cropped cropped White with Bold Red Political Logo 1 168 Consultant - Thesis R&D, Mercy Corps Ventures - Remote (global)

Consultant – Thesis R&D, Mercy Corps Ventures – Remote (global)

Mercy Corps

About Mercy Corps and Mercy Corps Ventures:

Mercy Corps is a leading global organization powered by the belief that a better world is possible. In disaster, in hardship, in more than 40 countries around the world, we partner to put bold solutions into action — helping people triumph over adversity and build stronger communities from within. Now, and for the future.

Mercy Corps Ventures invests in and catalyzes venture-led solutions to increase the resilience of underserved individuals and communities. We’ve supported 43 early-stage companies driving solutions in adaptive agriculture and food systems, inclusive fintech, and climate-smart technologies, so that those living in frontier markets can withstand disruption and plan for the future. Learn more at and in our Resilient Future Thesis.

Purpose / Project Description:

Mercy Corps Ventures is a thesis-driven investor, meaning we invest in a constellation of solutions surrounding a particular thesis area, rather than focusing our investments by sector or technology as other investors. We believe this drives greater impact and our ability to ‘move the needle’ on the challenges we have identified within our thesis by taking a more holistic, and nuanced approach to addressing them.

In 2022, Mercy Corps Ventures published our Resilient Future Thesis – a publication describing the thesis areas that we are centered around addressing through all areas of our work. We use this thesis to guide our investment decision making process, to understand which technologies and business models are emerging as exciting investment opportunities. Our thesis has 3 categories:

  1. Adaptive agriculture and food systems
  2. Inclusive fintech
  3. Climate smart technologies

Each thesis category has subcategories. These are the specific types of business models we think are the most impactful, scalable, and exciting for investment. For example, within our Adaptive Agriculture and Food Systems category there are 6 subcategories:

  1. Full suite farmer platforms
  2. Financial services for smallholders
  3. B2B agri-marketplaces
  4. Precision agriculture
  5. Post-harvest management & tech
  6. Regenerative finance and land aggregation

Our thesis is continually evolving as the landscape of solutions and the challenges they address are ever changing. In response to this, we are seeking an external consultant that will support our Investment Team in conducting deeper analysis on emerging technologies, models and sectors.


Based on direction from the MCV team, a new potential subcategory of our Resilient Future Thesis will be selected for “a deep dive” exploration. Consultants should familiarize themselves with the Resilient Future Thesis, and be comfortable researching, analyzing, and synthesizing information related to any related sector or sub-category (though is not expected to have expertise in all areas of the thesis).

The consultant will complete the deep dive on the new potential subcategory with the following areas explored:

  • Brief summary of the investment opportunity in given subcategory for early-stage, tech-enabled startups in emerging markets
  • Sector / subcategories overview – including problem and solution overview, market size, geographies of interest
  • Key trends influencing the investment opportunity and potential risks
  • Key player mapping – including investors (and amount mobilized), regulators, industry incumbents, with a particular focus on mapping active startups
  • Impact pathways and linkage to climate adaptation (if any) – including target end users and potential impact

The consultant will use the following methods for gathering information for the deep dive:

  • Secondary desk research – research reports and publications, blogs, news and media outlets, etc.
  • Primary research as needed – Depending on the scope of a particular deep dive, informational interviews with industry experts, academics, innovators, and more as needed. The consultant is not expected to provide necessary networks or contacts for deep dives, this will be supported and coordinated by the MCV team.

The consultant will be expected to complete research and synthesis on the trends, themes, and opportunities within a new subcategory – research findings should be synthesized as insights when provided to the MCV team not “raw data” based on research.

Deliverables & Schedule:

  • The consultancy will begin in July 2023 and will have a 12-month duration, with possibility of extension. The consultant is expected to work an average of 1-2 days per week when a deep dive exploration is active, for a maximum of 60 days over the course of the year. MCV will work with the consultant to determine availability, work schedule, and ways of working.
  • We will work with the consultant to complete 1-3 thesis deep dives per quarter, between July 2023 and June 2024.
    • The consultant will be provided a template document with relevant sections to be completed with deep dive information.
    • Each deep dive is estimated to take 4-6 days (8 hour days) to complete.
    • The consultant will be informed of a new deep dive via email and brief scoping / kickoff meeting with the relevant MCV team members.
    • We expect the deep dive to be iterative, working closely with the MCV team. A first draft should take 1-2 days of work and be completed within 1-2 weeks of kickoff.
    • The draft should be shared with the MCV team for 1-2 rounds of questions and feedback, with additional iteration, interviews, and desk research as needed
    • The consultant will not be expected to complete more than 1 deep dive at a time.
  • Deep dive research may be used for external facing publications by MCV. The consultant will be credited as needed with inputting to the research.

Required Experience and Skills:

  • Minimum of 5 years relevant professional experience in private equity, venture capital, impact investing, with at least 2 years’ experience working with startups and/or impact investors
  • Professional experience in emerging markets, in the technology, startup, or innovation ecosystem
  • Ability to research, analyze, and synthesize information about markets and trends across a variety of tech-enabled industries in emerging markets
  • Strong communication skills; written and oral fluency in English required Strong project management experience and ability to remotely manage and coordinate with multiple stakeholders
  • Adaptability and flexibility to work with fast-growing and often-changing business and team
  • Collaborative and low ego team player

The consultant will report toL
Managing Partner, Mercy Corps Ventures

The consultant will closely coordinate with:
Mercy Corps Ventures
Portfolio companies
Other ecosystem partners

The selection process will include:

  1. Application submission: Candidates complete application via Mercy Corps’ Jobvite. 2. Screening questions via Google Form (link to be shared after step 1): submit a CV, your day rate (in USD), and available start date as well as responses to a few screening questions
  2. Case study assessment: MCV team will share a case study for final candidates to read and prepare a response (offline; 4 hours of work maximum to complete).
  3. Final interview: MCV team will meet (via video interview) with the final candidates to discuss and analyze the case study response and inform the final hiring decision.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Achieving our mission begins with how we build our team and work together. Through our commitment to enriching our organization with people of different origins, beliefs, backgrounds, and ways of thinking, we are better able to leverage the collective power of our teams and solve the world’s most complex challenges. We strive for a culture of trust and respect, where everyone contributes their perspectives and authentic selves, reaches their potential as individuals and teams, and collaborates to do the best work of their lives.

We recognize that diversity and inclusion is a journey, and we are committed to learning, listening and evolving to become more diverse, equitable and inclusive than we are today.

Equal Employment Opportunity
We are committed to providing an environment of respect and psychological safety where equal employment opportunities are available to all. We do not engage in or tolerate discrimination on the basis of race, color, gender identity, gender expression, religion, age, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, disability (including HIV/AIDS status), marital status, military veteran status or any other protected group in the locations where we work.

Safeguarding & Ethics
Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our stakeholders and to international standards guiding international relief and development work, while actively engaging communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects. Team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws, customs and MC’s policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.

How to apply

To apply:

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