Women’s Business Center (WBC) at Cornerstone Alliance
Small businesses represent the lifeblood of the community and are key to the community’s economic future. In carrying out its mission, Cornerstone Alliance was approved by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to serve as a host organization to a Women’s Business Center program. The Women’s Business Center at Cornerstone Alliance (WBC) is a nonprofit organization founded in 2004 that provides business training, counseling, resources, and technical assistance to women and other socially disadvantaged entrepreneurs in Berrien, Cass and Van Buren Counties . The goal of the WBC is to provide entrepreneurs with the knowledge needed to help them start, grow, and expand their small business and achieve financial independence.
The WBC is funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). As one of three Women’s Business Centers in the State of Michigan, the WBC at Cornerstone Alliance offers services to residents and businesses in Berrien, Cass, and Van Buren Counties. The WBC’s main office is in downtown Benton Harbor, with satellite locations in South Haven, Three Oaks, and Dowagiac.
The WBC Manager helps the small business clients of the WBC at Cornerstone plan and grow their enterprises through 1-1 counseling and by conducting or organizing training sessions, public programs, and events. They will also support the WBC Director by helping with outreach, planning and promotion of Center events to serve women and socially disadvantaged entrepreneurs within the WBC’s service area. Additional responsibilities include documenting the assistance given to clients, database management, preparing organizational reports, publications, and other materials.
Deliver 1:1 counseling to small business clients seeking guidance in growing their business and entrepreneurship development. Counseling topics include but are not limited to:
- Business plan development and strategy
- Growth and diversification strategies
- Market research
- Product/Service development
- Raising capital
- Financial planning and management
- Operational management and HR
- Succession planning.
- Connect clients to other resources and capital providers; assist in loan packaging.
- Facilitate and/or conduct workshops or trainings for small businesses.
- Coordinate WBC public programs and events.
- In conjunction with other WBC staff, maintain and compile detailed participant data and records of all programming including counseling/training hours, client records and economic impact, as required by the SBA.
- Promote and participate in various WBC and partner meetings, trainings, workshops, and conferences, to help the WBC at Cornerstone Alliance meet its mission of serving women and other socially disadvantaged and underserved populations of entrepreneurs in Berrien, Cass and Van Buren Counties.
- Support the WBC Director by:
- Developing and maintaining relationships with partner organizations.
- Assisting with grant writing and reporting; and
- Identifying market opportunities and developing effective business strategies for the WBC.
- Demonstrated understanding of small business and entrepreneurial development
- Must be a highly motivated, self-starter who works well in an independent setting
- Excellent analytical and problem-solving skills
- Strong organizational and project management skills
- Ability to work/communicate effectively with team members and partners remotely, using IT applications such as Microsoft Teams and Zoom
- Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite
- Communicates effectively and persuasively, in both writing and orally
- Ability to travel regularly, including overnight travel in-state, and occasionally out-of-state
- Experience planning and implementing public programs, workshops, trainings, and events preferred.
- Bachelor’s Degree in Business or similar field or 5-years equivalent experience.
- Two years of experience working in a nonprofit or government agency preferred.
- First-hand experience and compassion for the WBC’s target groups of women, people of color, and low to moderate income business owners, understanding their needs, wants, values and goals
- Experience working in a microenterprise or small business.
- Computer proficiency (general computing skills, Microsoft Office, Adobe Acrobat) and excellent writing skills a must.
- Experience with Outcome Tracker CRM, EDMIS a plus.
- Dedication to Cornerstone Alliance and WBC missions
Visit the WBC at Cornerstone Alliance’s website at https://www.cornerstonewbc.com, Cornerstone Alliance’s website at https://www.cstonealliance.org, and the Small Business Administration’s Office of Women’s Business Ownership https://www/sba.gov/offices/headquarters/wbo
Position Open Until Filled.
Please do not call the office asking about this position.
- Cover letter which includes a description of your qualifications as they relate to the position description provided; why you are interested in this position; and highlighted experience that particularly qualifies you for the position
- Two professional references