Cultivation Impact Fellow

Quetzaltenango, Guatemala
Apply by 6 July 2018
Scholarships / Fellowships , Short-term contract assignment
Posted on 30 May 2018

Job Description


Alterna is looking for a highly qualified and driven professional to join the Cultivation team and support Alterna’s high growth trajectory as it leads the sector of social innovation and entrepreneurship in Central America and beyond.

This Fellow will be an integral part of the team responsible for designing and executing the “cultivation” process, providing hands-on advisory and mentorship to local entrepreneurs who lack access to high-quality business services. Utilizing a methodology built from seven years of launching our own social businesses and working directly with entrepreneurs in the community, Alterna Fellows to date have successfully helped advise over 1,000 entrepreneurs to help them to strengthen and scale their social businesses.

This Fellow will be a part of the cohort joining Alterna on August 6, 2018, with a minimum 8-month commitment.


Alterna is a pioneer in the area of “cultivation,” a program that provides social entrepreneurs with an array of highest-quality resources to help them achieve traction and growth, with respect to both financial performance and disruptive social impact.

In our experience collaborating with more than a thousand entrepreneurs and SMEs, we have seen that early stage companies with great transformative potential often lack access to financial tools tailored to their needs. At Alterna, we see this need as an opportunity to complement the impact investment category. Together with the Multilateral Investment Fund (FOMIN) of the International Development Bank (IDB), we launched La Ruta Alterna, a series of Cultivation services designed for social enterprises at various stages and levels, with the opportunity to access capital for those who advance in the pipeline. In this spirit, we seek to stimulate the impact investing culture in the small but growing business segment, called “the missing middle”.


The Cultivation Impact Fellow will support the entire Cultivation process in La Ruta Alterna, focusing on driving and reinforcing Alterna’s position as a thought-leader in social and environmental impact strategies, successes, and innovations. Key focus areas include:

A. Develop a series of case studies on Alterna social entrepreneurs

  • Develop powerful, comprehensive case studies on ~10+ high-impact, high-growth entrepreneurs within the Alterna network, highlighting: industry and market dynamics, deep understanding of the social/environmental need, business and impact model, revenue and impact growth potential, key success factors, and more
  • Conduct active and dynamic research, including: site visits, primary interviews with relevant actors, secondary research, and the collection of all other relevant material (testimonies, etc.) to support the case study
  • Case studies will be published across platforms (website, blog, newsletter, social networks), reaching a global network of leading actors in the impact space and beyond

B. Social and environmental impact research, documentation, and knowledge management

  • Assist the Cultivation team in deepening and documenting expertise in impact models and strategies. This includes:
  • Conduct extensive research on topics such as: theory of change and impact models for regional social and environmental challenges, impact evaluation strategies and processes, industry trends and patterns, data collection on industries and topics such as the BoP, database of relevant case studies / comparable social enterprises, etc.
  • Synthesize, document, and share key learnings and insights in a comprehensive and well-organized Knowledge Management system

C. Assist in the design & development of impact materials for Cultivation programs

  • Work with the M&E team to refine materials (tools, presentations, support guides, activities, etc.) for workshops, as needed
  • Assist in the comprehensive revision of impact-related pre-work (deliverables from the entrepreneurs prior to entering into a program) to prepare the team with the context and insights to deliver highly effective mentorship

D. Support and participate in Cultivation program workshops

  • Support the permanent team in the preparation and execution of programs (bi-monthly workshops of 1-5 days)
  • Participate actively in workshops, providing 1:1 mentorship and support to entrepreneurs

E. Provide support in other Cultivation activities and objectives, such as:

  • Ongoing systematization of processes and materials
  • Continuously researching innovative approaches, ideas and best practices in the areas of impact investing and social entrepreneurship
  • Participation in a variety of sector events, such as FLII CA&C (The Latin American Impact Investing Forum for Central America and the Caribbean), a forum hosted by Alterna in November 2018 that brings together over 500 international and regional actors in impact investing and social entrepreneurship

Please note that the Fellow will work closely with the Monitoring & Evaluation Manager and supporting team members to execute and receive feedback and support on defined activities.


Key areas of experience for a successful candidate include:

  • Professional experience (ideally 2-5 years); related careers include but are not limited to Consulting, NGO, multinational, entrepreneurship, and more
  • Bachelor’s degree in relevant areas, including (but are not limited to) International Business or Management, Public Policy, International Relations, or other; Master’s a plus
  • Demonstrated analytical, business judgment and problem-solving skills
  • Spanish business proficiency, with excellent written and verbal communication
  • Strong knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite
  • Knowledge and passion for the social entrepreneurship and impact investment sector is highly desired

Key personal skills and abilities include:

  • Demonstrated balance of autonomy and self-drive with strong skills in team collaboration
  • Ability to thrive in a fast-paced environment, manage complexity, and adapt to challenges with minimal resources
  • Humility, empathy and cultural sensitivity
  • A sense of humor and contagious energy


Please note that the Fellowship is self-funded by the Fellow. In return of this investment of your talent and experience, Fellows will get the unique opportunity to:

  • Join the pioneer organization of the impact sector in Central America and gain unparalleled exposure to initiatives that are breaking boundaries in a rapidly developing region
  • Advance a diverse professional skill set and generate a lasting impact on Alterna and on the ecosystem
  • Gain hands-on experience in a developing context and the Latin American entrepreneurship ecosystem, granting first-hand insights on systematic complexities and best practices in social innovation
  • Connect with a network of over ~1,000+ regional entrepreneurs and a wide-reaching network of global impact leaders, presenting invaluable opportunities for professional connections and opportunities
  • Work in an exciting, multicultural setting with the international, passionate, and fun-loving tribe of Alterna
  • Seize a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to live the rich history, culture, and reality of Guatemala, the heart of the Mayan civilization and Central America’s most diverse country, with extraordinary access to captivating landscapes, adventures, and cultural experiences

Application deadline: 06 July 2018

Start Date: 06 August 2018

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