As part of the GIIN’s mission to accelerate the scale and effectiveness of impact investing, we publish job openings from members of the GIIN Investors’ Council and other impact investing leaders.

Director of Finance

at Gearbox International Foundation in Remote

About the Job

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The Gearbox International Foundation
We provide impact driven and hardware-focused incubators, accelerators, coworking spaces, makerspaces, and fab labs in emerging markets with a suite of technical, management, and financial support services to help them build powerful and financially sustainable facilities and programs. We were founded by the team behind Gearbox Kenya. Read our story at

The best way to get to know what we’re about is to read these three posts:

Why Hardware for Development?

Making an Impact with Hardware is all about CAPITAL.

Development Finance for Hardware Innovation Hubs

We’re looking for a Director of Finance to start in early 2019 to help steer our new real estate and asset finance approach to building manufacturing ecosystems in poor countries, and to help lead the Gearbox Foundation to a sustainable future based on investment income. Over the next few years, we plan to launch several new financial support programs designed to help GBK and new partners build more powerful, scalable, and sustainable organizations through a mixture of grants, bonds, and a revolving loan fund.

Large, well-equipped, and professionally managed hubs for hardware entrepreneurs in poor countries — incubators, accelerators, coworking spaces, makerspaces, and fab labs — have very specific financial needs that are not currently being met by any existing organizations. We think it’s time that changed. If you’re excited about using blended finance to support locally owned and locally led initiatives across emerging markets, read on!

What You’ll Get to Do
The job will require a tremendous amount of creativity, flexibility, drive, and commitment. You will have a lot of scope to define the role, but some of your responsibilities will be to:

  • Design and implement a bond financing program to purchase appropriate real estate and equipment for our partners in low and middle income countries.
  • Design a revolving loan fund that recycles our capital, using debt service from current partners to recapitalize the fund we use to equip future partners.
  • Help build and manage a $10–20M evergreen fund as we scale our model around the globe.
  • Develop an investment analysis and due diligence process to identify new partners.
  • Work closely with our partners to provide technical support and build management capacity.
  • Lead all banking, accounting, and finance related tasks required for day to day operations at the Foundation.
  • Take the initiative to implement your own ideas to improve the programs, operations, and sustainability of the Foundation and our partners.

What We’re Looking For
The right person for this job will likely have experience in a senior leadership role at an impact investing fund, nonprofit real estate developer (especially one focused on industrial or manufacturing space), CDFI, or foundation.

Experience with a nonprofit lender, in private equity, or investing in emerging markets would be helpful. These are just examples. Motivation matters as much as experience, and candidates with relevant backgrounds that may not be described here are encouraged to apply.

Skills and Requirements
You’ll need to have most, if not necessarily all, of the following to be successful in this role:

  • 5–8 years relevant experience
  • At least two years international experience working in low and middle income countries
  • An MBA or advanced degree in finance, real estate, impact investing, social entrepreneurship, international development or other related field; OR experience to match
  • Strong analytical and financial modeling skills
  • Familiarity with real estate cash flow and total cost of ownership projections
  • Experience negotiating deal structure for debt and equity investments
  • Demonstrated ability to design an effective underwriting and risk analysis process
  • Excellent cross-cultural communication skills, humility, and the ability to work effectively with people representing a broad range of backgrounds and perspectives

It would be an added bonus if you also have:

  • Familiarity with US nonprofit GAAP accounting
  • Experience leading nonprofit financial operations, including budgeting, grants management, payables/receivables, filing taxes and donor reports
  • Comfort managing external relationships with donors, investors, board members, consultants, accountants, bankers, and legal counsel

Location and Travel
The Gearbox International Foundation is a distributed organization with a small, three person team. You can be based wherever you choose, but you will need to be able to travel up to 25% of the year. Destinations will mostly be in Africa and the US, but may include the Middle East, Asia, and Latin America.

Candidates from and/or based in low and middle income countries are STRONGLY encouraged to apply.

What We’re Offering
The starting salary will be between $60,000 and $80,000 for the first year, with room to grow to the $100,000 — $150,000 range depending on the financial performance of the organization. Benefits include insurance and the freedom to work when, how, and where you like.

As a nonprofit, when we can’t compete on salary alone, we try and make up for it with flexibility and unique opportunities for learning, challenge, and growth. As a startup, candidates should recognize that the role WILL change over time.

To apply

Send your CV and cover letter to paul [at] gearboxfoundation [dot] org. Please ensure your email references the job title.

If you’re interested in learning more, but not quite ready to apply, feel free to send me an email.

Important Note
This advertisement is for a position contingent on programmatic funding, and start dates may need to be adjusted depending on where we are in the grant cycle. We will do our best to accommodate a strong candidate.