Business Partner

Full time ASOBO Kenya


ASOBO is a trailblazer – the first of its kind to create a sustainable platform for e-mobility services on the water in emerging markets. At Lake Victoria, tens of thousands of small scale fishers waste time and money on inefficient, inconvenient, unreliable, and highly polluting petrol outboard engines. Harnessing renewable energy through a scalable, full-service model, ASOBO’s electric outboard engines – e-Boarders – dramatically reduce negative environmental impacts and improve the lives of millions, whilst building a profitable business.

Based in Homa Bay County, Kenya ASOBO’s value proposition is cheaper, hassle-free and clean propulsion that always works. In the short run, ASOBO offers its solution to fishers on Lake Victoria, with a larger ambition to scale to other countries in the region as well as other continents. ASOBO’s founders bring decades of combined experience in the off-grid and renewable energy sectors in Sub-Saharan Africa, and are supported by leading funders and the venture builder in Energy Access – Persistent.

ASOBO offers a unique opportunity for an entrepreneurial Business Partner to build and contribute to a transformative business with huge social impact and commercial scale. It offers exposure to highly experienced social enterprise professionals on an inspiring, collaborative, and fun team. And it provides a creative work culture, valuing freedom and flexibility to deliver on goals and expectations, while inviting ingenuity, continuous learning, and skills development to evolve with the company. A naturally driven and curious Business Partner will thrive in ASOBO’s dynamic and innovative environment, advancing social progress and business success together with personal and professional growth.

About the role

ASOBO seeks an outstanding Business Partner, who is energetic, curious, and passionate about making a difference in the world through sustainable social business. The Business Partner will help develop and scale ASOBO’s business, leading on optimally delivering its solutions to fishers, and in the process reducing harmful environmental impacts for communities residing on the world’s second largest freshwater body. ASOBO offers a unique opportunity to work alongside experienced social entrepreneurs and take on ownership shaping and delivering innovative solutions for one of the most pressing global issues. The successful Business Partner will have a proven track record building a social business or start-up and brings very strong operational acumen and comfortability managing teams. S/he will lead the operations, technology, and after sales teams on setting-up and continuously improving the delivery of ASOBO’s solutions based on customer needs; identifying and guiding the bundling of technological components to ensure exceptional market performance; and implementing structures, systems, and solutions together with together with staff, customers, and other stakeholders. The Business Partner will also be an experienced team leader, capable of building and motivating a high-performance work culture. For this role, a share package can be discussed. Experience working in a start-up, social enterprise, or in a related field preferred.

Location: Mbita, Homa Bay or Nairobi with significant field travel

Key responsibilities

  • Develop and implement high quality business plans, ensuring their alignment with short-term and long-term objectives of the organisation
  • Set goals for business growth and success and oversee all operations and day-to-day business activities to ensure they deliver what is promised to the customer, are scalable, and optimally support the overall strategy and mission
  • Establish robust systems, processes, and frameworks that enhance organisational effectiveness and efficiency
  • Contribute to the company strategy, and ensure optimal alignment with the operational business plans;
    Effectively guide (external) experts and engineers on the company’s technology strategy, roadmap, and delivery of technical projects
  • Identify and negotiate with suppliers to procure components at appropriate prices, timelines, and specifications to meet business needs
  • Build trust and synergetic relations with key suppliers, partners, and stakeholders; act as a point of contact for important shareholders, and clearly guide experts/consultants on individual technology projects
  • Lead and motivate staff to advance employee engagement and develop a high performing team
  • Recruit new team members to build and inspire a world class ASOBO team
  • Stay up to date with industry trends, priorities, and markets and act as a spokesperson and thought-leader for ASOBO when relevant.

Does this sound like you?

Business Operations Expertise

  • Social intra/entrepreneur who has grown a business before, with extensive and proven experience delivering business operations that fully respond to customer needs
  • Operations ninja with proficiency in overseeing the operations, technology, and after sales functions
  • Strong track record in organising, documenting, and improving business systems and processes from scratch, and ‘a natural’ in communicating these effectively to the team
  • A (post)degree (with honors or distinction) in Business, Operations Management, or a related field
  • Experience applying principles of Operational Excellence and Lean Management
  • Engineering understanding and strong project management skills; able to oversee the technology team in delivering technical projects
  • Experience working with rural communities or the off-grid market; East Africa, leasing and/or consumer durables experience preferred
  • Solid understanding and experience in one or more other key business functions (e.g. marketing, finance) and able to contribute to strategic decisions.

Interpersonal and Cognitive Skills

  • A humble, curious, and influential leader with strong people management skills; a clear ability to motivate and unify teams around the organisation’s mission and high emotional intelligence and energy to engage with stakeholders at all levels
  • Capacity to manage multiple priorities and deliver high quality work on schedule and work with multicultural teams and across boundaries
  • Highly organised self-starter with plenty of initiative to innovate, change, and develop ideas into actual opportunities
  • A creative, analytical, and structured thinker with the ability to simplify complex details without cutting corners or losing sight of the big picture
  • Highly effective and culturally sensitive communicator; excellent verbal and written communication
  • Strategic thinker with the ability to understand the market, business intelligence, and stay updated on industry-related technical developments

Persons of all gender, race, sex, orientation, age, and identity are encouraged to apply.

Degree qualifications

  • Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA)
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA)