Start-ups Portfolio Manager at Semicolon Village Limited

Start-ups Portfolio Manager | Semicolon Village Limited | Lagos

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We are a social enterprise creating employment and economic opportunities by training software engineers and techpreneurs. Technology has the power to transform entire industries and the lives of everyday Nigerians. However, companies and entrepreneurs seeking to develop innovative solutions are faced with the same issue: they struggle to find employees with the skills required to design and develop their technology. Across industries, from finance to agriculture to education, companies are searching for Nigerians skilled in software engineering, design, and project management, and too often are not able to find what they need. We are addressing this gap and building a thriving technology sector in Nigeria by developing talent and fostering innovation.

  • Teaching – Our core focus is to develop technical skills in young people through a one-year intensive program that includes classroom learning, hands-on project experience, and internships.
  • Incubation – for innovative technology. All students work on technology projects, either based on student ideas or partner companies’ initiatives. We identify the most viable solutions and bring them to reality by providing early support on technology and business development, and connecting entrepreneurs with funding sources, mentors, etc.
  • Building Community – We are an “Innovation Hub,” bringing together innovative minds to develop solutions. We connect our students with mentors and partners from around the globe.
  • Project Delivery – We work with corporate partners in implementing projects.


The Start-Ups Portfolio Manager (Portfolio Manager) is a critical member of our family, reporting directly to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The Portfolio Manager will be involved in both the design and implementation of the organization’s Venture Building (Idea-to-MVP and Growth Lab) programs. S/he will offer comprehensive organizational support to start-ups in our Venture Building portfolio.

The Portfolio Manager will provide strategic thinking and guidance to each start-up in the Venture Building portfolio on policies, procedures, processes, and implementation to ensure that they are aligned with strategic priorities. S/he will provide direct short-term and long-term planning and business management guidance as required, to ensure portfolio companies are ready for the next growth phase.

Primary Relationships

Reports to: Chief Executive Officer

Manages external relationships with: Early Stage Investors, Partners/Donors, Banks

 Principal Responsibilities and Accountabilities

The role will include, but will not be limited to the following areas:

Strategic Development

  • Support organizational development, including setting up management and accountability systems.
  •  Distill strategy into an operations blueprint; define operational performance goals; align resources and activities; and ensure accountability for and fulfillment of organizational and stakeholder objectives
  • Carry out regular risk assessments for the companies and advise the CEO on appropriate actions to mitigate risks.
  • Assist the portfolio companies in the business planning process
  • Guide companies to operationalize the funding and organizational models determined
  • Provide support in developing the sales and marketing strategy in respect of offerings.

Operational Excellence

  • Create and institutionalize an efficient project monitoring and reporting system for the Venture Building unit.
  • Guide portfolio companies in creating an efficient project monitoring and reporting system to ensure achievement of objectives, deadlines, and regulatory requirements.
  •  Institute a Total Quality Management (TQM) culture in portfolio companies by identifying, developing, and implementing processes and setting standards of excellence.
  •  Provide quarterly progress reports, recommend solutions where applicable and ensure that they are implemented.
  •  Work closely with the company’s lawyers to provide portfolio companies legal support where necessary.
  • Set operational performance goals for portfolio companies and hold managers accountable.
  • Establish and maintain standard operating procedures and practices that are in line with global best practices.

Financial Management

  • Provide effective and efficient management and development of core functions and teams, to ensure financial and operational integrity.
  • Work with accountant to develop internal systems for monitoring and ensuring the accuracy of all financial data
  • Ensure statutory compliance with applicable regulatory requirements and provide advice and assistance on all financial regulatory issues.
  • Guide and contribute to the preparation of financial reports, budgets, and financial models.
  • Contribute to the relationships the Accountant develops with portfolio companies.
  • Ensure there is appropriate segregation of duties for all finance-related activities.

