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Investment Manager - Grand Challenges Canada

Sep 05, 2019
Metro Toronto Area, Ontario

Grand Challenges Canada (GCC) is seeking Investment Managers to play critical roles in supporting the development and oversight of a portfolio of Transition-to-Scale (TTS) investments in innovations that save and improve lives in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) through two initiatives: (i) development innovation focused on reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health (RMNCH) and (ii) the Humanitarian Grand Challenge (HGC): Creating Hope in Conflict.

GCC is dedicated to supporting Bold Ideas with Big Impact®. Funded by the Government of Canada, Creating Hope in Conflict Partners, and others, we work with a global network of partners to bring successful innovations to scale, catalyzing sustainability and impact. The bold ideas we support integrate science and technology, social and business innovation – we call this Integrated Innovation®. We have a determined focus on results, and on saving and improving lives.

One of the largest impact-first investors in Canada, and with a feminist investment approach, Grand Challenges Canada has supported a pipeline of over 1100 innovations in more than 85 countries. Grand Challenges Canada estimates that these innovations have the potential to save up to 1.6 million lives and improve up to 35 million lives by 2030.

GCC funds innovation at two phases of development:

  • Seed: to test that innovations can function as designed (i.e. to demonstrate proof-of-concept).
  • TTS: to catalyze the scale and sustainability of tested, promising innovations.

Tapping into its maturing pipelines of innovations and pipelines of other trusted partners, GCC is increasingly focusing its efforts to support innovations at TTS, using a combination of grant funding and risk-bearing capital. These positions will focus on sourcing and supporting Transition to Scale investments in the following portfolios:

  • Reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health: We support innovations with significant potential for improved health outcomes in RMNCH, including but not limited to:
    • Saving Lives at Birth: Innovations that save and improve the lives of pregnant women and newborns around the time of birth;
    • Saving Brains: Innovations that improve child development outcomes for children under 5.
    • Menstrual, Sexual & Reproductive Health & Rights: Innovations that provide a full range of services and information for women and adolescent girls regarding menstrual hygiene management, comprehensive family planning, sexuality education, and prevention of gender-based violence.
    • Sanitation: Innovations that improve access to sustainable improved sanitation services through container-based toilets and end-to-end sanitation solutions.
  • Humanitarian Grand Challenge: We support life-saving or life-improving innovations that help the most vulnerable and hardest-to-reach people impacted by humanitarian crises caused by conflict, across the following focus areas:
    • Safe water and sanitation: Innovations that improve the supply and quality of water, sanitation and waste management in conflict settings.
    • Energy: Innovations that create affordable, clean and reliable sources of electricity, including supporting local energy equipment vendors and better mapping energy demand and usage.
    • Life-saving information: Innovations that improve access to life-saving information, which may include addressing ICT infrastructure challenges, increasing digital literacy or improving two-way communication between humanitarian actors and the affected communities.
    • Health supplies and services: A wide range of innovations including, but not limited to, improving local manufacturing of health and nutrition supplies, improving medical product logistics or improving emergency outbreak response.

Description of Responsibilities

Formally reporting to a Senior Investment Manager, and working closely with other Investment Managers, Associates, Program Officers, and the broader programs teams, Investment Managers will play a key role in developing, shaping and managing a growing portfolio of TTS investments in innovative products, services and implementation models. Employing advanced business acumen, strong finance and investment knowledge and experience, responsibilities of Investment Managers will include but are not limited to:

  • Source and secure sufficient and quality pipeline opportunities from external and internal sources;
  • Evaluate new investment opportunities, including conducting financial and operational due diligence and risk analysis, as well as gender considerations and impact assessments;
  • Prepare and/or pitch potential investments to GCC’s Investment Committee;
  • Engage in negotiations of term sheets and their translation into investment agreements, including the development of appropriate funding structures;
  • Conduct ongoing management of investments (i.e. provide post-deal execution support) for success, e.g., assist investee companies in developing partnerships, fundraising, and managing other issues as they emerge;
  • Help lead and contribute to the analysis of TTS portfolio progress, results and lessons on a continual basis;
  • Serve as a thought leader in developing best practices for impact-first investing in innovation targeting social challenges;
  • Engage with innovators throughout investment process;
  • Establish and/or manage networks critical to accomplishing the above responsibilities; e.g.,  partnerships with a range of stakeholders, including foundations, impact investors, social entrepreneurs, development organizations; and,
  • Act as a brand ambassador for GCC, represent GCC's and partners’ strategic interests and promote their activities and opportunities through external collaborations and communications with potential partners, innovators, external thought leaders, and government representatives.

Competencies and qualities

  • Advanced degree in a relevant discipline with advanced business training (e.g., MBA, CFA, relevant Master’s degree)
  • A minimum of 3-5 years of social impact investing experience, preferably within international early stage venture investment or private debt/equity (experience with blended finance an asset); strong preference will go to those with education and/or experience in global/public health and/or international development and/or humanitarian issues, peace & conflict studies, or human rights.
  • Excellent knowledge and understanding of one or more areas listed above in the RMNCH portfolio and/or the HGC portfolio; sanitation experience preferred for at least one position.
  • Experience in, and a comfort level working with, a fast-paced, dynamic, entrepreneurial environment
  • Demonstrated ability to take initiative and effectively manage competing priorities and deadlines
  • Highly developed interpersonal skills with demonstrated ability to work well independently with minimal supervision and within a multidisciplinary team
  • An inquisitive mind with the patience to arrive at an unconventional conclusion
  • Excellent critical thinking skills with the ability to identify and solve problems
  • Highly motivated, action oriented, and results driven with a positive ‘can do’ attitude
  • Excellent verbal and written communications skills
  • Some international travel will be required


  • Commensurate with experience   


  • Term, full-time – Start date: August/September 2019

Application process

  • Please send your CV, cover letter, and 3 references
  • Applicants must be eligible to work in Canada.

If you are interested in making your contribution at UHN, please apply on-line HERE. You will be asked to copy and paste as well as attach your resume and covering letter. You will also be required to complete some initial screening questions.

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