Product Specialist – Ventures (formally Washington CASH) – Seattle, WA

OVERVIEW: Ventures is a Seattle-based nonprofit that empowers aspiring entrepreneurs with limited resources and unlimited potential. We provide access to business training, capital, coaching and hands-on learning opportunities for entrepreneurs. We serve those in our community for whom traditional business development services are out of reach, with a focus on women, people of color, immigrants, and individuals with low income. Our ultimate goal is to support individuals to increase their income potential, achieve long-term financial stability, and provide for their families, and enrich their communities through small business ownership.

The purpose of this position is to equip low-income individuals to increase their financial stability by launching their own product-based small businesses. This position will provide targeted technical assistance and training for small businesses selling a wide range of retail and wholesale products including (but not limited to) jewelry, packaged food products, handcrafted artwork, bath and body products, and etc.

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

Other duties may be assigned as needed.

Product Business Training & TA (50%)

Provide one-on-one coaching for clients with product-based businesses or business ideas to help them address specific barriers to business growth, with an emphasis on marketing, product design, packaging, pricing, display, and etc.;
Equip product-based businesses to complete their business plans, increase sales, grow their businesses, and work towards personal/household financial stability;
Work with Senior Manager of Incubation and/or Director of Training and Special Projects to deliver product-specific workshops and/or trainings,;
Contribute product expertise to training course and workshop curricula development;
Prepare for and coordinate client showcases at events or parties;
Help ensure consistency between product-based services and other Ventures programs;
Implement program evaluation systems for product-based businesses and program offerings.

Product Loan Outreach & TA (30%)

Work collaboratively with Director of Financial Services and Loan Manager to create synergies between Training and Financial Services Departments for product-based businesses.
Lead outreach process for product based loan products by creating outreach and marketing materials, facilitating meetings or orientations as needed, and coaching clients who fit program requirements to submit applications;
In collaboration with Loan Manager, facilitate a peer loan group for product businesses that consists of technical assistance in loan application and business plan writing, coordinating a monthly peer loan group meeting, and the loan approval process;
Maintain thorough understanding and awareness of product-based microloans and capital products in order to be able to refer clients to capital products as needed;
Support the Loan Manager in working towards quantifiable loan goals for product businesses.

Retail Store Support (20%)

Staff the floor at the Ventures retail store for approximately 8-12 hours per week in order to maintain awareness of the products at the store, sales rates of various products, effectiveness of displays, and etc.;
Provide expertise in enhancing the retail displays at the store(s) in order to maximize sales and visibility;
Assist in other ways at the store as needed or as desired.

STAFF-WIDE EXPECTATIONS

All staff are expected to engage in activities that contribute to the general wellbeing of the organization. Unless specifically stated otherwise, staff should expect to:

Participate in staff meetings, workgroups and committees, etc., as well as contribute to the cleanliness and organization of the physical environment;
Attend and participate in client and volunteer events when practical;
Support fund development through activities such as attending and bringing guests to events, bringing content expertise to grant writing or donor solicitations, adhering to brand guidelines etc.;
Exhibit the Ventures core values: integrity, diversity, empowerment, community, innovation, and client-success.

POSITION REQUIREMENTS

Retail or wholesale business management (small business ownership preferred);
Expertise in product design, packaging, pricing, display, marketing, and etc.
Experience creating/reviewing business plans, marketing plans, and/or loan applications;
Ability to work with people from diverse backgrounds, cultures, ethnicities, income levels, and etc.;
Sensitivity in speaking about confidential personal and business circumstances;
Detail-oriented work style.

PHYSICAL DEMANDS/WORKING CONDITIONS: The employee must be able to stand for 6-8 hours at a time in a retail environment, operate a computer and other office equipment, speak and listen on the telephone, and accurately see and interpret columns of numbers.

Compensation: $41,000 to $46,000 per year (DOE) plus medical and dental insurance,[1] flexible spending account, 403b retirement savings account, subsidized King County Metro bus pass, 15 days paid vacation leave, 2 personal days, 12 paid sick days, and 15 paid holidays.

[1] Ventures pays 88% of employees’ medical insurance and 100% of dental insurance.

This position description generally describes the principle functions of the position and the level of knowledge and skills typically required. It does not constitute an employment agreement between the employer and the employee, and it is subject to change as the needs of the employer and the requirements of the job change.

Ventures is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Applications are considered without regard to race, age, sex, color, creed, religion, disability, national origin, marital status, mental or physical handicap, sexual orientation (heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality and gender expression of identity) or any other classification protected by law.

How to apply

Please submit cover letter and resume by e-mail to Jen Chantrill, Director of Training & Special Projects: jchantrill@venturesnonprofit.org

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