Posting: Loan Officer & Co-op Trainer - Detroit Community Wealth Fund
August 3, 2022
Loan Officer, Co-op Trainer
Location: The candidate must be able to work in person in Detroit, Michigan. Until further notice, the position is mostly remote, with some in-person meetings.
Reports to: Executive Director
The Detroit Community Wealth Fund (DCWF) provides non-extractive loans, educational training, and business support to cooperatives businesses and community-based businesses. We work with historically marginalized communities in Detroit who have been excluded from the current economic system. We work side by side with clients throughout the entirety of our loan cycle. We also offer a number of educational opportunities for our clients, and for the general public to learn more about cooperative businesses. We connect clients with technical support, including business development, financial feasibility, accounting, and legal services. To learn more about non-extractive lending, and who we lend to, visit our website, here.
DCWF focuses on building ownership opportunities for people who are Black, Brown, Indigenous, and for people of color (BIPOC). We seek to support the creation of cooperative businesses. We see democratically managed workplaces as a powerful model that addresses concrete community needs and shares our vision of a transformed and equitable economy.
Detroit Community Wealth Fund is a member of the Seed Commons, a national community wealth cooperative. We work with over 25 other loan funds to collectively manage our loan fund. While this job is based in Detroit, it will require regular ongoing participation with our nationwide network, and at times stepping into organizing roles at the Seed Commons, such as serving on committees. Travel for training several times a year is required.
We are currently a small team of two full-time and one half-time staff. Our work is done independently and through regular check-in meetings. We are a worker-self-directed nonprofit, which means we collaborate often, include staff input on major decisions and strategic planning, have 360-degree accountability, and strive to be a transparent organization.
The role of the Loan Officer & Co-op Trainer (LOCT) is to support the lending and cooperative training programs of the Detroit Community Wealth Fund. The LOCT will have specific loan projects that they oversee on an ongoing basis. Because we are a small organization, the LOCT will also be expected to work on other projects related to our lending and cooperative development programs, and participate in and support ongoing strategic organizational planning, operations, and public events. Evening and weekday availability is required of all members of our team.
The LOCT will be responsible for facilitating our annual Cooperative Incubator Program, a 12-week training designed to launch worker-cooperatives into their pilot phase, as a development tool to prepare co-op businesses for financing. In addition to running this program, the LOCT will be responsible for supporting existing and new loan projects of DCWF.
Candidates for this position might not possess all of the qualifications listed below. DCWF is committed to finding the right person who will be proactive in learning while on the job, practicing new skills, and strengthening existing ones. The right person is also willing to take an active role in a young and growing organization, where patience and creativity are necessary.
Roles and Responsibilities
Lending: A primary role of the LOCT is to support cooperative businesses toward loan readiness and loan disbursement. The LOCT will support a cooperative project during intake, loan preparation, and also after projects have received a loan. You are required to communicate regularly with your clients and act as advisors and coaches to them throughout the duration of the loan process.
- provide assistance to groups during our values-based intake process, including intake meetings, coaching, creating trainings, and hosting office hours. .
- work with cooperatives to develop their loan applications.
- provide co-op development technical assistance to projects that are active in the lending process.
- communicate with the Seed Commons coaches for project support and present the loan proposal to the Sustainability Committee of the Seed Commons.
- follow-up loan projects with monitoring according to an agreed-upon plan and performance standards and help cooperatives figure out why goals were not met, why they were exceeded, and strategies to pivot for maximum sustainability.
- participate in Seed Commons as a project officer which includes:
- Active participation in bi-weekly Seed Commons phone calls.
- Active participation in Seed Commons trainings.
- Offering peer assistance to other funds that are in development, as requested by the Peer Network Coordinator.
- Participating in Seed Commons committees or other supporting roles.
- Active participation on the Peer Network Slack.
Training and Education: LOCT will support DCWF by planning and facilitating training opportunities for emerging cooperatives through our co-op incubator and workshops.
- plan and facilitate an annual cooperative incubator program
- supports educational programming of the Cooperative Economic Network of Detroit (CEND)
- Develop content, including agendas, workshops, curricula, and promotional materials for trainings.
Organizational Development: DCWF is a worker-self-directed nonprofit which means that all staff has input on the organization's activities and strategy. We accomplish this with a staff that is capable of working independently, taking initiative, and by having excellent communication skills. You will be responsible for managing your own time, staying on top of tasks and goals, and following an annual work plan.
