FUSE Executive Fellow: Small Business Supports to Build Wealth in Atlanta’s Black and Brown Communities
Invest Atlanta – Office of the Mayor
City of Atlanta, GA
TO APPLY: https://jobs.crelate.com/portal/fusecorps/job/x8xb3kxtgb5txfq8rh6qjh83no/InvestAtlanta
Atlanta seeks to create a web of support for Black- and Brown-owned small businesses, enabling them to thrive and narrowing racial wealth inequality in the city. To support this work, Atlanta will partner with a FUSE Executive Fellow for one year to implement targeted supports for minority small business owners as outlined in its economic recovery plan.
This fellowship project begins on January 25, 2021, and ends on January 24, 2022.The fellowship begins with a multi-day virtual orientation the week of January 25, 2021.The selected Executive Fellow will begin their first day of providing services to the host agency on February 1, 2021.
Over the past decade, the City of Atlanta has experienced exponential growth, adding 638,000 jobs and reducing the unemployment rate to under 3% (prior to the onset of COVID-19). Though the city has made significant economic gains to position Atlanta as a nationwide competitor, its success and wealth are not equally reflected in all populations. In 2018, Atlanta ranked the highest among U.S. cities in income inequality, and it previously ranked last in upward mobility. Black and Brown communities located south and west of the city have been economically stagnant without the resources to disrupt the poverty that has affected their communities. Drastic income inequality and high unemployment rates result in a system of perpetual poverty, leaving Black and Brown communities in Atlanta at-risk for inequities impacting every facet of their lives: access to living wage jobs, affordable housing, quality healthcare, and educational experiences that create both job seekers and job creators. The economic recession as a result of COVID-19 poses an additional threat to the disenfranchised Black and Brown communities in Atlanta, leaving them susceptible to even larger outcomes gaps.
Specifically, the pandemic has disproportionately impacted Black and Brown business-owners in Atlanta. The number of Black and Brown businesses expecting revenue to decrease in the next year has skyrocketed fivefold since the beginning of the year, compared to a much smaller two and a half times uptick for non-minority-owned businesses. Residents from these historically underinvested neighborhoods often have limited capital that they can leverage to create a small business, and Black residents can face discriminatory lending practices. The result is fewer small businesses being created in the Southside and Westside, and fewer expansions. Only 4% of Black-owned businesses in Atlanta have more than one employee, compared to 28% of white-owned businesses. Black residents own only 8% of small businesses valuing on average $58,085 compared to white-owned small business owners in the city valuing on average at $658, 264.
The City has instituted multiple programs in order to address the intense economic fallouts of the COVID-19 crisis. This includes publishing a bold roadmap for tackling social and economic inequities in its robust strategic plan, “One ATL: Economic Mobility, Recovery & Resiliency Plan.” One of the key objectives of the plan focuses on small business development and helping startups and small business owners from Black and Brown neighborhoods to survive, adapt, grow, and hire more employees. Invest Atlanta, the City’s Official Economic Development Authority, recognizes that focusing on these small businesses will act as a tool to wealth creation in the Southside and Westside communities.
Through ONE ATL, Invest Atlanta seeks to provide greater, ongoing technical recovery support for Atlanta’s small businesses, specifically those owned by Black and Brown Atlantans. To support this work, the City will partner with FUSE Corps to host an Executive Fellow for one year who will collaborate with community stakeholders to implement targeted supports for small business owners in Atlanta, based on recommendations in the ONE ATL plan. At the conclusion of the fellowship year, the City will have created a web of supports for Black and Brown small businesses, enabling them to survive, thrive and serve as avenues that narrow racial wealth inequality in the City.
Project Summary & POtential deliverables
The following provides a general overview of the proposed Executive Fellowship project. This summary and the potential deliverables will be collaboratively revisited by the host agency, the Executive Fellow, and FUSE staff during the first few months of the Executive Fellowship, after which a revised scope of work will be developed and agreed upon by the FUSE Executive Fellow and the host agency.
Starting February 1, 2021, it is proposed the FUSE Executive Fellow will engage with key stakeholders, including City Departments, small business owners, community members and community-based organizations to conduct a landscape analysis. The Executive Fellow will focus on building relationships with stakeholders from the Southside and Westside neighborhoods and participants in the City’s Resurgence Technical Assistance Program to better understand their needs as small business owners. The Executive Fellow will also work to develop partnerships with business development organizations across metro-Atlanta such as the Russell Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, the Atlanta Wealth Building Initiative, Small Business Development Center and The Guildー to critically examine systemic inequities in small business ownership for Black and Brown communities. The Executive Fellow will utilize the landscape assessment to map gaps in programming/policies and identify opportunities to strengthen the City’s technical support for small businesses.
