All Posts By

admin

Job Opening: Human Resources & Training Manager

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

Location:        Kampala, Uganda or Kigali, Rwanda

Reports to:     Chief Operating Officer

Start date:      August or September 2017

Apply by:        August 18th, 2017

The Position: Jibu is looking for an experienced professional with demonstrated ability to provide leadership, training and support in human resources and administrative support services to managers and associates in a fast-paced, growing business in a developing market.

This position requires:

  • An energetic self-starter with the experience and insight to be proactive and work independently
  • Excellent written, verbal and interpersonal communication skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Flexibility and creativity
  • The ability to effectively juggle multiple priorities while meeting needs and deadlines
  • An understanding and interest in contributing to positive social impact through business

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  1. Recruiting for open positions within the company at the global level, and coordinating and facilitating recruitment for open positions at the country level
  2. Developing position criteria, creating and / or keeping existing job descriptions up to date
  3. Conducting and coordinating interviews, internal feedback and reference checks
  4. Onboarding of all new employees, to include continuously updating and improving documentation and processes
  5. Taking charge of Jibu’s intern and fellowship program – from sourcing and selecting candidates, to development of key performance indicators (KPIs), to assisting with their relocation and settlement in-country as needed
  6. Leading the analysis, evaluation and planning efforts required to determine the on-going staffing and training needed to effectively meet the demands of a growing company within the means / budget of a social enterprise.
  7. Participating in and taking the lead and / or assisting as necessary with training and human resources needs in new markets as a member of the Jibu expansion / development team
  8. Providing expertise, direction and best practices in organizational development, team building and continuous reinforcement of Jibu culture and values
  9. Assessing and addressing business and leadership development needs and working with management on succession planning
  10. Providing mediation and facilitating conflict resolution as needed
  11. Designing and implementing an electronic Learning Management System (LMS) to standardize training material and processes across markets.
  12. Assessing and anticipating training and re-training needs
  13. Providing or working with Trainer or training resources to provide training in various areas of need for the business
  14. Developing work performance, training impact and employee engagement measures and working with team members to implement and develop action plans
  15. Evaluating effectiveness of procedures, processes and systems in the human resources and training arenas, working with management to continue to adapt approach, delivery, materials, etc. as required
  16. Creating new, as well as refreshing existing, channels and modes of internal communication and training delivery based on external data and internal best practices
  17. Ensuring employee records are compliant and up-to-date
  18. Collecting employment data and producing HR reports for distribution in-country and enterprise-wide as needed
  19. Collaborating with and assisting team members and management with additional duties and responsibilities as required 

Qualifications:

  • 4+ years’ experience in training and related areas of responsibility in an emerging market context, preferably in sub-Saharan Africa
  • Experience working with a for-profit business
  • Cultural knowledge and experience working or living in East Africa
  • A team player with a sense of adventure wanting to make a difference
  • Personality profile: practical, persistent, likeable, resourceful, organizer, likes challenges
  • Full mastery of Microsoft Office and experience with more complex software
  • Fluent in English, familiarity with local dialects a plus

Compensation: the successful candidate will earn a competitive salary commensurate with their experience.

To apply: send CV or Resume to Anna Taugher, anna.taugher@jibuco.com

Forbes Under 30 Podcast

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

Podcast: Galen Welsch Generates Safe Drinking Water and Jobs in Africa

Laurel Moglen, Executive Producer for Forbes Podcasts at PodcastOne

Listen to the full episode here: https://www.forbes.com/sites/laurelmoglen/2017/07/12/podcast-galen-welsch-generates-safe-drinking-water-and-jobs-in-africa/#739f22be1974

He’s not seeking glory as a hero of social enterprise. Galen Welsch just wants to keep building his company, Jibu, which offers a market-based approach to solve basic social problems of emerging markets —  like access to safe and affordable drinking water. Jibu equips African entrepreneurs to co-invest in their franchise in order to get away from a donor dependency model. These mostly young African business owners set up shop with the help of Jibu’s infrastructure to hire employees and bring clean drinking water to their local communities.

