Investment Director, Grants - Nairobi

Global Innovation Fund



The Global Innovation Fund ( (GIF) is a non-profit, social-first investment vehicle established as a ‘VC for fragile places’ to find, fund, and scale-up cost-effective, evidence-based innovations that have the potential to measurably improve the lives of millions of people living on $5 a day or less. GIF was founded to invest in innovations that will inspire fresh thinking and create better solutions in developing countries.


GIF is focused on doing more with less to turn ideas into impact. To achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, the development community needs to draw on the resources of the private sector. GIF’s commitment to being part of the bridge between entrepreneurs and development finance challenges us to be creative and to seek the partnerships that drive creativity, dynamism, and collaboration. GIF’s unique hybrid model, as both a UK registered charity/US 501(c)3 and an investor, reflects our dual mission: to invest in innovations that improve the lives of the poor, and to demonstrate how bringing evidence and the power of the private sector to bear can create new solutions to persistent development problems.  


GIF offers grants, loans (including convertible debt), and equity investments ranging from $50,000 to $15 million to support a range of innovations with strong potential for social impact at a large scale. We support innovators at different phases of development, ranging from early start-up and pilot-testing to rigorous experiments and larger scale implementation. The innovations GIF supports can be located in any developing country and may focus on any sector relevant to international development (see a list at



GIF seeks to hire an Investment Director (Grants) for our Nairobi office. The Investment Director (Grants) will be involved in finding, evaluating, executing, communicating about, and managing funding opportunities that align with GIF’s goal of scaling promising social innovations through the public and non-profit sectors. The Investment Director (Grants) will be an integral part of a small team of Investment Directors and will complement the work of other Investment Directors, including those involved in risk capital investment deals. The Investment Director (Grants) will report to a senior investment team member who will oversee his or her work. The Director’s responsibilities will include:


·       Finding and vetting funding opportunities to make significant improvements in the lives and opportunities of millions of people living in the developing world

·       Screening proposals and applications submitted through GIF’s open application platform, including conducting due diligence on the proposed innovation’s evidence base, cost-effectiveness, management quality, and ability to scale

·       Sourcing and developing funding opportunities to pilot, test or scale promising social innovations, including from NGOs, researchers, social enterprises, and developing country governments

·       Conducting due diligence, research and cost-effectiveness analysis, and making funding recommendations

·       Engaging with and building relationships with external partners and applicants during the investment process to optimise impact




·       Negotiating grant terms and preparing investment memoranda for the most promising grant applications

·       Providing or helping obtain technical assistance for GIF’s grantees

·       Directing grantees’ reporting to GIF on both financial and social metrics

·       Identifying opportunities for follow-on funding for GIF’s most successful innovators, including from public sector partners, international organisations, donors, developing country governments and implementing organisations

·       Help GIF contribute more effectively to developing the capacity of its investees and thereby enhance the quality of its portfolio management activities

·       Supporting other deal leads in evaluating proposals and managing deals in the portfolio.

·       Work closely with the communications team at all stages of deal development to tell the story of the potential and signed innovations.

·       Assisting in improving the investment process and other operational activities of GIF.   


GIF is a dynamic and rapidly growing entity; the Investment Director will be expected to adapt quickly to the needs of the organisation and could have a range of other duties as assigned.





·       A minimum of 5-7 years’ experience in the field of international development, including in an area such as grant-making, project management, monitoring and evaluation, development finance, public policy, or program implementation, and operational activities of development institutions.

·       Education in development economics or a related subject

·       Professional experience working in a developing country

·       Experience working within government systems or an international organisation; experience influencing the policies of government agencies, private sector organisations or donor organisations

·       Working knowledge of rigorous impact measurement, programme monitoring and evaluation, and project economic analysis

·       Experience of communicating on development to broad audiences, including through writing materials open to the public.

·       Commitment to evidence-based decision-making and innovation

·       Top tier analytic, strategic thinking and project management skills, with a keen attention to detail

·       Excellent written and verbal communication skills and an aptitude for relationship building

·       Passion, humility, integrity, team player, proven self-direction and a spirited sense of humour





·       Experience of working in sectors where innovation offers a large potential for impact (e.g., education, behavioural science, gender, urban sector etc)

·       Financial analysis and/or cost-benefit analysis

·       Experience of working in the private sector

·       Experience in public communication



This role will be based in our Nairobi office. Applicants should have the right to work in Kenya. Competitive salary on offer.


HOW TO APPLY:Submit an application via :






Global Innovation Fund is committed to promoting equal opportunities in employment.

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Role posted - 2020-06-08T18:58:25Z 7:58pm, 8th Jun 2020 BST