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Project & Development Associate

Project & Development Associate

  • Location


  • Sector:

    Renewable Energy & Infrastructure

  • Job type:


  • Contact:

    Alex Rowntree

  • Contact email:

  • Published:

    over 2 years ago

  • Expiry date:


  • Consultant:

    Alex Rowntree



An exciting opportunity has arisen for a Development & Project Associate to join a Renewable Investment Firm to support their Innovation and Mini-grid Development Function. 


The role is two-fold: you will be working with mini-grid developers to identify and test innovative solutions to the mini-grid business model, managing an iterative process of piloting and refining ideas. Based on the results of these experiments, your second objective will focus on identifying the most successful solutions and working with developers and technology and industry partners to scale those innovations, thereby directly changing the mini-grid business model. 



Primary Responsibilities:

Project-Manage field trials of innovative business model improvements across Africa


  • Work directly with mini-grid developers operating sites across Africa to test prototype innovations for the purposes of increasing company revenue 
  • Lead regular workshops with mini-grid developers across the continent
  • Develop creative iterations to the most promising innovations, based on early findings of business model impact 
  • Alongside the Lab Lead, oversee the deployment of $2.2M of R&D funding to mini-grid developers conducting iterative, cutting-edge trials to change the mini-grid business model


Alongside the Lab Lead, assess each Innovation’s impact on the business model using the Lab’s unique dataset of data points on rural customer behaviour


  • Use the Lab’s financial model to evaluate the impact of each tested innovation on the mini-grid business model, incorporating analysis from the Lab Data Lead
  • Partner with the Lab Data Lead to identify iterations with the largest potential to improve the business model based on the analysis conducted


Project-Manage field trials of innovative business model improvements across Africa. 


  • Publish guides on the most promising innovations for the entire sector, incorporating lessons learned from developers on the ground and insights gained through the Lab’s data analysis
  • Create commercial frameworks for mini-grid developers to partner with leading technology and industry partners 
  • Build the business case for the most promising innovations tested by the Lab’s community of mini-grid developers


Manage and develop relationships with the leading institutions and companies in the energy access sector, including: 


  • Mini-grid developers: 18 leading private sector mini-grid developers across Africa
  • Technology partners: companies on the cutting edge of innovation in energy access, such as Angaza and ZOLA Electric
  • Industry partners: organizations building the sector and leading advocacy efforts, including the Africa Mini-Grid Developers Association and Power for All
  • Thought partners: top tier academic institutions conducting new research on off-grid energy, including University of Massachusetts Amherst and Duke University 



  • Ability to think creatively to find innovative solutions to business model gaps 
  • Excellent analytical ability and discipline; ability to think clearly, structure problems logically, and then design and implement solutions that focus on the core issues
  • Strong project management skills; ability to juggle and deliver a multitude of projects across contexts, geographies, and stakeholders
  • Strong communication skills; ability to distil complex findings into convincing, compelling messages and present results in a clear and simplified manner
  • Ability to coordinate diverse range of stakeholders in challenging environments
  • Pre-MBA/Masters candidate with 2-4 years of work experience in high impact organizations
  • Experience in developing countries, and a technical background (preferred)


 If interested, please submit your CV to for immediate review