Small businesses uplift communities and anchor local economies, while creating opportunities for themselves, their families, their employees, and our neighborhoods. Yet entrepreneurs who are people of color, women, and immigrants often struggle to secure capital and resources, as they are systematically shut out from traditional financing.
Accion Opportunity Fund is an unparalleled financial support system that provides these small business owners with access to capital, networks, and coaching. We work to build inclusive and accessible options for these determined business owners. For over 25 years we have served a client base that is nearly 90% women, people of color, or immigrants.
In addition to providing resources and loans to small businesses, we also conduct original research, advocate for policy changes, and finance community construction projects in low-income neighborhoods through our New Markets Tax Credit program.
Together, we are building a diverse, vibrant community where opportunity, knowledge, and access to capital are within reach.
For more information about us, visit https://aofund.org/
Reporting to the Director of Partnerships and Impact, the Business Engagement Specialist will be responsible for supporting a variety of national programs that connect small business owners with the tools and resources they need to reach their goals in collaboration with various partners, with a focus on increasing support to Black small business owners. The Specialist will contribute to effective partnership building; support efforts to scale AOF’s impact in new geographies; and drive participation in our Business Advising programs. The ideal candidate has experience in relationship management, is familiar with multiple outreach channels, is passionate about community and economic development, and enjoys working in a fast-paced work culture with ample opportunity to build and shape initiatives from the ground up. This person can be based anywhere in the U.S. with a preference for candidates located in the Southeast. Occasional domestic work travel required.
*This position is being reposted on 08/04/2021. If you have already applied to the Outreach and Engagement Specialist position, there is no need to reapply*
Key Responsibilities/ Accountabilities
- Outreach and Engagement
Support development and implementation of a plan to grow and deepen AOF’s relationship with government, private sector, and nonprofit stakeholders in strategic markets. Coordinate with internal staff to conduct outreach and communications efforts that will engage small business owners, with a focus on Black small business owners, by connecting them with programs, networks, and resources that will support their growth and success. Conduct personal outreach to entrepreneurs as appropriate to build client relationships, strengthen the organization’s value as a trusted resource provider, and gather information about the entrepreneur’s story and program impact both to improve programming and to develop compelling impact narrative.
- Relationship Management
Maintain regular communications with key nonprofit partners to ensure mutual value is delivered for all relevant stakeholders. Proactively identify and assess opportunities to expand or improve existing partnerships and cultivate relationships with new potential program partners who could deepen our impact and reach to small business owners.
- Internal Staff Engagement
Engage and equip organizational stakeholders with materials and information they need to be successful ambassadors of the organization and support entrepreneurs through our programs and partnerships. Solicit input from staff who engage with small business owners on their challenges and generate ideas for programming that the organization could consider to be responsive to those challenges. Stay abreast of loan portfolio trends that may be helpful in informing program design.
- Marketing and Communications
Promote the organization and our programs to new audiences, with a focus on Black small business owners, to expand our reach and program offerings. Develop compelling communications materials in coordination with relevant marketing staff that highlights the value we bring to both entrepreneurs and partners. Seek out opportunities to build relationships with our clients and share their stories with partners and via various organizational communications channels in coordination with relevant staff. Identify opportunities to pursue joint communications/marketing campaigns or initiatives with key partners that can elevate our brand and help the organization reach more entrepreneurs.
Highly qualified candidates will share AOF’s commitment to its mission and will embody the organization’s core values. In addition, they will bring a broad range of skills and experience including, but not limited to:
- Minimum of three years of relevant experience with a bachelor’s degree. A combination of education and experience may be considered.
- Strong communications skills, both written and verbal, with the ability to quickly gather and synthesize information to communicate with a public audience.
- Proven ability to effectively communicate timelines and priorities across multiple stakeholders.
- Highly detail-oriented.
- Proven ability to manage multiple projects with overlapping deadlines.
- Proven track record of building and maintaining strong organizational relationships.
- Experience in business development, grassroots organizing, or community engagement.
- Experience with Microsoft and Google Suites, Canva, Mailchimp, Salesforce, and Adobe preferred.
- An entrepreneurial mindset, self-motivated, flexible, creative, comfortable with a fast-paced work culture.
- Sound judgment, decision-making skills and ability to problem solve.
- Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to effectively build meaningful relationships with key stakeholders.
- Commitment to community development and the organization’s mission of empowering underserved small business owners.
- Ability to travel domestically on occasion to represent the organization at events and conferences.
Perks & Benefits
Our mission is what motivates us to come to work each day. We know that happy employees are productive employees, which is why we offer a comprehensive benefits package that includes:
- Competitive salary commensurate with experience.
- An environment that values work-life balance.
- 100% company-funded Medical, Dental, Vision, Life & Disability coverage for employees (Based upon your plan selection). 90% company-funded dependent coverage (Based upon your plan selection).
- Voluntary benefits with payroll deduction for Supplemental Life & AD&D insurance, Auto/Renters/Homeowners insurance, Pet Insurance and Legal plans.
- Tax deferred & Roth 403(b) Retirement Plan with employer match. Employer match increases with tenure.
- Paid vacation days (increased with tenure), 12 paid holidays, and 10 Sick days, and family leave days per year.
- This is a fully remote (work from home) position.
Diverse candidates are encouraged to apply, especially BIPOC.
Accion Opportunity Fund is an Equal Opportunity Employer. aofund.org