(L-R) Alfred Edakasi, one of Jibu's first franchisees in Uganda and Galen Welsch, CEO and co-founder of Jibu.

(L-R) Alfred Edakasi, one of Jibu’s first franchisees in Uganda and Galen Welsch, CEO and co-founder of Jibu. Photo Courtesy of Andy Berndt of Community Blueprint.

On this episode of Forbes Under 30, hear Galen Welsch talk about what motivated him to uproot himself to Africa, why he chose to create a for-profit social enterprise company as opposed to a non-profit and the obstacles he’s tackled to bring Jibu to fruition.

Franchising Outlook by Dr. Ben Litalien

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

Jibu Board member Dr. Litalien is the founder and principal of Franchise Well, a specialized consulting practice supporting franchise companies, prospective franchisees and nonprofit organizations interested in the franchise sector. His article “Franchise Outlook for the US in 2017,” recently published in Franchise Asia, offers an insightful analysis of changes in the franchising sector.

Prepare for Change

Franchising in the U.S. has enjoyed decades of consistency on numerous levels. Franchisors and franchisees acted predictably, marketing for franchisees was one dimensional, and the regulatory environment was generally stable. Now franchising in the U.S. is in the midst of the most disruptive period it has known. Welcome to the new normal in franchising…a period of constant change.

Every aspect of franchising is on the table and there is no end in sight. The number of companies using the franchise model has exploded with over 3,500 actively pursuing a slower growing pool of candidates, according to FranData. State regulators have stepped up activity and oversight of registrations, increasing franchisor costs and seeking to shift the model towards franchisee empowerment. Broker networks seemingly exceed the pool of candidates, offering to find the right “fit” for every prospect and exacting 50% or more of the franchise fee for doing so. The National Labor Relations Board’s pursuit of independent contractor business models sent shockwaves across the franchise sector last year, sending many franchisors into panic- mode to revise their manuals and evaluate their practices, and it persists in 2017.

An unparalleled generational shift, led by almost 100M millennials further isolated franchisors and franchisees, both struggling to figure out how to effectively communicate. Yet, the value of the franchise model has never been higher as financial firms have developed a penchant for the annuity-like returns. Valuations have risen to questionable proportions creating more winners and losers, and the pool of strong acquisition targets is diminishing which is exacerbating the market. For franchise companies in the U.S. and those interested in coming to the market, here is a deeper look into a few of the most pressing issues top keep in mind.

Franchise Development

The success of the franchise model has attracted an increasing number of entrepreneurs to bring literally hundreds of new offerings to the market annually, many from overseas, each ofwhich must compete for a modest pool of prospects. While in the past these new concepts could solicit a “franchise packager” to turn their model into a U.S. ready system, the results of that may not be as effective as a much more customized approach will be needed. The proliferation of the brokers provides these new franchise entrants with a “turn-key” solution to their franchise development needs, by identifying interested candidates and connecting them to a potential franchisor. While that seems simple enough, there just may not be enough quality candidates to go around in 2017.

Yet, those that chose to go direct to the market will find it increasingly difficult to attract prospects using traditional approaches such as trade shows, outbound campaigns and internal referrals. Franchise Development staff will need to put away their “shotgun” approaches and get out the “sniper rifle” to target prospects with the right characteristics for the concept. And, when a franchisor identifies a high-profile target, they will need to go after them with new fervor to ensure they choose them over the growing number of direct and complimentary substitutes. This year, renewed efforts should be placed on bolstering existing franchisees that are not realizing the full potential of their franchises to ensure systems are not losing ground on the market. This requires a fresh look at franchise support staff capabilities, their time spent with franchisees and what is in their “toolkit” to help close performance gaps.

