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Consultancy: Business Strategy Mentor , Part time, up to 95 days within 11.5 months

Apply now Job no: 542058
Contract type: Consultancy
Level: Consultancy
Location: United States
Categories: Innovation

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfill their potential.

Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone.

And we never give up.

For every child, innovate...

UNICEF has a 70-year history of innovating for children. We believe that new approaches, partnerships and technologies that support realizing children’s rights are critical to improving their lives. 

The Office of Innovation is a creative, interactive, and agile team in UNICEF. We sit at a unique intersection, where an organization that works on huge global issues meets the startup thinking, the technology, and the partners that turn this energy into scalable solutions. 

UNICEF's Office of Innovation creates opportunities for the world's children by focusing on where new markets can meet their vital needs. We do this by:

  • Connecting youth communities (or more broadly -- anyone disconnected or under-served) to decision-makers, and to each other, to deliver informed, relevant and sustained programmes that build better, stronger futures for children. 

  • Provoking change for children through an entrepreneurial approach -- in a traditionally risk-averse field -- to harness rapidly moving innovations and apply them to serve the needs of all children. 

  • Creating new models of partnership that leverage core business values across the public, private and academic sectors in order to deliver fast, and lasting results for children. 

 The Office of Innovation specifically looks to form partnerships around frontier technologies (like drones and UAVs, blockchain, 21st century skills, urban technologies, new banking tools, wearables and sensors, or 3D-Printing) that exist at the intersection of $100 billion business markets and 1 billion person needs – and to identify how they can grow and scale profitably and inclusively 

Our team 

We're an interdisciplinary team around the world tasked with identifying, prototyping, and scaling new technologies and practices. With our partners, we focus on convening and collaborating on new and different solutions, low- and high-tech, by: 

  • Looking at the 2-5 year horizon to evaluate emerging and trending technologies and to see how UNICEF can work with the private sector on doing better business while improving essential services for children; 

  • Investing in early stage solutions that show great potential to positively impact children in the 0-2 year future including the Venture Fund that invests in open source technology solutions from start-ups based in UNICEF’s programme countries; 

  • Identifying proven solutions that address the programmatic challenges outlined in UNICEF’s Global Innovation portfolios and can be implemented at national scale in multiple countries – taking the ideas that help thousands in one country, bringing them to dozens of countries across multiple sectors, and impacting the lives of millions of children.” 

How can you make a difference?

The UNICEF Innovation Fund has been specifically designed to finance early stage, open-source technology that can benefit children. The core motivation of the Innovation Fund is to identify "clusters" or portfolios of initiatives around emerging technology - so that UNICEF can both shape markets and also learn about and guide these technologies to benefit children. We invest in solutions that can impact the lives of the most vulnerable children. We find these solutions clustered around $100 billion industries in frontier technology spaces, such as: UAVs, virtual and augmented reality, artificial intelligence, nano-satellites, and human dynamics. 

With $35M (+ ETH 2267 + BTC 8) raised to date, the Innovation Fund is scaling its investment portfolio with the aim of investing in 20 start-ups every year. The current portfolio of 58 companies consists of several cohorts of companies developing and piloting solutions in virtual and augmented reality, data science and artificial intelligence, blockchain, UAVs, IoT, and in assistive technology. 

Going forward the fund will be expanding its focus to provide additional scale-up funding for open source solutions that have previously received investment from the Innovation Fund to further scale their impact.  This funding will be deployed via two funding strategies: 

  1. Bridge Funding 

  1. Growth Funding 

 What is bridge financing?   

This bridge funding is a vehicle for companies that have already developed and validated their MVP and require additional capital to take the solution to the next stage of impact and accelerate results for children. This funding is intended to provide additional financial support to companies in a variety of growth areas, including but not limited to: further validating product/market fit, deploying large scale pilots, developing additional features to enhance the solutions usability, collecting data to validate the evidence of impact of the solution, and in customer acquisition and geographical expansion.   

What is Growth Funding? 

