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Global Managing Director, Property Company

Nova Pioneer is looking for an experienced property leader to lead property development for the Nova Pioneer school network as it expands across Africa, particularly Southern, East and West Africa in the next 3 years. This is an entrepreneurial opportunity to do well by doing good: driving a large and successful real estate venture that turbocharges the growth of a transformative school model with the future of Africa’s youth at stake.


Imagine a world in which every young person across Africa attends a school that truly sets them up for success in the 21st century. A school that cares about individual students and allows them to explore the world around them. A school that focuses more on developing skills than on memorizing content. At Nova Pioneer, we have done more than just imagine this future, we are bringing it to life. Nova Pioneer is a pan-African, independent network of schools offering high quality, accessible education from pre-primary through secondary school. Nova Pioneer uses a unique, enquiry-based learning approach that encourages students to ask “why” instead of telling them the “what”. It allows them to form their own thinking through exploration, investigation and collaboration. Nova Pioneer currently has 6 schools in South Africa and Kenya with a vision to launch 100 schools and reach tens of thousands of students across the African continent in the next decade. To learn more visit


Nova Pioneer has a subsidiary real estate company to source and develop the school campuses that will enable Nova Pioneer to launch new schools quickly and enhance its brand positioning as a 21st-century learning environment. You will lead this captive real estate venture as it grows in the coming years.

As the Global Managing Director of the Property Company, your key priorities will be concurrently building and managing a pipeline of world-class school sites, driving site construction and managing the design and optimization of all property operations across all regions. You will also partner with the CFO & CEO to raise/arrange financing for property as well as develop and lead a high performing property team across Southern, East and West Africa. In addition, you will explore opportunities to pursue the next phase of expansion and development for our existing leased campuses in each country. You will oversee all development projects to ensure that they are completed in a timely way and on budget. You will report to the CEO and be a member of the Global Leadership Team.

Specific key responsibilities for the role include:

  • Develop and manage an overall property strategy and business plan for the group that will both achieve the long-term vision of the schools and deliver necessary return to investors.
  • Have ongoing, close oversight of building development that maximizes quality and cost-efficiency. You can expect to drive delivery for 15-20 campuses over next 2-3 years.
  • Lead the sourcing, structuring and management of deals to deliver optimally designed and located school campuses. This will include:
    • Initial sourcing of land through acquisition, joint venture, or other structures, with sizes and locations aligned with the school roll-out strategy;
    • Design of campuses in close coordination with academic teams;
    • Structuring of financing and legal agreements that provide sufficient return to investors and partners while providing each school with affordable and predictable long-term building costs;
  • Cultivate and close major capital investment for the property company from local and international investors (in close collaboration with the CFO and CEO)
  • Build and manage your team to enable the efficient execution of the above responsibilities for more than 20 campuses over the next 5 years.


  • You have 10+ years experience, including significant experience managing property acquisition, financing, and/or development in high performing organizational settings.
  • You have deep experience working in property on the African continent, ideally in more than one African country, particularly in East and West Africa.
  • You have an Engineering, Architecture or other relevant qualification from a credible University
  • Experience working with property finance institutions is ideal
  • You have a track record of building strong relationships with and managing diverse stakeholders, from investors to land owners to contractors
  • You love problem solving and are particularly skilled at crafting arrangements that satisfy the objectives of multiple stakeholders while meeting the core objectives of the organization
  • You have an exceptional ability to operate and deliver great results in a highly fluid, fast-paced environment, including creating the necessary structures and carefully managing tight deadlines
  • You are an entrepreneurial self-starter and able to independently manage work execution and lead company development
  • You are able to handle multiple projects across multiple regions at a time
  • You are able to build strong, high performing teams and care about the personal and professional growth and development of your team members
  • You have a passion for education and Nova Pioneer’s vision of transforming schooling across the African continent


Does working at Nova Pioneer excite you? If so, then apply now!

To apply, please complete the form on the right hand side of this page. We cannot process applications that are emailed to us.

Please note: Where a copy of your resume is required, copying and pasting from a formatted document e.g. Microsoft Word may not result in the formatting transferring correctly to the final resume. You are encouraged to attach your resume in Microsoft Word® or PDF format to protect formatting.

Applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis until the right candidate is identified. Only qualified candidates will be invited for interviews. 


Nova Pioneer is a place where our people experience tremendous growth, fast! We invest heavily in the growth of our people because it leads to greater mastery in both us and our students. “Novaneers” work harder and work longer hours than most schools but as a result, the growth they experience is extraordinary. We offer consistent and ongoing personal development and provide clear career pathways that ensure that our people are always achieving their personal and professional best. Nova Pioneer has a highly energetic, entrepreneurial environment where our people get to bring their creative and innovative ideas to life. We look for people who are flexible and who are able to adapt and respond quickly to adversity with a positive, can-do attitude (there are no problems, only solutions!). We welcome challenges and roll with the punches because it makes us, and our students, better. There is no problem too big for us! We work hard but we also have a lot of fun together. We bring infectious energy and enthusiasm to everything we do because joy fuels the hardest work and learning. Read more about our culture principles here.

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