Specialist Innovation Investments

Report to: Head of ICF & MEL
Location: Islamabad
Application deadline for the position is August 3, 2023


About Us

Guided by Karandaaz vision, we believe that every Pakistani deserves to be Financially Included and Economically Empowered. Our mission at Karandaaz is to foster economic growth and create jobs through financial inclusion of unbanked individuals and unserved enterprises.

Karandaaz Pakistan is a not-for-profit organization, registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan under Section 42 of the Companies Act 2017. We are supported by Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF).

Karandaaz Innovation through its programmatic interventions, Innovation Challenge Fund (ICF), Women Ventures (WV), and Green Challenge Fund (GCF) aims to address gaps in the financial architecture to improve access to finance and support commercially viable business ideas in high impact areas.

The Innovation Challenge Fund (ICF) addresses challenges in financial inclusion by investing in innovative products and services. Karandaaz works with private sector firms to invite solutions to these challenges and reduce the risk of product development by funding the projects. The challenge fund can help overcome market failures that would otherwise prevent a solution-provider from making an initial investment due to costs associated with information discovery, risk mitigation or simply lack of funding.

Karandaaz Green Challenge Fund (GCF) supports Greentech, SMEs, Not-for-Profits and other formal entities in testing and scaling up innovative solutions to the climate change issues in Pakistan. Karandaaz provides critical finance to ideas that do not get traction from traditional market sources. Karandaaz GCF portfolio includes solutions on plastic waste management, efficient water management, and air quality.

Women Ventures (WV) is a programmatic intervention by Karandaaz to provide growth capital and business development support to female entrepreneurs who are aspiring to scale up and expand business operations. These businesses belong to a range of sectors and are actively contributing to job creation and economic development. Women Ventures has also entered into institutional partnerships to reach businesses with smaller funding requirements in Tier 2 geographies (beyond Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad).

Job Responsibilities

 Role and responsibilities of the Specialist are linked to the following programme components and overall support to the KRN Innovation function:

Women Ventures (40%)

  • Support the WV Investment Panel (IP) in selection of businesses. This involves initial due diligence of businesses, developing and reviewing Business Growth Plans, and providing business growth analyses to the IP.
  • Negotiate the term sheets and contracts with selected WV awardees and manage the financing agreement with the businesses.
  • Oversee the post-investment monitoring process, manage relationship with investee companies and provide feedback to senior management on performance, associated risks, and repayment behavior of the portfolio.
  • Track financial and operational performance of each business along with providing technical assistance to strengthen business performance and institutional development of WV businesses.
  • Conduct financial analysis of the WV portfolio for periodic reporting to the CEO and KRN Board.
  • Engage with and manage service providers (business development support, legal counsel, and other technical assistance) for efficient programme delivery and high-quality support to WV portfolio businesses.

Innovation Challenge Fund (ICF) (25%)

  • Undertake research and analysis in areas of financial inclusion to develop thematic concept notes for challenge rounds and budgets.
  • Manage the competitive process for challenge rounds, including outreach, lead generation, proposal screening, supporting the Advisory committee, and completing all documentation as per the Operations Manual for ICF.
  • Manage onboarding and contracting of selected partners, including development of project milestones, deliverables, grant disbursement schedules and reporting templates.
  • Monitor projects funded through ICF, including regular engagement with implementing partners, management of the fund disbursement process, assessment and oversight of key milestones, institutionalizing regular progress updates from partners, flagging delays and problems in implementation to Head ICF, reporting lessons learnt into ICF design, and successfully closing projects.
  • Achieve targets agreed in the project financing agreements and the results commitment with KRN sponsors and Board.

Green Challenge Fund (20%)

Provide operational support to the lead on implementation of GCF. This will include working closely with the lead/GCF Specialist on:

  • Annual selection process and existing portfolio of green projects with Green Techs, SMEs, research institutions, other green-focused entities and contribute to the strategy development and product refinement for this segment.
  • Onboarding and contracting of awardees. This will include drawing up of term sheets and clear results framework for each project within stipulated timelines. Post investment activities include actively monitoring project delivery, regular engagement with implementation partners, progress reporting to Head Innovation, and support MEL activities for GCF.
  • Achieve annual performance targets agreed in financing agreements and results committed to the KRN Board and sponsors.

Overall Programme Support (15%)

  • Work with the MEL team to ensure that development objectives of Innovation are measurable and reported at all stages.
  • Develop annual and quarterly work plans, budget forecasts and updates and updating risk frameworks for review by Head Innovation.
  • Manage internal and external audit processes as required under supervision of Head Innovation
  • Any other task necessary to ensure the optimum performance of the Innovation team


Education & Experience

  • Minimum Bachelor’s degree in Business, Economics, Finance or related field of study with an understanding of project management and social science research.
  • CFA qualification (Level II) will be an added advantage but is not a mandatory requirement.
  • Minimum 06 years of relevant experience in SME investment management or the credit/portfolio management/programme. Experience in in the financial sector will be an added advantage.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities.

  • Understanding of the corporate governance/regulatory requirements of SMEs
  • Knowledge of financial inclusion and impact investing
  • Knowledge of grant management in the financial inclusion space
  • Demonstrated experience of client management, portfolio management, working independently, strategic thinking and managing a diverse project portfolio.
  • Strong financial analysis and forecasting skills
  • Strong analytical skills in terms of research, sectoral analysis and programme design.
  • Excellent English writing and presentation skills
  • Highly organized, self-driven with demonstrated project and time management skills.
  • Ability to interface with and effectively manage stakeholders at multiple levels
  • Ability to work to multiple and tight deadlines with a commitment to quality, accuracy and attention to detail.
  • Willingness to travel to different locations in Pakistan, as required.

Culture and Values at Karandaaz

Karandaaz Culture is guided by our values of Innovation, Collaboration, Accountability, Respect and Equity (ICARE). These values shape our choices on what we do and how we do it, both with colleagues internally and partners externally. We also believe that we are all responsible for creating a great place to work and are constantly looking to hire individuals who bring the same level of passion and commitment to the purpose of the organization.

If you believe in the Karandaaz vision and values and feel excited about the work we are offering, please send us your application for this position at careers@karandaaz.com.pk clearly mentioning the position title in the subject line.

Karandaaz is an equal opportunity employer and encourages applications by all population groups

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Non-profit company registered under Section 42 of the Companies Act, 2017