Self Help Africa is a leading international development charity dedicated to ending hunger and poverty in rural Africa, bringing their expertise in small-scale farming and growing family-farm businesses. They were looking for a Team Leader to lead the implementation of a new Challenge Fund targeted at agribusinesses. After two unsuccessful conventional recruitment rounds, Mark Ireland, who led the process at Self Help Africa spoke to a couple of recruitment companies, and the way Oxford HR talked about our processes gave him the confidence we would be successful.

Jenny Löftbom, the appointed candidate, was interested in SHA and the challenge of moving from the corporate sector to a non-for-profit while continuing to work in private sector development. It was an exciting new career challenge for her. She is happy to have taken the role and sees this as, “an opportunity to grow as a leader and an important step to further leadership opportunities. […] In the coming year we will build a portfolio of agri-enterprises that are promoting inclusive business. We are aiming to benefit large numbers of smallholder farmers in Kenya.” For Mark, Jenny stood out for her track record and work history: “she was just what we were looking for: […] excellent experience of managing challenge funds along with deep knowledge of private sector and development. Her experience in and commitment to Kenya are a definite asset, not only for the KILIMO-VC project, but also for the organisation as a whole.”

Regarding the experience with Oxford HR, Jenny felt she was kept well informed about the role and the process. As for Mark, “honestly, it was excellent. Meeting face to face with Toby was really useful, so that he got good insight to the role and the type of person we were looking for. The Oxford HR team were proactive in keeping me informed of the progress and were helpful in giving advice on the interview process of the shortlisted candidates. All in all, Oxford HR were professional and value for money.”

These are exciting times for SHA. Alongside their sister companies, ‘Partner Africa, which works on ethical trade and sustainability issues in supply chains, TruTrade, whose Trade Transparency Solutions formalise value chain transactions, making rural agricultural markets work better for everyone and Traidlinks, a market-focused organisation whose niche is trade development promotion in East Africa – SHA is well positioned to support economic development and poverty reduction in Africa’, assures Mark, feeling positive about the future and their growth.