Senior Associate, Innovation

Reports To: Director of Innovation
Job Type: Full-time, exempt
Region: Central America & Mexico - East Africa - South America - United States - West Africa
Location: Latin America (Lima, Peru; Managua, Nicaragua; San Jose, Costa Rica; Chiapas, Mexico; or remote in those countries); Kenya (Nairobi or remote); United States (Cambridge, MA or remote). Preference for applicants in Latin America or Kenya.
Start Date: Immediate
Contact: Please apply by filling out the form below.

Summary

Innovation is a key part of Root Capital’s DNA and our success as an organization. As the context in which agribusinesses operate changes constantly, and at dizzying speeds, Root Capital needs to stay in front of their needs—researching and developing new solutions, adapted to new dynamics—if we are to provide them with access to the type of capital, information and skills that they require to thrive. The Senior Associate of Innovation will support Root Capital’s ability to successfully develop new products and services in response to evolving client needs, ranging from their identification and scoping to their piloting and decision-making around potential scale-up. This role will facilitate effective collaboration around innovation processes across the organization, ensuring that leaders of new product / service development have access to easily-digestible best practices on innovation and coordination support that facilitates their work. In addition, the Senior Associate of Innovation will be key in ensuring Root Capital decision-makers have clear and relevant information from which to make decisions about investments in new innovations.

Mission & History of Root Capital

Root Capital is a nonprofit whose mission is to grow rural prosperity and build the resilience of farming families around the world. We support the growth of agricultural enterprises so they can transform rural communities. These businesses purchase crops such as coffee, cocoa, or grains from smallholder farmers. With growth, they become engines of impact that can raise incomes, create jobs for the next generation of leaders, level the playing field for women, and take urgent action against climate change.

We supply these businesses with vital credit and capacity building to foster their growth and resilience. We work in hard-to-serve communities where others don’t. To date, we’ve distributed $1.6 billion to improve the lives of over 10 million people in farming families. Headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Root Capital currently has associated offices in Costa Rica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Colombia, Peru, Ghana, and Kenya.

Responsibilities

Innovation Approach Documentation, Communication, and Continuous Improvement (30%)

  • Ensure that Root Capital's approach to innovation is well understood by key stakeholders, working closely with the Director of Innovation to develop and implement communication and documentation plans regarding innovation.
    • Consolidate information and create systematic and user-friendly documentation of organization-wide innovation roles and responsibilities, processes, best practices, and results.
    • Ensure documentation is organized, updated, readily available to relevant internal stakeholders.
    • Facilitate communication flows between the Director of Innovation and other departments concerning the innovation approach
  • Support the continuous improvement of Root Capital’s innovation approach and processes by staying abreast of relevant literature and findings regarding innovation approaches, and conducting periodic assessments of staff’s participation, satisfaction, and understanding of internal processes.

Innovation Decision-Making Support (30%)

  • Synthesize and organize inputs to inform Root Capital’s leadership - specifically the Project Management Committee (PMC), the decision-making body for new initiatives - on investments in innovation
  • Based on the required inputs for specific PMC conversations, coordinate with relevant colleagues to collect and process inputs to inform PMC decisions.
  • Draft PMC presentation materials.
  • With the PMC Coordination team, support the general administrative coordination of the PMC - compiling notes, scheduling meetings, etc. - and attend meetings as needed
  • Serve as the central point of contact for staff to contribute innovation ideas regarding client-facing products and services; work with staff to ensure that ideas submitted meet the minimum criteria, and maintain a pipeline of innovations to be assessed.

Innovation Project Management (40%)

  • Provide project management support for specific innovation initiatives in progress
    • Attend and occasionally lead relevant internal and external meetings. Take notes and support innovation initiative owners to coordinate relevant follow-up.
    • Identify potential risks, roadblocks or red flags and work with the innovation initiative owner and Root Capital leadership to troubleshoot and coordinate required response
  • Track innovation initiative progress and support the flow of communication and updates to Root Capital leadership

Perform other relevant duties, as assigned.

Skills and Experience

  • Bachelor's degree and minimum of 5 years of professional experience, preferably in management consulting, impact investing, international development, or similar.
  • Demonstrated interest in international development, nonprofit operations, innovation, and process design
  • Outstanding technical- and experience-based understanding of program design.
  • Experience working with multicultural and multilingual teams; sensitivity to the dynamics of global teams (e.g. working across cultures and time zones).
  • Proven ability to effectively collaborate between and across teams (including with coworkers outside of direct reporting lines).
  • Professional fluency in English; demonstrably strong verbal and written communication skills. Professional competency in Spanish required.
  • Self-starter with ability to flexibly manage and prioritize multiple competing tasks; ability to thrive in a dynamic and entrepreneurial team environment; strong sense of responsibility.
  • Comfort tackling a wide range of tasks, from managerial to analytical, technical, and operational.
  • Attention to detail. Proven organization and project management skills.
  • Commitment to Root Capital’s mission and leadership principles.
  • Authorized to work in a country where Root Capital has a registered office.

Salary

Commensurate with experience.

Applications

More information about Root Capital is available at www.rootcapital.org. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Candidates are encouraged to apply using the form below as soon as possible, making sure to include a resume and cover letter that describes your interest, qualifications, language abilities, salary requirements, and how you learned of the position. Finalist candidates will be required to provide at least three work-related references.

Root Capital provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, active military or veteran status, age, physical or mental disability, medical condition, pregnancy (which includes pregnancy, childbirth, medical conditions related to pregnancy and childbirth, and breastfeeding and expressing breast milk), sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by law. Root Capital is committed to creating a dynamic work environment that upholds our leadership principles of: empowerment, equity, integrity, service, and transparency.

U.S applicants: Root Capital Inc. participates in E-Verify and will provide the federal government your I-9 information to confirm that you are authorized to work in the U.S. For more information, see here. Learn more about your right to work.


Job Application

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