Business Advisor At Farm Africa

JOB TITLE: Business Advisor**

REPORTS TO: Business Manager



LOCATION: Addis Ababa with travel across Ethiopia.

DURATION & HOURS: Fixed term and full-time with a probation period of 60 working days.


Farm Africa has attracted seed capital to establish a business development services (BDS) Unit called Cultivate. Cultivate is piloting an online BDS service delivery across 3 Farm Africa’s countries of operation Kenya, Ethiopia and Tanzania. The Cultivate BDS service delivery consists a fully online capacity support where all the content is provided online with minimal physical support and a hybrid delivery mechanism where part of the content is accessed online while the other is facilitated on site or face to face. The online content delivery creates a pathway for Cultivate to scale its services and crucial to mitigate the limited travel constraint brought about by Covid-19. Cultivate will seek to de-risk SGBs’ investment in appropriate BDS to actuate their growth plans, and stimulate and monitor improved business performance. The target businesses are small and growing agribusinesses (SGBs) in strategic value chains over the three countries.


Cultivate whilst financially donor driven in the pilot phase incorporates private sector commercial principles of client relationship management, prudent cost controls, consistent product improvement and a clear path of return on investment. The Service delivery costs initially will be co-shared with the select SGBs to test the willingness to pay based on the perceived value of the services so that there is a clear path towards commercialisation of Cultivate services.

Cultivate is therefore seeking an experienced commercially minded Business Advisor who will apply private sector principles while supporting SGBs in Ethiopia to improve their operations, improve their revenue, profitability and access financing and investment through provision of targeted online Business Development Services.



  • The Business Advisor will be responsible for the identification, selection and engagement of a pipeline of viable SGBs at ‘early stage and growth’ in strategic value chains across Ethiopia to participate in the Cultivate Online BDS provision initiative.
  • The Business Advisor will be responsible for assessing the SGBs to determine their financial viability, investment ability, forming opinions on their overall business viability and also recommending opportunities and solutions that will improve the operations of the SGB.
  • The Business Advisor will provide support to the SGBs in the online capacity building through provision of one on one client support, streaming of the webinars, trouble shooting and ensuring the upload of SGB quantitative data in the online platform.
  • The Business Advisor will be responsible for gathering and regularly reporting on the lessons learnt and recommending workable modifications to the business model in its journey towards sustainability and commercial viability.
  • The Business Advisor will be responsible for ensuring that the identified businesses have the appropriate support they need to improve their internal operations and access new markets, investments and funding, through training and targeted capacity building.
  • The Business advisor will be responsible for creating and building trusted relationships with the businesses creating effective feedback loops at the same time as acting as an advisor and mentor to the businesses.
  • The Business Advisor will be responsible for the collection of quantitative and qualitative MEL data from the SGBs on a regular basis that will be utilised to extract, analyse the business data and document learnings on a continual basis on the ability of the targeted capacity building in improving business performance and unlocking business growth.
  • The Business Advisor will be responsible for conducting periodic one on one ‘health checks’ with SGB’s in their portfolio, to assess growth plan performance, monitor impact and suitability, and amend plans if required.
  • The Business Advisor will work with the Business Manager to build the profile of Cultivate, expand the pipeline of SGBs, BDS providers and investors, and attract future funding for the Unit.


Education, qualifications & other knowledge

  • Degree in relevant field either Agriculture, Agriculture Economics, Financial or Business-related Discipline
  • Knowledge of the Agribusiness Sector in Ethiopia.
  • Existing networks with SGBs and key stakeholders in the SGBs/ BDS landscape in Ethiopia including the finance sector, incubators, accelerators, donors etc. and well versed with strategies for network development and expansion.
  • Professional training in financial management or business analytics or agricultural finance.


  • Minimum of 5 years’ experience working with Agribusinesses in Agricultural value Chains in Ethiopia.
  • Experience in agriculture lending and or investment.
  • Demonstrated experience and success in incubating and developing commercially focused early and growth stage agribusinesses in the country.
  • Demonstrated experience of business analytics, due diligence procedures and subsequent structuring and implementation of capacity development plans for SGBs.
  • Commercial business experience and a clear understanding of the practices and principles of the private sector.
  • Experience with financial, operational, and management analysis of applicant SGB’s.
  • Experience delivering online training to businesses.

Skills & abilities

  • A focused, commercial outlook and an appreciation of the realities that business owners face when running a small rural agribusiness.
  • Good written and verbal communication skills; able to fit in the broader Cultivate reporting matrix and contribute to as and when required.**
  • Excellent digital competencies using online digital platforms applications and delivering online training content.
  • Excellent presentation skills – able to design and deliver innovative training materials and communications confidently and effectively to a wide range of stakeholders.
  • Demonstrated creativity, willingness to innovate, think systemically and design catalytic resources and training activities to drive progressive SGB engagement with BDS service providers.
  • Excellent command of spoken and written English and Amharic. Ability to speak Kiswahili will be an added advantage.
  • Excellent client relationship and partner management skills.
  • Ability to work constructively in a team.

Our Values

Investing in smallholder farming is the number one way to combat poverty in rural Africa. Farm Africa is a leading NGO specialising in growing agriculture, protecting the environment and developing businesses in rural Africa.

EXPERT. Deep expertise and insightful evidence-based solutions are at the heart of everything Farm Africa does.

GROUNDED. Positive change starts with Africa’s people, so our experts work closely with local communities, engaging them in every level of decision-making.

IMPACTFUL. We take a long-term view so we can deliver lasting changes for farmers and their families.

BOLD. We model innovative new approaches and are not afraid to challenge strategies that are failing.

How to apply

If you meet the above requirements for this position, submit your cover letter (maximum 1 page) indicating the title of the position and the expected salary along with an updated CV (maximum 4 pages) with email and telephone contacts of three professional referees to with the subject line Cultivate Business Advisor before or by 5.00pm EAT on Monday 12th July 2021.

Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.

Farm Africa is an equal opportunity employer and promotes gender equity. Canvassing will lead to automatic disqualification. Farm Africa does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process. (E.g. Application, interview, meeting, processing, training or any other fees).

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