required to perform other job related duties as required.

DURATION & HOURS: Two years with probation period of 60 days

PROJECT: Livestock for Livelihood (L4L)

REPORTS TO:  Project Coordinator



Investing in smallholder farming is the number one way to combat poverty in rural Africa. Farm Africa is a leading NGO specialising in growing agriculture, protecting the environment and developing businesses in rural Africa.

EXPERT. Deep expertise and insightful evidence-based solutions are at the heart of everything Farm Africa does.

GROUNDED. Positive change starts with Africa’s people, so our experts work closely with local communities, engaging them in every level of decision-making.

IMPACTFUL. We take a long-term view so we can deliver lasting changes for farmers and their families.

BOLD. We model innovative new approaches and are not afraid to challenge strategies that are failing.

Job Requirements


Education, qualifications & other knowledge


  • BSc or MSc qualification or equivalent in either of the following fields: agri-economics, agriculture, business, international development, rural development, or any other relevant discipline.
  • Knowledge of the market engagement, MFIs, VSLA


  • MSc in Economics, Finance or a related subject



  • Sound experience in development finance and related Policy issues in the Ethiopian context
  • A minimum of 5 years’ experience in practical market engagement projects in similar organisations
  • Working experience in collaborative projects with Government, Non-Government and Private Sector stakeholders
  • Hands on experience in ensuring gender mainstreaming in the design and implementation of programmes
  • Sound experience in development finance and related Policy issues in the Ethiopian context


  • Experience in undertaking innovative and practical work in market engagement
  • Work experience in the SNNPR
  • Demonstrable experience in facilitating farmers to access profitable markets
  • Experience in undertaking innovative and practical work in market engagement.

Skills & abilities


  • Skilled in SME and Financial Service approaches including business information, market linkage, rural banking, microfinance and VSLA.
  • Excellent ability to develop and translate plans into cost-effective operations and activities, in line with identified and available resources and budgets, and donor and other conditions
  • Skilled in participatory approaches to sustainable development especially at a community level
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills
  • Fluent in written and spoken English language
  • Excellent record keeping and report writing
  • Computer skills in MS packages


  • Knowledge of local languages in the region

Applying Instructions

Those who meet the above requirements should submit their short CV (maximum of 3 pages) and a cover letter (maximum 1 page) addressing with the subject SME and FS Specialist for L4L Project by May 08, 2020.

Documents cannot be returned and due to large number of applications, only short listed candidates will be contacted. Applications are especially welcomed from female applicants.

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