CooP-Africa (Cycling out of Poverty) is a charity organisation based in the Netherlands and operating in East Africa. We improve access to income generation, education and health care by providing bicycles and supporting social bicycle enterprises. We believe that a bicycle can make a difference in this world for reasons of health, education, poverty alleviation, environment, etc.

To achieve our goals we like working with volunteers and interns in the Netherlands, Africa or any or part of the world (depending on the position). This way CooP-Africa is able to keep its overhead costs low and allocate the donated money for its projects in Africa. That is why we are always looking for volunteers and interns. Are  you thinking of doing volunteer work, internship or graduation with CooP-Africa in the Netherlands, Kenya, Uganda, or any other part of world? Or do you or your company have knowledge or expertise which could benefit CooP-Africa or its projects? Please contact info@coop-africa.org.

At the moment we are specifically looking for the following positions:

Business Development Manager Kenya

CooP-Kenya is a small social enterprise located in Kisumu Kenya, whose vision is to establish and execute various social enterprise bicycle projects whereby entrepreneurs, students and health workers are empowered and equipped with bicycles through a self-sustainable business model. CooP-Kenya has started implementing social bicycle projects and the social businesses in 2013. Currently they operate Bikeventures, a social enterprise offering bicycle tours, rentals and volunteer accommodation, and The Green Hub, a social enterprise offering bicycle design and manufacturing. To improve on performance of the social enterprises, (local) resource mobilisation and other income generation activities CooP-Kenya is seeking a Business Development Manager to manage, lead and coach the organisation and the team.

Overall responsibilities
The overall responsibility of the Business Development Manager is to manage, lead and provide expert advice in relation to all income generation activities within CooP-Kenya. Ensure that tendering opportunities, grant applications, major funders and other income generating opportunities (like the social enterprises and local fundraising) are maximised to support business development and operational delivery.

Key job tasks
The Business Development Manager has three primary responsibilities:

  • Identifying new leads: customers, markets, funding opportunities
  • Pitching products and/or services and fundraising
  • Maintain relationship with existing customers and donors

1. When it comes to generating leads, day-to-day duties typically include:
a) Researching organisations and individuals (online) to identify new leads and potential new markets
b) Researching funding opportunities (local and international)
c) Researching markets and the needs of individuals for business development of Bikeventures and The Green Hub
d) Contacting potential customers, organizations, donors via email or phone to establish rapport and set up meetings
e) Attending conferences, meetings and other events
f) Identify opportunities for marketing campaigns, and distribution channels that will lead to an increase in sales.

2. When it comes to actual selling and fundraising, other typical duties include:
a) Preparing presentations and sales displays for the social enterprises (Bikeventures and The Green Hub) and the social projects
b) Preparing funding proposals, grant and bid documents for potential donors, companies and government
c) Developing price setting, quotes and proposals for the social enterprises (Bikeventures and The Green Hub) and the social projects
d) Organising local fundraising events and initiatives
e) Planning and overseeing new marketing initiatives
f) Negotiating and renegotiating by phone, email and in person
g) Developing sales targets for the team and ensuring they are met
h) Monitoring sales targets on daily, weekly and monthly basis
i) Training personnel hand helping team members develop their skills

3. To keep healthy relationships with customers, donors, etc. it requires:
a) Professional after-sales to customer
b) Professional reporting to donor
c) Regular chats on the phone or meetings to be sure the customers are happy
d) Public relations, including website, social media, presence at events etc.

Job Specifications and Skills
There is no formal qualification for a Business Development Manager, but we can sum-up specifications, skills and qualification which describes the profile of a qualified candidate:
1. A degree in business and commerce, tourism, social sciences, or its equivalent
2. Over four years’ experience in managing social businesses
3. Proven track record of sales and meeting sales targets
4. Proven ability to write successful bids
5. Experience in tourism and/or bicycles is an advantage
6. Experience of identifying and developing suitable income generation opportunities to support business development
7. Strong interpersonal skills to work effectively with clients and colleagues and provide quality leadership to the team
8. A track record that demonstrates energy and creativity
9. Excellent verbal & written communication skills
10. Proven ability to cope with conflict, stress and crisis situations
11. Ability to work with limited supervision, prioritise work and deal with competing or conflicting demands / needs and interests in an organised and methodical manner

