SHE’s Refugee Ambassador Program

 At SHE, we believe that access to menstrual pads is a basic health necessity. So why are there communities that still lack access to them? Women and girls living in Rwanda’s refugee camps struggle to obtain affordable pads on a daily basis. Income opportunities are sparse within the camps and allocation of this basic necessity is inconsistent.

Donated pads haven’t proven to be sustainable for women and girls who need them most. So we’ve partnered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Rwanda to launch our Refugee Ambassador Program to provide a solution to this issue. Starting with the Nyabiheke Refugee Camp, we’ve trained 49 refugee women ambassadors who have educated 4,603 women, girls, and community members on healthy menstrual hygiene practices. Ambassadors have already started earning income from hosting community education sessions and can better provide for themselves and their families. In 2019, ambassadors will start selling go! pads within the camp community to expand access to affordable go! pads to more girls and women in need.

Women ambassadors of the Nyabiheke Refugee Camp in Rwanda.
Photos courtesy of Jonathan Wallen.

SHE’s Seeking a Marketing and Sales Associate!

SHE is an award-winning social enterprise, with our first business operating in Rwanda. Our goal for SHE Rwanda is to increase access for at least 250,000 girls to affordable sanitary pads. We’re doing that by using an innovative manufacturing process that sources banana fiber from local banana-fiber co-operatives. We then use that banana fiber to make and produce affordable disposable sanitary pads (they are at least 30% more affordable than comparable imported brands). Our pads, branded as go!, are sold to schools ,Kiosk and NGOs, and also directly to undeserved consumers across Rwanda, primarily in the Eastern Province. 
SHE in Rwanda is rapidly scaling, and our revenue is incrementally growing as we meet customer demand for affordable sanitary pads. SHE in Rwanda is a for-profit business with a social mission of local sourcing of banana fiber, job creation, affordable products, and access to essential menstrual health education at the school level, camps and the community.Our social venture has been recognized by Miss Rwanda 2018, New Times Rwanda and Rwanda TV. We are proud to have received global recognition for our work from Echoing Green, The Tech Museum, Curry Stone Design Prize, among others. Learn more about our work here: YouTube and sheinnovates.com

 

Job Background
The Marketing and Sales Associate will manage SHE’s growing sales network and oversee our large-scale national expansion. The ideal candidate will have a track record in sales in the private sector in East Africa, ideally in consumer goods. The position will be based in Kigali, with extensive travel (50% of the time) across the country. This is your chance to join and shape a successful, fast-growing, national organization at a time of huge opportunity for professional growth. Reporting to the Managing Director, the Marketing and Sales Associate will be a key contributor to meet SHE’s 2018 sales targets and beyond.                                                                                                                                                                                                               
Job Summary and Key Priorities
We’re seeking an experienced and entrepreneurial Marketing and Sales Associate to work directly with our school and NGO customers, kiosk owners, and individual consumers. The Marketing and Sales Associate will build a sales team to drive growth in our sales and corresponding social impact. The right candidate will have experience designing tools and systems to build an efficient and high-performance sales team(s). This person will be an exceptional implementer & will drive sales and marketing through identifying successful pilots and innovations and integrating them into existing operations.As we are expanding most of our projects are still in pilot. That means there is not yet where to look for guidance. You need to be ok with that to be successful in this job. You also need to be a very strong project manager. You need to be good at launching new projects and developing and managing teams. You need to be comfortable with uncertainty, agile and a problem-solver. You need to be independent, solution-oriented and very comfortable with making decisions.You will also be working with a variety of customers (schools, NGOs, etc.) and stakeholders (government officials, kiosk owners, etc.) and you will need to do that without compromising the customer experience.                                                   
                                                                                                                                                               
The Marketing and Sales Associate’s responsibilities will be to:
Sales responsibilities