- develop an annual work plan for their work, and participate in the strategic planning of the organization.
- maintain organizational documents online.
- be active in record-keeping and documentation.
- attend regular one-on-one and all team check-ins and strategic planning meetings
- communicate timely and reliably with the DCWF team, program partners, and clients.
Community: While DCWF has regular working hours, we do understand that sometimes we are required to be ambassadors of the organization outside of work. We are looking for applications who are active in their community and can connect their community engagement to this work.
- support in representing DCWF in the public, attending events and meetings when needed, and promoting DCWF as a resource for cooperative businesses in Detroit.
- be active in learning about cooperatives and keeping up to date on national cooperative news and happenings.
Our ideal candidate would have some combination of the following. We expect to interview applications that may not possess every qualification. If you are unsure, please reach out to us with questions.
- Passion and interest in cooperative ownership: You should be passionate about what you know about cooperative businesses, particularly worker-cooperatives, and want to learn more about cooperative economics, democratic management, and business co-op business development. You are in alignment with our shared values, which you can read here.
- Commitment to and experience working with diverse communities: a clear demonstration of working with diverse groups of people, including but not limited to diverse racial identities, class backgrounds, gender identities, and ethnicities. Experience working with and being accountable to low-wealth people and BIPOC communities.
- Managing projects and working with teams: experience with project management, managing long-term projects with teams. Experience with group facilitation, working with teams, and/or creating engaging agendas and developing curricula.
- A solution-focused mindset: You take ownership of challenges, get things done, and enjoy creating solutions that keep things running efficiently.
- Strong organization skills: You are attentive to detail, and able to multitask but still keep track of priorities, with the ability to manage your workload and expectations accordingly while prioritizing tasks and responsibilities.
- Dedication to communications and relationship-building: You have excellent organizational and interpersonal skills, have strong writing and verbal abilities, and are adaptable and flexible when necessary. You have experience in building relationships with program partners, and working with other local and national organizations.
- An innovative streak: You are comfortable working closely with a small team, in an environment that is often being created as we go.
- Using and learning technology for business development: experience in writing business plans, including work on financial documents (e.g., projections, budgets), and analyzing business opportunities
- Computer proficiency in internet research skills, Google Drive, and email, and are willing and able to learn new software tools.
- Some entrepreneurial knowledge- either you have started your own business, or helped someone else do so
What you can expect to learn and experience on the job:
- the process of non-extractive lending, how we posture and work with our clients to develop healthy sustainable businesses.
- our lending software, which is used to manage our projects, write loan memos, document progress, timelines, and milestones.
- how to communicate our work as part of the larger solidarity economy movement for a just transition to a more democratic, resilient, equitable, and anti-racist economy.
- how to help people turn ideas into viable sustainable businesses, and how to leverage local and national resources and networks to support the growth of the cooperative economy in Detroit.
- how to advocate for cooperatives in Detroit, and engage with the existing local entrepreneurship economy.
- engagement with the Seed Commons, where you will meet and work with some amazing people who are growing their loan funds and supporting other cooperative businesses across the county.
Compensation and Benefits
This is a half-time, salaried 20-hour/week position, starting at $32,000 annually, with a $250/month healthcare stipend as well as an annual professional development stipend. This position comes with six paid days off in addition to holidays and DCWF scheduled breaks.
How to Apply
To apply, please send a cover letter and resume to Margo Dalal at email@example.com. In your 1-page cover letter, please answer the following questions. You may use bullet points or paragraphs. References will be requested from applicants who move forward in the interview process.
- Why do you want to work at Detroit Community Wealth Fund?
- What experiences or qualifications make you an ideal candidate?
- Why do you feel worker cooperatives and community-owned businesses are a critical component of a just, equitable and anti-racist economy?
- Anything else you would like us to know.
Priority applications should be emailed by September 1st. The application is on a rolling basis until the position has been filled.
As an Equal Opportunity Employer, Detroit Community Wealth Fund does not discriminate against applicants or employees due to their race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, physical ability, hairstyle, previous incarceration, or length of time spent unemployed. We strive to reflect the diverse community we serve. Applicants who contribute to this diversity are strongly encouraged to apply.