Assistant Director Equitable Entrepreneurial Ecosystems (E3)

Assistant Director Equitable Entrepreneurial Ecosystems (E3)


Associate Director of Strategy


Founded in 1991, Living Cities is a collaborative of prominent foundations and financial institutions.  We foster transformational relationships across sectors and connect leaders, stakeholders, and policy influencers committed to closing racial income and wealth gaps in America’s cities.  We partner with cross-sector leaders in cities across the country to imagine and create an America in which all people are economically secure, building wealth, and living abundant, dignified, and connected lives.  Our staff, investments, convenings, and networks support efforts that operationalize racial equity and inclusion in local government, create inclusive narratives, bring communities together to strategically address systemic racial inequities and build wealth among BIPOC communities through specific tactical pathways, i.e., entrepreneurship, homeownership, and access to capital. 


As part of our 10-year initiative to support leaders from across the country in applying racial equity competences to the development of anti-racist government policies, programs and practices, Living Cities has leveraged its track record of investing in and deepening our research on equitable entrepreneurial ecosystems and small business development, to create our Business Starts & Growths practice area (BSG).

Stemming from the BSG practice area and with the goal of accelerating meaningful transformations in systems that pose disproportionate barriers to small business owners of color in the southeast region of the U.S. as well as expanding our efforts to use entrepreneurship as a pathway to closing racial income and wealth gaps, Living Cities, with support of Truist Foundation and in collaboration with Main Street America, has launched the Equitable Entrepreneurial Ecosystems strategy (E3).

This is an exciting opportunity for someone who is committed to racial justice and has deep expertise in developing solutions to the systemic barriers that entrepreneurs of color, living in southern cities, face when attempting to start, maintain and grow their businesses. The Assistant Director will spearhead the build-out, design, and implementation of the E3 strategy, as well as play a vital role in activating relationships with cross-sector stakeholders to promote the spread and adoption of promising practices. 

In addition, central to this role is both the ability to co-create strategies and collaborate with local leaders, entrepreneurs, community organizations, and most importantly, our partners at Main Street America in the development and implementation of the project. As a senior leader on the team, the Assistant Director will also work closely with the Associate Director and the Assistant Director for BSG to maintain alignment and ensure that the whole of our strategies and tactics are driving progress toward our organizational results. This position will report to the Associate Director of Strategy and will hire and manage two staff members. 


Primary functions may include:

  • Strategy development
    • Leverage existing and original research to design, lead, and oversee the implementation of the E3 Strategy. 
    • Lead city selection process in collaboration with Main Street America. 
    • Partner with the BSG team to ensure the E3 strategy is grounded in relationships, lessons, and findings from past and ongoing Living Cities’ programs.
    • Work closely with Living Cities Talent and Organizational Development Director to develop and implement a plan to hire and onboard members of the E3 team.
    • Work closely with the Associate Director to design tactics and approaches to support E3 cohort members.
    • Partner with the BSG team to identify where in capital Living Cities’ interventions could generate the most value add for entrepreneurs of color. 
  • Relationship Management 
    • Serve as a main point of contact for the Truist Foundation and Main Street America.
    • Serve as lead relationship manager for E3 cohort cities and technical assistance partners.
    • Develop a relationship management strategy to guide team members’ efforts to engage partners, monitor, and track local and state news, policies, legislation, and advocacy taking place in cohort cities. 
    •  Engage with local and regional foundations and institutions, including but not limited to Living Cities’ members, to track relevant, aligned programs and advance a collective vision for inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystems in the southeast U.S. 
  • Learning, Thought Leadership, and Field Building
    • Leverage relevant lessons learned to develop (conceptualize, write, edit, curate, etc.) and co-create, accurate and useful content for publication and engagement with local and national stakeholders.
    • Work with Living Cities Communications team to prepare blogs, presentations, panels, and other communications materials 
    • Contribute to and support Living Cities’ overall vision, while collaborating with colleagues leading and driving our Closing the Gaps (CTG) goals. 
    • Engage with funders, including Truist foundation, to share stories, lessons, and data-informed pieces on Living Cities and/or other national platforms.
  • Management
    • Supervise and performance manage E3 team
    • Manage relationships with funders through regular communications and timely reporting.
    • Partner with Living Cities Finance and Accounting team to manage a restricted budget and ensure fiscal management of all resources.



  • A four-year degree and/or equivalent of 7 years’ workA minimum of 10 years’ applicable  experience in a related role or field
  • Experience in the fields of urban planning, public policy, community development, racial justice, and/or social change work
  • Proficiency in managing relationships with cross-sector stakeholders, using data and performance measures to improve program performance, and facilitating large groups towards shared results
  • Significant experience designing and implementing strategies in the southeast U.S. market
  • Deep knowledge of urban policy and entrepreneurial ecosystems including the root causes of racial disparities
  • Experience managing and supervising teams
  • Strong racial equity competencies and the willingness to continue building them
  • Ability to travel moderately (approximately 20%)


  • Strong communication skills, including writing and verbal presentation
  • Ability to manage and work in teams, interacting constructively with diverse team members
  • Proficiency with the following platforms: Salesforce, Google Suite, Microsoft Office Suite


Racial Equity & Inclusion (REI)

  • Foundational knowledge and core concepts
  • Understands why racial equity is an integral part of Living Cities’ approach, inside and outside the organization
  • Displays clear willingness to learn and apply REI history and concepts REI Practice and Analysis
  • Engages with curiosity, humility and openness in discussions about race, equity and power inside and outside of the organization
  • Understands how the construct of race has impacted the distribution of power and resources, and recognizes its impact on current and future outcomes across systems
  • Applies REI to inform discussions and decision-making





This job operates in a professional office environment. 


The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.

As much of our work is performed on a computer, the employee must be able to remain in a position that allows them to do so effectively. Additionally, they may require some movement around the office to access files or other equipment or technology. As collaboration and communication are a large part of our work, the employee must also be able toa ccurately exchange information in these situations, whether verbally or written. 

We will work with each employee to provide reasonable accommodations as needed. 



This is a full-time position. 


Travel is primarily local during the business day, although some out-of-area and overnight travel may be expected.


Living Cities is committed to building a culturally diverse and inclusive team at all levels.  We are an equal opportunity employer and provide 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, leaves of absence, compensation and training.


Please note this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities and activities may change at any time with or without notice. 

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