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 Business Advising, the Business Advisor will be responsible for providing support and guidance to under-served micro and small business owners in a range of industries nationally, with a focus on supporting entrepreneurs of color, women, and low- to moderate-income entrepreneurs. The Business Advisor’s main responsibilities are to provide high-quality coaching to entrepreneurs to help them grow their business: assessing their strengths and weaknesses, helping them refine their goals, providing guidance on a range of business topics, connecting them with external partners and resources that can support their success, and maintaining engagement to assess their progress over time. It can be based anywhere in the United States with preference given to candidates who are located in and/or have experience and familiarity with the small business landscape in the Southeastern U.S. Occasional domestic work travel required.
Key Responsibilities/ Accountabilities
- Provide business counseling at all
stages of AOF clients’ business life cycle (from startup, established,
expansion, and challenges) on a range of topics, including management,
financial analysis, and business planning, to assist them as they are starting
or growing a business. This includes sharing information on best practices,
business principles, and industry/business standards to support their success.
- Assist small business owners in understanding their credit and ways to improve it as well as the small business lending landscape/range of financing options. This includes helping them understand and prepare financial documentation to access capital (if applicable) and reviewing financials.
- Assist with business plan writing, support, and training.
- Plan and conduct educational trainings/webinars, both virtual and in-person as appropriate.
- Build long-term relationships with the entrepreneurs we serve as well as with other organizations in the small business support ecosystem nationally who can provide complementary support services to small businesses and with whom AOF can develop mutually beneficial partnerships.
- Conduct outreach to small business owners, including AOF loan clients as well as non-clients, and partners in the small business support ecosystem to reach our target audience of entrepreneurs of color, women, and low- to moderate-income small business owners.
- Prepare and disseminate information regarding the services provided by AOF.
- Participate in outreach activities (newsletters, events, etc.)
- Support in the creation of outreach materials (marketing, newsletters, stories, articles, etc.)
- Represent the organization at conferences and events as appropriate.
- Work with the Business Advising team to support current initiatives, programming, and other grant opportunities.
- Work with lending teams to ensure loan clients are successfully maintaining their businesses and adequately prepared for additional loans or promote new loan products to existing advising client base.
- Create and maintain client and partner information in AOF’s database.
- Create and update business training materials and collateral pieces that promote seminars and AOF services.
- Maintain and update plans and goals set forth by AOF and any grants that support the Business Advising department’s activities.
- Assist in preparing required reports for internal purposes and for external reporting purposes.
- Willingness to work flexible hours in an organization that works across all U.S. time zones.
- Other duties as assigned.
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:
- Bachelor’s Degree in Business, Education, Marketing, Management or Technology required.
- A minimum of five years professional experience working with small business owners either through entrepreneur support programs and/or via direct experience as a small business owner.
- In-depth business knowledge base in personal and business financials, sales and marketing, business management, and other business concepts/practices.
- Skilled at writing and formalizing business, marketing, and strategic planning.
- Ability to analyze and reconcile business financials.
- Ability to provide guidance on cost and pricing products and services, market research and financial forecasting.
- Ability to plan and conduct business workshops (financial management, marketing, managing cash flow, business credit, business plan development/implementation, human resource management, operations, tax issues, certification and contracting, etc.)
- Working knowledge and/or experience with two or more of the following required: Microsoft software, budgeting and strategic planning, international business experience, small business management and community action groups, and information systems (credentials and/or comparable experience may also be considered)
- Proven leadership and success in engagement and mobilization at the individual, community, and organizational levels; strong interpersonal and relationship building skills, with the demonstrated ability to engage and influence others. Success in conveying credibility, and confidence when engaging external audiences.
- Demonstrated ability to manage an outcomes-based approach and develop and use data to inform continuous improvement; proven track record of exceeding goals; evidence of the ability to make strategic decisions; ability to navigate and balance interests of multiple stakeholders.
- Evidence of sound judgment, discretion, and highest ethical standards.
- An entrepreneurial mindset, self-motivated, flexible, creative, comfortable in a fast-paced work culture.
- Commitment to community development and the organization’s mission of empowering under-served small business owners.
- Written and verbal fluency in English required, (Mandarin or Vietnamese language skills are a plus)
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