October 8, 2020

SME Scale-up Specialist

  • Position: :SME Scale-up Specialist
  • Duration: :One year with a possibility for extension, 40 h per week
  • Start Date::As soon as possible
  • Duty station: :Istanbul, Turkey or Amman, Jordan
  • Deadline for applications: :26th of October 2020

SPARK launches a new programme that is working with the private sector to create job opportunities for local youth among host communities & refugees in Turkey, Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon. This dynamic programme was designed in partnership with local companies, chambers of commerce, NGOs, private sector and governments to create employment for youth and is financed by several donors.

The SME Scale-up Specialist will drive the SME scale-up component of the project, initially in Jordan and Turkey but later in the other countries in the region as well.

The SME scale-up up specialist has extensive experience in the private sector and demonstrated ability in supporting SMEs (local and refugee driven) to grow. The SME scale up specialist will be able to bring to us connections and networks in the region, to connect SMEs to help them grow and create additional job opportunities for our beneficiaries. He/ she has a hands-on & can do mentality and can be found mostly outside of the office working with our local partners and SMEs. He/she enjoys working from time to time under pressure, can deliver results under pressure and blends in with out start-up scene partners. You enjoy bringing our local chamber of commerce and business alliance partners to the next level and have the experience and seniority to coach them.

As a new member of our dynamic team, you will be responsible to deliver on concrete targets on job creation for youth as per the donor contract through helping SMEs to connect to national and international networks. In addition to that, s/he will be responsible for providing technical expertise and do the quality control of support the SMEs, as well as local partners (such as training, coaching, access to finance). In addition, s/he also identifies and secure new business opportunities for SMEs and help to unlock access to their markets. S/he is expected to identify key business barriers in front of SMEs in target countries and design the provision of business development services to them. S/he is expected initially travel between the 2 target countries with the other countries following suit later in the year.

Main Tasks and Responsibilities:

The responsibilities and tasks include, but are not limited to those listed below. Responsibilities are in principle covering all our target countries in the Middle East (Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and OPT), with an initial focus on Jordan and Turkey:

• Identify growth-oriented SMEs and analyse their specific needs for the region;
• Support growth orientated small business to access international and/or national new and/or existing markets and to export in order to create new jobs,
• Work with selected local Business Support Organisations and identify new ones;
• Provide technical assistance and expertise to our Business Service Providers and coach them to the next level;
• Lead training processes of identified business advisors in key areas such as innovation, marketing, financial and human resource development,
• Support growth orientated small business to access to finance such as loans or equity finance in order to create new jobs,
• Conclude B2B deals between companies supported and new ventures together with the country teams and partners,
• Support MSMEs through facilitating Access to finance solutions in partnership with private sector and banking facilities.
• Support the country teams to update stakeholder analysis, labour market assessment, and relevant reports,
• Provide technical input and feedback on progress reports and impact evaluation reports as well as project proposals,
• Other tasks as required.

Requirements and Skills

• A strong business network in the middle east including Syrian led enterprises.
• Minimum of 10 years of relevant work experience in private sector development, SMEs support and must have hands on business experience on micro economies.
• Expertise in designing or implementing impact finance, project management, venture capital or loan guarantee funds is highly desirable;
• Experience in direct support to vulnerable SMEs as a consultant, mentor or trainer;
• Prior experience in access to finance solutions including Banking and setting up guarantee schemes to provide lines of finance to MSMEs is preferable.
• Can work from Istanbul or Amman, partial on distance from other location in the region, and be able to travel;
• Excellent interpersonal and verbal communication skills,
• Fluency in written and spoken Arabic and working level proficiency in English and Turkish is highly desirable;

SPARK Offers

• A challenging and exciting position in an international environment;
• Full-time contract 40h/per week;
• Training opportunities.

How to apply?

If you are interested, please apply with your motivation letter and your CV (both in English) on , until the 26th of October 2020. Please, with application send to us three references (phone number and email) which we can contact in the selection process.

All applications will be assessed on rolling basis; interviews can, therefore, take place before the application deadline. However, due to the large volume of applications we receive, we cannot respond to every applicant. There may be a delay between the deadline and the moment we contact selected applicants.

If you have not received a reply we regret to inform that we have continued with other candidates.



SPARK develops higher education and entrepreneurship to empower young, ambitious people to lead their fragile and conflict-affected societies into prosperity. SPARK is a dynamic and growing, international not-for-profit development organisation with 80+ staff members, in more than 14 offices around the world. SPARK supports refugees in the Middle-East by providing them with scholarships in universities and higher education institutions in the region. SPARK also supports young entrepreneurs in fragile states, to start or grow their own businesses.