Business Support Assistant

World Food Programme , Germany

Skill Required:, Business Development/ Resource Mobilization
Preferred Experience: 
3 Years
Closing Date for Applications: 
30th September, 2019

Job Description

The World Food Programme (WFP) is the leading humanitarian organization saving lives and changing lives, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. We are currently seeking to fill an Innovation Services Lead position in our Innovation Accelerator (INKA), Innovation and Knowledge Management Division, based in Munich, Germany.

The WFP Innovation Accelerator has been named one of the top 10 most innovative companies 2017 by FastCompany for operating a real startup accelerator to disrupt global hunger at the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP).

It identifies, supports and scales high potential solutions to hunger worldwide - both WFP innovators and external start-ups with up to $100K cash (equity-free), hands-on support by our New Venture Consultants and access to WFP's global operations in developing countries in a 3-6 months sprint programme. The most promising innovations are supported in scaling further.

Based in Munich, Germany, we are currently a team of 35 innovators, with over 20 different nationalities and diverse background, e.g. as serial entrepreneurs, startup accelerator managers, management/HCD consultants, entrepreneurs-in-residence focused on building businesses or experts in developing country innovation. Lean start-up and human-centered design (HCD) approaches are at the core of everything we do.

We have built partnerships with leading innovation organisations such as Singularity University, XPRIZE or the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Several private sector partners and high-net-worth individuals support WFP in their work in disrupting global hunger, such as Google.

We support the next-level innovation for WFP’s operations, such as Building Blocks, using blockchain technology for e-wallets for people receiving cash-transfers; EMPACT, connecting refugees to online work after a 12 week training H2Grow (Hydroponics), helps refugees grow food in desert areas or camps; Farm to Market Alliance - an alliance between WFP and 7 private sector entities purchasing food from smallholder farmers and providing credit, and agricultural inputs as for-profit business model, or new startups that could help make a difference to end hunger.

As the Accelerator team, we support entrepreneurs (could be WFP innovators or external startups, NGOs, companies) to take their innovations to the next level – either getting ideas to the first proof of concept or already implemented solutions to the next scale-up. We either remote coach teams, work with them for a couple of weeks on the ground or even co-locate team members in the developing countries with the teams where the innovation’s user is also located for a 3-6 months period, helping drive the innovation/startup very much like a co-founder in a startup would.

Duties and responsibilities

The Executive Assistant, reporting to the Head of the Accelerator, is responsible for the following activities:

  • Provide high-level executive support to the Head of Innovation Accelerator
  • Organize and schedule external partners and internal meetings and events with an understanding f business priorities – proactively manage extremely complex calendars
  • Practively manages and drives interactions with the Management team,
  • Effectively plan ahead fr external partner meetings, events, management meetings and team engagement
  • Anticipate and coordinate Head of Accelerator travel needs as necessary including booking all travel and hotels and preparation of meeting materials
  • Organise and arrange meeting attendance, prepare and c-ordinate meeting agendas, materials, minutes and follow-up action
  • Prepare proposals, letters, slide decks, client invoices, etc.
  • Practively support business development efforts
  • Assist with preparation of meeting materials incl. compiling and coordinating PowerPoint presentations
  • Gather information on events and advise the Conduct research and gather information from public sources across multiple industries; synthesize and package results
  • Coordinate internal innovation advisory group and external innovation advisory council
  • Plan key interactions of internal and external key advisory groups of the accelerator
  • Support setting up of events and calls with advisors, coordinating schedules
  • Support follow-up with advisors
  • Build effective working relationships within the team and key stakeholders
  • Act as a thought partner and trusted advisor to the Head of Innovation Accelerator and others at the Accelerator
  • Proactively manage issues, determine priority, respond and/or escalate to the attention of the Head of Innovation Accelerator for action, as required
  • Participate as a member of the Management Team of the Accelerator
  • Perform any other duties as required by the Head of Innovation Accelerator

Required qualifications and experience

  • Education: Completion of secondary school education
  • Experience: Four or more years of experience as staff assistant/executive assistant in an organisation with international relationships

Required soft skills/WFP Competencies:

  • Knowledge of modern office procedures and methods.
  • Knowledge of executive support incl. schedule management for senior managers with multiple direct reports
  • Significant experience working in an organisation with international travel/international relationships
  • Knowledge of travel arrangements
  • Knowledge of work routines and methods in order to complete processes under minimal supervision and strong time management.
  • Uses tact and courtesy to give and receive information from a wide range of individuals.
  • Knowledge of standard office software packages, e.g. Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel
  • Excellent at time and project management, has clear systems and composure to deal with multiple tasks at once and ensures everything gets done in a timely manner
  • Strong written and verbal business communication in German and English
  • Experience in working in fast-paced and international environments
  • Team player as well as ability to work independently and drive individual activities with your own initiative
  • General Knowledge of UN system administrative policies, rules and regulations and procedures in the area of administration is a plus

Language requirements: Fluency in oral and written German (level C2) and working knowledge (proficiency) in English required.


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