Senior Associate, Business Starts & Growth

Senior Associate, Business Starts & Growth


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.

Living Cities Closing the Gaps (CTG) Network is an initiative that brings together local government and community leaders from across the country to design and advance strategies to close racial income and wealth gaps through Homeownership and Entrepreneurship.

The Business Starts & Growth strategy (BSG) aims to provide programmatic support and technical assistance to local government leaders within the CTG cohort, to advance strategies that help people of color overcome systemic barriers in access to capital and increase their chances to start, maintain and grow their businesses.


This is an exciting opportunity for someone who is passionate about racial justice, has experience working with local government leaders and has deep knowledge about the role of business ownership in addressing structural inequities that contribute to the racial wealth gap.

Partnering with an outstanding team of colleagues, local government partners, and national experts, the Senior Associate is responsible for supporting the implementation of the BSG strategy area, alongside local government leaders in CTG cohort cities (Albuquerque, Austin, Memphis, Minneapolis, Rochester, and St. Paul). The Senior Associate will support cross-sector efforts that address racially biased systems and help build supportive business ecosystems that enable the flow of capital, technical support, and opportunities to businesses owned by people of color in cohort cities.

Primary functions may include:

  • Manage BSG strategy implementation
    • Work with technical assistance partners to help cities execute on and track capital flows, shifts in policies, and progress of their workplans.
    • Generate meaningful insights and identify key themes and promising practices that cities are adopting to address racial disparities in business ownership.
    • Make connections across Living Cities programmatic portfolio to identify opportunities for collaboration and accelerate city and state-level results.
  • Technical assistance
    • Leverage business acumen, knowledge about innovative models, and key connections with leaders in the equitable business space to guide local implementation.
    • Cultivate and manage relationships/partnerships with city teams, local organizations, and consultants throughout strategy development and implementation.
    • Researching institutions and stakeholders who identify CTG cohort cities as focus markets
    • Plan and help manage and facilitate BSG-focused convenings and site visits to cohort cities (virtual and in person)
    • Build relationships with national and local organizations with expertise and experience supporting cities to advance strategies that address racial disparities
  • Knowledge sharing and field building
    • Uplift stories and narratives of local government, community, and private capital decision makers advancing equitable strategies to close racial gaps in business ownership.
    • Provide thought-leadership inside Living Cities and in the social change field through listening, speaking, and writing.
    • Help develop strategies to build Living Cities brand and influence through conferences, convenings, and social media platforms.
  • Learning, Storytelling & Results
    • Build and manage relationship with CTG evaluation partners
    • Coordinate with Living Cities’ Communication & Narrative team to co-prepare communication content; including editorials, press releases, speaking engagements, and other relevant assets.
    • Support Living Cities overall vision, collaborating with colleagues leading and driving the CTG Network


  • Equivalent of 5-7 years’ work experience
  • Experience and content knowledge to operationalize racial equity within an institution or system(s), drive collective action efforts, and support business ownership for people of color
  • Aptitude in problem-solving with the ability to analyze data and metrics to drive decision-making
  • Comfortable working within a team with a results driven approach
  • Interest in addressing economic inequality especially for low income Americans of color; experience in the urban, social change field is a significant asset


· Proficiency in project management, with a track record of developing and implementing new or improved systems and processes, achieving strong results while maintaining an inclusive, collaborative style; able to manage multiple priorities, connecting dots across projects and issue areas

· Strong in relationship management, including strong social listening to understand sentiment, needs, and questions of partners and stakeholders

· Ability to develop and maintain productive relationships across lines of difference and to serve as an organizational culture carrier

· Intellectually curious and creative problem solver exhibiting sound judgement and deep commitment and passion for Living Cities’ mission

· Strong strategic and analytical skills, combined with a high level of organization and attention to detail

· Demonstrated ability to synthesize and clearly communicate complex issues

· Exceptional written and verbal communication skills, with the expectation of delivering both formal and informal presentations to colleagues, partners, grantees, and funders

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



$82,960 – $103,700

This is the minimum range for this position. Experience and locality are taken into consideration when determining a salary offer.




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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