Business Development Specialist

Posting Date
31 January 2018
Closing Date
18 March 2018
Dubai, UAE
Report To
Head of RM Section
Vacancy Type
Job Number
Job Summary

The Business Development Specialist will play a vital role in planning and executing business opportunities through a variety of strategies to support the growth of ICBA, as laid out in the ICBA Strategy 2013-2023.  As part of the Partnerships and Knowledge Management (PKM) team, the incumbent will help to develop and implement ICBA’s business plan and provide input into strategic business growth and improvement decisions. Under the guidance of the Head of the Resource Mobilization Section (RM), he/she will utilize professional skills to support ICBA’s senior managers  in identifying funding opportunities, facilitate donor/partner relationships, offer strategic ideas and help develop proposals. The Business Development Specialist will also assist in finding and pursuing business opportunities with the private sector.

Job Responsibilities
  1. Research and develop a thorough understanding of ICBA’s research areas and services provided to various partners, and develop a plan on how the scale of these services could be enlarged.
  2. Ensure a robust pipeline of business opportunities for ICBA by:
    • Managing the alertsystem for open calls for proposals within the ICBA intranet;
    • Working closely with ICBA’s scientists and specialists to ensure that appropriate action is taken in response to these calls for proposals;
    • Proactively seeking and identifying potential new donors and partners, including private sector and private foundations;
    • Identifying the decision makers within these organizations and assisting in setting up meetings with them for senior-level management;
    • Ensuring all business opportunities are managed professionally and opportunities are maximized.
  3. Advise senior-level management on trends in the research and development arena with a view to developing new opportunities for ICBA by:
    • Identifying trendsetter ideas in agricultural research and development by researching related events, publications and announcements;
    • Tracking major contributors to agricultural research and development, and their evolving areas of focus;
    • Attending relevant functions, such as events, conferences, meetings and seminars, and providing feedback to senior-level management on identified donor and partner trends;
    • Arranging and participating in internal and external business development briefs.
  4. Ensure strong representation for ICBA by supporting ICBA’s senior-level management, scientists and specialists with:
    • Preparation of presentations to donors and partners, ensuring that these are on message and on brand;
    • Preparation of reports and various publications that meet donor and partner communication needs;
    • Organization and facilitation of official visits by existing and potential partners to ICBA facilities.
  5. Support the Senior Proposal Development Specialist in the development of proposals that speak to donors’ needs, concerns and objectives by:
    • Ensuring that prerequisites for proposals (CVs, institutional information, etc.) are provided in a timely manner;
    • Providing input to the selection of partners and subcontractors;
    • Assisting with the preparation of a yearly work plan for the development and submission of proposals to ensure that all opportunities are maximized.
  6. Administer all efforts related to the establishment of and fundraising for the ICBA endowment, including but not limited to:
    • Following up with the legal counsel regarding the registration of the endowment fund;
    • Assisting with the preparation of the fundraising outreach material;
    • Following up with the influencers fundraising on behalf of ICBA and accordingly negotiating major gifts to the endowment with the donors they identify.
  7. Oversee and track ICBA's partnerships by:
    • Registering ICBA with relevant international bodies and networks
    • Providing support in the development and updating of MOUs;
    • Maintaining and regularly updating the donor intelligence report;
    • Following up on the renewal of memberships and subscriptions;
    • Ensuring that all business information, including partnerships agreements and contact data, is available and regularly updated on ICBA’s intranet and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system.
Qualifications and Experience
  • A university degree in business development, business management, marketing or communication (an MBA is preferred).
  • A minimum of 5 years of relevant experience in business development, resource mobilization, communication and/or public relations with research centers, development organizations, government institutions or social enterprises.
  • A solid understanding of the international agricultural research and/or development arena.
  • Confident and articulate in all communications in English. Proficiency in Arabic would be a significant advantage.
  • Advanced computer literacy.

Other Skills and Competencies

  • Project management, organizational and planning skills
  • Report writing, proposal writing and presentation skills
  • Clear strategic mindset with an analytical focus
  • An eye for detail and accuracy
  • Superior interpersonal and networking skills
  • Results-driven, problem-solving, innovative and able to work on own initiative
  • Ability to multi-task and improve efficiencies in own field of work
  • Professional, dynamic and proactive attitude


Qualified candidates are requested to send their applications to ICBA’s HR Section ( with the subject line “Business Development Specialist”. Applications should include:

  • Cover letter explaining how the candidate’s qualifications and past experience meet the requirements of this position
  • Updated curriculum vitae
  • Three professional references

Shortlisted candidates will be expected to undergo an interview and an assessment.