Innovation Manager – West Africa

Employment Type
Full-Time or Near Full-Time (75 – 100%; to be negotiated with candidate)​
Location
Accra, Ghana (home-based)
Start Date
January 2022 ​(can be flexible)
A bit about us, and how we’re different

Digital Disruptions is a boutique US-based strategy and design innovation consulting firm focusing on fintech and digital financial services (DFS) in emerging markets. Since our founding in 2014, we’ve been re-thinking, and re-doing, how fintech consulting works in emerging markets. [Read more about our unique traits].  What’s more, we’ve been trusted by top-tier firms in public sector (e.g., World Bank, International Monetary Fund, United Nations, World Economic Forum) and private sector (e.g., Vodafone M-Pesa, Mastercard, VC-backed start-ups) alike. [See our past engagements.]

Our mission is to apply and adapt best-in-class innovation tools, methods, and mindsets to the fintech sector. By taking a start-up style approach that fuses analytical and creative thinking, we work diligently, yet swiftly, from research and design to build and launch phases. This creates tangible progress for our clients and meaningful outcomes for the people and communities they serve.

What we’re looking for

We’re seeking a senior (7-10 years of experience) Innovation Manager, based in Accra, Ghana. You will help drive the growth of digital products for our private and public sector clients, mainly in West Africa.  You’ll also support projects in other markets in Africa and Asia as needed.

You’ll use your strong project management skills to align client teams and external stakeholders towards execution, whether they be week-long sprints or multi-year engagements.   You’ll adjust plans as necessary, but still push forward with urgency.  You’ll support project engagements as needed, from synthesizing secondary research and conducting stakeholder interviews, to running basic data analysis and competitor assessments, and be the face of the firm in front of existing and prospective clients in West Africa.

You should have a passion for social impact, experience in digital technologies, and a fascination with emerging markets. On one hand, you should be ​proactive and self-motivated to work independently; on the other, you’ll work collaboratively with cross-functional subject-matter experts in different time zones. Most importantly, we are looking for someone who is both a strategic thinker and doer, with a strong bias to action and urgency.

What you’ll be doing 

As an Innovation Manager – West Africa at Digital Disruptions, you will work on a wide variety of exciting, meaningful projects in the region and across the rest of the continent, such as:

  • Acting as project manager for a multi-phase project leading bank’s mobile app for a remittance product to make it easier and cheaper for migrants based in Europe to send money to Africa;
  • Conducting secondary research and competitive analysis to boost adoption for agricultural payment products for farmers in West Africa;
  • Run a week-long design sprint on a new digital credit product for a fintech start-up;
  • Understand needs of prospective clients and help draft proposals to win deals.

Projects last anywhere from two weeks to two years, and you’ll often be involved in two to three projects at a given time.  You’ll work closely with our Head of Product and as part of a broader team of specialists in product, marketing, strategy, project management, and data analysis, depending on the project.

What the role offers

You’ll have the opportunity to work on innovation projects which have the potential to impact people’s lives, predominantly low-income individuals and SMEs in developing countries. We engage with several top-tier clients at the forefront of the fintech sector and work on a wide variety of interesting engagements.

As a boutique consultancy, you’ll directly contribute to the growth and overall direction of the firm, and be the main lead for our work in West Africa. We’re fast-paced, yet down-to-earth, and eager to make a lasting impact.  And most of all, we have a good time doing it; we take our work seriously, not ourselves.

While the role is primarily based in Accra, we are a remote-first business, so unless you have an assignment in a specific location, you can choose to work from anywhere you wish. Moreover, the role can be either near full-time (~75%, leading to 100% full-time if desired) or full-time from the start. We trust our colleagues to get their work done how they see fit: we have neither office hours nor office politics.

As part of our consulting engagements, you will have the possibility to travel for 1 to 2-week engagements roughly every quarter to markets in Africa (though only when covid-19 conditions are deemed safe).

We offer competitive remuneration with bonuses and are big proponents of work-life balance, including generous paid time off and parental leave. We see every team member’s professional development as a priority: there are numerous opportunities to grow with the firm, while learning from talented colleagues who are also genuine experts in their subject-matter areas.

Sound interesting? You should have:
  • 7 to 10 years of solid, hands-on experience working in innovation and project management, preferably in a corporate innovation team, a start-up, or a consultancy.
  • Experience in conducting secondary research, basic data analysis, competitive landscaping, and synthesizing information in concise PPT slides or Word documents.
  • Experience in driving complex projects forward with multiple cross-functional stakeholders and external dependencies.
  • Experience in, or familiarity with, innovation frameworks and concepts such as Design Thinking, Lean Start-Up, Behavioral Design, and Agile;
  • Ability to clearly and effectively communicate frameworks, ideas, and recommendations to internal teams and clients;
  • Excellent verbal and written skills in English;
It would be a bonus if you also had:
  • Experience working in the fintech or Digital Financial Services sector (B2C); specific experience payments, credit, remittances, or e-commerce highly desirable;
  • Professional experience in multiple markets in Africa;
  • Working proficiency in French.  (Portuguese, Spanish, Swahili, or Arabic also a plus.) ​
  • MBA or equivalent.

Please note that due to the volume of applications received, only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. 

We also encourage you to sign up for our Associate Consultant network as other project-based opportunities arise.

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