(location: anywhere in the Middle East, possibly Europe)
Manara is a bold social impact startup whose mission is to unlock human potential and diversify the global tech sector while uplifting the economies of the Middle East & North Africa (MENA), with a focus on women and Palestine. We are funded by the world’s top investors: Y Combinator, Stripe, Paul Graham, Seedcamp, and Reid Hoffman. We identify the top computer scientists in the MENA region, teach them how to pass interviews, vet them, and help them find amazing jobs (whether remote or on-site). It works: companies like Google and Meta tell us we’re the best solution they’ve found for diverse talent. Alumni from Palestine say we’ve created a revolution there: people now believe anything is possible.
Our team is currently 12 people. We raised a seed investment of nearly $5M and have a solid 2-year runway regardless of market conditions. We have only 4 roles left to hire to the team at this time.
As Manara’s first COO you will have the leading role in determining strategy & operations for our 3-sided marketplace and collaborating closely with the product/tech team. We have two parts of the business: a tech platform and a program/service which pilots solutions before we build them into the tech platform, and supplements the tech platform with human-to-human connections which we believe are critical to our model and can be monetized at a premium level. These include training, events, mentorship connections, and 1:1 coaching offered online (e.g., via Zoom) and in-person (e.g., programming competitions). You will oversee both the supply side and the demand side - marketing and sales focused primarily on tech companies in Europe. In addition, you’ll manage revenue operations and HR (and Finance if it’s a strength of yours). This is a key leadership role within Manara. You will have a direct impact on helping Manara achieve its mission and get us to Series A by driving business strategy and owning the P&L for our services division as well as overseeing operations globally for Manara.
You will be a hands-on individual contributor as well as the team leader and strategist. You will initially manage 3-4 teams consisting of a total of ~10 people and freelancers. In a typical day, you’ll go from debugging a customer service issue and reporting it to the tech team by filing a Jira ticket, to setting the hiring roadmap and onboarding recruiters, to doing a competitive analysis and brainstorming our 2-year vision. You will own the roadmap, figuring out key questions like how we make our services more efficient, how we scale them, how we expand to new countries and services , and what we are learning that could be productized. You will ensure excellence in our services, continuously measuring results and customer satisfaction.
As the team grows, you will be responsible for hiring and growing it primarily in the MENA and European regions on a tight budget. You’ll hire junior people with high potential and coach them to success. As our COO you will be responsible for:
- Leading and growing a team of program managers, community managers, recruiters, career coaches, and customer service professionals to design & deliver our training solutions and build & engage our global mentor community.
- Driving strategy and profitability for our training and talent placement services. This could include launching new solutions to build the pipeline of female talent; expanding to areas like DevOps or AI; and figuring out how to turn in-person events into profitable opportunities.
- Leading business development by building relationships with our largest and most strategic partners. You’ll design strategies to expand our partnerships with companies like Google, Meta, and Zalando, and work tirelessly building relationships with new companies that share Manara’s goals and values. Ultimately you’ll be responsible for ensuring Manara graduates have many options for work after they graduate from Manara.
- Spearheading curriculum development, events, community management, and customer service in the MENA region for our talent community and in Europe & North America for our mentor community. Take us from 2 events per quarter to 200 events per year, and figure out how to deliver swag across 25 countries.
- Establishing operations, systems, policies to support scale and excellent service. Manage our Hubspot implementation,
- Metrics management: Setting up systems, in collaboration with the tech team, on data management to ensure that data from our Ops/Service tools, Marketing tools, and Tech Platform are all utilized. Creating KPIs, dashboards, and project management tools to ensure speedy execution towards the right goals.
- Cross-functionally collaborating with sales to support closing new hiring partner deals, matching talent, and providing an excellent B2B experience. Partner with marketing to identify content creation opportunities and build brand awareness.
- Shaping Manara’s tech platform by being an overlay to the CTO in shaping the digital product based on programming needs and learning, and designing tests that your team can prove out scrappily before building them into the tech product.