  • Build and manage SHE’s sales strategy and performance across Rwanda, including developing and implementing direct sales strategy to girls and women.
  • Identify new opportunities and build existing partnerships with distribution partners (schools, NGOs, kiosks, etc) – to meet ambitious sales and financial targets and convert new distribution partners.
  • Recruit, develop, incentivize and oversee a sales team across Rwanda.
  • Achieve growth and hit sales targets by successfully managing the sales team
  • Present sales, revenue and expenses reports and realistic forecasts to the Managing Director on the quarterly basis.
  • Design and implement a strategic business plan that expands the company’s customer base and ensures it’s strong presence.
  • Collaborate closely with District and sector officials to drive sales in new districts and sectors.
  • Develop the pricing strategy per customer and incorporate the element of training and awareness programs for school, kiosks and NGO bulk buyers.
  • Develop an annual estimated budget for SHE marketing and sales activities.

Marketing responsibilities

  • You will be responsible for creating innovative strategies and the associated project roadmaps for improving relevant business processes and developing effective tools, which will help SHE Rwanda to achieve its marketing goals and sales targets.
  • Working closely with design agencies and assisting with new product launches.
  • Develop, pilot and help plan the implementation of marketing communications activities

 

QUALIFICATIONS

Minimum Qualifications and Experience

  • 3-5 years’ experience with exceptional track record of exceeding sales targets and building partnerships
  • Private sector retail experience in Rwanda and East Africa – understands both peri-urban and rural customer bases
  • Experience managing a sales team or field force.
  • Entrepreneurial spirit and drive for results.
  • Exceptional natural teacher, strong interpersonal skills.
  • Excellent written and verbal communications skills in English and Kinyarwanda.
  • A bachelor’s degree in Business Management/Administration or a related field.
  • Rwandan nationals and EAC nationals authorized to work in Rwanda only. Willingness to travel across the country as needed.
  • A passion for the mission, vision, and values of SHE.

Preferred Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Superior customer focus and relationship management
  • Experience in early-stage organizations, establishing teams, and processes
  • Action-oriented – resourceful, able to take the initiative and manage multi-priorities in a fast-paced environment.
  • Excellent attention to detail and project management skills.
  • Confident working independently as well as collaborating with a wider team.
  • Proficient using Microsoft Office –especially Excel
  • A desire to make a positive impact through your work, and interest in social enterprise
  • Experience in pitching, presenting and negotiating – such as presenting to large groups of consumers, preparing and running product training sessions, negotiating partnership terms and handling objections.

 

Criteria for Selection

The following matrix will be used to evaluate candidates for this position:

  • Experience: 40% Candidate must be of mature character with minimum 3 years designing and executing sales and growth operations strategy.
  • Skills: 40% Strong analytical, presentation, and communication skills. Skills in recruitment, training and team building.
  • Education: 20% Bachelor’s degree required, business degree preferred, must be fluent in English and Kinyarwanda

Preferred Start Date

ASAP

Compensation

Competitive with similar social enterprises. This is a role with performance-based raises and the ability to increase in responsibilities over time.

Benefits

Health insurance, the stipend for airtime and travel, 18 days of vacation as well as national holidays

Mode of Submission

Interested applicants are requested to read and complete very carefully the following application form not later than 26th September 2018.

 

SHE is Hiring! Business Operations Manager for SHE Rwanda

We are in an exciting time of growth and are looking to hire a Business Operations Manager to lead our Rwanda-based entity to profitability and scale. We are seeking a self–starter who sees things as opportunities (not challenges), and inspires and manages a team to scale our short, but proven track record. We are seeking someone who can do the following things:

  • Drive profitability and scale. This position will be responsible for the P&L by reducing supply chain costs, working with the technical team to increase productivity, and driving sales.
  • Develop evidence-driven implementation plan
  • Manage implementation plan roll-out while working with a diverse set of actors
  • Hire and develop staff in Rwanda
  • Advocate for SHE externally in Rwanda and globally
  • Lead with integrity

Qualifications

We are looking for outstanding candidates who fit the following criteria:

  • Track record: 6-10+ years of work experience, must have some operations experience.
  • Business savvy: Have been responsible for a P&L and built and managed teams that successfully executed on a strategic plan for impact and scale. Must be experienced in building financial models that will drive key parts of the strategy.
  • Can-do positive attitude (we did figure out how to make sanitary pads out of banana trees—not easy!)
  • Language: English required. + Kinyarwanda preferred.

