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Investment Manager - Humanitarian Grand Challenges - Grand Challenges Canada

Sep 26, 2019
Toronto, Ontario

Grand Challenges Canada is seeking an Investment Manager to play a critical role in supporting the development and oversight of a portfolio of Transition-to-Scale investments in innovations under the Creating Hope in Conflict: A Humanitarian Grand Challenge program. The Humanitarian Grand Challenge funding program, launched in February 2018, aims to identify and support groundbreaking solutions that engage the private sector and draw from the experiences of affected communities in order to significantly improve – and in many cases, save – the lives of vulnerable people affected by conflict. Our goal is to identify solutions that allow communities to respond more nimbly to complex emergencies and take steps to create better lives for themselves.

Funded by USAID, DFID and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, 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 1,100 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.

Grand Challenges Canada funds innovation at two phases of development:
• Seed: to test that innovations can function as designed (i.e. to demonstrate proof-of-concept).
• Transition to Scale: to catalyze the scale and sustainability of tested, promising innovations.

Tapping into its maturing pipeline of innovations and pipelines of other trusted partners, Grand Challenges Canada is increasingly focusing its efforts to support innovations at scale, 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:

The Humanitarian Grand Challenge Program: The program supports 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

Reporting to the Director of Humanitarian Innovation, and working closely with other Investment Managers, Associates, Program Officers, and the broader Programs Team, the Investment Manager will play a key role in developing, shaping and managing a growing portfolio of Transition to Scale 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:

• Shape and manage a growing portfolio of investments in innovative products, services and implementation models in the Humanitarian Grand Challenge program at transition to scale (i.e., sourcing, developing, negotiating, managing and exiting investments in the best, most potentially impactful humanitarian innovations.
• Assess new investment opportunities, including conducting financial and operational due diligence of potential investments;
• Prepare and/or pitch potential investments to our 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 growing and achieving their business plans, developing partnerships, fundraising, and managing other issues as they emerge;
• Help lead and contribute to the analysis of portfolio progress, results and lessons on a continual basis;
• Serve as thought leaders 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, represent Grand Challenges Canada and partners’ strategic interests and promote their activities and opportunities through external collaborations, presentations 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, international development, humanitarian issues, peace & conflict studies, or human rights.
• Excellent knowledge and understanding of one or more areas listed above in the portfolio
• 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

If you are interested in making your contribution at UHN, please apply on-line. 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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