Head of Finance

Lively Minds
Devon (GB), United Kingdom
Starting salary 46,575 GBP rising to 51,750 GBP in year 2 subject to performance plus pension
16 May 2022
16 Jun 2022
Contract type
Full time
Experience level
Qualified accountant, Manager

Based: Either Devon with 1-2 days per week in Totnes, or flexible in the UK.  Depending on your circumstances we would also be keen on a secondment to Ghana in your first year. The postholder will expected to undertake frequent travel to Ghana and Uganda

About us

Our mission is to get preschool children in rural Africa school-ready.  At present over 250 million children worldwide fail to receive the education and care they need in their early years which means they are less likely to do well in school, find gainful employment, and are at greater risk of early marriage, early parenthood and even criminality. Current approaches to solving this crisis are not proving effective or scalable in lower middle income countries.


That’s where Lively Minds comes in. We have developed an award-winning Early Childhood Development programme that has been proven to get pre-schoolers in hard-to-reach communities school-ready, so they have a greater chance of succeeding in school and in life. The programme provides marginalised Mothers with a parenting course that empowers them to run educational Play Schemes for pre-schoolers and to provide better home-based care, using cheap local resources.  The programme is delivered through government partners, is cheap and highly scalable. It genuinely has the potential to play a transformative role in ending the global ECD crisis.


Over the past few years the Lively Minds programme, currently operating in over 1000 communities in rural Ghana and Uganda is reaching over 120,000 children, with this figure set to triple over the next few years. During COVID we launched a radio programme for parents and this is now reaching over 2 million households each week.  We are extremely proud that the Government of Ghana have now adopted the programme and we have a ground-breaking partnership with them to support them to institutionalise it, fund it and to scale it to 60 education districts, reaching over 4000 communities and 1 million children. We see this partnership as the test case that will provide the blueprint to take the programme to scale in Uganda and elsewhere within the next 5 years.


About the role

This is a unique opportunity for a Finance expert to join a fun, high impact, mission driven organisation.  This could be an ideal opportunity for a Finance expert who’s gained experience in another sector and is looking to transition to a not for profit. Lively Minds is a dynamic and fast-growing organisation. You will have the opportunity to work on varied and cutting-edge topics and contexts.  You’ll be part of a lively ambitious organisation, determined to have a major positive impact on the world. We work hard, at a fast pace, in a challenging environment.  Our work is demanding but provides plenty of opportunity for innovation, responsibility, growth, collaboration, creativity and fun. We want all staff to be happy, fulfilled and to feel appreciated and valued in their work. . You will be offered the opportunity to develop through targeted learning support which will include external learning opportunities or Coaching.


We are looking for a Head of Finance to manage all aspects of the organisation’s finances. Our current annual budget is approximately £3m and we plan to grow this to £5m by 2025.  Your role includes, setting and managing budgets, supporting fundraising strategy and proposals, overseeing spend and financial controls and processes.  You will lead the finance teams in Ghana and Uganda made up of a Finance Manager in Ghana, four Finance Officers, and a Procurement and Logistics Officer. 


To succeed in this role you will need….

  • to be comfortable delivering a complex programme to the highest standards, working at pace with a high degree of autotomy
  • to be innovative & results-oriented. We operate in resource-poor settings, with challenging stakeholders and with limited financial resources and capabilities.
  • to be willing to go the extra mile.  We need you to be proactive and constantly seeking ways to do things better.
  • to be business-minded.  In order to spread our impact, we need you to help us secure sustainable income, gaining the support of government, funders and key stakeholders
  • to be a leader.  You will need to role model professionalism, determination & resilience, a growth mindset, and passion for the work and our organisational values.
  • to be actively involved in delivering growth; as a small charity, we need you to be adaptable, with the ability to advise on strategic finance matters, as well as being hands-on when necessary 

Technical Abilities


  • Professional accounting qualification (ACA, ACCA, CIMA)
  • 5 years post qualification experience delivering full range of financial and accounting services required by a charity or small business
  • Wide experience of managing grants and donor reporting
  • Experience in maintaining strong financial controls
  • High proficiency in financial modelling and advanced Microsoft Excel with the ability to present complex information effectively to a non finance audience (including experience in VBA automation and using Excel’s data model to directly interact with other systems)
  • Experience of managing and developing people
  • Excellent communication skills (written and oral)


  • Experience working with remote teams
  • Experience working in Africa

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