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New Ventures Director (Senior Associate)

Washington, DC
United States

The World Resources Institute (WRI) is seeking an ambitious and dynamic Director to lead New Ventures, its global sustainable enterprise initiative within its Markets and Enterprise Program. WRI has been a pioneer in the field of social enterprise, supporting small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that drive sustainable development through environmentally-friendly (green) products and services and inclusive business models in six of the world's most dynamic emerging economies: Brazil, China, Colombia, India, Indonesia and Mexico. Since its inception in 1999, New Ventures has provided business development and investor engagement services for over 250 SMEs, leading to nearly $200 million of investment into these companies. The New Ventures work is implemented in partnership with six Local Centers:

Brazil: Fundação Getulio Vargas– Centro de Estudos em Sustentabilidade
China: DAO Center for Sustainable Entrepreneurship (CSE)
Colombia: Universidad de los Andes
India: Godrej Green Business Center, Confederation of Indian Industry
Indonesia: Yayasan Bina Usaha Lingkungan
Mexico: Centro de Negocios Sostenibles (CNS)

New Ventures’ current activities include:

Providing support to the six New Ventures Local Centers to grow a vibrant community of environmentally-friendly and pro-poor entrepreneurs in their respective countries.
Growing the pool of capital targeting sustainable SMEs in emerging economies through engagement with financial institutions such as banks, venture capital/private equity investors and angel investors and research on financial innovation and target sectors which include water, energy, agriculture and “base of the pyramid” (BoP) markets.
Leading the development of social and environmental impact metrics for use by investors, entrepreneurs and intermediaries.
Creating and supporting global linkages to scale enterprise solutions to global environmental challenges.

As New Ventures enters its second decade, the incoming Director will be instrumental in taking the initiative to the next level. The ideal candidate will possess a bold vision, excellent communication skills and be a great team-player. S/he will have a passion for market-based approaches to sustainability. The New Ventures Director will lead a HQ-based team of 7+ staff and provide overall strategic direction to New Ventures, lead fundraising activities and act as external spokesperson for WRI's entrepreneurship work.

Strategic Direction/Leadership:

Provide strategic direction to New Ventures to ensure it has a high-impact strategy that achieves concrete and significant results on-the-ground.
Implement the New Ventures strategy to (i) scale up a new class of entrepreneurs who advance environmental and social solutions (through the New Ventures Local Centers); and (ii) drive greater investment into sustainable SME sectors through research and investor engagement.
Identify potential new lines of work that would lead to transformative change in support of New Ventures objectives.
Lead outreach and communication efforts both in the US and abroad on (i) the investment need and opportunities in sustainable SMEs as a distinct investment class, and (ii) the rigorous evaluation of actual environmental and social impacts.
Foster a culture of excellence in all aspects of the Initiative’s work.


Provide day-to-day management of New Ventures to help staff focus on achieving results, motivate and develop personnel, and identify and manage conflicts and problems as they arise.
Liaise with New Ventures Local Centers to identify opportunities and/or prevent potential challenges.
Work with the Program Director to achieve the Program’s goals of harnessing markets and enterprise to expand economic opportunity and protect the environment.
Oversee New Ventures budget: develop and track activity-level budgets.
Review draft publications to ensure they meet the highest standards of quality.
Engage WRI’s senior management on strategic and operational issues.


Lead efforts to develop and secure long-term grant funding for New Ventures global and in-country operations. This entails creating new relationships with private, corporate and government donors; leveraging existing relationships with current funders; and identifying other opportunities for resource generation.

The ideal candidate will have:

Minimum 10-15 years of work experience, preferably in emerging markets, in the field of sustainable enterprise development, inclusive markets, impact investment.
Proven ability to motivate staff to achieve on-the-ground results.
Proven fundraising success.
Spanish, Portuguese and/or Mandarin language skills.
Willingness to travel internationally for approximately 20% of time.
Superb analytical and strategic thinking skills. This includes a demonstrated commitment to environment and development issues, with a clear understanding of how they relate to business.
Ability to communicate clearly and compellingly to diverse audiences both verbally and in writing.
Advanced degree in business administration, finance, economics or other related fields.

Apply online at http://www.wri.org/jobs


Washington, DC
United States