Job Location: Kigali, Rwanda

Duration
 minimum: 2+ years commitment, full-time job.

Preferred Start Date:
 Oct 2014

Compensation: Competitive with performance-driven bonuses and raises

To Apply:

Please send cover letter and CV to hresources@SHEinnovates.com by SEPTEMBER 30th and let us know why you would be the best person for the job today!

It’s go time!

Guest post by Tyson Huffman, Acting Chief of Production

I’m proud to introduce to you go! pads, our pilot product.  We just distributed them to 43 girls and women at our partner institution, IPRC in Kibungo, Rwanda.  Our production lead, Marie Louise, led a discussion about menstruation, hygiene, and how to use our product.  I was blown away!  Marie Louise is destined for great things within our organization.  She is one of the best public speakers I have ever seen.  We then gave the students 2 months worth of go! Pads.  We are anxiously awaiting their feedback so that we can improve our product.

What a ride!  To get here we had to take a substandard facility and make it not only useable but hygienic.  We installed electricity and water to the building.  Electricity was not easy.  We installed fuses and breakers.  Even with those safety mechanisms in place we burned 2 motors and a pump.  We installed a direct ground.  In the US the ground goes directly back to the source of power.  We improvised a copper rod buried in salt.

For water we installed a large tank that we elevated so that we had good pressure.  Water service is sporadic here so we needed a tank to ensure we were always supplied.  Because we don’t use any harmful chemicals we use a lot of water.  We added a second tank so that we could recycle our process water.  We only use about 2 gallons of water a day.

A sealed room was necessary for final pad assembly.  We knocked down some walls and created a sealed sliding door.  We are installing a blower that will create positive pressure within the room.  This will ensure that nothing like dust or bacteria can enter our assembly room.

There’s more to share – stay tuned for part two!

Meet one of our ten pilot schools: Gs Gikaya

Gs Gikaya is one of the 10 schools that will be buying our pads during our industrial-scale pilot.  It’s considered one of the model schools with girl-friendly sanitation facilities compared to many of the schools we have visited. This school is also renowned also for their warm welcoming.

A warm welcome from Gs Gikaya students!

When Nadia, Tash, and I arrived, we were welcomed by kids running towards you to receive you with a hug and sweet songs.

SHE will be providing Menstrual Health Management training at each of our ten pilot schools, but before we begin training, we needed to revisit the school campus so we can tailor our curriculum based on the school’s sanitation facilities. 


Gs Giyaka is equipped with a girls’ room that contains basic materials that a girl should use when she get her menses at school and is unprepared. Because this school is led by a woman, the issues of menstruation seem better well addressed than at other schools. The school teachers discuss the topic after class and instruct younger girls how to manage their menstruation, but challenges to fully support girls’ menstrual needs still exist. 

SHE’s Nadia with Gs Gikaya’s headmistress in the school’s girl’s room


The headmistress reported that even though they have pads in stock to give to a girl who is unprepared when her period arrives, many of girls still don’t have means to purchase a pack of pads by themselves. Therefore, they sometimes try to game the system by having their friends ask for pads on their behalf so they can have enough products. Painkillers are also not available at school, so sometimes the headmistress allow girls to return home if they have too much pain. 

Supporting girls’ menstrual needs at school will not be solved simply by providing access to more pads. That’s why SHE is instigating at the national level to ensure that budgets and resources are increased at the school level, so girls will be provided increased access to education, menstrual products, and services.

I wonder whether schools led by women care more about menstruation issues or if it’s just this school that makes an effort to support its girls and boys equally to help them stay in school. In any regard, we can’t wait to learn more from the girls of Gs Gikaya!


– Gerardine, Marketing and Research Officer