Bridge International Academies, Nairobi, Kenya
Who We Are
Bridge partners with governments, donors, and parents to ensure that every child has access to an education that develops her full potential and creates the foundation for prosperity for the country. We are dedicated to supporting teachers, empowering school leaders, and ensuring every child has the learning support needed to master the national syllabus and have the confidence to succeed in a competitive world. Each of our project or country teams are supported through expertise and programming from additional offices around the world, combining world-leading expertise in core design areas with locally resident leadership and execution. We leverage experts, data, and technology in order to support and scale every aspect of quality education delivery. Bridge managed and supported schools are technology enabled and data driven to ensure accountability in the classroom for both teachers’ performance and children’s learning.
The Bridge model delivers significant learning outcomes at large scale by combining technology and customized learning materials. At Bridge, we believe innovation and technology can transform learning. Our model - which uses technology to deliver thoroughly researched and carefully designed daily lesson guides to teachers in our academies - is proven to increase learning outcomes for children. We are a solutions-driven, implementation-focused organization, using design principles to work in varied and often highly constrained contexts to ensure learning outcomes and positive development for children. Working in regional and national scales is important to us, as empowering entire generations of children with core knowledge, skills, and confidence is what builds the foundation for a peaceful and prosperous future for us all.
Our mission is to provide our pupils with a life-changing education and we believe that every child should have a right to world-class education regardless of her family’s income. Core to our approach is the conviction that every child can learn, as long as the school she attends is committed to her development and puts her needs to learn at the forefront of all decisions. We have seen teachers and children transform and excel in both government and private schools that we support and manage.
We invite you to join this incredible endeavor that is having world-changing impact across multiple continents. You will join a team of dedicated change-makers committed to ensuring that each decision we make keeps a child’s experience of learning as its guiding principle.
We work across Kenya and Uganda to improve learning for underserved communities. Kenya was where we launched our social enterprise, opening our first school in 2009. We began partnering with the government, communities, teachers and parents to improve education in Kenya. We run a range of affordable schools across Uganda, working closely with the Ministry for Education and Sports to help improve education outcomes. We’re data driven and our models adapt to the needs of individual governments. We’re flexible wherever we can serve more marginalized communities and improve learning outcomes for children.
About the Role
The Finance Director holds a critically important role at Bridge as the executive leading all Finance activities for a Company that is scaling at an unprecedented rate. The role holder will provide financial leadership to build world-class financial infrastructure for a rapidly scaling multi-unit business. This includes the design and development of financial systems, policies, procedures, taking into account current and fast growing high volume transactions, headcount, numbers of geographically distributed business units, and the operations multi-country global brand.
The Finance Director is also able to dive deep into details and think at the ground level. He/she should be able to play offense as a business and systems thinker - scalability of platform, improvements to unit economic and scaling model, global shared services - as well as defense - dealing with leakage, fraud prevention, and air-tight controls in challenging operating environments. The Finance Director will report directly to the Managing director and is a core member of the leadership team.
What You Will Do
- Build and develop systems - set up highly efficient financial systems that take into account the highly technical payment, cash management, payroll and financial operating systems of a rapidly scaling, geographically distributed multi-unit operations. These systems need to be highly efficient or automated, data-driven, transparent and appropriate for emerging market conditions.
- Develop financial and non-financial key performance indicators and the appropriate reporting to assess financial and operational performance across the Company.
- Ensure that systems and controls are in place to minimize and mitigate risk of fraud/leakage, as well as proactively audit key functions and accounts.
- Support business expansion strategies by forecasting and assessing the financial impact of key decisions.
- Maintain budgetary oversight at both a global and country-level of all departments within Bridge; work closely with managers and senior executives on budgeting and forecast process.
- Manage the external audit process for financial statements; ensure that Company is in compliance with internal policies and relevant regulations.
- Lead cash and risk management - manage banking relationships, cash flow forecasting, working capital, etc.
- Lead the department in recruiting and retaining top staff; manage the development of staff through performance management process.
- Lead investor relations and compliance in the cash and risk management point.
What You Should Have
- At least 10 years of experience within finance/ corporate finance, including experience as Finance Director/VP Finance
- Deep experience leading and managing the financial operations and strategy for a Company with hyper growth and complex challenges across a broad scope of work
- Degree in a business/finance related field – e.g. accounting, MBA with a record of top academic performance from a top-tier elite institution
- Strong background in financial management (systems) with a thorough understanding of financial regulations
- Experience leading Finance for fast-growth, rapidly-scaling companies strongly preferred
- Success operating in environments with high risk of fraud and leakage, particularly in emerging markets
- A detailed doer - You have a track record of getting things done. You’re organized and responsive. You take ownership of every idea you touch and execute it to a fine level of detail, setting targets, engaging others, and doing whatever it takes to get the job done. You can multi-task dozens of such projects at once and never lose sight of the details. Likely, you have some experience in a start-up or other rapid-growth company.
- A creative problem-solver - Growing any business from scratch comes with massive and constant challenges. On top of that, Bridge works in often fragile, sometimes volatile low-resource communities and with complex government systems. You need to be flexible and ready to get everything done effectively, quickly, and affordably with the materials at hand.
- A relentless advocate - The children we serve and teachers we empower never leave your mind. You know them, get them, have shared a meal with them (or would be happy to in the future). You would never shrink back from shaking a parent’s hand or picking up a crying child, no matter what the person was wearing or looked like. Every decision you make considers their benefit, experience, and value.
- A malleable learner - You believe you can always do better. You welcome constructive criticism and provide it freely to others. You know you only get better tomorrow when others point out where you’ve missed things or failed today.
- A data-driven decision-maker - When making decisions, you don’t rely your intuition alone. You collect data, you analyze it and make decisions with clear justifications.
- A curious investigator - You ask why a lot. You don’t just take what you see and accept it. You wonder why it is that way, and are aware that the world we see is created by human choices and actions - and it could be different. You wonder, and see the world as wonderful even when you want to change a part of it that is unjust.