Program Director – Durham | SBA Community Navigator Pilot

November 5, 2021


The Program Director will serve as the lead project manager for Forward Cities’ SBA Community Navigator Pilot Program, a ‘hub and spoke’ network designed to increase connectivity, counseling services, and capital access for underrepresented entrepreneurs in Durham/Durham County, NC. This role reports to the Senior Director of Learning Networks. In this capacity, the role will also coordinate a cross-functional team in support of the SBA-funded project. More information about the project can be found here.

The full-time position is based in Durham and will work from the Forward Cities office and/or a network partner location a minimum of 3 days per week, including one weekday evening per week. This position is funded exclusively through a federal grant; the duration of the position is 24 months and will begin December 2021.

Job Responsibilities Include:

Program Management
  • Serving as the forward-facing community lead of the project supporting Forward Cities’ role as the hub of the engagement network;
  • Overseeing ‘spoke’ organizations that deploy trusted messengers to work with businesses in designated communities;
  • Coordinating with the Senior Director of Learning Networks to ensure all assigned engagement milestones are on schedule and within the prescribed budgets;
  • Coordinating with the Marketing and Communications team to provide any necessary departmental inputs and multimedia content for events, web, print, and social media;
  • Producing minutes, actions, and follow-up after meetings and scheduling future meetings;
  • Training and helping ‘spoke’ organizations with document preparation and data collection;
  • Preparing reports for the SBA in a timely manner;
  • Overseeing the translation of hub-produced documents and materials into languages required by communities served;
  • Working with the marketing department to ensure that data and performance metrics are translated into English for submission to SBA;
  • Maintaining, tracking, and updating the engagement calendar, action plans, and project management boards for the project;
  • Identifying opportunities to improve our work and impact within our programs as well as our broader team;
  • Identifying potential issues and risks and providing timely recommendations
Community Engagement & Events
  • Leveraging business development expertise and knowledge of local business support resources to better connect business owners in underserved communities with critical services and assistance programs;
  • Collaborating and coordinating with ‘spoke’ organizations to plan entrepreneur outreach strategies, activities, and events;
  • Producing and curating content for the weekly engagement gatherings;
  • Serving as host, recruiting, and overseeing volunteers for the weekly engagement gatherings;
  • Serving as the community manager for the ‘hub and spoke’ digital community platform (Mighty Networks);
  • Working with ‘spokes’ to emerge stories to communicate the impact of the engagement

As guided by Forward Cities staff:

  • Implementing communication strategies with SBA district office;
  • Developing training curricula to prepare ‘spokes’ to engage with businesses at various touch-points throughout the pilot pilot program
  • Emerging and sharing best practices on outreach, education, and 1:1 counseling;
  • Distributing technical knowledge and updates received from SBA
The ideal candidate will have:
  • 5+ years of operational experience in program management for corporations and/or non-profits
  • Existing relationships and trust within the Durham community among predominantly Black, Hispanic, indigenous, and/or immigrant business communities
  • Demonstrated experience in entrepreneurial support and ecosystem building
  • Start-up experience as part of an entrepreneurial or intrapreneurial team
  • A strong and confident presence and aptitude for live presentations and meeting/event facilitation
  • Experience developing, delivering, and/or codifying training programs
  • A demonstrated commitment to the mission and work of Forward Cities
  • Exceptional written and verbal communication skills
  • The ability to thrive in a fast-paced, dynamic work environment
  • Spanish-speaking a plus


Salary and Benefits

The salary for this position is $70,000 annually in addition to benefits including health insurance, 403(b) Plan matching, unlimited paid time off, and paid holidays. The start date for this position is no later than mid-December 2021.


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.