Working Environment
1. Working hours are Monday to Friday from 8am to 5pm occasionally putting in overtime to meet deadlines or sales quota
2. Office is held in Kisumu, Kenya
3. Reports to the Director
4. Works with an established CooP-Kenya team
5. If targets are met, the day-to-day methods and schedules will be flexible

Salary and Benefits
1. Salaries vary with experience, qualifications and skills according to our local salary scales. Starting from € 600 to € 1,000 per month
2. Assistance is given for work-permit and visa

Interested in the position? Please send your CV and cover letter to info@coop-africa.org.

Volunteer Bicycle Tourism in Kenya

CooP-Africa, Cycling out of Poverty, is supporting a social entreprise in Kisumu, Kenya called Bikeventures Tours, Rentals and Safaris. It is set up to train and support youths to improve their income in a sustainable and profitable business in the tourism industry. Bikeventures is encouraging visitors to explore and experience hidden treasures off-the-beaten-track in Western Kenya on a bicycle. Mountainbiking through the tea plantations of Kericho, cycling with Rothschild giraffes in less visited game reserves or national parks, touring legendary rock formations and bird island in Lake Victoria or exploring Kisumu city on a traditional boda boda (bicycle taxi) or in a solar-powered pedi-cab. That is Bikeventures!

What are your main activities 

  • Support (lead by example) Bikeventures on management, sales and administration
  • Train local staff on management, sales and administration – Promote Bikeventures on social media and internet
  • Proposal writing to expand Bikeventures (e.g. investements in more bicycles, support transport, and/or other expansion-plan of Bikeventures)

Who we are looking for 

We are looking for a motivated volunteer who likes to volunteer and support Bikeventures in Kisumu, Kenya for a period longer than 3 month. The volunteer needs to have affinity with a social business like Bikeventures and have experience in organising and/or managing bicycle tours and rentals.

We offer

CooP-Africa is offering you an unique opportunity to support the work of CooP-Africa in Africa and give your contribution to a better world. We offer you full support to achieve the developments of Bikeventures which we have planned. Expenditures made in line with this project are covered by CooP-Africa. CooP-Africa also offers a free flight ticket and arranges affordable accommodation.

Do you want to know more about CooP-Africa? Visit www.coop-africa.org. Interested in the position or do you have questions? Please contact Luuk Eickmans ( info@coop-africa.org).

Volunteer Bicycle Production in Kenya

CooP-Africa, Cycling out of Poverty, is developing a social enterprise in Kisumu, Kenya. This enterprise is designing, modifying, re-manufacturing and producing bicycles, bicycle trailers and bicycle components. The enterprise has been running since 2009 and has operated independent from funds. In 2014 CooP-Africa has renovated the workshop and from 2015 plans have been made to increase the production from custom-made production on order to a larger scale production. Bicycles produced are deployed in bicycle projects of CooP-Kenya improving access to education, health care and income, but are also sold on the market. Profits of the social enterprise are reinvested in development or donated to CooP-Kenya to run the bicycle projects.

What are your main activities 

  • Improve available bicycle designs
  • Set up a mass production of bicycles
  • Support (lead by example) the enterprise on management, productions, sales and administration
  • Train local staff on management, production, sales and administration
  • Promotion on social media and internet
  • Identifying and apply for bid

Who we are looking for 

We are looking for a motivated volunteer who likes to volunteer and support the social enterprise in Kisumu, Kenya for a period longer than 3 month. The volunteer needs to have affinity with the social business and have experience in producing bicycles or managing bicycle production enterprises.

We offer

CooP-Africa is offering you an unique opportunity to support the work of CooP-Africa in Africa and give your contribution to a better world. We offer you full support to achieve the developments which we have planned. Expenditures made in line with this project are covered by CooP-Africa. CooP-Africa also offers a free flight ticket and arranges affordable accommodation.

Do you want to know more about CooP-Africa? Visit www.coop-africa.org. Interested in the position or do you have questions? Please contact Luuk Eickmans ( info@coop-africa.org).