Business Navigator – E3 Durham Program

March 10, 2024


The E3 (Equity for Every Entrepreneur) Durham program is designed to increase connectivity, counseling services, and capital access for underrepresented entrepreneurs in Durham/Durham County, NC. The Business Navigator will provide basic business counseling services to clients and connect them with partner organizations to meet their business development needs. This role reports to the E3 Durham Program Director and will be part of a cross-functional team in support of E3 Durham - a 24-month program.


Functions and Responsibilities

Business Counseling, Client Navigation, & Community Outreach
  • Thoroughly review incoming intake applications on a daily basis and respond within 2 business days via entrepreneurs' preferred method of contact;
  • Maintaining, tracking, and updating the client relationship management system (SourceLink) within 2 business days of serving clients according to the navigation protocols; 
  • Conducting regular follow-up contact with clients to help them gain access to resources and troubleshoot as needed;
  • Maintaining regular contact with program partners to ensure timely services are provided and records of services provided are submitted;  
  • Maintaining a Calendly account for scheduling and tracking Google meet and phone appointments with entrepreneurs; 
  • Collaborating with Program Director and ecosystem partners to identify key events focused on aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners;
  • Hosting tables at events that are suitable for E3 Durham client recruitment with optimal returns
E3 Durham Event Support
  • Attending and supporting E3 Durham events; 
  • Hosting the E3 Durham info table at events;
  • Enrolling new clients on site 
Navigation Leadership
  • Developing a deep understanding of and familiarity with local, regional, and capital resources for various sectors and stages of business development for the E3 Durham project;
  • Building and maintaining a library of national and local online resources to support clients; 
  • Creating a decision tree-style referral strategy that is informed by both internal and external stakeholders;  
  • Coordinating client assignments and outreach activities with contract or part-time Navigators and Outreach Specialists and ensuring timely record keeping for these members of the team;
  • Supporting additional Navigators and incoming partners with SourceLink training and any additional Navigator-specific training provided by Forward Cities; 
  • Updating Navigation protocols and referral decision tree as needed  
Program Strategy Support
  • Collaborating with the Program Director and the Senior Director of Impact and Assessment to support the E3 Durham Needs Assessment; 
  • Serving as a thought partner on strategy and decisions that impact ecosystem navigation and processes, and service/programming/offerings to entrepreneurs and the organizations serving them;
  • Leading the development capital and procurement readiness tools



The ideal candidate will have:

  • 2+ years of providing business support services; 
  • A friendly, approachable demeanor, and stellar interpersonal skills to build trusting relationships with clients and business support providers;
  • A strong understanding of the wide range of specific issues encountered during all stages of business development (i.e., idea → maturity) including access to business capital, procurement processes, and business certifications for MWBE; 
  • Lived experience as an entrepreneur/business owner;
  • A keen attention to detail and commitment to service documentation;
  • Demonstrated experience as a highly collaborative team player; 
  • Existing relationships and trust within the Durham community among predominantly Black, Hispanic, Indigenous, and/or immigrant business communities;
  • A history of community involvement in Durham, NC; 
  • A demonstrated commitment to the mission and work of Forward Cities;
  • The ability to thrive in a fast-paced, dynamic work environment;
  • Spanish-speaking a plus
Work Location & Expectations

The full-time position is based in Durham, NC with standard work hours from 9am - 5pm, Monday - Friday, with flexible work time for attending required events during the evenings and weekends. This position requires in-office presence Tuesday - Thursday in Forward Cities’ Durham office. Mondays and Fridays may generally be worked remotely.

Salary and Benefits

The salary range for this position is $50,000 - 60,000 annually in addition to benefits including health insurance, 403(b) Plan matching, paid time off, and paid holidays. The anticipated start date for this position is May 2024.

Applications close April 28th, 2024 at 11:59 PM EST.


Forward Cities provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, leaves of absence, compensation, and training.