Locations: Bay Area, CA; Remote, Remote
Job Function: Financial Services
RUNWAY is committed to advancing Black resiliency for Black business and the communities they serve by building emergent financial practices and infrastructure that close the racial wealth gap for good. We are a national initiative that works to repair the structural inequities of the racial wealth gap by providing entrepreneurs of color early stage “Friends & Family” funding and holistic business support that is the crucial foundation for business success and long term community wealth building. In partnership with investors, financial institutions, and the entrepreneurship ecosystem, we collaborate as an innovative means to bridge from the old economy of extraction to the next economy based on relationship and community regeneration.
We are driven by the guiding principle that capital can be used to heal, repair and connect. This principle informs all aspects of our organizational culture; from our lending and credit processes with our entrepreneurs, to the interpersonal working relationships within our team. We aim to partner and seek community with our funders interested in disrupting dominant systems and norms, and co-creating new experiments while at the same time, upholding a culture of self-care and restoration that we deem necessary for true systemic action.
- 6 month contract/consultant opportunity (estimated 10-20 hrs per week), with potential to grow into full-time salaried employment
- Competitive compensation
Worker Self-Directed Nonprofit
We are a team of diverse, entrepreneurial Black and Brown women building an economy that centers healing, joy, culture, and collective wealth for Black people. We believe in bringing our whole selves to the work, and practice living our values of equity and, racial healing. We are organized as a cooperative worker self-directed non-profit and are seeking entrepreneurial, energetic folks that enjoy dreaming & collaborating to build a more just economy. Each of our team members has a specific set of responsibilities while also participating in democratically run organizational circles split up into the following need areas:
- Marcomms (marketing + communications)
- Business Development & Fundraising
- Fund Development
- Portfolio Management
- Bank Licensing & Products
- Community Engagement
- Training & Education
- New Markets
This role is expected to participate in 2 circles during the 6-month consulting phase. Full time employees are required to participate in 3 circles minimum, which includes the circle they lead as part of their main role. The expectation is that everyone meets their role and responsibilities while also collectively supporting the work of each circle they are a part of. In addition to circle gatherings, the entire team meets every Friday for an all team general circle where we update each other and make decisions collectively.
Since the launch of RUNWAY’s initial Friends & Family Loan Funding Program in 2017, we have deployed $820,000 to 44 entrepreneurs in Oakland and Boston. Through our leadership as Fund Manager of the REAL People’s Fund, we have closed an additional $970,000 across a mix of equity investments, Friends & Family loans, and integrated capital grants to businesses in the Bay Area.
Building on the success and learning from these funds, RUNWAY is in the midst of a national expansion into Chicago and Alabama, in deep collaboration with our partner organization, Uptima Entrepreneur Cooperative. This national fund is being developed in partnership with place-based organizations, community-based financial institutions, grassroots movement partners, and mission-aligned investors. We are seeking an underwriter to support capital deployment in our current locations, with an opportunity to grow with us into new markers as we launch the national fund.
RUNWAY takes a non-extractive and trust-based approach to moving capital. Our programs are made up of following three pillars:
Holistic Business Support: Our program begins with advising to help the entrepreneur get ready to take on funding. This includes developing a robust and tested business and funding plan with clear financial projections. After receiving funding, entrepreneurs receive ongoing advising to improve operations, remain flexible through business pivots, and keep businesses thriving locally.
Non-Extractive Capital: We are not a bank, so we don’t operate like one. Our funding program is a collaborative process based on mission alignment, business preparedness, and strength of relationship through character-based underwriting. We don’t rely on credit scores or personal assets to make our investments. We operate with transparency, trust, and care.
Building Community Power: Power is created through collective action. Through ongoing organizing, training, and education, our goal is to create an empowering space for small businesses to build a progressive voice. Building upon our connections, stories, and lived experiences, we organize to imagine community-centered solutions that will shift power away from harm and towards long-term cultural, economic, and political change that benefits us all.
