CocoAsenso is a social enterprise working to improve livelihoods of coconut farmers in the Philippines by developing a network of efficient, small-scale coconut processing facilities in rural areas of the country. Last year, we were named as one of the top pre-revenue social enterprises in Asia. To date, we have received 5M pesos in grant funding from the Philippine Coconut Authority, Bank of the Philippine Islands Foundation, Peace and Equity Foundation, World
CocoAsenso is a social enterprise working to improve livelihoods of coconut farmers in the Philippines by developing a network of efficient, small-scale coconut processing facilities in rural areas of the country. Last year, we were named as one of the top pre-revenue social enterprises in Asia. To date, we have received 5M pesos in grant funding from the Philippine Coconut Authority, Bank of the Philippine Islands Foundation, Peace and Equity Foundation, World Wildlife Fund, DBS Foundation, Fair Trade USA and Lutheran World Relief. We began operations at our first processing facility in Paranas, Samar last month.
Major projects that we will be working on include:
Increasing production, streamlining operations and obtaining certifications at our existing coconut processing facility
Identifying expansion communities and beginning operations in two additional municipalities in the Eastern Visayas to produce a coconut product that, to our knowledge, has never before been manufactured in the Philippines
Raising additional funding
As Business Development Manager you will play an key role in all of these projects.
Why You Should Apply
Impact: CocoAsenso is improving the livelihoods of coconut farming communities by bringing high-value coconut processing to rural communities. Your work will directly contribute to our expansion efforts and will have the potential to impact the lives of thousands of Filipino farmers.
Career Development: As a key leader at CocoAsenso, you will be exposed to a wide variety of challenging projects and play an instrumental role in leading our growth.
Exciting and Dynamic: We’re a small, passionate team, committed to innovation and impact. Your workday may consist of meeting with farmers, writing funding proposals, developing operating procedures, procuring equipment, brainstorming efficiency improvements, managing our web presence, training staff, or developing partnerships. If you’re looking for predictable routine in your work, this position might not be for you.
Our Business and Impact Model
CocoAsenso is improving livelihoods and efficiency in the coconut sector by bringing high-value coconut processing to remote farming communities. We are doing this through an innovation in the value chain of virgin coconut oil (VCO)—a product that has seen its sales from the Philippines go from almost nothing a decade ago to over 10 billion pesos per year today.
VCO is usually produced in two steps: 1) Whole coconuts are processed into desiccated coconut (or dried coconut meat flakes); 2) Oil is expelled from desiccated coconut.
Currently, the entire production process occurs in large-scale factories located in the industrialized centers of the country—far from most farmers. This means that farmers don’t have the opportunity to contribute to value addition (traditionally producing copra). It also means that factories face high costs in procuring whole coconuts. However, VCO factories don’t necessarily need whole coconuts. What they need is a reliable supply of high-quality and low-cost desiccated coconut.
With the right technology, high-quality desiccated coconut can be economically produced in smaller-scale processing facilities located within farming communities—this is what we are doing at CocoAsenso. We are establishing a network of municipal-level coconut processing facilities in remote regions of the Philippines where coconuts are purchased directly from local farmers and processed by these same farmers into desiccated coconut. The desiccated coconut (which is seven times cheaper to transport than whole coconuts) is then transported to centralized VCO factories.
With our model, farmers have the potential to increase their incomes by 85%. Furthermore, we see coconut processing as only the first step in improving the livelihoods of rural communities. Leveraging our local infrastructure and strong relationships with farmers, coconut processing facilities will evolve into farmer development hubs that promote improved coconut production practices, farming of intercrops and access to financial services.
Your Role As Business Development Manager
CocoAsenso will be establishing two new pilot coconut processing facilities in Samar over the next year. Your primary objective will be to manage the successful establishment of these facilities. You will also work to support operations of our existing coconut processing facility and develop funding opportunities.
A successful Business Development Manager will be passionate about improving livelihoods in rural communities, skilled at building relationships, able to juggle a wide variety of projects, and have strong of attention to detail.
As an early-stage startup, we have a lean team. On most tasks you will be working very closely with our Founder/CEO. Other members of the team you will join include our Operations Manager, Mechanical Engineer, Accountant, Office Assistant, and twenty employees who are directly involved in coconut processing activities.
Lead expansion to new communities (50%)
Scout for local partners who will manage coconut processing facilities
Conduct initial interviews with potential partners and evaluate their suitability
Oversee procurement of materials and construction of coconut processing facilities
Oversee training of workers
Mentor and support local partners in all aspects of successfully running the coconut processing business
Build relationships with local government
Support existing coconut processing operations (30%)
Fill in for Operations Manager at our facility in Paranas, Samar when necessary
Develop internal control system for organic certification
Update our Standard Operating Procedures with improvements
Develop employee training programs
Procure materials and equipment
Organize transportation and export logistics
Develop funding opportunities (20%)
Identify opportunities to raise additional funding through grants and competitions
Generate monitoring and evaluation (M&E) reports for financial partners
Represent CocoAsenso in meetings with potential funders
Manage web presence (website, social media, blog, etc.)
1 year of experience in a business development or managerial capacity, preferably in the agricultural industry
Passionate about developing livelihood opportunities for coconut farmers and their communities
Enjoys working in a startup environment
Excellent verbal and written communication skills
Capable of working both independently and as part of a team
Adaptable and flexible, with the ability to balance multiple projects and priorities
Organized and analytical-effective as a planner and problem solver
Proactive and efficient in time management
Prior experience living and/or working in the Province
Fluent in Tagalog and English
Proficient with MS Office and Google Drive
Willing to travel as required
Fluent in Waray-Waray
Bachelor’s degree in Agriculture or Business Management or equivalent
Professional experience in agriculture, manufacturing and/or development
Proficient with Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator or other graphic design tools
Experience with Squarespace or similar web-building platforms
Familiarity with Quickbooks and/or basic accounting principles
Experienced with ArcGIS/QGIS or other spatial analysis software
Familiar with building data collection tools using Open Data Kit
Frequent travel within Eastern Visayas (especially Samar)
CocoAsenso offers a competitive salary that is negotiable depending on experience
Full-time employment, 6-month probationary subject to performance evaluation prior to regularization
This position is only open to Philippine nationals.