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Director, Finance

Bridge International Academies

Bridge International Academies

Accounting & Finance
Nairobi, Kenya
Posted on Thursday, March 9, 2023

Director, Finance

Nairobi, Kenya

Bridge Kenya

Bridge Kenya is a community school programme that partners with parents, communities and teachers to provide a life changing education and gateway to success.

Bridge Kenya transforms lives and opens the door to a successful future for its pupils. Together with its teachers, school leaders, families and communities, it creates schools that deliver academic excellence, build the essential skills for success, and provide a caring, nurturing community that supports growth.

In 2009, Bridge Kenya opened its first school in Nairobi’s Mukuru Kwa Njenga. Since then we have iterated and innovated, building a transformative community school programme that is data-driven and evidence-based and accountable to families. We have re-engineered every part of the education system, from teacher training and support, to lesson delivery and design, construction, and administration; making community schools as effective and transparent as possible. Our success in Kenya has enabled us to create other community school programmes in Africa and beyond.

Since 2015, Bridge Kenya’s national (KCPE) exam results have continued to prove academic excellence, significantly outperforming national averages. Every year, tens of pupils from some of the most underserved communities in the country score 400+ in their KCPE with 1000s’ more scoring over 300 marks. Our Community school graduates have gone to top secondary schools and universities; both within Kenya and the US. These graduates continue to excel in various top national secondary schools in Kenya including Maranda High, Starehe Boys, Alliance Girls, Pangani Girls and MPESA Foundation. In addition, some of our first cohort of pupils are now in top universities including University of Nairobi, Kenya and Amherst College in the US.

Outside of the classroom, our pupils participate in extracurricular activities such as debates and sports to help them build confidence, teamwork skills and independence. They continue to prove their co-curricular prowess – with schools competing at the national level co-curricular competitions every year and participating in East Africa regional competitions.

We are not just a community school programme, every day we work to transform lives. We are nurturing children holistically, by empowering teachers and teaching pupils to be disciplined and confident using positive behavioural techniques and approaches. These traits empower pupils to lead and a successful future long after they graduate.

Our community school programme has a long legacy of success and has opened the door to opportunities that many of our pupils and their families could never have imagined.

A quality education has the power to transform the opportunities for Kenya’s children. In joining us, you will join a group of dynamic and passionate Kenyans taking concrete action to help ensure a better future for the children of Kenya.


The Finance Group partners with country and global leadership to achieve financial sustainability of our operations and make our mission come true. We provide strategic partnership to global leadership on raising capital and actionable feedback on our financial performance. We are continually focused on judicious use of resources whether for each one of our territories or for the entire organization.

Across our rapidly scaling multi-unit enterprise, we provide leadership to build a world-class financial infrastructure. This includes the design and development of financial systems, policies, procedures (taking into account current and fast growing high volume transactions, teams, numbers of geographically distributed business units) and provision of shared services for financial operations by a centralized team specializing in Accounting, Accounts Payable, Payroll, Treasury and Financial Planning & Analysis.

Finance Operations

We serve Financial leadership in each territory by managing the accounting, accounts payable, treasury and payroll requirements of our group. We understand that our consistent operational excellence is critical to empowering our customers with data and understanding of their financial performance. We also collaborate heavily with external stakeholders such as our investors and auditors by leading all financial reporting efforts.

We are solutions oriented, heavily focused on operational excellence and hold process integrity as a core value. We lead innovation in financial process improvements across the group, thereby facilitating the success of the strategic initiatives for our global leadership.

About the Role

The Finance Director holds a critically important role at Bride Kenya as the executive leading all Finance activities for the programme. The role holder will provide financial leadership to build world-class financial infrastructure for the business. This includes the design and development of financial systems, policies, procedures, taking into account current and fast-growing high-volume transactions, headcount, numbers of geographically distributed business units, and the operations of a multi-country global brand.

