Social entrepreneur – High Altitude Programme

The Snow Leopard Trust (SLT; http://www.snowleopard.org) is an international not-for-profit organization that seeks to conserve the snow leopard and its habitat based on effective conservation action backed with sound science and partnerships with local communities and Government agencies. In India, SLT carries out its activities jointly with the Nature Conservation Foundation, Mysore (NCF; http://www.ncf-india.org) under its High Altitude Program. NCF is dedicated to promoting science-based, socially responsible wildlife conservation in India.

While various conservation initiatives carried out over the years help conserve snow leopards, we continue to explore newer ways to strengthen our conservation focus. One such conservation initiative that has generated interest with local communities is that of setting up an enterprise to produce handicrafts. With a strong conservation link, the enterprise could help further reinforce our sustained efforts to protect these endangered species. A pilot project called ‘Shen’ was started in 2013 with 50 women from two villages in Spiti valley, Himachal Pradesh.

Shen (meaning ‘snow leopard’ in the Spitian language) is a wildlife conservation-based social enterprise working with the women in Spiti, Himachal Pradesh to produce and sell quality handicraft products. Shen encourages the women to take ownership of their landscape and associated wildlife and diversifies their sources of income to offset losses to their livestock by snow leopards and wolves.

This is a key position to promote community-based conservation through a social enterprise amongst local communities in the Indian Himalaya. The position is expected to work closely with the Director of the High Altitude Program but independently manage the ongoing work with local communities and all other partners. The position requires spending some time (4-8 months) at field locations in challenging environmental conditions in Spiti and other high altitude locations. The candidate will be responsible for the smooth functioning of the enterprise – detailed planning and budgeting, product development, training, marketing and forming strong conservation linkages with the community.

RESPONSIBILITIES

Specific responsibilities for this position include –

  • Managing all aspects of Shen with help from the program assistant and project associate.
  • Building a brand for Shen that links conservation, women and livelihoods
  • Coordinating and collaborating with various organisations and individuals for product development and marketing.
  • Managing social media and creating new avenues for marketing.
  • Working closely with the local communities to organise training and production, building strong conservation linkages and creating awareness.
  • Exploring new opportunities to expand the scope and impact of our work.
  • Scouting for local skills, materials and artefacts for product development.
  • Formulate project proposals in close coordination with the programme Director and help raise necessary funds for the ongoing and future work.

QUALIFICATIONS

The position requires leadership skills in social entrepreneurship and rural development. Excellent social and communication skills, and the ability to interact with a diversity of people including local communities and other staff in a culturally sensitive manner. Prior experience in handling these aspects; independent decision-making and networking would be useful. This position is open to Indian nationals only.

  • A relevant post-graduate degree and experience in independent handling of projects and people is desirable.
  • Skills and experience in handling business and social enterprises.
  • Preparedness to work in challenging field situations with minimal assistance and infrastructure.
  • Skills in report writing, preparation of project proposals and coordinating field work in distant and often remote locations with field staff.

LOCATION and REMUNERATION

This position, though subject to change, will currently be based in Bangalore, but will involve travel to other places. Remuneration will be commensurate with the applicant’s qualifications and experience and subject to periodic/annual assessment and increments. The candidate will be on probation and training for six months after selection.

APPLICATION

Please apply with your complete CV, a brief write-up (maximum 1 page) on why you believe this job is appropriate for you and names and full contact details of two references. Please email these to vinay@ncf-india.org Preferred date for application reaching us is before 20 Oct 2016 but we will accept applications until a suitable candidate is found.

 

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