Post Date: 05/08/2020
Close Date: 06/12/2020
Full-time / Exempt / Portland, Oregon / United States
Current unrestricted authorization to work for any U.S. employer is required
Starting salary, based on experience, is $43-48K
To Apply: Please submit a resume and a cover letter addressing why you are interested in this opportunity with us and how your qualifications and experiences make you the ideal candidate for this position.
About Mercy Corps
Mercy Corps is a leading global organization powered by the belief that a better world is possible. In disaster, in hardship, in more than 40 countries around the world, we partner to put bold solutions into action — helping people triumph over adversity and build stronger communities from within. Now, and for the future.
About Our Team
As the U.S. field office of Mercy Corps, Mercy Corps Northwest (MCNW) works to build more just, productive and resilient communities in the Pacific NW. Our programs support up to 2,100 small business owners each year; reduce prison re-entry rates for participants by 50%; improve services at more than 30 local nonprofits; and support under resourced communities with disaster preparedness knowledge.
At MCNW, we believe that everyone should have the opportunity to improve their life regardless of their background. By investing in those without ready access to resources, existing economic disparities will become more equitable, and motivated, hard-working individuals and families will have opportunities to break intergenerational cycles of poverty for good. For more information about Mercy Corps Northwest, visit www.mercycorpsnw.org
About Your Role
This position supports the implementation of MCNW’s SBA-supported Oregon Women’s Business Center (OR-WBC) and specifically the activities that support struggling small businesses navigate, access, and secure financing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and recovery. The OR-WBC exists to serve women-owned businesses, female entrepreneurs and historically underserved entrepreneurs, such as people of color, refugees or immigrants. The position is the only MCNW OR-WBC role associated with helping clients navigate and secure small business financing—either through MCNW resources or through external resources—particularly those that have been set up in the wake of COVID-19. The Small Business Financing Advisor (SBFA) is expected to primarily assist women seeking financing guidance about financing options and resources pertaining to their specific needs and helping them to secure financing. This recognizes that women-- even during the best of circumstances-- face significant barriers in securing financing and need additional resources to help them overcome these barriers. The SBFA is expected to stay apprised of the different State of Oregon, federal and bank-related financing opportunities—especially COVID related products—so they have an informed point of view about the different financing options available. The SBFA will work with other OR-WBC team members to support women and entrepreneurs get the small business education and counseling needed to help businesses recover and thrive in a post COVID-19 environment. This position will contribute to the strategy, systems development, relationship development, administration and organizational development of MCNW’s business development team and the overall agency.
Your Key Responsibilities
Client Engagement and Support
● Collaborate with MCNW’s Communication and Marketing Manager to reach out to current and potential clients to make them aware of potential financing available to them—both MCNW and external opportunities.
● Make clients aware of the benefits of the Microlending provision for SBA Lenders, such as MCNW, under the CARES Act.
● Work with external partners and clients to share loan offering and terms through webinars and other information sessions online and/or in person once social distancing restrictions have been lifted.
● Participate in meetings and webinars to stay abreast of lending opportunities and relay these programs and opportunities to clients.
● Be familiar with all SBA COVID-19 financing options for clients and how to link them to these different programs.
● Work collaboratively with clients to weigh the positives and negatives of different financing opportunities and which one best serves their needs.
Management and Administration
● Assist the Women’s Business Center team and Business Financing Manager (BFM) with outreach and orientations, application screening, documentation and file reviews, data input and maintenance, and progress reports.
● Assist the Business Financing Manager (BFM) in compiling required loan application documents and the closing and disbursement of these loans.
● Assist the BFM with incoming post COVID loan inquiries as needed, assessing loan readiness and fit for MCNW lending programs and navigating clients through the application process.
● Advise and counsel small business clients as needed, to help guide them through MCNW programs and services, SBA Federal Services, and when appropriate, to other outside technical assistance resources or providers.
● Provide support to the Women’s Business Center Team and the BFM with grant reporting, data compilation and input, program analysis, strategic planning, tracking client information, team support and other duties as assigned.
● Take action to advance innovative services and programming, and create an environment where alternative viewpoints are welcomed.
● Support and contribute to our commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion within our team and across all our programming.
Finance and Administration
● Collaborate with finance and administrative staff, understand procedures and processes and adhere to them.
● Become familiar with the SBA-WBC-COVID-19 Supplement award and stay within programmatic and financial parameters.
● Adhere to all donor and Mercy Corps regulations and processes including MC Procurement, logistics and administration regulations related to programming.
Minimum Qualification / Transferable Skills*
We will consider any combination of relevant work experience, volunteering, education, and transferable skills as qualifying unless an item or section is labeled required. Please be clear and specific about how your background is relevant.
● BA/S or equivalent in business, finance, banking, community development, economics and/or other relevant field or entrepreneurial experience. (Professional work at or near the level of this position can substitute year for year for the educational requirement)
● At least one year of lending or banking experience (experience with a Community Development Finance Institution is a plus)
*Transferable skills: Any skills you have gained through education, volunteer or work or life experience (including the military) that are relevant for this position will be considered. Be sure to describe any transferable skills and how they apply to this position in your cover letter.
Other Qualifications & Success Factors
● Knowledge and experience in working with or operating small businesses will be a critical advantage.
● Knowledge and experience in working with female entrepreneurs is a plus.
● Willingness to work in the community with underserved and struggling clients and borrowers outside the office,
● Willingness to work with partner organizations and to develop and strengthen collaborative relationships to enhance our programming and referrals links.
● Effective verbal and written communication skills as well as computer skills.
● Demonstrated attention to detail, ability to follow procedures, meet deadlines, work independently and cooperatively with team members is required.
● Experience development and giving public presentations and/or advising clients or borrowers is preferred.
● Lived or other experience working with low-income and multicultural populations, particularly with women, justice-involved community members, refugees and immigrants on issues relating to business success and community integration.
● Ability to understand and interpret financial statements, including balance sheets, profit and loss statements, financial forecasts and budgets.
● Knowledge and experience with data collection and interpretation for successful program development.
● Language skills in Spanish, Russian or other common immigrant language is a plus.
Robust Team Member Benefits
● Zero-premium health, dental and vision coverage for team member, spouse and dependents
● 90% subsidized annual TriMet pass
In support of our belief that learning organizations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities they serve, we empower all team members to dedicate 5% of their time to learning activities that further their personal and/or professional growth and development
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Achieving our mission begins with how we build our team and work together. Through our commitment to enriching our organization with people of different origins, beliefs, backgrounds, and ways of thinking, we are better able to leverage the collective power of our teams and solve the world’s most complex challenges. We strive for a culture of trust and respect, where everyone contributes their perspectives and authentic selves, reaches their potential as individuals and teams, and collaborates to do the best work of their lives.
We recognize that diversity and inclusion is a journey, and we are committed to learning, listening and evolving to become more diverse, equitable and inclusive than we are today.
Equal Employment Opportunity
We are committed to providing an environment of respect and psychological safety where equal employment opportunities are available to all. We do not engage in or tolerate discrimination on the basis of race, color, gender identity, gender expression, religion, age, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, disability (including HIV/AIDS status), marital status, military veteran status or any other protected group in the locations where we work.
Safeguarding & Ethics
Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our stakeholders and to international standards guiding international relief and development work, while actively engaging communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects. Team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws, customs and MC's policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.