Traditional banks follow the 5 Cs of lending – Character, Cashflow / Capacity, Capital, Conditions, and Collateral. Here is the Runway approach to these 5 Cs (plus a 6th):
- We don’t look at credit score or college education as an indication of trustworthiness
- We do look at their relationship to the local business ecosystem, as well as how they show up in relationship with us, starting from pre-capital training or advising engagement.
Cashflow / Capacity
- We collaboratively and deeply work through their projections and business plan with them. We help them develop realistic projections, setting themselves up for success, while making sure the business is viable.
- Traditional banks want to see that entrepreneurs have self-invested in their business. We do NOT expect entrepreneurs of color to have invested a lot into their businesses due to acknowledgement of the racial wealth gap.
- We assess the types and amount of capital required to implement the proposed business plan
- We look deeply into the strengths and weaknesses of the entrepreneur’s business plan and strategy, as well as current market conditions, threats, and opportunities
- Traditional banks want to see that entrepreneurs have collateral assets in the event that they default on the loan and cannot pay it back.
- We do NOT require collateral due to acknowledgment of the racial wealth gap and the psychological harm caused when an entrepreneur of color has to sign away their only asset of a home or car.
- We are in collaboration with the entrepreneur each step of the way, meeting them where they are and connecting them to resources at all stages in the process.
- We release judgment and offer questions, insights, and suggestions wherever possible.
- Review prospective funding applications and identify additional information needed
- Engage in follow-up underwriting consultations with entrepreneurs to learn more about them, their business, goals, challenges, and financial picture
- Conduct financial analysis that includes analyzing personal financial statements, business financial statements, cash flow analysis, and ability to repay
- Prepare credit memos for funding pre-approvals and present proposals to credit committee
- Support management of local credit committees, and training for new credit committee members
- Inform entrepreneurs and financial institution partners of loan pre-approval decisions
- Work with back office administrators to support loan, investment, and grant closings
- Help maintain documentation of current credit, underwriting, and loan administration policies & practices
- Hand off entrepreneurs to business advising and community engagements teams
- Perform other duties as needed to support scaling our funding and portfolio management operations
- This role will initially focus on underwriting loans ($20,000-$250,000) and integrated capital grants for our active programs in the Bay Area.
- There are opportunities to expand into underwriting non-extractive equity investments for our Bay Area programs, and underwriting for new markets (Chicago and Alabama) as we launch the national fund.
- Runway is committed to providing training and ongoing professional development opportunities for this position
- Passionate about economic justice, disrupting traditional finance and extractive economies and building new economic models that grow community wealth for people of color
- Experience working in finance, small business lending, impact investment, or related fields.
- Experience working with entrepreneurs and/or running a business is a plus
- Exceptional team player committed to building a healthy and values driven culture, rooted in justice, collective liberation, and joy
- Basic understanding of accounting principles and financial statements
- Extremely organized, strong project management skills and keen attention to detail
- Excellent critical thinking, mathematical, and analytical skills
- Committed to excellence; comfortable giving and receiving feedback. Self-reflective and eager to learn
- Bachelor’s Degree is preferred, preferably in Business, Finance, Accounting, Economics, or a related field. 3-5 years of relevant work experience in a related community finance field may be substituted
- Proficient in Microsoft Office, G-suite, and ability to pick up new software programs quickly
- Strong verbal and written communication skills
- Multilingual in commonly spoken languages (Spanish) is a plus and folks with diverse gender and cultural identities are strongly encouraged to apply
Compensation and Benefits
Compensation: 6-month contracted role estimated at ten to twenty (10-20) hours per week, with the opportunity to grow into a full-time salaried position. We offer competitive compensation.
How to Apply
How to apply: Send resume and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org by 9am PST on February 6, 2023
RUNWAY is an equal opportunity employer and prohibits unlawful discrimination based on race, color, creed, gender, religion, marital status, registered domestic partner status, age, national origin or ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition including genetic characteristics, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, personal appearance, protected veteran status, or any other consideration made unlawful by federal, state, or local laws. It also prohibits unlawful discrimination against a person who is perceived to have any of those characteristics, or is associated with a person who has or is perceived as having any of those characteristics. African American and People of Color are strongly encouraged to apply.