Educate!, a fast-growing and award-winning social enterprise, is seeking a Head of New Product Launch for Out-of-School Youth to develop & launch a technology and or blended product for out-of-school youth in Kenya. In our first ten years, Educate! became the biggest youth skills provider in East Africa by scaling our proven in-school model to impact hundreds of thousands of youth in Uganda and Rwanda. In 2021, our top priority across the organization is testing a bootcamp model for out-of-school youth. We already have evidence that this type of model can lead to better life outcomes for youth and are looking for the right person to lead development and execution of a strategy to test and eventually scale this model.
The ideal candidate will lead product building, research & innovation, testing & launch of a technology and or blended product under Educate!’s, Kenyan led social enterprise NawiriPro!, recently recognized by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for progress towards decent work and economic growth
We are looking for someone who is customer-obsessed, action-biased, delivers results, frugal by accomplishing more with less, eager to train the current team on how to get to the product launch and be innovative yet able to create simple action plans. He/She must have first-hand experience building a product that achieved product launch or has led a new product or program within a larger organisation.
The Head of New Product Launch will be reporting to the New Product Strategist. This role is crucial to the organization hitting its milestone & long-term vision of designing solutions that measurably impact millions of youth. As a result, the functions and objectives of the role are subject to change, and the ideal person for this role will be comfortable with and excited to take on a dynamic and evolving role. You can be part of building something that can provide millions of youth with sustainable income by running a successful informal sector business.
You could be the perfect fit for this role if you:
• Have successfully launched a technology or blended product from the early stages of a business or have led a new product or program within a larger organisation.
• Enjoy starting with the customer and work backwards by continuously obsessing over customers to ensure a superb customer experience.
• Raise the performance bar with every hire and promotion by up-skilling the team and taking their role in coaching others seriously to aid the organisation to reach its goals.
• Enjoy making many decisions and actions because speed matters, but ensure you are taking calculated risks.
• Understand that constraints breed resourcefulness, self-sufficiency, and invention.
• Enjoy operating at all levels, staying connected to the details, audit frequently, and are skeptical when metrics and anecdotes differ. No task is beneath you.
• Have experience in and enjoy managing technology teams
• Have experience building technology products with engineering teams
About Educate! & NawiriPro
Educate! prepares youth in Africa with the skills to succeed in today’s economy. Our goal is to design skills-based education and employment solutions which impact youth life outcomes sustainably and at scale. In 2019, we partnered with the governments of Uganda, Rwanda, and Kenya and measurably impacted over 46,000 youth in and out of schools while reaching 470,000 learners more broadly, making us the biggest youth skills providers in East Africa. In 2020, we rapidly adapted to a changing world by creating distance learning solutions to serve youth during the pandemic.
Educate! is a non-profit social enterprise with over 150 staff and 300 volunteer youth mentors. We have been backed by top foundations such as MasterCard, Big Bang Philanthropy, Echoing Green, Ashoka and Global Innovation Fund. Educate! won a 2018 Klaus J. Jacobs Prize (and was featured in a video), a 2015 WISE Award, and was highlighted by Bill Gates, in the World Bank’s S4YE’s Impact Portfolio, an Al Jazeera documentary, Forbes 30 under 30, and The Brookings Institution as one of 14 case studies in their global scaling education learning initiative. Educate! was also selected by the UN’s Generation Unlimited as 1 of 20 innovative youth solutions and by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as a Goalkeepers Accelerator.
In March 2019, Educate! launched a new social enterprise unit within our organization called “NawiriPro”, based in Kenya. NawiriPro is building a new product that will offer faster and more affordable educational pathways for out-of-school youth, enabling them to thrive in the informal economy. NawiriPro is building a bootcamp model, which targets youth and parents for the bootcamp to create a customer-centred social impact product.
To date, we have more than 3,000 motorcycle riders using the NawiriPro e-learning platform. Our long-term vision is to serve more than 100,000 youth annually.
Product Strategy & Roadmap
• Setting the product vision and strategy; owning the roadmap, and must prioritize building what matters most to achieve the strategic goals and initiatives behind the product.
• Develop the business case for the product and advocate for funding and manage the budget
• Defining the release process and coordinating all of the activities required to bring the product to market and be transparent about your prioritization and roadmap process.
• Lead the development, implementation, and evaluation of strategic, tactical and operational customer engagement plans, marketing strategy and initiatives to align with Educate! vision and strategies
• Lead specific customer research programs, dialogue and other forms of engagement to understand key concerns and issues and inform review and enhancement of customer services and service delivery models
• Monitor business and process metrics to measure and manage customer service effectiveness.
• Develop customer incentive and retention strategies to ensure customer loyalty.
• Act as a product evangelist to build awareness and buy in throughout the company.
Execution of Product Operations
• Encourage and build on a culture of customer-centricity in the entire team.
• Drive the overall operating capabilities to surpass customer satisfaction, retention and strategic goals.
• Develop and establish an implementation process for new product rollout and delivery of recent product changes to customers.
