Chief Operating Officer - Building Markets

Chief Operating Officer

Building Markets is a well-established, early-stage nonprofit organization doing high-impact work with the private sector to address big problems around the world. The COO will play a critical and exciting role in growing the reach and impact of our work, lifting some of the world’s most vulnerable people out of poverty and helping them build healthy and sustainable lives.

About Building Markets

Building Markets unleashes the transformational power of small businesses to address pressing social challenges by driving job creation and inclusive growth.

Global challenges we face today—poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, and injustice—cannot be solved without the involvement of the private sector. Solutions will require transformation in the form of new business models, new innovation, and new technology. This opens up exciting opportunities for small businesses around the world, which represent 90% of businesses and more than 50% of employment worldwide, to play an important role in creating positive social impact by driving job creation and inclusive growth, particularly for the economically vulnerable.

Building Markets develops trusted relationships with entrepreneurs and uses a data-driven approach to strengthen the capacity of small businesses to contribute to local marketplaces through end-to-end services. Our primary model has three pillars:

  • FIND: We build better market information by verifying small businesses through in-depth surveys and publishing searchable business profiles and research reports.
  • BUILD: We enhance the commercial and digital capacity of small businesses through training and advisory services, helping them compete in a global marketplace.
  • CONNECT: We improve market efficiency through tender distribution services, matchmaking services, and events that enable small businesses to access new buyers, customers, and capital.

Since 2004, Building Markets has leveraged this model to achieve impact in Afghanistan, Haiti, Jordan, Liberia, Mozambique, Myanmar, Timor-Leste, and Türkiye. We are positioned to scale our unique approach in new markets beginning in 2022.

The Chief Operating Officer Position

Building Markets is seeking an experienced and action-oriented Chief Operating Officer (“COO”) to support the global organization as it scales its impact over the next decade. This role is a critical leadership position in Building Market’s senior team.

A key leader both internally and externally, the COO will establish and develop relationships with senior management, external partners, stakeholders, and Board members.

The COO plays a key role in helping shape and deliver on the strategic and operational imperatives of the organization, with a view to transforming for growth.

Reporting to the CEO, the COO has primary responsibility for the organization’s business operations, financial management, human resources, IT strategy and plans, corporate governance, supporting entry into new markets, and compliance.

Job Duties

Leadership & management

  • In collaboration with the CEO and senior team, the COO will set strategic priorities and growth trajectories for Building Markets, inclusive of entry into new markets, new product development, and strengthening of programmatic and operational functions.
  • Help establish and track progress towards organization-wide goals.
  • With the CEO and Global Head of Programs, monitor organizational performance, help to develop scopes of work, track progress on new development, and support adequate resourcing needs with the program team for the organization’s ranked project priorities.
  • Contribute to organizational staffing plans to ensure effective delivery of Building Market’s mission.
  • Support the development of funding proposals and new initiatives, as needed.
  • Supervise global finance and admin staff, and support finance and operations staff in Building Markets countries of operation.
  • Engage with the Board of Directors, primary funders, and other key external stakeholders around organizational impact and plans for the future.
  • Other tasks as needed and agreed with the CEO.

Business Operations

  • Lead corporate governance efforts with the CEO and Chair of the Board of Directors.
  • Develop scopes of work and manage deliverables for external partnerships.
  • Identify, select, and work with consultants (e.g. legal, financial, HR, IT) to supplement expertise when necessary.
  • Oversee and ensure accuracy of payroll, employee benefits, and business insurance. Ensure compliance with all labor law and employment practices.
  • Oversee process for performance evaluations and compensation review.
  • Lead recruitment and talent retention strategies.
  • Ensure operational and corporate backbone IT systems and assets are effective and cost-effective in meeting business requirements.
  • Develop and maintain all procurement policies, procedures, and practices.
  • Handle all contracts, including grant agreements, business and vendor contracts, subcontracts, and federal agreements. Ensure compliance with federal procurement standards when applicable. Review all legal documents and Terms of Services.
  • Establish fee schedules and evaluate cost and effectiveness of potential earned revenue programs.
  • Manage physical facilities and assets.

Financial management

  • Monitor Building Markets’ financial performance and develop long-range financial plans that align with the organization’s strategic priorities.
  • Act as liaison with the Board Finance Committee.
  • Oversee monthly and annual financial planning and reporting, including the conduct of an annual audit and a federal single audit.

Qualifications:

  • 10+ years of professional experience in operations and management.
  • A strategic and results-driven thinker who understands how operations and finance support the broader mission of the organization.
  • Depth of experience in managing teams, supporting cross-functional collaboration, developing staff, and setting clear goals.
  • Experience in managing compliance requirements across various jurisdictions and contractual agreements.
  • Experience in international development is a strong plus.
  • Proven ability to forecast financial models across various programs, geographies, funding sources, staffing/resource allocation across various programs/funds, and control expenses, while supporting organizational growth.
  • Experience in nonprofit financial management; experience with government contracts, a plus.
  • Experience with annual audits and program audits a plus
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.
  • Experience in revenue development strategies, including earned revenue and/or fundraising strategies.

Interested candidates should email their CV and cover letter to careers@buildingmarkets.org. The position will remain open until filled.

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