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British Council South Africa

Head of Business Development

About the British Council

The British Council South Africa’s vision is of a deeper, more trusting and mutually beneficial relationship between our countries, creating a prosperous future for the people of South Africa and the UK. By 2020 the British Council South Africa will connect 20M young South Africans to the UK and provide them with access to life-changing educational and cultural opportunities.


The British Council will work with South African partners, drawing on UK expertise to:

  • Offer opportunities for young South Africans to learn new skills, and connect with their peers in the UK face-to-face and on-line 
  • Connect students, scholars and academics to information and study opportunities with the UK
  • Improve the quality of UK and South African education systems, institutional leadership and assessment methods
  • Provide young people with the necessary skills to help secure long-term employment in South Africa
  • Connect young South Africans to enhanced English language learning opportunities, and access to internationally recognized qualifications to enable personal and professional development    
  • Create a new generation of collaborations between artists and creative entrepreneurs in South Africa and the UK through the Council’s Connect ZA programme.

South Africa has emerged as a major economic and political world power, building strong links across the world, which will define its future global relations. It is essential that the British Council’s work demonstrates the mutual benefits flowing from close ties between the UK and South Africa.

Around the world, there is a high demand for the UK’s principal cultural assets of education, the arts and creative industries, the English language and UK qualifications.  The British Council in South Africa seeks to increase engagement with UK cultural, education and scientific institutions, artists, producers, entrepreneurs and academics.  The British Council has ambitious plans for growth, and this post holder is critical in delivering on these plans.

Major Duties and Responsibilities

The new Head of Business Development is to secure and account manage new and existing partners and sponsors for the British Council’s work in South Africa, working across all our areas of work in Arts, Education and Society and English Language.

New Business

  • Facilitate the co-creation of projects between British Council and private sector organisations in fields of education, sport and the arts;
  • Research, target and develop new funding and partnership relationships with private sector companies, multi-nationals and philanthropic organisations at a South African and regional level;
  • Develop and implement a strategy for new business development in South Africa;
  • In consultation with the Country Director and the SMT identify prospects for income generation that will help identify new partnership opportunities in South Africa;
  • Lead on preparing nuanced pitch documents and securing meetings with key corporate prospects;
  • Lead on securing sponsors for specific events in our work programme;
  • Create sponsorship agreements and ensure the exchange of approved contracts in a timely and efficient manner.

Account Management

  • Drafting and negotiating sponsorship agreements / contracts in consultation with legal advisors;
  • Manage due diligence and ethical checks for new business approaches so that all new prospective partnerships meet British Council values and standards;
  • Use CRM systems to record account management information;
  • Lead on the account management and benefits delivery for all sponsors who will be managed from South Africa;
  • Act as liaison between the sponsors and all relevant British Council departments, including the Regional Partnerships team;
  • Manage and monitor the invoicing and payment schedules of sponsors;
  • Manage the delivery of the benefits to our partners/sponsors, collating and producing relevant evaluation reports;
  • Produce management information for senior managers.


  • Coordinate and manage guest lists for relevant cultivation and sponsor events;
  • Work with HQ and Regional Partnerships team to secure well known public figures to act as ‘Friends’ for the British Council South Africa (e.g. from the world of film and/or TV);
  • Build external profile of British Council within private sector through engagement with private sector and NGO networks.


  • Work with the Regional Partnerships Manager to ensure robust legacy planning for a future relationship between British Council and funders.
  • This job will require face to face meetings, which may involve international travel, and attendance at events during the evenings and at weekends;

Key Relationships


  • British Council South Africa team, Global and Regional Partnerships team.


  • Potential and existing funding partners, donors and philanthropic organisations;
  • British High Commission in South Africa staff including UKTI, DFID and others.



  • Making it happen (most demanding)
  • Being accountable (more demanding)
  • Working together (most demanding)
  • Connecting with others (more demanding)

Skills, Experiences and Knowledge

  • Minimum 3 years experience securing partnerships and funding from private sector organisations;
  • Good understanding of the principles of Corporate Social Responsibility, specifically in South Africa;
  • Proven ability to reach financial targets and motivate others to achieve targets;
  • A proven track record of working at a senior level with corporate sponsors
  • Drafting and negotiating sponsorship Agreements / contracts in consultation with legal advisors’;
  • Experience of account management and benefits delivery for high level partners;
  • Proven ability of managing relationships with senior and executive / board level representatives of private sector companies;
  • Highly developed interpersonal, communication and influencing skills (including with senior managers);
  • Excellent administrative skills including the ability to work to tight deadlines in a fast paced environment
  • Innovative and creative approach to bringing new business to organisations;
  • Demonstrated understanding of organisational financial reports as well as project and programme budgets;
  • Excellent organisational skills and attention to detail;
  • Entrepreneurial spirit and ability to manage multiple priorities simultaneously;
  • Excellent presentation skills and customer service attitude;
  • Strong cross-cultural skills;
  • A collaborative approach to working with colleagues.


  • Ability to operate in English (both written and spoken) at a business level (equivalent to CEF level C1 or IELTS 7 or higher);
  • Relevant University Degree.