The Widening Communication Dilemma

The most chronic issue facing franchising in 2017 is internal communications. Dramatic generational shifts are taking place as millennials, those ages 20 to 35, have entered the workforce and their mindset is significantly different than their predecessors. According to generational researcher and author, Jamie Notter, he suggests in his book When Millennials Take Over, they need work environments that are “digital, clear, fluid and fast”. Coupled with the growing diversity of franchisees (e.g. more women, more minorities, more veterans and more foreign owners) franchise systems must evolve their communication strategies to create more consensus, become more inclusive and promote more franchisee-to-franchisee engagement.

Furthermore, the franchise offers couched in the cookie-cutter model of the 90’s must now give way to innovative models including quasi-franchises and hybrid agreements. Also, the ‘Franchise Advisory Council’ and ‘National Ad Fund Council’ approaches should be revisited with an eye towards more franchisee engagement, more localization of the marketing and more monitoring on their impact on elevating brand value. More diversity in the composition of these groups is needed, along with more feedback loops from franchisees across the network to build consensus. As more millennials enter the franchise sector this year than ever before, it is critical franchise leaders prepare to embrace them as employees, franchisees and supply partners. Failure to do so could led to catastrophic results. Likewise, franchise offering documents and agreements should be reviewed to ensure they are timely and well-balanced.

As more diverse groups enter the franchise arena they desire transparency in all aspects of the offer, reasonableness in   the agreements and fairness in the benefits from success. As regulatory bodies review franchise documents, they are increasingly looking for the same recipe. All too often, franchisors just “update” their offers annually with minimal changes. 2017 is a year for a complete rewrite of the offer, agreements and manuals.

Renewed Focus on Innovation

Historically, when a business reaches a plateau in their lifecycle they either reinvent themselves or fall into decline, which if left unchecked can lead to obsolescence as in the case of Blockbuster and Radio Shack. Franchise systems are reticent to embrace innovation given the rigidity of the model. Rarely do franchisees like or embrace change, and there is really no good time in the franchise lifecycle to require it. For example, when should a franchisor upgrade their software platform? It is a very disruptive event given new franchisees just figured out the old model and mature franchisees don’t want the investment cost or learning curve.

Consequently, franchising lags traditional company innovation cycles. In 2017 it will become necessary for more franchise systems to release the shackles on innovation, develop deliberate and strategic plans for advancing their brands, and renew many tired systems. The velocity of change in the marketplace requires much shorter lifespans for most products and services, and franchising will have to join this fray to remain competitive with Uber, Facebook, Zappos and the myriad of others that use innovation as a core differentiator.

Susan Reed, founder of Edge Dwellers suggests that franchise companies have a limited understanding of the strategic value of innovation. “Franchisors rarely understand how they stack up compared to their competition, thus they don’t know what type of innovation is needed to compete”. Prospective franchisees would do well to pay attention to the innovation activity of franchises they are interested in pursuing.

Finding the Right Fit

Franchisee selection has been widely discussed over the years, but in the current fever-pitched arena to secure new franchisees, it has become easier to rationalize accepting a broader array of candidates. While the pain of such a decision is not quickly felt, given the decade or longer average lifespan, it can be debilitating over time. This year franchisors should be even more discerning when deciding who to let into the network as an insurance policy on support costs, underperformance, closed units and reduced overall valuations.

The reliance on broker networks can eat up much of the upfront fees franchisors once enjoyed, but the lifeblood of any franchise organization is the long-term royalty stream, and that come this year to gain a fuller understanding of what drives success within their concept and be guarded against allowing candidates into the network that don’t demonstrate those factors. This takes tremendous discipline in an environment where candidates are harder to come by, financial owners want growth, and high valuations are driving decision-making. Likewise, franchise prospects are in the best position ever to leverage their status when considering a franchise. It’s a buyers’ market in the U.S. and high quality candidates should not be reluctant to “negotiate” all aspects of the offer.

Rising Above the Ordinary

This year in franchising will likely produce a widening group of winners and losers, and require franchisors and franchisees to be willing to accept change to reflect the dynamic marketplace and leverage opportunities. Too often, however, change is not made because of a lack of confidence in what change is needed. The franchise sector would do well to take some time in 2017 and plot an effective change management course for the future. Franchise systems that do it effectively in 2017 will rise above the ordinary.

