Strategy Associate, ISF Advisors

  • Full-time

Company Description

Location:  Flexible, ISF team members are based in multiple locations around the globe and work remotely. Offices in New York, Washington DC, and Nairobi


ISF is an advisory firm that transforms rural economies through the creation of business models and delivery of investment advisory services that promote financial inclusion for farmers and associated enterprises. ISF’s primary role is to act as a “design catalyst.” The emphasis is on mobilizing additional financing for rural enterprises and seeding replication of innovative models. ISF works with public and private investors to develop new financial and partnership structures that can drive capital to rural clients and transform their economies. This typically includes a combination of partnership development and enterprise growth strategy while layering in financial inclusion and investment structuring expertise.

ISF’s team brings together management consultants and financial experts from leading strategy, investment banking and impact investing firms. Decades of specialized experience enables ISF to respond to the specific needs of rural enterprises, financial institutions and investors. ISF’s areas of expertise include: i) sector and related market assessment, ii) financial product structuring and service delivery model development, iii) transaction and capital raising advisory, and vi) enterprise growth strategy.

ISF is housed within the Global Development Incubator (GDI) and shares GDI’s commitment to building effective partnerships that make a significant and lasting impact. For more information on ISF and GDI please refer to the respective websites: and

Job Description

The Strategy Associate role is a unique opportunity to work closely with financial sector innovators, agriculture supply chain experts and entrepreneurs who seek to advance financial inclusion for 500 million smallholder farmers and associated rural enterprises around the world.

The Strategy Associate is responsible for market research, analysis, and project management in support of ISF’s work with organizations across the world. Projects that range from multi-million dollar funds to individual social enterprises. This role is a great opportunity for a high performing strategy consultant looking to deepen exposure to global development issues in a team with blue-chip backgrounds working on the forefront of investing for impact.


  • Collaborate with the ISF team to design and develop business models or financial structures focused on rural financial inclusion, working with agro-enterprises, investment companies, and/or financial service providers. Specific projects will depend on the ISF pipeline, but sample projects may include:
    • Conduct market landscape analyses, feasibility assessment, and option prioritization for rural financial inclusion opportunities.
    • Assess financial and business needs of social enterprises, agro-enterprises, or rural financial institutions.
    • Develop strategies on financial market interventions for donors and foundations in the food and agriculture sector.
  • Disaggregate problems, synthesize findings and independently develop actionable recommendations from analyses.
  • Conduct complex financial, market, and stakeholder analyses while problem-solving around specific issues; creatively find and draw upon sources of data from ISF research, clients, and external organizations.
  • Contribute to ISF’s facilitation of multi-stakeholder relationships with financial institutions, agricultural enterprises, philanthropic organizations, and other stakeholders through workshops, working groups, and bi-lateral conversations.
  • Draft individual and team work plans and support project-based workflow;
  • Produce clear, concise written materials and presentations in connection with business development efforts and project execution.
  • Provide direct intellectual input and analysis for original ISF research efforts, engage with key stakeholders to further the team’s understanding, and support the production and creation of publishable content, in collaboration with the ISF’s communications team.
  • Travel as needed to support implementation.


  • Bachelor’s and/or Master’s degree in business, international affairs, public administration/policy, or other relevant field, with excellent academic record.
  • At least two to six years as a top performer at a leading firm in strategy consulting, corporate advisory, or comparable experience working in a client-facing team involving deep analytical approaches.
  • Strong analytical, quantitative and problem-solving skills applied towards understanding and interpreting business operations, management capabilities, and practices.
  • Exceptional communication skills and ability to present information in an insightful and structured manner, both written and oral.
  • Professionalism and demonstrated experience working with senior officials in the public and/or private sector, particularly within financial institutions.
  • Familiarity with innovative finance for development and common development finance tools (e.g. risk guarantees, concessional lending, blended finance, etc.).
  • Experience in multi-stakeholder facilitation through workshops, working groups, and relationship management.
  • Passion for application of innovative financial structures and complex partnerships towards inclusive markets for rural populations.
  • Demonstrated experience getting things done independently under ambiguous circumstances.
  • Experience and/or networks in Sub-Saharan Africa preferred.

Additional Information

If you are interested in this position and meet the qualifications above, please submit a single PDF document containing a one-page cover letter and resume when applying.

ISF provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws. Individuals from all backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply.