Senior Agri-Food Business Builder job posts at Rootical start-up studio Kampala, (Uganda)

  • Full Time
  • Anywhere

Rootical start-up studio

Rootical start-up studio



DEADLINE: Thursday, April 20, 2023 at 12:00:00 AM








Rootical start-up studio enables purpose-driven entrepreneurs in Uganda to build and own their regenerative agri-food companies. Bringing together talent, capital and ideas, a start-up studio is a structured process to build businesses. Rootical will select 40 Ugandan talents and guidethem through an intensive 10-days food system leadership course and a 3-months systemic venture building programme. After this entrepreneur-in-residence programme, we will go on to co-found and further support a handful of businesses to become commercially viable and purpose-driven enterprises, designed to accelerate the transition to a fair and regenerative food system. More info on

Who are we? Rootical is a collaboration between Shona and Fresh Ventures Studios. Since 2013, Shona has been providing business advisory and business training to help SMEs grow revenues and become profitable businesses. We teamed up with Shona because of our shared urgency to build businesses that matter. They are the expert partner for developing good businesses in Uganda. Fresh Ventures Studio builds new companies that accelerate a circular and regenerative food system in Europe. Fresh launched in 2021 to work alongside founders to address the world’s most pressing problems through scalable agri-food ventures. While they are running their second cohort, we joined forces with Fresh to build on their experience to implement

Rootical as a context-specific startup studio in Uganda.

We are frontrunners. We aim to regenerate and reinvent how food is produced and consumed in Uganda, with highly innovative thinking and breakthrough business building methods. With our participatory studio approach to business development, we are unique in East Africa.

Are you ready to equip talented entrepreneurs with the tools, skills, networks and capital to build food system shaking businesses?

Job description

Passionate about building businesses along with our co-founders, you are a key asset to Rootical. Throughout the different studio stages, you sit with the founders and support them to make strategic decisions on the journey from problem loving to solution, MVP and entering the market with an impactful business model designed to change the food system.

You are an experienced entrepreneur who has been involved with successfully building 1 or more companies, as a co-founder or an early-stage operator. Demonstrated experience in leading sales in agribusiness is a plus.

Key Responsibilities

1. You will be the co-founders’ go-to partner for hands-on advice and strategic decision making throughout the different stages of the Rootical venture building process. As an experienced entrepreneur yourself, you guide and challenge the cohort of future founders to systematically develop their business model. You help them move from problem statement to idea generation, from idea to prototype to MVP. In the co-founding stage, you will be a part-time support to the selected portfolio companies and assist in daily strategic decision making, setting up operations, moving from MVP to first sales, and getting ready for attracting external investment on the road to becoming a commercially viable business.

2. You will support recruitment efforts to increase Rootical’s pipeline of talented potential co-founders by attending physical meetings and online engagements, contributing to the development of recruitment materials and to the selection process.

3. Business diagnostics. You will be expected to support the development of tools necessary for business diagnostics to identify, predict and manage business needs.

4. Founder (account) engagement. As part of your role, you are expected to work closely with the assigned businesses and co-founders to ensure key deliverables are met, which may include travel for on-site visits in later stages.

5. Design and implementation of innovative approaches and activities to help co-founders build flourishing agribusiness, as part of our Studio’s systemic venture building programme management. Working with the Director, this will involve:

• Program design. Support the design of the curriculum and tool creation.

• Workplan. As part of the Studio team, attend accountability meetings and contribute to development of work plans for each studio stage.

• Support the documenting and review of programme systems and processes.

• Budget. Support the review and management of the programme budget.

• Programme Implementation. Carrying out planned activities according to the proposed work plan to ensure the timely launch of our target businesses.

• Monitoring and Evaluation. The goal is to document and improve current systems and processes, provide accountability to financial partners, and assess the extent to which Rootical’s activities impact the wider ecosystem.

6. Assist in all things necessary to make the Rootical venture building programme a success and an awesome experience for potential founders. We are a small entrepreneurial team that steps up when there is work to be done. At times, you’ll be expected to work outside of just your role to contribute to our team’s overall efforts.

Education & Work Experience

1. Essential: At least 10 years of relevant work experience with SMEs in East Africa including but not limited to capacity building, training, private sector development, agribusiness.

