More than 500 million people across sub-Saharan Africa lack access to electricity and the International Energy Agency expects that number to increase to 700 million by 2030. Since extending the grid to them would cost billions of dollars, micro-scale, off-grid power from solar is often the only viable answer to energy poverty.
In countries like Uganda, where only 20% of the population has an on-grid connection, there’s undeniable potential for solar to leapfrog traditional energy provision models; however, affordability, perceptions of low quality and the absence of last-mile distribution and maintenance networks are curtailing development.
These are the very problems that SolarNow was founded to solve. A Dutch company with its head office in Kampala and core operations in Uganda and Kenya, it sells high-quality solar solutions to fit the needs of rural households and small entrepreneurs — from 50Wp small solar home systems capable of powering a radio, phone and a number of lights to 10kWp systems that can power productive appliances and offices. These systems are offered including a range of SolarNow branded consumer electronics, including televisions, fridges, flat irons, shavers and water pumps.
Crucially, SolarNow also provides credit that allows client to spread payment for their products over 24 months. Together with a network of 66 branches (950 FTE) in Uganda and Kenya and a price plan that includes full installation and service, backed by a unique five-year warranty, SolarNow has all the pieces in place to take optimal advantage of this unique market opportunity. The company already serves over 35,000 clients and plans to roll out its operations into other African countries during the coming years.
The CFO is responsible for developing and implementing SolarNow’s finance strategy, policies and processes. S/he leads the finance team, supports fundraising, conducts financial analysis, manages external relations and provides accurate, timely dashboards to all stakeholders. The CFO develops and manages the company budget and ensures that the financial risk management policies align with the company strategy.
- Assist in formulating the company's growth strategy and supporting related tactical initiatives
- Monitor and direct the implementation of strategic business plans
- Develop financial and tax strategies
- Build and present the 5-year business model and annual budget
- Develop performance measures that support the company's strategic direction
- Participate in key decisions as a member of the executive management team
- Maintain in-depth relations with all members of the management team
- Manage and motivate the Finance team
- Oversee the financial operations of subsidiary companies and foreign operations
- Oversee the company's transaction processing systems
- Implement operational best practices
- Design dash boards that meet the needs of stakeholders
- Produce timely and accurate financial reports
- Oversee the issuance of financial information
- Present financial results to the executive team and the supervisory board
Fundraising & Treasury Management
- Monitor cash balances and cash forecasts
- Arrange for debt and equity financing
Partnerships & External Relationships
- Participate in conference calls with the investment community
- Maintain relationships with local and international lenders
- Represent the company with investment advisers and investors
You are someone who cares deeply about improving livelihoods in Africa. You bring more than passion to the role – you have the grit and resilience to do this work. You have deep financial and management expertise, and are excited about being hands-on, but mature enough not to get lost in the weeds.
People love to work with you because you are candid, positive and respectful. Someone from whom they can learn. When there is a problem, you will not give up till you have identified the deepest root cause and know how you can solve it, thereby taking every opportunity to empower your team.
You have over 10 years of successful financial management experience, preferably in a decentralized retail or financial organization in Africa. You have a MSc degree in accounting, finance or business preferably with a CPA or comparable designation.
What to expect
SolarNow offers a dynamic role in a high potential for-profit business in a fast-growing market. The CFO is based in Kampala, but the job requires field travel across Africa.
The company offers a market conform package consisting of a salary, an employee stock option plan and medical insurance. The CFO will be exposed to various learning experiences in and outside Africa.