The Entrepreneur Fund is an economic development organization that actively partners with entrepreneurs to achieve business success. We believe that entrepreneurial success is critical to thriving communities and a diverse regional economy.
The Business Advisor works with small business owners in Duluth, MN and surrounding areas to achieve their business goals. They provide direct consulting, guide the client’s development, and serve as a trusted advisor to the small business owner. The Business Advisor acts as the long-term relationship with clients and offers a key access point for a variety of Entrepreneur Fund services appropriate to their needs.
The Business Advisor recruits growth-oriented small business owners to enroll in specific Business Acceleration programs and manages specific grant programs.
This position has responsibilities for covering Duluth, MN and surrounding areas. Travel will vary, but averages 2 days of travel per week to surrounding areas. The qualified applicant must live in the Duluth/Superior Area.
- A demonstrated track record of owning and operating small businesses OR working with small business owners. Owning, operating, and selling multiple businesses is preferred.
- A coaching mindset and experience in supporting others. Able to guide a small business owner’s development by discovering goals/aspirations, diagnosing key issues with clients, and effectively facilitating client’s progress to achieve measurable results.
- Strong business acumen. Strong functional competencies as a generalist in marketing, sales, finance, management, and leadership. An undergraduate degree in business is preferred.
- The ability to lead through a strategic framework. Bringing practical knowledge and application tools is necessary to ensure client work is aligned with goals.
- Exemplary financial acumen. The ability to interpret financial statements and lead a client through cash flow planning & forecasting. A demonstrated knowledge in small business finance; both debt and equity.
- Critical thinking skills
- A positive, results oriented attitude
- A passion for small business
- Exceptional oral and verbal communication skills
- A strong desire and willingness to learn
- Adept at giving and receiving respectful feedback
- Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite
- Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree in Business Administration or Equivalent Field
Key Measures of Success:
- Small business clients are progressing on plans and achieving business results.
- A strong & growing portfolio of growth-oriented clients
- Enrollment of small businesses in EF programs & services
- Exceeding specific grant goals.
- Prospective borrowers are effectively prepared to apply for financing.
Business Advisement (50%)
- Guide and consult growth-oriented entrepreneurs to achieve their business goals and improve their skills.
- Actively partner with entrepreneurs in the “Be Strategic: Grow Your Business” program to grow revenues by 25% over 3 years.
- Recruit growth stage business for EOS (Entrepreneurial Operating System) services.
- Implement EOS with Entrepreneur Fund clients.
- Actively partner with loan clients after the loan to assist them in outlining their needs, providing services, and guiding them towards meeting their goals.
- Prepare potential borrowers for financing. Guide the client through determining feasibility and viability through business planning and financial forecasting and act as a gatekeeper and referral source for lending. Provide in-depth narrative analysis on the key assumptions of the proposal, feasibility & viability of the project, and the capabilities of the applicant. Conduct extensive due diligence and work collaboratively with the lending team to prepare for loan committee.
Program Management (25%)
- Lead the execution of initiatives related to grant goals. Work in partnership with key staff, facilitators, and other partners to exceed grant goals & impact measures.
- Manage, implement, and coordinate Duluth’s “Growing Neighborhood Businesses” program, from recruiting 10 neighborhood businesses to growing their sales by 25% over 3 years.
- Participate in community redevelopment efforts, leading the focus on entrepreneurship as an economic development strategy.
- Meet SBA microloan program objectives related to consulting with existing borrowers.
- Complete administrative functions: log customer time, write grant activity reports, collect customer documentation, and other specific tasks.
- Prepare and file written documentation on each counseling session with each customer
Meet other grant objectives, as assigned.
Recruitment & Networking (25%)
- Seek out and engage entrepreneurs with growth potential to enroll in EF strategic service offerings.
- Build and nurture an active professional network to assist clients, gain referrals, and achieve program goals.
- Build & maintain relationships with high-capacity entrepreneurs in the area to identify opportunities and meet their professional development needs.
- Be known as a trusted and credible source of business advisement to entrepreneurs at various stages.
- Foster strategic partnerships with public and private service professionals to assist borrowers and high-potential E’s to build appropriate connections, resources, and competencies.
Other responsibilities as requested by supervisor.
Entrepreneur Fund Core Values:
Get things done
- Be organized & efficient
- Work hard - persist & maintain your focus.
- Stay focused
- Ask for help before the end.
- Commit to the committed – customers, staff, communities, and partners.
- Commitment is demonstrated, not perceived.
- Give everyone a chance to show it.
- Believe what they show you
- Do your part.
- Expect lasting results from relationships.
- Have the hard conversations.
- Take great satisfaction in meeting team goals.
- Strive for team excellence – suggest improvements, learn from failures.
- Organizational strength is fortified through each member’s performance.
- Keep your communication open, genuine, and honest.
- No blame or disrespect.
- Celebrate our wins and give specific praise.
Commit to the Greater Good
- Impact is our motivator: entrepreneurs & community.
- Do what is better for the whole
- Shine a light on real progress.
- Be of service to change-makers & doers.
- Walk away from the toxic.