Staff Development

  • Lead, coach, and mentor the founders to ensure customer focus and high standards of delivery.
  • Ensure that all output from the founders meets Semicolon’s high standards of delivery.
  • Develop a learning culture by sharing best practices and successes between the portfolio companies.
  •  Identify and provide ongoing formal/informal capacity development opportunities.
  •  Monitor, manage and report on the performance of portfolio companies and their founders, including setting monthly objectives and timelines.
  • Conduct frequent plan reviews.

Job Competencies and Capabilities

Essential Qualifications & Experience

  • Master’s degree in Economics, Business Administration, Finance, or any related discipline from a reputable institution, or equivalent professional qualifications in Accounting and Finance.
  •  Demonstrated ability to serve as a strategic partner to the CEO of portfolio companies on financial, human resources, administrative, operational, and other related issues.
  •  Successful track record of operational engagement across multiple functions, including finance, administration, HR, and/or IT, with evidence of consistent results.
  • Direct experience in setting up business operations and systems, and developing and implementing operational processes and procedures
  •  Demonstrated experience working in a complex or pioneering environment and in facilitating change management.

Desired Qualifications & Experience

  • Experience in one or more of our organization’s strategic areas.
  • Project management experience with relevant certification.


The Portfolio Manager will possess the following:

Strategic Capability

  •  A strong analytical mind and ability to grasp and shape strategy quickly.
  •  Creative problem-solving skills to shape and operate within an evolving organizational architecture.
  •  A clear focus on organizational goals, amid multiple competing demands, and a capacity to prioritize effectively in order to realize these.
  • Highly numerate with strong problem-solving skills and attention to detail.
  •  Proven ability to produce concise, well-structured, and very high-quality reports and presentations.
  • A strong appreciation for and knowledge of social issues particularly the Nigerian case – youth unemployment, education, agriculture, health, entrepreneurship, etc.
  • The ability to cultivate relationships with Semicolon’s partners and investor communities.

Driving for Results

  •  A results-driven approach with the confidence and resilience to assume a leadership role, ask challenging questions, and pursue excellence in a demanding environment.
  • Excellent organizational skills, with the ability to handle multiple projects.
  • A proactive approach, taking ownership and responsibility across a diverse range of projects.
  •  Demonstrated ability to drive continuous improvement in processes and systems.
  •  Ability to operate effectively in a fast-paced, dynamic, and entrepreneurial environment.

Leading Teams

  • Ability to lead, coach, mentor, and inspire teams to ensure customer focus and high standards of delivery.
  • The propensity to work collaboratively and to inspire team members to achieve results
  •  Organization-building mindset with the ability to influence and motivate people.

Building Relationships and Using Influence

  • Excellent presentation and communication skills to represent our organization to both internal and external stakeholders.
  •   Effective influencing, negotiating, and relationship-building skills.
  • Gravitas, credibility, and ability to initiate and develop strategic partnerships and alliances.

Personal Attributes

  • Commitment to the social innovation agenda and a passion for Semicolon’s strategic objectives.
  • Highly professional, organized, and efficient; able to multi-task effectively and prioritize work based on minimal direction and multiple competing priorities.
  •  Innovative and enterprising approach that is quick to search out alternative solutions to needs or problems.
  • Discreet and respects confidentiality, with a high degree of integrity and resilience

Essential Job Functions:

  • Provide thought leadership and overall guidance to internal teams.
  • Collaborate with sales in engaging with customers and delivering appropriate proposals.
  •  Facilitate team discussions, prioritization, and governance to ensure efficient and effective decision-making.
  •  Lead business process mapping to identify the business drivers for the selection of technology solutions.
  • Define and revise the target business process model and long-term organizational goals and priorities.
  • Guide presentation of business plans and strategies for business cases.
  • Coordinate with portfolio companies to develop business cases for projects.
  •  Develop and implement a risk management plan.
  • Work with the portfolio companies to analyze complex business problems and assess needs and opportunities that can be solved or enabled using technology.
  • Share knowledge and develop founders’ capacities to strengthen understanding of best practices and stay current with industry trends.
  • Take up other tasks as may be assigned.

Application Closing Date
Not Specified

Method of Application
Interested and qualified candidates should:
Click here to apply