Location: Westborough, Massachusetts – serving central Massachusetts
The Center for Women & Enterprise (CWE) is an economic empowerment nonprofit founded in Boston in 1995 to lift up the women who lift up the world. CWE is home to the largest cluster of Women’s Business Centers in the country, covering Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. The Women’s Business Centers (WBCs) are funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration. At CWE, we believe that when women thrive economically, families and communities also thrive, creating a more equitable and inclusive economy. To that end, CWE offers business services - training, individual business counseling, and community connections - that help women start and grow their businesses.
In addition to the Women’s Business Centers, CWE operates the Veterans Business Outreach Center of New England (VBOC of NE) and is a Regional Partner Organization of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC).
Over 50% of CWE’s service footprint is focused on low-income communities in urban and rural areas whose access to such services have historically been extremely limited. While our focus is on serving the needs of those who identify as women, we serve all genders. CWE is also home to the Veterans Business Outreach Center of New England and is a regional certifier for the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council.
In 2020 alone, we trained and counseled 4,902 people across all of our centers. We helped entrepreneurs create and/or nurture over 2,060 jobs, and helped entrepreneurs generate over $59 million in wages.
WHAT YOU’LL DO:
In our next chapter, CWE is committed to being New England’s most trusted and impactful resource for women entrepreneurs. As Director, you will oversee one of CWE’s Women’s Business Centers (WBCs). In CWE's next chapter, you will help our team improve, standardize and streamline operations across our sites in alignment with CWE’s mission, vision and three-year strategic plan. Reporting to CWE’s VP of Program Operations, you will keep the WBC in excellent standing with key partners such as the Small Business Administration, through strong communication and programmatic impact.
You’ll be tuned in to the needs of your region’s small business owners to create relevant programs and counseling experiences that will empower business owners to affect substantial economic impact in their communities, as measured by successful business start-ups, job creation and retention, and increased company revenues.
Working in close partnership with CWE’s VP of Strategic Partnerships, you’ll communicate the great work of your center with funders, and provide thought leadership in the field of economic development and entrepreneurship education. You will expand and deepen programming partnerships with community and economic development organizations across your region, eg the Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation and Rhode Island Foundation. In collaboration with your colleagues across New England, you will have a consistent focus on creating programs and relationships that allow the center to be more accessible, equitable, and supportive.
As Director, you’ll have the support and daily involvement of two team members--a full time Program Coordinator and a full time temporary Project Manager for COVID Business Recovery, funded by the Small Business Association with committed funds through at least spring 2021. . Our service model relies heavily on volunteers and contracted consultants, who offer workshops on specialized topics and/or work with clients one-on-one on topics such as business planning. These talented individuals add to the bandwidth of the CWE staff. Core consultants help to identify needs among our clients, and develop content to help meet those needs.
Ensure operational excellence
- Establish, implement and maintain operational protocol within your center to maximize efficiency and effectiveness.
- Manage your center’s budget to ensure that expenses are in line with local and organizational strategy.
- Understand and ensure compliance with governing documents such as CWE Standard Operating Procedures, and the federal Notice of Award and Project Guide.
- Ensure that grant deliverables are met or exceeded, and that all information needed for reporting is submitted in a timely manner.
Volunteer engagement and management
- Recruit, manage, and cultivate an Advisory Board of community volunteers for your center. This is a group of volunteers who meet quarterly to support the Director in developing and executing on the vision for the center. Advisory Board members are often entrepreneurs or people who support entrepreneurs, such as bankers and local economic development officials. They can help make connections in the community, identify areas that could be strengthened, and often volunteer to support our clients.
- Build out and manage a team of Core Consultants and volunteers who deliver counseling and training to our clients. Ensure all volunteers receive consistent onboarding, which includes familiarization with a feminist approach to business development.
Be a leader in the entrepreneurial ecosystem for your region's WBC
- In conjunction with our team, create and teach innovative programs in entrepreneurship and small business ownership.
- Work directly with clients through individual business counseling and instruction, including helping them to package their financials to approach an investor or lender.
