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Global Innovation Fellows Program

Nova Pioneer seeks innovative, passionate and driven professionals who want to spend 3-6 months in Nairobi or Johannesburg solving complex challenges to help a young social enterprise expand world-class education across Africa. This is an opportunity to help create 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.

Our distinctive team culture reinforces our ambitious vision:

  1. We model the growth mindset we want our students to embody: you will stretch yourself outside your comfort zone, get constant feedback, and grow more quickly than ever before
  2. We pursue excellence in every detail and do whatever it takes to produce great work quickly
  3. We model servant leadership—putting our students before our team, and our team before ourselves
  4. We bring joy to everything we do because it fuels the hardest work and learning

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The Nova Pioneer Global Innovation Fellows Program is an opportunity for professionals from around the world to contribute to transforming education on the African continent.  As part of the program, you will work with a global function to either drive innovation in what we do or help us solve a challenge we are facing. Examples of past projects have included:

  1. Design and implement a new teacher recruitment engine to fuel our pipeline on the continent so we can scale to 100 schools over the next 10 years;
  2. Build a new site scorecard to help us pick the right sites for new schools;
  3. Design a student competency framework that evaluates both the academic and holistic progress of our students.

We are seeking passionate, driven individuals who will make substantive contributions to the organization as we scale. We are looking for people who have the desire to take on a new challenge in an entrepreneurial context.  We seek people who want to do life-changing work with life-changing people.


  1. You have an undergraduate degree
  2. You have at least 2-3 years of work experience in a high-expectations environmentYou have exceptional analytical skills and have experience building complex financial and business models from the ground up;
  3. You have a strong track record of achieving high quality results quickly and can operate independently with limited direction and support;
  4. You have an exceptional ability to think strategically and yet you sweat the small stuff—people see you as unusually detail-oriented and conscientious
  5. You have strong project management skills with exceptional ability to manage multiple highly detailed and urgent work streams simultaneously;
  6. You are humble and have the highest integrity. You embrace our unique organizational culture and are ready to grow by acting on frequent intensive feedback from your colleagues
  7. You have a relentless desire to improve yourself, your team, and your organization;

We are looking for Fellows to spend at least 3-6 months in Nairobi or Johannesburg pushing the frontiers of innovation. While Nova Pioneer Fellows are provided with a living stipend, our hope is that the experience with Nova Pioneer will be rewarding and impactful for many years to come



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 at most schools but as a result, the growth they experience is extraordinary. We offer consistent and ongoing professional 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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