SBA Program Manager
Mr. Byrd is the Program Director for Forward Cities’ SBA Community Navigator Pilot Program in Durham, NC. As program director, he collaborates with local government and other local partners to build and sustain a more equitable entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Durham area. Working under a hub and spoke model with Forward Cites as the hub, Mr. Byrd will work in close collaboration with the current following 6 spoke organizations: North Carolina Central University’s School of Business, Provident 1898, Durham Tech’s Small Business Center, Knox Studios, Helius Foundation, and Infinity Bridges. Passionate and dedicated to the success of underserved business owners, Mr. Byrd looks forward to strengthening connections that exist in Durham.
His commitment to underserved business owners extends to his earlier work as the former Interim Director of the North Carolina Central University’s MBA program where he also served as the faculty advisor to NCCU’s HBCU MBA Business Plan Competition Team. Mr. Byrd has also worked as a commercial loan underwriter for Initiative Capital, a community development financial institution whose mission was to provide financing for minority entrepreneurs, small businesses and nonprofit organizations within low wealth communities. Most recently, Mr. Byrd took seriously the impact of COVID-19 on businesses and acted as a commercial loan underwriter for the US Small Business Administration’s EIDL loan program, as well underwriting SBA backed PPP loans for SmartBiz Loans, a Silicon Valley Fintech.
Understanding that individuals are able to thrive when their communities are adequately resourced, Mr. Byrd takes the needs of the communities in Durham into account just as much as he considers the needs of individual business owners. His community-oriented work has included: serving 2 years as a Google Fiber Digital Inclusion Fellow; membership on the executive board of the Raleigh-Durham chapter of the National Black MBA Association; board membership at Lincoln Community Health Center, and currently Mr. Byrd is co-chair of the Bigger Better Business committee of the Durham alumni chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Incorporated. He earned his Doctorate degree in the field of law at Cleveland State University’s Cleveland Marshall College of Law, his Master of Business Administration degree from Cleveland State University, and his Bachelor of Business Administration from the NCCU School of Business.