Cardno is an international consulting firm, with expertise in the development and improvement of physical and social infrastructure for communities around the world. Cardno is implementing a USAID funded project in Serbia and is looking for qualified individuals to join our Belgrade based team.

 

We are looking for

Financial Expert for Training Small Business and SMEs - Short-term

 

JOB DESCRIPTION AND SCOPE OF WORK

 

USAID Cooperation for Growth Project (USAID CFG), implemented by Cardno Emerging Markets USA is a 4-year initiative launched in 2018, whose goal is to improve conditions for broad-based economic growth through improvements in Serbia’s business enabling environment.

The USAID CFG focuses on improvements in the business enabling environment that increase predictability and transparency as well as remove regulatory constraints to economic activity, thereby creating a stronger foundation for investment and facilitating private sector growth.

This assignment will assist the USAID CFG efforts under Objective 2: Improved SME Access to Finance, Subobjective O2.2: Expand use of existing sources of financing for small and medium enterprises

CFG is providing technical assistance (training sessions) to small and medium enterprises as well as financial institutions (banks) in realizing the importance of high-quality financial management within a company in order to obtain more adequate bank financing. Banks, on the other hand, have mostly standardized products and procedures that are not suitable for many businesses. The goal of this activity is to increase debt potential of companies, as well as the ability of companies to retrieve adequate financing and boost mutual communication and understanding between SMEs and banks.

During the previous period, USAID CFG executed a pilot project with the representatives from the private sector and banks in order to demonstrate the importance of financial management within a company as well as interact with the banks about the necessity of fully understanding the business model of each company and sector. This project had a concrete output in a form of submitted bank products application, demonstrating in practice what was delivered during the training sessions.  Companies that applied for banking products (loans, overdrafts), with the expert assistance from USAID CFG, got EUR 21 million of new and adequately structured loans. Having in mind these results, USAID CFG seeks to engage a highly skilled expert in the area of financial management, delivery of trainings with the view to carry out trainings with a selected Bank and companies with the ultimate goal of reaching higher number of businesses and bank employees as described in the Scope of Work below.

Scope of Work

USAID CFG seeks to increase the knowledge of SMEs about the importance of high-quality management within a company and improve mutual understanding and cooperation between SMEs and Banks. The project targets a segment of businesses whose size and daily operations require a systematic and efficient approach to financial management. However, a majority of private companies (especially small businesses) in Serbia put focus on other activities, such as operations or marketing, totally neglecting the accounting side and having no financial strategy.

In general, Serbian SMEs’ understanding of financial management is often very narrow and short term, which can be and is a serious barrier for further development of companies. Making financial decisions to achieve short-term effects, without being able to perceive the consequences of these decisions on the company as a whole and in the long term, carries the danger of future liquidity problems, jeopardizing the stability of the company. In addition, poor financial knowledge very often leads to companies ending up with inadequate banking products, i.e., loans with an unsuitable structure and/or high interest rate. Once the companies understand how leverage can benefit their businesses, they will be less reluctant to consider different types of borrowed capital as a viable financing source.

Banks on the other hand, due to limited resources, different policies and internal objectives, don’t have the full understanding of the business and therefore, are not in the position to offer the most suitable financing for this segment. This situation creates a huge communication gap and reduces the possibility of mutually satisfactory cooperation between SMEs and banks.

Job Description

In order to properly attend to the mentioned issues, a local expert is expected to deliver training suitable for small businesses and SME companies. Eight (8) groups of companies (10 companies per group) will each attend a two-day training program (16 training days in total). The total number of companies expected to attend the mentioned trainings is up to 80.

The training should be backed up with real life examples, carefully picked and implemented in the training program. It is expected that the expert will carefully prepare case by case financial analysis for each company participant in order for the companies to recognize the benefits of the delivered training. This should lead to an increase of debt potential of participating companies, and allow them to consolidate their debt, obtain less expensive financing and engage in better overall communication with financial institutions (banks)

  • Number of participants- Up to 80 companies
  • Number of training days- Up to 60 (for preparation and delivery, follow up)

 

Capacities Required for Position

  • Advanced, preferably academic, degree in finance or economy;
  • Previous experience within the banking sector (risk department) preferably on manager’s position- minimum 7 years;
  • Proven ability and experience in conceptualizing, designing and delivering trainings in the area of financial management- minimum 5 years;
  • Full computer literacy;
  • Excellent English and Serbian written skills;
  • Experience working on with USAID or other donor projects.

To apply please submit a CV and one-page cover letter in English. Only the shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

Assignment duration:

Up to 60 working days

Deadline for applications:

 January 10, 2020

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