Business Advisor - ND Small Business Development Center

Grand Forks, ND
May 12, 2021
Employment Type
Full Time
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution
Position Information: Description

The UND Center for Business Engagement and Development is an internal umbrella department at UND for the North Dakota Small Business Development Centers (ND SBDC) program, the North Dakota Procurement Technical Assistance Center program (ND PTAC) and the Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC) of the Dakotas program. These programs are federal-state-local partnership programs that provide training and technical assistance to North Dakota’s entrepreneurs and businesses through geographically-dispersed service centers across the state (ND SBDC), offices in Bismarck and Fargo (ND PTAC) and offices at UND (VBOC).  The Lead Center (‘State Office’) and its staff are located in Gamble Hall at UND and provide leadership, supervision, service and support for these programs that are part of the North Dakota Business Development Network, and communicates and coordinates with partner entities, stakeholders and other parties, including UND departments and personnel.

ND SBDC Business Advisors execute the mission, vision, and values of the ND SBDC Network. They provide professional business advising and technical assistance to entrepreneurs and small business owners or managers in all facets of starting, managing and growing a small business.  These positions also may assist with program marketing, stakeholder relations and local-match funds development within their assigned region, and for representing ND SBDC within their region at various functions and events.  Business Advisors are accountable for ND SBDC goals and milestones assigned to their Center and may be called upon to complete or assist with special projects and efforts involving the network, their region or Center, including market research or client research to understand and help to meet client and other stakeholder needs. These positions are created, implemented and continued based on funding available from an annual SBA Cooperative Agreement award grant and any additional funding provided by other funding sources or special project funds.

Duties & Responsibilities

Provide one-on-one individualized business advising and technical assistance to entrepreneurs and small business owners or managers in all facets of starting, managing and growing a small business. 

  • Client needs may require some evening or weekend appointments in person or by phone or e-mail or travel from the regional center to a client’s business location in the region. A valid driver’s license and reliable transportation are required for this purpose.
  • Develop and provide high quality expertise to entrepreneurs, business owners, and business managers in all facets of starting, managing and growing a small business, topic areas to include, but are not limited to: analyzing the specific business and industry data in finance, marketing, management and operations, market feasibility, financial viability, supporting the development of business plans and financial packages, calculating and interpreting historical and projected financial ratios, preparing pro forma cash flow and financial statements; troubleshooting to identify problems and areas for improvement, operations management and legal structures

  • Deploy team-based advising practices when appropriate and connect program clients to other appropriate resources when the need arises

  • Maintain accurate, complete, timely and confidential client files in Center IC database for review and reporting

  • Utilize technology and tools, including SBDCNet, Bizminer, VerticalIQ, BRG, and other reputable databases/resources, and also seek new tools to meet client and program needs

  • Obtain feedback from clients regarding services provided, including satisfaction, impacts and success

    Identify other technical assistance providers that support the growth of small business and utilize those services as appropriate for client success

Center administration and program management support

  • Participate in beneficial committees, special projects, and attend small business industry events to meet existing and potential clients and foster referrals from support network and private sector assistance providers.

  • Assist with organizing and promoting high quality collaborative business training programs that are responsive to the needs of the business community served Support Center Director in preparation for and presentations on small business topics and center services at business and civic meetings.

  • Serve as an advocate of business development, expansion, and retention in the defined service area, thereby becoming a visible leader in the local business community, working collaboratively with Chambers of Commerce, Economic Development Offices, Regional Councils, and business incubators in the designated region to further the economic well-being of ND citizens

  • Support activities to ensure the center meets or exceeds annual goals and milestones and operates in compliance with program and network policies and procedures, that activities align with the mission of the ND SBDC, and prevent mission creep and activities that are not aligned with network strategy and goals.

  • When necessary, ensure plans are in place for the continued operation of the center and coverage of client projects in the case of a planned or unplanned absence

  • Understand and comply with the network’s code of professional conduct, conflict of interest policies, client confidentiality requirements, and high level of ethical standards and educational or host organization’s policies

  • As appropriate, network with other SBDCs, PTACs, VBOCs and relevant stakeholders to both learn and promote the programs

  • Actively participate and contribute as a member of the department team, including monthly conference calls and quarterly meetings

  • Assist ND SBDC Lead Center, program and network with special projects or other activities as requested by supervisor

Professional Development

    Maintain professional and technical knowledge by attending educational workshops, conferences, reviewing professional publications, establishing personal networks, and participating in professional societiesSeek, identify, obtain and share professional development training to improve job performance and enable understanding and advancement of program, regional service offerings and client success, maintaining alignment with strategic plan, goals, and budgeted fundingContinuously research emerging trends, and best practices in all areas of responsibilityKeep abreast of program guidelines, policy changes and new developments related to the program
Required Competencies
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, including public speaking (in front of large and diverse audiences)