2. Essential: You are born and raised in East Africa or have had at least 10 years of experience working in East Africa.

3. Essential: You have co-founded or been an early day’s operator of at least 1 successful agribusiness or food and beverages company.

4. Desirable: You have demonstrated experience as a sales lead (B2C or B2B) preferably in

5. agriculture or food and beverage companies.

6. Desirable: Bachelor’s in business administration, agribusiness or related fields.

Skills, Behaviour, Passion

Superpowers What we are looking for:

Venture Builder Acumen

? Ability to understand how a business operates and becomes profitable.

? Ability to proactively anticipate, navigate and leverage trends impacting a business.

? Ability to manage and facilitate the venture building process.

Experienced in building a business from scratch, you are a solid sparring partner for founders and able to provide hands-on advice.

You love to work in and make strategic decisions in a fast-paced and dynamic start-up environment – from discovery to conception, and from launch to achieving product-market fit.

You are able to quickly diagnose business’ needs, understand the key drivers in their business and the key challenges they face.

You are comfortable and have demonstrable experience working with / supporting a business in the first 12 – 18 months

You are comfortable in leading the early stages of the venture building process (the first 12-18 months):

You are comfortable and have demonstrable experience working with / supporting a business in the first 12 – 18 months:

? Problem validation and discovery

? Ideation and prototyping

? Developing a minimum viable product

? Developing a business model (canvas), pitch and business plan

? Early start-up team definition

? Launching the business and setting up operations

? Onboarding first paying users/customers

? Defining a clear pathway towards break-even Ideally, you are used to doing this with a user-centred design approach.

Superpowers What we are looking for:

Strategic do-er

1. The ability to think and execute, generating and applying unique business insights to create a competitive advantage, towards achieving a set of strategic goals.

2. Ability to see the bigger picture and break any challenge down into smaller steps and execute on them.

Creative problem solving

You have developed and managed a project from scratch. Experience with planning, resource and stakeholder management.

Building relationships

? Ability to quickly build rapport and engagement with people.

? Comfortable and confident to engage with people of all calibre, from CEO’s to young professionals.

You are a people person and love working with, coaching and getting to know people.

You are outstanding at the following traits:

? Empathetic, active listener, curious and inquisitive

? Negotiation, influencing and conflict resolution skills

? Good oral and written communication

Additional Specifications

In every new team member, we look for a strong alignment on values and shared vision.

You are able to demonstrate how you embody Rootical’s values and share the vision of how our future food systems should look like.

? You are always thinking of creative solutions to challenges.

? You are able to tackle projects without much guidance.

? You don’t fear trying something new and experimenting.

? You are not easily overwhelmed.

? You believe in the power of entrepreneurship to solve some of the greatest challenges that we face and will jump for an opportunity to play a small part in a grand journey as we seek to make our food systems fairer and more regenerative.






Thank you for your interest in becoming part of the Rootical team! We look forward to reading your application.

Step 1: Send an email to with the subject line “Rootical Position:

[Position title]”. Please attach the following 3 documents to the email:

1. Your CV or LinkedIn profile

2. A document with answers to these questions.

(a) Why are you interested in this specific position? What makes you a great fit for this role? (max. 300 words)

(b) Why Rootical? Why do you want to dedicate a period of your life to working for a regenerative agri-food start-up studio? (max. 300 words)

(c) How would you describe the ideal food system for Uganda in a nutshell? From where we are now, what challenges and opportunities do you see to get there? (max. 300 words)

(d) What are your salary expectations? Please indicate a gross yearly salary range. Applications without this information might not be considered.

3. A document listing two references that know you well and can give insight into your ability to do this job. Please include their name, phone number, email, and your relation to them.

If you are selected for the following round(s), you might expect:

Step 2: To have a phone interview with our team

Step 3: Complete a job-specific challenge (which we will explain at that time)

Step 4: Have a final in-person interview with the Rootical Team

We want to encourage women to apply. If you need more context or have any questions before applying, please contact us at to schedule a call.

Date of publication March 30th, 2023. We accept applications on a rolling basis. Our goal is to have you start as soon as possible.


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