 

 

East African Impact Investing

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

Jibu recently hosted an East African exploratory visit for impact investors including PeakChange, one of Jibu’s earliest and most catalytic investors. Here are key takeaways of the East African investment landscape shared by Emily Winslow of the PeakChange team:

In May 2017, PeakChange spent a whirlwind week in East Africa. The immediate purpose of our trip was to engage with Jibu, one of our direct portfolio investments, while our long-term goal was to deepen our understanding of the impact investing and social enterprise landscapes in Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda.

Our team had most recently visited Kenya in February.  And, PeakChange has taken several investor trips to the region over the last couple of years, including Investors’ Circle investor trips. I taught in Ghana following college graduation, and I toured the continent for half a year from the Indian to the Atlantic Oceans.  The entire PeakChange team has had separate as well as shared experience in Africa.  During this visit, we met with entrepreneurs, engaged with local stakeholders, and got to know the capitals of each country a bit better.

We believe that effective impact investment requires more than just the commitment of capital. Devotion of time, resources, experience, passion, and other applications of attention is necessary to optimize financial, social, and environmental returns on investment. Especially when it comes to investing in developing countries, there is no substitute for first-hand experience. Support for social ventures that deliver solutions to the world’s most pressing problems requires you to get out of your home/office, go to where the action is, and step away from your computer while you’re there. When making impact investments in places like East Africa, getting to know the people, culture, environment, history, political and business contexts is essential.

A week may not seem like a long time, but here are my 7 takeaways from 7 days:

1. DO THE STAKEHOLDER TRIP.

IMG_1493.JPG

Almost a dozen people traveled from the U.S., Europe, and India to see Jibu’s budding operations first hand in Uganda, Rwanda, and Kenya. The itinerary was fast paced and packed with franchisee mixers, in-store visits, team meetings at Jibu HQs, warehouse tours and a stakeholder roundtable discussion. We were able to ask entrepreneurs face-to-face how becoming a Jibu franchise owner had changed their lives (almost all for the better) and, by sampling the product for ourselves, come to understand why customers would want to drink Jibu water over the competition (spoiler alert: it’s designed to taste better). The trip allowed investors and stakeholders to understand the business and its operations through firsthand experiences, thereby informing strategy discussions and generating more sophisticated feedback.

2. GET TO KNOW THE LOCAL CULTURE, PEOPLE, AND ORGANIZATIONS IN YOUR GEOGRAPHICAL AREA OF INTEREST.

Africa is a very diverse continent. Each country has it’s own unique cultures and contexts. Therefore, the importance of making local connections and understanding local customs cannot be overstated.  So, aside from our time with Jibu, we sought opportunities to learn more about each country’s culture and social entrepreneurship ecosystem.  I was particularly grateful to learn more about the Global Livingston Institute’s work in Kampala. Through the guidance of Martina Namuddu, the Director of East Africa Logistics, I became familiar with the organization’s programs and initiatives, explored cultural attractions, and connected with local social entrepreneurs.  In Kigali, Noel Ntabanganyimana, a colleague through one of our portfolio companies, ThinkImpact, was a great tour guide and took us to a peri-urban area to explore real estate development opportunities. The demand for affordable housing in Kigali is estimated at 344,068 dwelling units between 2012 and 2022. More than 60% are needed for low and middle-class affordable housing; and options are hard to come by in locations adjacent to urban settings, which are typically agricultural.

3. JOB CREATION IS VITAL, BUT FINDING AND RETAINING TALENT IS HARD.

The region has a disproportionately young population, where nearly 45% is under the age of 15 and almost 65% is below age 25. Beyond noting that each country in East Africa has a population pyramid that skews heavily towards youth, the details for each demographic and the implications for economic development are worth exploring. The population of Rwanda is relatively small and has been greatly affected by the genocide, leaving many people who are uneducated or undereducated and under-resourced to take advantage of economic opportunities. One stat I heard was that 80% of Uganda’s population was under the age of 25. I later verified this claim and came to appreciate that Uganda has one of the youngest and most rapidly growing populations in the world; its total fertility rate is among the world’s highest.

