MSMEs Support Programme Manager – SPARK

Position:  MSMEs Support Programme Manager

Location:  Rwanda / based in Kigali, with frequent travels/stays in the Western Provinces

Application Deadline:  04.01.2021

Duration:  Full-time, one year with possibility of extension

Start Date:  As soon as possible

SPARK is looking for a professional Programme Manager for our Covid19 response MSME support programme. The Programme Manager will be setting up and managing Loan Guarantee Funds, works closely with M/FIs, SPARK business coaches and Technical Assistance partners to support, mostly rural and cross border trade, MSMEs. He/she will be also responsible for resource mobilisation for further growth of the SPARK MSME Loan Guarantee Fund and developing SPARK’s ideation, acceleration and business development services tailored to Rwanda’s Business Support Ecosystem with a high focus on youth.

The main objectives of the programme are:

· Safeguarding and creating jobs during and post COVID-19;

· Supporting and building MSME resilience;

· Financial support to MSMEs through a Loan Guarantee Fund;

· Technical support to MSEMEs through (direct and partners) Coaching, Consultancies and Digital bootcamps;

· Supporting Liquidity for Financial Partners/MFIs;

· Develop capacity of Financial Partners on rural MSME/CBT product development, and Covid19 crisis management, monitoring and support of clients.

We are looking for people who feel confident in their ability to think on their toes, utilize deductive reasoning and those that are not afraid to be creative when it comes to finding solutions for making complicated programmes work in even more complicated environments. At SPARK we have a hands-on mentality, so you need to be able and willing to operate at all levels.

Main Tasks and Responsibilities:

The responsibilities and tasks include, but are not limited to:

Programme management:

  • Identify and close deals with key FIs, MFIs, and Technical Support partners.
  • Set up the fund structure and mechanism including the deal flows from the donors towards the final MSME beneficiaries.
  • Continuously conduct (together with SPARK coaches) Capacity Needs Assessments, context and stakeholder analysis, labour market assessment, and other relevant reports and reflections for the project beneficiaries and other field studies in order to develop coherent technical vision, initiate innovative strategies and design detailed business coaching intervention plans with an adequate field project structure to achieve the outputs of the programme.
  • Monitor the performance of the finance institutions in the programme and make sure loans are performing well.
  • Prepare operational plans, schemes, and reports needed for the MSMEs Loan Guarantee Fund.
  • Provide Leadership and Management to the overall and day-to-day operations of the projects to ensure an efficient and effective high-impact implementation (achieving the planned programme goals, deliverables, tasks, costs and deadlines).
  • Manage and monitor the work of the programme team and experts in the programme by providing guidance and coaching to ensure an engaged work force and deliver technical support and training modules to programme team and partners and directly to actors in cross border trade and rural sectors such as MSMEs, cooperatives, VSLAs/Associations, Financial Institutions, etc.
  • Ensure timely preparation and compilation of the Programme Annual/Quarterly Work Plans and Progress/Final substantial and financial reports and its submission to donors as appropriate.

Human Resource Development & Management:

  • Appoint, develop and manage programme staff;
  • Coaching of staff and lead initiatives to develop staff capacity.

Financial Management & Monitoring, Evaluations and Learning management:

  • Ensure efficient and effective programme budget implementation and management
  • In collaboration with the Regional M&E coordinator, ensure proper project outputs and indicators monitoring through a comprehensive internal results analysis framework and tools; report on findings and suggest programme implementation improvements; ensure comprehensive and well-documented lessons learnt, and its dissemination, from the programme.
  • Coordinate and supervise the programme (external) evaluation studies (baselines, Midterm reviews and end-line studies);
  • Build and manage relationships to ensure good collaboration with various partners including MSMEs, Cooperatives, Financial institutions, Line ministries (MINAGRI and MINEACOM), Local government (Districts), NGO’s and other key players in the Cross Border Trade and Rural development Sectors;

Requirements and Skills

  • Residents of Rwanda and anyone with a working permit for Rwanda are encouraged to apply.
  • University degree in International development, rural finance or economic development or rural business development;
  • Minimum of 10 years of relevant work experience in project management in financial institution, private sector, or international development; project design, implementation, operations, MEL, reporting and budgeting.
  • Proven experience in rural financing, financial inclusion and cross border trade and rural SME environment in Rwanda;
  • ·Proven experience in credit guarantee schemes and fund management; establishing Loan Guarantee funds are an asset;
  • Experience in youth and woman inclusion is an asset.
  • Skilful people manager, with ability to lead, inspire, coach and train subordinates and contracted experts, and to achieve the highest possible results through staff.
  • Leadership style which is focusing on capacitating people but not afraid of being on the fore-front when required
  • Excellent interpersonal and verbal communication skills;
  • Ability to identify and tackle (culturally) sensitive matters;
  • Hands-on attitude and willing to help out flexibly if required;
  • Ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines;
  • High energy, pro-active and service minded;
  • Willing and able to travel frequently to the target districts in Rwanda, to DRC and potentially Burundi;
  • Driving licence (B Category) would be an added advantage
  • Working knowledge of English and Kinyarwanda/Kirundi is required , strong oral and written French is helpful.

SPARK Offers

  • A dynamic and exciting position in an international environment;
  • Contract for one year full time, with possibility of extension;
  • Competitive salary depending on seniority level and experience;
  • Professional capacity building, training, exposure and networking opportunities.
How to apply?

If interested, please apply with your motivation letter and your CV (both in English) on  until 04.01.2021. Please, with application send to us two references (phone number and email) which we can contact in the selection process.

All   applications will be assessed on a rolling basis; interviews can therefore take place before the application deadline . However, due to the large volume of applications we receive, we cannot respond to every applicant individually. There may be a delay between the deadline and the moment we contact selected applicants.

If you have not received a reply, we regret to inform that we have continued with other candidates with other candidates.


SPARK develops higher education and entrepreneurship to empower young, ambitious people to lead their fragile and conflict-affected societies into prosperity. SPARK is a dynamic and growing, international not-for-profit development organisation with 100+ staff members, in more than 14 offices around the world .

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