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Specialist Innovation Challenge Fund and Women Ventures

Islamabad (PK)
Closing date
Nov 27, 2022

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Job Role
Contract Type
Full Time
Level of qualification
CIMA, CIMA: Qualified
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Job Details

Job Responsibilities

Role and responsibilities of the Specialist are linked to the following program components and overall support to the KRN Innovation function:

Innovation Challenge Fund (ICF)

  • Undertake research and analysis in areas of financial inclusion to develop thematic concept notes for challenge rounds (these should include identification of suitable funding instruments, eligibility and selection criteria, advisory committee constitution, application forms, guidance notes and systems for fund disbursement, governance, transparency and performance monitoring etc.) and budgets.
  • Manage the competitive process for challenge rounds, including outreach, lead generation, proposal screening and selection of partners with a special focus on innovation, ‘new to market’ products and capacities of implementing partners.
  • Manage onboarding and contracting of selected partners, including development of project milestones, deliverables, grant disbursement schedules and reporting templates.
  • Monitor projects funded through ICF, including management of the funds disbursement process, assessment and oversight of key milestones, institutionalizing regular progress updates from partners, flagging delays and problems in implementation to Head ICF, reporting lessons learnt into ICF design, and successfully closing projects.
  • Regular engagement with ICF implementation partners during the design and implementation phase to keep track of implementation progress and timely redressal/flagging of implementation challenges.
  • Achieve results targets agreed in the project financing agreements and the results commitment with KRN sponsors and Board.

ICF Green

  • Implementation of ICF Green. This will include annual selection process and existing portfolio of green projects with green techs, SMEs, research institutions, other green focused entities. Contribute to the strategy development and product refinement for this segment.
  • Onboarding and contracting of awardees. This will include drawing up of term sheets and clear results framework for each project within stipulated timelines. Post investment activities include actively monitoring project delivery, regular engagement with implementation partners, progress reporting to Head Innovation, and support MEL activities for ICF Green.
  • Achieve annual performance targets agreed in financing agreements and results committed to the KRN Board and sponsors.

Women Ventures

  • Support the WV Investment Panel (IP) in selection of businesses through light touch initial due diligence of businesses, review and develop Business Growth Plans, and provide business growth potential analysis to the IP.
  • Negotiate the term sheets and contracts with selected WV awardees and manage the financing agreement with the businesses.
  • Oversee the post-investment monitoring process, manage relationship with investee companies and provide feedback to senior management on performance, associated risks, and repayment behavior of the portfolio.
  • Conduct financial analysis of the WV portfolio for periodic reporting to the CEO and KRN Board. Tracking financial and operational performance of each business, provide technical assistance to strengthen business performance and institutional development of WV businesses.
  • Engage with and manage service providers (business development support, legal counsel, and other technical assistance) for efficient program delivery and high-quality support to WV portfolio businesses.
  • Achieve annual WV targets on onboarding new businesses, managing performance of existing portfolio, controlling non-performing assets, and portfolio monitoring and development targets identified in the WV Investment policy and program log-frame.

Overall Programme Support

  • Ensure a strong emphasis on due diligence, value for money, and transparency within Innovation activities.
  • Proactively identify opportunities to highlight Innovation activities and outputs to relevant audiences through use of different communication platforms such as social and print media, events etc. Work closely with the Communications team to develop and document success stories and key lessons from ICF supported activities. These may include blogs, articles, videos and case studies.
  • Work with the MEL team to ensure that development objectives of Innovation are measurable and reported at all stages. Assist MEL team in executing Monitoring and Evaluation of Innovation related activities.
  • Develop annual and quarterly work plans, budget forecasts and updates and updating risk frameworks for review by Head Innovation.
  • Develop reports and documents for audiences such as Karandaaz sponsors, Board and Management Committee
  • Manage internal and external audit processes as required under supervision of Head Innovation
  • Any other task necessary to ensure the optimum performance of the Innovation team


Education & Experience

  • Bachelor’s/Master’s degree in Business, Economics, Finance/ CIMA professional qualification or related field of study with an understanding of project management and social science research.
  • CFA qualification (Level II) will be an added advantage but is not a mandatory requirement.
  • Minimum 6 years of relevant experience in SME investment management or the credit/portfolio management/program and grant management in the financial inclusion space. Experience in in the banking sector will be an added advantage.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Understanding of a not-for-profit organization
  • Understanding of the corporate governance/regulatory requirements of the SMEs
  • Knowledge of the financial access space and impact investing will be a significant advantage
  • Experience in working with various stakeholders from the public and private sectors
  • Demonstrated experience of client management, portfolio management, working independently, strategic thinking and managing a diverse project portfolio.
  • Strong financial analysis and forecasting skills
  • Strong analytical skills in terms of research, sectoral analysis and program design.
  • Excellent English writing and presentation skills
  • Highly organized, self-driven with demonstrated project and time management skills.
  • Strong decision-making skills, analytical skills and problem-solving skills.
  • Ability to interface with and effectively manage stakeholders at multiple levels
  • Ability to work to multiple and tight deadlines with a commitment to quality, accuracy and attention to detail.
  • Team player and self-starter who shows initiative; works independently; has innate curiosity; passion for research, analysis and delivering insights to the market.
  • Willingness to travel to different locations in Pakistan, as required.


Karandaaz Pakistan, a Section 42 company established in August 2014, promotes access to finance for small businesses through a commercially directed investment platform, and financial inclusion for individuals by employing technology enabled digital solutions. The Company has financial and institutional support from leading international development finance institutions; principally the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF).

The Company has four verticals:

  • Karandaaz Capital provides wholesale structured credit and equity-linked direct growth capital investments in micro, small and mid-size enterprises (MSMEs) with compelling prospects for sustainable growth and employment generation in Pakistan
  • Karandaaz Digital focuses on expanding the poor’s access to digital financial services in Pakistan by working across the ecosystem with all stakeholders including regulators, policy-makers, government departments, businesses and researchers and academics with activities arranged in four key work areas–Policy and Regulation, Seeding Innovation, Experimentation and Solutions Development, and Scale and Outreach.
  • Karandaaz Innovation manages the Innovation Challenge Fund, providing risk capital and grants to partners with an aim to generate innovative solutions to complex problems in areas of financial inclusion and entrepreneurship.
  • Knowledge Management and Communications supports the company's core financial inclusion goal by developing and disseminating evidence based insights and solutions to influence markets and the financial ecosystem.
Find Us
1-E Ali Plaza, Nazimuddin Road
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