• Set comprehensive goals for product growth and success based on the interpreted data and user funnel metrics.
• Works closely with the New Product Strategist to understand the product’s nuances and design decisions to inform the development of suitable implementation process and practice.
• Conduct product audits to monitor and report on adoption, performance, and growth. Use these reports to inform the business strategy.
• Ensure the team avoids not delivering its product roadmap milestones due to misconceptions of risk to the overall strategy
Product Metrics and Monitoring Tools
• Build systems or processes to develop rapid experiments that lead to prototypes & pre-tests of customer experiences.
• Identify and track the behavioural change process for our product and share feedback with the product owner.
• Research best practices, tools and processes to understand what user metrics will inform that we are developing a value-based product.
• Build and oversee the improvement of the experiences customers have with organizations, with the goal of increasing customer satisfaction.
• Design and build user and product metrics and integrate them into a 3rd party dashboard
• Ensure documentation and routine sharing of knowledge and experiences across teams and leadership.
• Drive the ongoing development of a customer-centric culture across the organisation, supported by process frameworks and responsive customer service systems to embed best practice customer-centric behaviours.
• Identify market opportunities and define product vision and strategy.
• Promote the application of global UX standards and strategy-aligned decision-making within teams.
• Share customer data on product engagement with global leadership for annual and strategic planning sessions.
• Empower and grow strong product teams to adopt and apply global customer engagement, UX standards & tools.
• Ensuring all departments’ vision is created and communicated to all to build cohesion.
• Leading all internal communication through MMM, All hands call, etc.
• Mentor, coach & develop staff using a supportive and collaborative approach: ensuring transferable skills are learnt to ensure we hit our business goals.
• The ideal candidate has worked in a very early-stage startup that has achieved a launched & scaled product or has led a new product or program within a larger organisation.
• Minimum eight years of work experience
• Dynamic experience is highly preferred, with demonstrated ability to operate well in complex and fast-changing environments.
• Familiarity with the lean startup approach is strongly preferred
• Experience working with diverse stakeholders and managing many priorities
• Passion for Educate!’s mission is a must, but past work in education or youth development is not required. We value diverse perspectives and encourage applications from people with a variety of backgrounds. Background working with youth in the informal sector or digital product would be an asset.
• You fit our Five Cultural Tenets (see “What is Educate! About?” Below; learn more by looking at Educate!’s culture deck here.
• The location is Nairobi, Kenya
Why You Will Brag About Working At Educate!
• We’ve got the impact.
• We’ve grown 20x since 2013 and are maintaining quality as we scale.
• We prioritize local and female leadership: 97% of our team on the ground is African, 3/4 of our top positions are held by women, and 9 of 16 of our global leaders are East African. Five Acumen Fund Fellows and three Young African Leaders Initiative Fellows have come out of our team, and ten organizations have been started by former staff.
• Our model has gone nationwide in Uganda–Educate!’s model is now incorporated into the national curriculum and exams, impacting thousands more students than we can reach directly.
• Educate! is a well-oiled learning machine. We built our model by methodically investigating hundreds of assumptions, and we are constantly experimenting, evaluating, and improving.
• We’re honored that luminaries and leaders like Oliver Wonekha, the Ugandan Ambassador to the US, and Ann Veneman, a former Secretary of Agriculture and head of UNICEF, believe in us enough to have joined our advisory board.
What Is Educate! About?
We’re ambitious. Are you? Educate! is growing fast, so new opportunities are opening up and expanding all the time. We’re inspired by people with drive, and we love to help them reach their full potential. We expect everyone at Educate! to contribute above and beyond their job description, grow their skills, and advance their careers, and we are committed to supporting our staff members on that journey.
1. We Put Youth First – The youth we serve come first. Always. In everything. That means we wake up thinking of ways we can serve youth even better and get the highest impact out of every dollar that we spend. It means Educate! doesn’t own a single vehicle, because we’d rather take the bus if it means one more student can participate. It means making every decision like the future depends on it — because if we get our way, it does.
2. We Are Always Learning – When you work at Educate!, educating yourself is part of your job too. We encourage every employee to find the best book on management; share the latest article on graphic design; bring in your favorite college mentor; or meet the researcher pushing the edge of the field. We are always thirsty for knowledge and love to share.
3. We Only Solve a Problem Once – We are allergic to band-aids so we love the person who brings the new system to solve the problem for good, even problems we haven’t recognized yet.
4. We Are Flexible – We thrive on change — we’re driving it. We are growing every day, so we have to adapt quickly to meet new challenges, and our team keeps up.
5. We Exceed Expectations – We assume we can achieve the impossible because we already have, year after year. We want our staff to create their own challenges, ask the toughest questions, and dream scary big!
Every person at Educate! — from interns to the executive director — is evaluated by how they live up to these five cultural tenets. They are at the core of how we achieve our mission and why we work as well as we do.
Educate is committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all who interact in our community. In creating this environment, we encourage people from a variety of cultures, backgrounds and life experiences to join our diverse team.
To apply for this job please visit boards.greenhouse.io.