| June 10, 2024

Cooperative Business Consultant, Social Enterprise and Business Development

Guest Author

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Website The ICA Group

The ICA Group, a nonprofit dedicated to advancing businesses and institutions that center worker voice, grow worker wealth, and build worker power, seeks to hire up to 4 full-time Cooperative Business Consultants to develop, manage, and deliver on projects in the employee-owned business sector. Cooperative Business consultants will work with a team of consultants, analysts, and program staff. The work involves business consulting, research, development of tools, resources, and communications documents, and engaging in strategy to strengthen and grow the employee-owned business sector.

Cooperative Business Consultant(s) will ideally be located in either Western Massachusetts or New York City, however remote applicants will be considered. ICA employees have the option of working remotely or in-person at either our Northampton, Massachusetts office or our New York City office. This position requires occasional traveling within the United States.

About the ICA Group

The ICA Group is a leading expert on worker ownership and the oldest national organization dedicated to the development of worker cooperatives. We are a mission-driven nonprofit organized as a worker cooperative and are dedicated to bringing strategic analysis and industry-focused support to the worker ownership sector. Our work spans industries and geographies while maintaining a high level of rigor. Our business expertise is bolstered by a deep understanding of worker ownership and other worker-centered structures, and a commitment to serving low-wage workers and communities of color.

Qualities we are looking for:

  • Business planning and strategic analysis skills– Experience and familiarity with the business environment, industry analysis, and business and strategic planning work; ready to engage with clients to help evaluate and strengthen their businesses.
  • Financial analysis and data skills– Technical orientation and comfort with business financial statements, accounting, and large data sets. Experience with Excel is a must.
  • Relational skills– Ability to develop and foster strong client relationships. Active and intentional listener. Demonstrated team orientation and ability to provide and accept feedback. Strong diplomatic skills and judgment, ability to identify problems and ask hard questions with respect and discretion.
  • Communication skills (written and verbal)– Strong written and oral communication skills. Able to effectively and professionally represent the organization. Communicates through a variety of channels to meet team members where they are and how they best access and process information (written, verbal, document, Slack, text). Ability to communicate complex concepts in an accessible manner. Develops compelling presentations.
    Strategic thinker– Problem solver with a creative brain who is willing to think outside the box. Can synthesize learnings from previous experiences to meet challenges.

Key Responsibilities

The following are the core categories of responsibilities of an ICA Consultant. Within these responsibilities, the specifics of the role will vary somewhat by program team.

Financial, Business, and Other Technical Analysis (50%)

  • Provide technical assistance to operational and start-up business clients through the development of market studies, feasibility analyses, financial models, business valuations, operational assessments, business plans, and loan proposals
  • Evaluate business financial performance and trends of operating businesses; perform cost structure analysis and industry benchmarking; Build financial models, dashboards, and tools to help businesses assess performance and strategies
  • Conduct business valuations and discuss personal financial goals with business owners and employees as to evaluate feasibility of employee ownership transitions
  • Build databases through integration of diverse data sources and perform basic statistical analysis and identify trends
  • Conduct qualitative and quantitative research and data analysis, including industry and market studies, surveys, focus groups, and interviews
  • Provide support to clients in their interactions with accounting and legal professionals to help coordinate overall technical execution of cooperative incubation or cooperative conversion projects

Client/Project Management (20%)

  • Serve as a primary point of contact with ICA clients and stakeholders, representing the organization and coordinating the execution of projects and deliverables
  • Hold and strengthen relationships with key clients over time
  • Independently, plan, implement, and steer to completion large, complex projects over periods of 3-24+ months

Training/Coaching (20%

  • Participate in the development, promotion, coordination, and delivery of business resources, tools, trainings and workshops with internal and external stakeholders
  • Engage cooperative business owners in financial performance analysis through a coaching approach with participatory and open-book management techniques
  • Share and educate on cooperative governance and management systems with businesses and employees, working together to create and improve policies and practices; including training cooperatives on meeting facilitation, decision-making, and participatory engagement

ICA Organizational Development (10%)

  • Internally, help develop a growing organization by participating in organization-wide meetings and strategic planning, committee work (i.e., EDI, Education/Training, Governance, Staff Life), and building systems and procedures to help ICA thrive
  • Develop and disseminate program materials to support client and partner outreach, program promotion, and awareness of worker ownership among business, government, and industry stakeholders
  • Contribute to the ICA Group’s strategy and communications by developing consulting tools and resources, generating research from client work, and serving as a subject matter resource (ex. Prepare white papers, op eds, articles and blogs)
  • Identify and deliver insights from clients that will be broadly applicable to other areas of the ICA Group’s work

Minimum Requirements

General Experience:

  • 2+ years of highly relevant, transferable experience, including business consulting, business operations, research economic development, and/or community lending and underwriting.
  • Personal and intellectual commitment to systemic economic change and racial justice
  • Financial, Business, and Other Technical Analysis:
  • Excellent business financial analysis skills, including the ability to read and analyze financial statements, build financial models, and present recommendations to clients.
  • Excellent analytical and quantitative skills, including a strong, demonstrated ability to use digital tools (excel, CRMs etc.) to conduct data analysis and visualization
  • Ability to communicate complex concepts and information into accessible, compelling narratives and excellent writing skills
  • Client/Project Management
  • Comfort working in a self-directed environment and alongside a team
  • Ability to work well under pressure and independently manage multiple concurrent projects and deadlines
  • Training/Coaching
  • Outstanding interpersonal skills and a demonstrated ability to build relationships with diverse clients and stakeholders
    understanding and working knowledge of a coaching approach to leadership.
  • Additional Desired Capabilities
  • Bilingual in Spanish
  • Curriculum design experience
  • Experience with Learning Management Systems (LMS)
  • Excitement and interest in helping a growing organization scale effectively, and an enthusiastic interest in taking on new responsibilities and roles as this happens
  • Deep knowledge of the worker cooperative model from a legal, accounting, and/or organizational development standpoint

ID:0000132

To apply for this job please visit www.usworker.coop.