SME Strengthening and Financial Services Specialist Non-profit Careers – Catholic Relief Services (CRS)


Job Title:        SME Strengthening and
Financial Services Specialist

Catholic Relief Services (CRS)

Duty Station:
Kampala, Uganda

Reports to: SME
Strengthening and Financial Services Manager


About US:

Catholic Relief
Services (CRS) is an international non-governmental organization (NGO)
supporting relief and development work in over 100 countries around the world.
CRS carries out the commitment of the Bishops of the United States to assist
the poor and vulnerable overseas. CRS’ Catholic identity is at the heart of our
mission and operations; serving people on the basis of need, regardless of
creed, ethnicity or nationality. CRS works through local church and non-church
partners to implement its programs.


CRS has worked in
Uganda since 1965, initially providing emergency assistance to Sudanese
refugees living in the north. Over the years, CRS has expanded its programming
to also address development needs in western, central and eastern Uganda. CRS’
projects in Uganda currently include agriculture, health, microfinance,
peacebuilding and youth. CRS Uganda implements its programs through partnerships
with local organizations, including the Catholic Church, other faith-based
organizations and community entities for maximum impact and sustainability. CRS
Uganda employs around 190 staff and has its main office in Kampala, with
sub-offices in Moroto, Yumbe, and Hoima


About Vines Project:

The Vines Project,
implemented by CRS Uganda, is a five-year, $13 million Food for Progress
project that will make Uganda the world’s next leading supplier of high-quality
vanilla. Vines will leverage the expertise of CRS and its partners to enhance
the production of safe, pure vanilla and develop sustainable market links with
US vanilla companies, directly transforming the lives of 16,200 farmers, 836
supply chain actors and create 15,820 new jobs to reach 32,856 vanilla
stakeholders. The Vines strategy reflects best practices in sustainable
development and will leave Uganda with a robust vanilla farming community
resilient to the boom/bust nature of the market and a cadre of private sector
agricultural extensionists to support more sophisticated production,
processing, and marketing needs.


Job Summary: As
the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Systems Strengthening & Financial
Services Specialist you will directly provide support for various forms of
business and financial capacity building for vanilla value chain stakeholders.
You will contribute to efforts to develop more agile types of farmer
organization so that farmers can be better business partners with traders and
processing companies. You will help develop and implement certification schemes
for Ugandan vanilla and strengthen direct trade business models to secure
vanilla markets. You will facilitate agricultural lending to SMEs involved in
the vanilla value chain. You will support the design and delivery of relevant
training. You will coordinate with partners on market analysis, business
planning, farmer business capacity building, agripreneur and youth training,
input supply and business relationship management.


Key Duties and Responsibilities: 

  • Under the guidance of the SME and Financial Services Program
    Manager, you will implement program activities that seek to improve
    business and financing for Ugandan vanilla market chain actors, ensuring
    efficient and effective project implementation including the timely
    completion of high-quality work plans, accurate reports, and other
    mandated deliverables.
  • You will implement project work-plans, ensuring deliverables are met
    on time and with high quality.
  • You will deliver training to support implementing partners in the
    area agribusiness development and financial service provision;
  • Support the promotion of adequate linkages to local public and
    private sectors stakeholders;
  • Provide overall support for agri-business and financial service
    development to the program;
  • Implement program activities related to SME systems and financial
  • Assist growers and processors to adopt new technologies and
    techniques to increase the quality and quantity of production;
  • Strengthen the linkages among actors in the respective value chains
    and foster cooperation through strengthened industry associations; and
  • Build the availability, quality, capacity, and sustainability of
    SMEs and Private Service Providers (PSPs).
  • Promote the quality and appropriateness of activities to achieve the
    target indicators in a cost-effective, timely, and sustainable manner;
  • Provide technical advice through quarterly coaching sessions and
    daily support.
  • Perform any other duties as assigned by the SME Manager.


Qualifications, Skills and Experience: 

  • The ideal candidate for the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) SME
    Strengthening and Financial Services Specialist job placement must hold a
    Bachelor’s Degree in a relevant field including international development,
    agriculture, economics, business, marketing, and/or supply chain
  • At least eight years of demonstrated experience with USG or other
    similar development projects focused on value chain and market systems
    & access development, including improving financial services for the
  • Demonstrated ability to work and coordinate effectively with a wide
    variety of stakeholders, including national and local government, donors,
    community-based organizations, and the private sector
  • Strong strategic, analytical, systems thinking, and problem-solving
    skills, with capacity to see the big picture and ability to make sound
    judgment and decisions.
  • Experience engaging partners and strengthening partnerships.
    Knowledge of CRS     partnership
    strategy a plus
  • Established relationship with and/or substantive knowledge of
    agribusiness firms
  • Critical thinking and creative problem-solving skills with ability
    to make sound judgment.
  • Proactive, results-oriented, and service-oriented.
  • Strong Microsoft Word and Excel skills.
  • English fluency, including excellent oral and written skills,


Agency-Wide Competencies (for all CRS staff): These are rooted in the mission, values, and
principles of CRS and used by each staff member to fulfill his or her
responsibilities and to achieve the desired results.

  • Serves with Integrity
  • Models Stewardship
  • Cultivates Constructive Relationships
  • Promotes Learning


apply, please follow these instructions exactly otherwise your application will
NOT be considered.


How to Apply:

All candidates
should Email a cover letter and CV only to


Large files and/or
scans of documents will lead to rejection of your application, in the subject
line of the email, copy and paste – SMESTRENGTHENINGANDFINANCIALSERVICES


All applications
that do not contain this exact subject line will be rejected and not read.


Deadline: 2nd October 2020


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