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The Chicago Urban League works to achieve equity for Black families and communities through social and economic empowerment. The organization is an affiliate of the National Urban League, the nation’s oldest and largest community-based movement devoted to empowering African Americans to enter the economic and social mainstream. Founded in 1916 by an interracial group of community leaders, the Urban League was formed to help rural African Americans migrating from the south adjust to northern urban living. As one of the major civil rights organizations in Chicago, and one of the 98 affiliates of the National Urban League, the CUL is committed to supporting and advocating for economic, educational, and social equality for African Americans.

REPORTS TO: Chief Executive Officer

FLSA: Exempt

DEPARTMENT: Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation

As a part of the Chicago Urban League’s focus on building sustainable communities, providing opportunity, and creating measurable impact, the Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation of the Chicago Urban League is committed to connecting African Americans with opportunities to launch, grow, and sustain their businesses.

We empower emerging and existing entrepreneurs with the support of local and national partners who know the value and benefits of small businesses development.

The results of our work include the successful development of businesses, more African American-owned companies winning contracts, job creation, and a stronger local economy.


This position is responsible for strategic planning, organizing, and directing all phases of Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation programs, including but not limited to nextSTARTUP, nextLEVEL Exchange, nextINNOVATION, nextDEAL, pitchCRAFT, EC business development, consulting, and teaming programs. In addition to program and staff management, the individual is responsible for fiscal management, budgeting, marketing, and for being the external face of all programs in the department.


  • Creates programs and strategies to further the goals and mission of the department.
  • Develops relationships with community-based, faith-based and social service organizations within the community to further collaborative initiatives.
  • Determines types and levels of services to be provided and standards by which delivery will be evaluated.
  • Monitors and measures the overall successes of program and program participants.
  • Analyzes situations accurately and adopts effective courses of action; Selects, assigns, directs, and evaluates the performance of direct reports; oversees staff professional development and training programs.
  • Directly supervises EC staff in the completion of their job objectives.
  • Meet with funders related to program objectives
  • Develops and manages programmatic budgets
  • Performs other duties/special projects as assigned.


To perform the job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. Individual must be energetic and deeply committed to the programmatic goals.


Knowledge of federal, state, and local public social services programs and supporting legislation; operations of local government; budget preparation; principles and practices of performance measurement and process improvement; principles of public and private funding; public relations, community needs, and resources; or other similar human service practice and their impact on the Department’s programs; conflict resolution; principles and practices of organizational development.


This position requires a Bachelor’s degree and advance entrepreneurial certifications. At least five to seven years of significant and responsible program management in public social services or similar human services entity; or a combination of training, education, and experience is required. Experience in grant writing and contract administration is preferred.