Monday, April 12, 2010
Looking for a Co-op Project Manager
Photo courtesy of Fiorella Yanuzzi
Yes, dear and trusted readers, I'm tapping the network. Who knows a talented, entrepreneurial and dynamic Liberian woman who can lead the Co-op towards greater and greater success?
This is, surprisingly, only a part-time job--but it has the potential to pay very well. Full job description is below. Thanks for sending this around! I'll keep you updated on the search.
Robertsport Community Work
Job Description: Women’s Sewing Co-op Project Manager
Robertsport Community Works is a Liberian NGO grounded on the principles of a community-based approach to environmentally sustainable development. We work to foster and support the entrepreneurial spirit within and around the local Robertsport community. The organization’s projects focus on enhancing economic opportunities related to tourism that positively impact the Robertsport community. In addition to the Women’s Sewing Cooperative, Robertsport Community Works manages a monthly beach cleanup, a scholarship program for surfers, community eco-tourism to the surrounding rainforest, kids yoga classes and the Robertsport Community Campsite. For more information, visit www.robertsportcommunityworks.org.
Currently, the Women’s Sewing Cooperative consists of 15 women led by Ma Bindu Davis. A small group of three advanced sewers, who serve as Team Leaders, have taught the others how to hand sew cloth products including beach bags, hand bags, yoga mat bags and aprons made from West African printed cloth called lapa. Women’s involvement is self-selecting – their interest in the project and willingness to learn are the only criteria for co-op membership. Members have regular meetings and cooperative decisions are made by majority vote.
Robertsport Community Works seeks a part-time Project Manager to lead the Women’s Sewing Co-op. The Project Manager will report directly to the Program Director of Robertsport Community Works and receive regular performance reviews. Although the Project Manager will receiving training, the expectation is that the Manager be increasingly self-sufficient and contribute to the local sustainability of the project. Regular travel to Robertsport is required. This is a part-time position.
The Project Manager will be responsible for the following regular duties:
1. Promote and market the Co-op and its products locally in Liberia, regionally and the US and in other international markets, including print, online and other types of advertising.
2. Research, develop and maintain relationships with wholesale buyers, including boutique shops, conferences and trade fairs.
3. Create and disseminate regular communications about the Co-op and its products, using online, social networking, print and other media. Update the Co-op website, contribute to the Robertsport Community Works blog and regularly update product and Co-op photos.
4. Manage all Co-op finances transparently, including product and order tracking and statistics on Co-op productivity.
5. Select and purchase quality lapa in bulk for the Co-op, choosing African-made materials when possible and ensuring equitable distribution to Co-op Team Leaders.
6. Schedule and chair regular and participatory Co-op meetings, make decisions regarding Co-op governance under the supervision of the Program Director, and ensure Co-op needs are heard and meet.
7. Check and maintain a rigorous system of quality control that checks all aspects of Co-op products to ensure they meet the highest standards.
8. In response to Co-op needs as articulated by its members and identified by the Project Manager, organize workshops to increase members’ capacity both personally and professionally.
9. Respond to Co-op orders and communications promptly and ensure products are shipped in timely and professional manner.
10. Update the Women’s Sewing Co-op website to display patterns and products in stock, as well as promote the Co-op, its members and its products.
Applicant knowledge, education and experience
• Fluent, grammatical and professional written and spoken English, with the ability to communicate clearly and professionally over the phone.
• Proficient computer skills, including email and Microsoft Excel.
• The ability to visit Robertsport for Co-op meetings and workshops on a regular basis.
• Excellent interpersonal and conflict resolution skills, as well as the ability to manage on-site and remotely, and an entrepreneurial drive to see Liberian women succeed.
Salary and compensation
This position is paid on a commission basis, with the potential to earn a sizeable local income.
Interested applicants, please email a CV and cover letter to Elie Losleben at email@example.com. Before an interview is scheduled, two professional references will be required.