The Growth Funding is aligned with UNICEF’s Innovation Strategy’s focus on scaling up innovations that work through acceleration and scale portfolios.  This approach will enable the fund to (i) strengthen the evidence base of solutions that are showing promise; (ii) increase open source intellectual property in areas that are high priority for the organization; (iii) provide support to the most promising startups to improve their financial sustainability with the aim of the companies being able to access equity funding – which in turn will open up opportunities for the Innovation Fund to develop modalities of collecting financial return on investments in the future; (iv) increase use of the solutions in UNICEF’s country programmes, building up evidence base, deployment guidance and pipeline to the scale-up innovation portfolios; and (v) growing the pipeline of mature DPGs from programme countries. 

Your main responsibilities will be:  

UNICEF’s Office of Innovation is hiring a seasoned business mentor with experience of supporting startups to scale.  The business mentor will have specific expertise of scaling early stage solutions across both governmental and intergovernmental organizations and will work closely with a number of Innovation Fund Alumni portfolio companies receiving additional scale funding and UNICEF Stakeholders to identify replicable, scalable business models. 

  1. Identify business modalities for scaling open source digital solutions across UNICEF and with Governmental Partners 

  1. Centralize and manage the data collected via Innovation Fund portfolio companies and UNICEF Country Office mentorship and monitor their progress 

  1. Provide technical assistance to Innovation Fund portfolio companies and Global Innovation portfolio investments to identify and test revenue generation strategies and business models through bi-monthly mentoring sessions and other modalities 

  1. Develop workplans with each portfolio company for remaining investment period  

  1. Develop a curriculum toolkit 

  1. Provide Business Mentorship to UNICEF Country Offices relating to specific innovation projects 

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…

  1. An advanced university degree (Master’s or higher) in entrepreneurship, business administration, finance, macroeconomics, business other or other relevant field. 
    *A first University Degree in a relevant field combined with 10 years of professional experience may be accepted in lieu of an Advanced University Degree. 

  1. A minimum of 8 years of relevant professional experience in business strategy, financial modeling or a relevant field 

  1. Experience in consulting and advising on relevant technical areas 

  1. Previous experience in starting and growing technology companies 

  1. A track record of providing mentorship and assistance to start-ups 

  1. Experience with B2G business models and of scaling early stage solutions across both governmental and intergovernmental organizations  

  1. Development of identifying and developing technical assistance tools for companies 

  1. Experience with open-source technologies, open source business models and cultivating open source communities 

  1. Strong written and verbal communication skills, excellent technical communication with peers and non-technical stakeholders 

  1. Developing country work experience and/or familiarity with emergency is considered an asset. 

  1. Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another official UN language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish) or a local language is an asset. 

For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF's values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, and Accountability (CRITA) and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.

The UNICEF competencies required for this post are...

  1. Applying technical expertise – Level 3 

  1. Creating and Innovating – Level 2 

  1. Entrepreneurial Thinking – Level 3

To view our competency framework, please visit here.

Click here to learn more about UNICEF’s values and competencies.

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization.

UNICEF has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNICEF, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination. UNICEF also adheres to strict child safeguarding principles. All selected candidates will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles and will therefore undergo rigorous reference and background checks. Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s) and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a background check.

Payment details and further considerations 

  • Monthly payment, based on monthly tasks and progress reports, approved upon monthly review with supervisor. 

  • Consultant is responsible for his/her own health and travel insurance 

  • Consultant is eligible for standard DSA for all work-related travel 


Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.

Individuals engaged under a consultancy or individual contract will not be considered “staff members” under the Staff Regulations and Rules of the United Nations and UNICEF’s policies and procedures, and will not be entitled to benefits provided therein (such as leave entitlements and medical insurance coverage). Their conditions of service will be governed by their contract and the General Conditions of Contracts for the Services of Consultants and Individual Contractors. Consultants and individual contractors are responsible for determining their tax liabilities and for the payment of any taxes and/or duties, in accordance with local or other applicable laws.

Advertised: Eastern Daylight Time
Deadline: Eastern Daylight Time

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