- Ensure each client has a high quality and relevant experience each time they work with CWE.
- Speak on state, regional, and national webinars/panels on the needs of women entrepreneurs and best practices in serving entrepreneurs.
- Collaborate deeply with the other CWE center directors, sharing best practices, troubleshooting, and pooling resources.
- Collaborate closely with the VP of Strategic Partnerships and the Director of Grants & Data to identify local funding prospects and build relationships with community leaders, influencers and funders.
- Via participation in the Association of Women’s Business Centers (AWBC), collaborate with your WBC colleagues from across the country to share best practices and problem-solve.
- Proactively engage and collaborate with people and organizations throughout the entrepreneurial ecosystem of Massachusetts.
WHO WE ARE LOOKING FOR
There are innumerable ways to learn, grow, and excel professionally. We know people gain skills through a variety of professional, personal, educational, and volunteer experiences. We respect this when we review applications and take a broad look at the experience of each applicant. This said, we are most likely to be interested in your candidacy if you can demonstrate the majority of the qualifications and experiences listed below.
- Previous experience as a key member and/or leader of of a small business
- Extensive personal and/or professional networks through your region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem
- Skilled manager and teambuilder
- Confident public speaker and communicator
- Excellent organizational, communication, writing, and decision-making skills
- Innovative self-starter with ability to develop and drive new initiatives
- Experienced in and commitment to serving the needs of CWE’s diverse client base
- Diplomatic, professional and patient
- Ability to write reports and business correspondence
- Ability to effectively present information in a variety of ways, including online (i.e. via webinar)
- Appreciation for the need for high quality data and comfortable with utilizing technology to manage client relationships
- Bilingual in Spanish and English is strongly preferred. Knowledge of Portuguese and/or Haitian Creole is a plus.
We strive to meet our clients where they are, which involves some evening and weekend hours. We prioritize self-care and encourage staff to work with their manager to set a schedule that works for the organization, for our clients and for the employees, within a 40-hour work week.
Each WBC serves a particular geographic region. Between you and your team, you will ensure that the region is served, which will include some travel within the region, when the health situation permits. Virtual engagements can take the place of in-person events where appropriate.
For the purpose of our work, the Central Massachusetts region primarily encompasses the area from Orange/Athol to the 495 belt. The and time on the job, when in person work resumes, is based in areas such as Westborough, Hopkinton, Worcester, and Leominster. It is required that the candidate reside in Massachusetts.
Compensation and Benefits:
The salary range for this position is $70,000 to $80,000, plus benefits. Benefits include mileage reimbursement, bereavement leave, health, and dental insurance (CWE contributes a percentage to health and dental cost), family leave, life insurance (CWE pays 100% of the cost), paid holidays, jury duty leave, and vacation benefits. At CWE, we are proud to offer employees the ability to work with their managers to create a flexible schedule that suits clients, staff, and our organization. Additionally, we have implemented a flex time policy of 4 hours/week to provide employees with the additional support needed during this complicated time. This position is classified as full-time, and exempt.
We are currently allowing employees to work remotely, in response to the pandemic. Our office space is available to employees if they choose to use it, provided they follow all CDC-recommended safety procedures. We offer each employee a laptop to facilitate working from home. We will resume in-person operations when it is safe to do so and will communicate with our employees as we learn more about the timeline for resumption of in-person work. Our decisions will be informed based on the latest guidance from health officials, and from the Small Business Administration.
HOW TO APPLY
To apply to this position, please submit your resume and cover letter to Michelle Miller, email@example.com.
TIMELINE AND HIRING PROCESS
We will review and respond to all applications received. While subject to change, candidates elected to advance throughout the process can expect to interview with Michelle Miller, an interview with members of the Search Committee, and for finalists, an interview day with staff and other stakeholders, including a robust and holistic reference check process. Expected start date is fall 2021.
The Center for Women & Enterprise celebrates diversity and equal opportunity. We are committed to intentional actions and relationships that sustainably advance the IDEAS framework: Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Access and Social Justice. These principles inform our hiring practices and our company culture. More information is available on our website.