Director of SME Growth (East Africa Regional Position)

Job Type

Full Time



Application Deadline





TERM:                    Full time, minimum 1-year commitment, Renewable

LOCATION:        Kigali, Rwanda (with East African responsibilities)

REPORTS TO:       COO for Expansion and Product Development; Managing Director for Rwanda deliverables



African Entrepreneur's Rwandan company, Inkomoko Entrepreneur Development works with entrepreneurs in Rwanda to provide them growth planning, technology tools, accounting and finance support, including direct affordable debt investment to grow their businesses. Inkomoko is the signature accelerator program of African Entrepreneur Collective, which has worked with more than 3,300 entrepreneurs across East Africa, ranging from refugee entrepreneurs to tourism businesses to agriculture exporters.  AEC’s goal is to support African entrepreneurs to create jobs by providing them skills, networks, and access to finance needed to grow their enterprises. 

AEC is in an exciting growth phase, by expanding the Inkomoko SME program in Rwanda and also replicating in other East African markets with break-even objectives. The SME Director will lead efforts to ensure product relevance, impact, and financial sustainability of across East Africa. Specifically, the SME Growth Director will: 


  • Work with CEO, COO, and Managing Director to plan and manage the budget, staffing, and other resource needs to deliver on KPIs and strategic objectives for the SME department
  • Supervise the team of 18 SME advisors and trainers to deliver business development services to at least 150 entrepreneurs annually in Rwanda
  • Manage, coach, and develop SME Managers to ensure excellent service delivery of their teams 
  • Build a team to reach company objectives – hire, fire, develop, and promote as necessary
  • Organize service delivery and reporting on large institutional projects
  • Serve a key role on the AEC/Inkomoko Leadership Team, providing strategic direction and leadership for expansion, fundraising, budgeting, and leading org culture. 
  • Work with Finance Department to manage client payments and expenses
  • Maintain standards of the department quality, productivity, and capacity
  • Other duties to support organizational culture and leadership



  • With the govt relations team, build strategic relationships in new locales
  • Work with HR for building a new team, training
  • Develop and implement strategies to replicate the SME Department in new geographies, with a focus on quality and profitability 
  • Develop program plan, budget, marketing, and other activities to establish a new office in another East African country



  • Work with the M&E team to ensure product impact and relevance
  • Innovate/ iterate on existing products (training, assessment, consulting, technology tools) for cost/time efficiency and impact
  • Develop new products to meet client needs or market opportunities in multiple locations
  • Ensure connection between SME Dept and our Micro department to ensure that both client-service roles share practices and learnings
  • Modify products to meet the needs of various businesses – micro, SME, export-focused, agriculture, tourism & hospitality
  • Change management within the organization to toll out new products nad train staff to implement them



  • Manage a sales team to meet annual goals
  • Find, develop, and negotiate proposals/budgets with institutional clients to leverage our core services.
  • Supervise marketing materials and sales strategies to meet sales objectives in multiple locations and target industries
  • Meet with prospective strategic clients to explain Inkomoko’s services, and confirm their contract 



  • Maintain and grow Inkomoko’s relationships with various program partners and external stakeholders including associations and local government. 
  • Stay up-to-date with trends in tourism and hospitality, agribusiness, and entrepreneurship across Rwanda and East Africa. Connect entrepreneurs to new insights, developments, and other government initiatives
  • Support external communications and fundraising efforts, working with Comms & Development staff to provide case studies and data to support public relations on social media, blogs, and other forums



Successful candidates will demonstrate:

  • Proven track record of leadership, including significant roles in team development and growth
  • Experience with product development – through the lens of HCD – and a willingness to test, fail, iterate, and test again, incorporating data, not your own biases
  • Experience with SMEs or entrepreneurship in developing markets required
  • Ability to care about your colleagues and challenge them simultaneously
  • Strong experience in project management and budgeting and managing to outcomes
  • Unrelenting perseverance, personal integrity, and critical thinking skills
  • Love of working in East Africa with deep respect and nuanced understanding of racial and economic justice
  • Demonstrated ability to prioritize and manage multiple deadlines – must be both strategic and operational
  • Ability to work with high-profile individuals with discretion, professionalism, and responsiveness
  • Fluent in English, additional proficiency in French and Kinyarwanda strongly preferred
  • 8+ years of work experience in relevant or applicable field
  • MBA or equivalent preferred



AEC’s / Inkomoko’s core beliefs and values enable us to achieve our vision and mission. Our employees embody the key tenants of the company’s culture. In addition to the skills above, all candidates must demonstrate our core values:

  • Purpose: be solutions-oriented and produce high quality work and be a global leader.
  • Achievement: push yourself to reach beyond what you think is possible.
  • Improvement: Be humble and committed to continuous learning and growing. Improve through giving and receiving open and accurate feedback
  • Bravery: willing to take risks and create a safe space for others to take risks. Be compassionate and inclusive.
  • Turikumwe (We are together): Take time to appreciate colleagues, celebrate success, and hold each other up in hard times. We eat goat.

Level of Language Proficiency

English (fluent), Kinyarwanda, French, and/or Swahili and plus

Professional Level


Minimum Education Required

Master's degree

How To Apply


Submit your qualifications with the following information/attachments by 15 November:

  • CV or resume attachment
  • Salary requirements and available start date
  • In the application online, please answer the following in the open writing section:
  1. Describe any experience you have working with entrepreneurs or SMEs and why you are passionate about the opportunity to support entrepreneurs in Rwanda.
  2. Describe your “management style” including how you as a SME Director would act to make your department a success (under 250 words)?