Most of the young entrepreneurs I spoke with had multiple jobs or side hustles with limited ability to focus attention on any one business and without resources to source capital for their various projects. I connected with Aireen Katongole, the Director of Talent and Recruitment at Staffable, a recruitment and training workforce accelerator in East Africa, who is dedicated to solving these employment issues. Opportunities exist. Figuring out how to best develop, engage, and retain talent in growing organizations remains a challenge.

4. CO-WORKING SPACES ARE THRIVING.

In Kampala, I visited a few co-working spaces with Martina. These types of entrepreneur ecosystems did not exist just a few years ago. For example, Nairobi Garage, one of the largest co-working tech hubs in Africa, was founded in 2013. In a region where power shortages are common and the internet can be spotty at best, the importance of a good office space cannot be overlooked. I was encouraged to see tech companies and social enterprises co-located in large facilities where they have room to grow and scale in their current space. In talking with the entrepreneurs, I found they perceive many of the same benefits familiar to co-working spaces typical in the U.S. Early-stage businesses and social entrepreneurs can greatly benefit from working in these types of environments by sharing resources, strengthening networks, and generating entrepreneurial hubs across East African cities.

5. HUGE OPPORTUNITIES ARE AVAILABLE FOR IMPACT INVESTMENT.

The combined population of four target markets for investors in East Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda), is estimated to be 225M by 2030. There are not a lot of investors competing for a place in these large and growing markets. If you are interested in investing in agriculture or energy, East Africa may be the place for you. Both sectors are growing and scaling due to the market for agricultural innovation and renewable energy. Rwanda’s robust business climate and track record of stable government make an attractive environment for impact investors looking for opportunities. The business environment in Uganda appears more challenging, but the economy is growing and improving over time. If direct investing isn’t your thing, there are plenty of incredible Development Finance Organizations and NGOs in East Africa that need support as well. Social businesses have challenges accessing funding and funding networks. Building and strengthening these relationships is vital for the impact investing space.

6. BUILDING BUSINESSES IN EAST AFRICA ISN’T CHEAP AND REQUIRES RISK TOLERANCE.

High financial returns and high social impact is an incredibly difficult target for early-stage social companies to hit. In the developed world, we take for granted that our roads are paved properly, when we order a product we can anticipate within a reasonable time frame when it will arrive, and that business norms will be followed.  In African countries, we can’t make such assumptions.  Furthermore, despite immense infrastructure challenges, market barriers, and unfavorable policy and regulatory environments, social ventures in East Africa must be commercially viable and present the ability to scale.  Although most enterprises have built social impact into their business model, they don’t necessarily advertise themselves as social businesses; so we should look at what companies actually do and not just what they say.

Investors rightfully have doubts about the ability for exits and the stability of policy initiatives. It appears as though investors will need to take a more hands-on role to support their investments in East Africa, including helping them with resources and business challenges beyond direct capital investment.

7. EAT THE FISH WHILE YOU CAN.

While visiting Jibu’s franchise and microfranchise locations around Kampala, we were fortunate to have lunch at a restaurant on the water. This was not my first time sitting on the shore of Lake Victoria, the first being a trip I’d taken to the region in 2009. Lake Victoria is one of the largest bodies of freshwater in the world and supports a growing human population of approximately 30 million. Over the last forty years, the biodiversity of the lake and its catchment has been compromised for a variety of reasons. The indigenous fish species variety has been reduced by 80%, and over 70% of the forest cover in the catchment has been lost.  Although familiar with the area, my understanding of the environmental ecosystem and workforce challenges gave me a new perspective of the importance and fragility of eating the local fish with my hands as I’ve been able to do over the last decade. It’s an experience not to be missed, while you still can.