  • Able to handle multiple assignments, organize work, prioritize and complete tasks/projects with minimal supervision and must be self-motivated

  • Business Planning & Strategic Planning

  • Financial Analysis, Accounting, and Marketing 

  • Access to capital (ID sources, financing strategies, creating loan proposals, understanding VPV, IRR, amortization, leases, and credit scoring)

  • Demonstrate effective communication skills, including: written skills, active listening, effective client interviewing using open ended questions, attention to detail, creative problem solving, and the ability to handle difficult people.

  • Possess the ability to prioritize, organize, coordinate and complete complex tasks using independent judgment, attention to detail, accuracy and speed

  • Must be able to build strong relationships with people from diverse backgrounds and who have a variety of language and administrative skills and be willing to look at situations from several points of view

  • Demonstrated desire to learn, and the ability to take constructive criticism, make changes and grow

  • Must be able to maintain sensitive and confidentiality of information, with no exceptions

  • Work independently within a cohesive program team, and a collaborative network focused on the same goals

  • Demonstrated commitment to professionalism, client satisfaction, and a high regard for others and completing tasks on time

  • Ability to learn new database/MIS systems quickly, is comfortable with emerging office technologies

Minimum Requirements
  • Bachelor’s degree in business administration, entrepreneurship, or management.

  • Two years full-time verifiable experience that is relevant to this position and its multi-faceted responsibilities

  • Advanced Excel skills showing a mastery over formulas, and other Excel features for handling complex tasks.

  • Proficient experience with the operations of computers and software, conference call and webinar applications

  • Experience with exceptional customer service and satisfaction for both internal and external stakeholders

  • Experience budget management and data management

  • Certified Business Advisor (must be obtained within one year of employment start)

  • Must be able to travel, overnights will be required

  • Valid driver's license

  • Successful completion of a criminal history background check

In compliance with federal law, all persons hired will be required to verify identity and eligibility to work in the US and to complete the required employment eligibility verification form upon hire.

Preferred Qualifications
  • Master’s Degree in Business or another closely related field

  • Professional business advising certification (CBA), economic development finance professional (EDFP) certification, or another relevant certification

  • Prior experience with entrepreneurial programs, small business programs, and/or economic development programs.

  • Prior experience in small business ownership, management, and/or operations

  • Prior business consulting/advising/coaching experience

  • Previous experience with an SBDC network

  • Previous experience with the Center IC database

Minimum Hiring Salary/Position Classification

Commensurate with experience, Exempt, Full-Time, Benefited

Work Schedule/Start Date

Start date as soon as possible. Work schedule is generally Mon-Fri from 8-5, but some evening and weekend time will be required on occasion for events or travel.


Includes single or family health care coverage (premiums paid for by the university), basic life insurance, EAP, retirement plan, tuition waiver, annual and sick leave. Optional benefits available: supplemental life, dental, vision, flexible spending account, supplemental retirement plans.

To Apply

This position is open until filled.

Additional Information

To find out why living and working in Greater Grand Forks is way cooler, check out Grand Forks is Cooler.

All information listed in this position announcement will be used by Human Resources, the Hiring Department, and EO/Title IX for screening, interviewing and selection purposes.

Confidentiality of Application Materials

Pursuant to NDCC 44-04-18.27, applications and any records related to the applications that identify an applicant are confidential, except records related to the finalists of the position, which are open to the public after the search committee has identified the top three finalists who will be invited to campus.

EEO Statement

The University of North Dakota is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or other protected characteristic. Women, minorities, veterans, individuals with disabilities, and members of other underrepresented groups are especially encouraged to apply. Applicants are invited to provide information regarding their gender, race and/or ethnicity, veteran’s status and disability status as part of the application process. This information will remain confidential and separate from your application.

Veteran’s Preference

Veterans claiming preference must submit all proof of eligibility by the closing date. Proof of eligibility includes a DD-214 or NGB 22 and if claiming disabled status, a current letter of disability from the VA dated within the last 12 months.

Clery Statement

In compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, the University of North Dakota publishes an Annual Security and Fire Safety Report. The report includes the university’s policies, procedures, and programs concerning safety and security, as well as three years’ of crime statistics for our campus. As a prospective employee, you are entitled to a copy of this report. The report and statistical data can be found online at You may also request a paper copy of the report from the UND Police Department located at 3851 Campus Road, Grand Forks, ND, 58202.

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