Note: Diverse candidates often screen themselves out of job applications if they don’t have all the qualifications. Please apply if you’re excited about the role - we’d love to see your application!
- Management: You are a stellar manager. Your teams know what is expected of them, deliver on their goals, and love the whole experience of working with you.
- Entrepreneur: You are scrappy, comfortable with ambiguity and change. You experiment & iterate quickly. You roll up your sleeves to do the unglamorous work or support a team member when needed. When the market crashes, your immediate thought is, “what is the opportunity here?”
- Community & relationship builder: You have past experience working with customers. You are energized by learning about other people’s businesses and challenges. You love putting yourself in your customers’ shoes and building long-term, successful partnerships. You love getting warm introductions to C-level executives and founders and can speak to them with ease & confidence.
- Strategic: You identify opportunities for improvement or innovation. You quickly develop solutions for a variety of needs. You listen to users and do competitive analyses. You think through the business opportunities. You build teams/organizations that thrive at each stage of their growth. You can figure out what Manara’s next service/product will be.
- Operations: You can figure out how to create processes & efficiencies & excellent experiences where none existed. How to go from 10 to 1000. You’re able to set up events in person or online, whether for 10 people or 1000 people. You work with engineers effectively to build tools, or find and manage vendor relationships yourself. You get your hands dirty by setting up fields in Hubspot yourself or building Zapier integrations.
- Sales management: You set up and manage an effective sales process and team. You know how to identify & train sales people, set up operations including a CRM like Hubspot, and ultimately close and grow accounts.
- Project management: You align stakeholders (e.g., volunteers, staff members) and make sure they get their commitments done on time. You deliver efficiently and on deadline, and provide status updates or get unblocked. You take ownership and get a lot done independently. You execute a variety of tasks with high reliability and few errors. You track & follow up on dozens of details.
- Thrive in crisis: You bring calm solutions during tense situations, whether an upset customer, disagreement in our own team, or an unexpected event (e.g., interruption of electricity) while running a huge event.
- Collaboration/team player: You can work effectively with other people at Manara. You set effective ways
- MENA expertise: You speak Arabic or are familiar with the Middle East & North Africa and have developed a strong network within the region.
Knock Our Socks Off
These skills are not required, but any of them is an additional benefit for this role.
- Talent industry / tech recruiting: You have experience in the recruitment/talent industry (especially for software engineers) and can thus hit the ground running and grow our own team’s expertise in this area. You know how to match software engineers to jobs.
- Event management: You’ve organized events for hundreds of people before, whether on Zoom or in person.
- Teaching & curriculum development: You’ve designed online educational programs, in-person classes, or at least a one-time talk of some sort.
- Marketplace: You’ve worked at a marketplace before and understand the complexities involved (e.g., growing demand & supply at the same rates and matching them effectively).
- Product strategy: You have great ideas about how to go from placing 100 engineers per year to 3000, without growing our team. You collaborate effectively with engineers and designers.
- Fundraising: You are able to identify and target new funding sources, create compelling fundraising campaigns and pitches, and communicate effectively with potential investors, sponsors, or donors.
- Finances: You create and maintain financial models, file taxes, etc.
- Remote: You have experience working on effective remote teams & thrive in such environments. You work well across time zones (e.g., you communicate effectively via asynchronous oral & verbal channels).
- Passion for Manara’s mission of creating a community that unlocks the full potential of top tech talent in MENA (with a focus on Palestine & women)
We are a fully remote team. Our team is located in Dubai, Palestine (West Bank), Turkey, United Kingdom, France, and the United States.
You must be primarily located in the Middle East or Europe, because you will be growing and managing a team there over time and responsible for our talent community in the Middle East and our hiring partners in Europe.
You must be online Monday through Friday from 8am-12pm PT to facilitate our remote collaboration and work closely with our leadership team in California.