The Executive Fellow will then work with internal and external stakeholders to develop a comprehensive strategic plan to support the recovery of Black and Brown owned small businesses from the impact of the COVID-19 crises. The Executive Fellow will recommend strategies to expand partnerships with community and business development organizations; market COVID-19 small business grant programs, defining an effective outreach process, to garner on-going interest and participants in the Resurgence Grant Program; and scope out a Small Business Hub concept, detailing how to provide one-stop-shop technical assistance services and resources for small businesses owners. All recommendations will center the ideas of Black and Brown small business owners, and incorporate proven strategies for building wealth in historically underinvested neighborhoods.
Next, the Executive Fellow will create a thorough and holistic implementation framework. The plan will outline short and long-term goals for expanding supports for small businesses, timelines, priority areas, and clear roles of internal and external stakeholders. The Executive Fellow will work to initiate activities that are most urgent and can be implemented quickly. This includes identifying Technical Assistance Providers, possibly through an RFQ, who can best serve small businesses and reduce racial wealth inequality in the City. The Executive Fellow will also build a model for ongoing technical assistance targeted at building capacity to scale for Black and Brown-owned small businesses, institutionalizing and operationalizing the Small Business Hub. The Fellow will play an essential role in ensuring Black and Brown-owned small business recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, and that wealth creation is spurred in Atlanta’s the Southside and Westside neighborhoods.
By February 2022, the Executive Fellow will have overseen the initial implementation of the strategic plan, making sure it is as efficient and effective as possible. This will include the following:
Conduct a thorough review of the current landscape – Conducta deep landscape analysis, collating all relevant programming, policies, and processes; map opportunities, challenges and identify cross-cutting themes; research and analyze existing data on inequities; and build new public-private partnerships, and strengthening existing partnerships
Develop recommendations and form a comprehensive strategic plan – Identify a shared vision and goal for the targeted small business support system; in close consultation with City officials, small business owners, and business development organizations establish specific strategies to build out programming and policies; formulate a marketing strategy for gaining interest in small-business support programs; and scope out a Small Business Hub concept
Engage stakeholders and catalyze buy-in – Identify barriers to implementing any recommendations; solicit and incorporate input from stakeholders to build consensus around the plan – stakeholders include Invest Atlanta leadership and program administrators, participants in the City’s Resurgence Technical Assistance Program, Black and Brown small business owners, the Russell Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, the Atlanta Wealth Building Initiative, Small Business Development Center, and The Guild
Develop implementation framework and roll out recommendations, support long-term implementation – Establish frameworkoutlining short and long-term goals, timelines, priority areas, clear roles of internal and external stakeholders; oversee implementation of strategies considered low-hanging fruit, including launching the Small Business Hub; identify, build data base, and institutionalize partnerships with Technical Assistance Providers, issue RFQ if necessary; and integrate mechanisms for long-term deployment of the framework
Jon Keen, Deputy Chief Operating Officer, Mayor’s Office
Dr. Eloisa Klementich, President and CEO, Invest Atlanta
Katerina Taylor, Executive Director – WorkSource Atlanta, Mayor’s Office
At least 15 years of professional experience in small business development combined with a strong background in organizational change management
Relentless commitment to disrupt the status quo and end inequities in service of black and brown communities
Deep understanding of equity and uses equity as a standard to direct the work
Understands the need for innovative solutions to support all people in a community regardless of race, religion, gender, immigration status, or ethnicity.
Superior critical thinking and analytical skills.
Ability to synthesize complex information into clear and concise recommendations.
Ability to relate to a wide variety of diverse audiences with strong emotional intelligence and empathy.
Excellent stakeholder engagement skills and the ability to use facilitative leadership techniques to coordinate stakeholder activities.
Self-motivated, goal-oriented, entrepreneurial leader who can also be an independent worker.
Persistent in obtaining information and creatively resourceful in identifying solutions to
Ability to create direction and movement within bureaucratic environments.
Exceptional written and verbal communication skills with an ease in public presentations.
FUSE Corps is an equal opportunity employer with a core value of incorporating diverse perspectives into our work at every level. We encourage candidates from all backgrounds to apply for this position.
Job Type: Full-time
Pay: $80,000.00 per year
Monday to Friday