The Finance Director is also able to dive deep into details and think at the ground level. He/she should be able to play offense as a business and systems thinker - scalability of the platform, improvements to unit economic and scaling model, global shared services - as well as defense - dealing with leakage, fraud prevention, and air-tight controls in challenging operating environments. The Director, Finance will report directly to the Managing director and is a core member of the leadership team.

What You Will Do

  • Build and develop systems - set up highly efficient financial systems that take into account the highly technical payment, cash management, payroll and financial operating systems of a geographically distributed multi-unit operation. These systems need to be highly efficient or automated, data-driven, transparent and appropriate for emerging market conditions.
  • Develop financial and non-financial key performance indicators and the appropriate reporting to assess financial and operational performance across the Company.
  • Ensure that systems and controls are in place to minimize and mitigate risk of fraud/leakage, as well as proactively audit key functions and accounts.
  • Support business growth strategies by forecasting and assessing the financial impact of key decisions.
  • Maintain budgetary oversight at country-level of all departments within Kenya; work closely with managers and senior executives on budgeting and forecast processes.
  • Management reporting, ensure monthly management reports for group reporting and local reporting are submitted on time with variance analysis reports and notes.
  • Risk Management, ensure the company complies with all local statutory requirements, and insurance policies are in place to safeguard company assets.
  • Management of accounts receivables locally, ensure accuracy of pupils accounts.
  • Manage the external audit process for financial statements; ensure that the Company is in compliance with internal policies and relevant regulations.
  • Support investor reporting in provision of relevant financial information for the programme.
  • Lead the department in recruiting and retaining top staff; manage the development of staff through performance management processes.
  • Other duties as assigned by the managing director or Chief Finance Officer.

What You Should Have

  • At least 10 years of experience within finance/ corporate finance, including experience as Finance Director
  • Deep experience leading and managing the financial operations and strategy for a Company with hyper-growth and complex challenges across a broad scope of work
  • Degree in a business/finance-related field – e.g. accounting, MBA with a record of top academic performance from a top-tier elite institution.
  • Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or equivalent and a member of a professional body in good standing
  • Strong background in financial management (systems) with a thorough understanding of financial regulations.
  • Experience leading Finance for fast-growth, rapidly-scaling companies is strongly preferred
  • Experience working with remote finance operations - shared services is an added advantage.
  • Confident and flexible team player with great ability to work closely with non-finance team members within a multicultural environment
  • Success operating in environments with a high risk of fraud and leakage, particularly in emerging markets.

You’re also

  • A detailed doer – You have a track record of getting things done. You’re organized and responsive. You take ownership of every idea you touch and execute it to a fine level of detail, setting targets, engaging others, and doing whatever it takes to get the job done. You can multi-task dozens of such projects at once and never lose sight of the details. Likely, you have some experience in a start-up or other rapid-growth company.
  • A creative problem-solver – Growing any business from scratch comes with massive and constant challenges. On top of that, Bridge works in often fragile, sometimes volatile low-resource communities and with complex government systems. You need to be flexible and ready to get everything done effectively, quickly, and affordably with the materials at hand.
  • A relentless advocate – The children we serve and teachers we empower never leave your mind. You know them, get them, have shared a meal with them (or would be happy to in the future). You would never shrink back from shaking a parent’s hand or picking up a crying child, no matter what the person was wearing or looked like. Every decision you make considers their benefit, experience, and value.
  • A malleable learner – You believe you can always do better. You welcome constructive criticism and provide it freely to others. You know you only get better tomorrow when others point out where you’ve missed things or failed today.
  • A data-driven decision-maker – When making decisions, you don’t rely on your intuition alone. You collect data, you analyze it and make decisions with clear justifications.
  • A curious investigator – You ask why a lot. You don’t just take what you see and accept it. You wonder why it is that way, and are aware that the world we see is created by human choices and actions – and it could be different. You wonder, and see the world as wonderful even when you want to change a part of it that is unjust.