Lead Center North Coast SBDC

Center Director, North Coast Small Business Development Center

Cal Poly Humboldt Sponsored Programs Foundation Job Announcement

This is not a state position

Job Title: Center Director, North Coast Small Business Development Center (SBDC)
Location: Eureka, CA
Hours: Full Time, 12 months/year
Salary: Starting at $87,000 – 93,000/year DOE, Exempt
Project: Northern California Small Business Development Center (Norcal SBDC)
Supervisor: Executive Director, Norcal SBDC


The North Coast Small Business Development Center (North Coast SBDC) provides business assistance services across California’s northwestern region of Humboldt, Del Norte and Adjacent Tribal Lands. Primary activities include business information & referral, business workshops and learning programs, and one-to-one business advising services with individual entrepreneurs. The center works with over 500 businesses each year.

Funding for this program comes primarily from the federal Small Business Administration (SBA), and the California Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GO-Biz), along with other state and private grants. CalPoly Humboldt University’s Sponsored Programs Foundation has hosted Northern California’s regional (NorCal) SBDC program since January 2006.


Under the general supervision of the NorCal SBDC Executive Director, the North Coast Center Director is responsible for managing and directing the functions of the North Coast SBDC. This position oversees 2-4 staff members and 15-20 contract consultants and is responsible for developing, implementing and evaluating programs that provide business advising and training to small business owners. Work also includes fiscal management, grant and contract administration, some fundraising, and a high level of interface with the public. The Center Director will represent the SBDC program at a local and regional level within the economic development and business communities. This position requires some travel throughout northern California. The ideal candidate will be a self-motivated, strategic, and resourceful leader who has impeccable communication skills, and is committed to equity of access and opportunity for the region’s current and future business owners.

The job offers a competitive benefits package including retirement, group health, dental, and vision. Schedule is 40 hours per week, Monday through Friday, with frequent evening and occasional weekend hours. While continuation of this position is foreseen for years to come, all NorCal and North Coast SBDC positions are contingent on continued federal and state funding. This is not a state or federal position.



Strategy, Programs & Services

  • Establish relationships across the economic development and business communities to ensure SBDC’s programs and services are strategic, innovative, and relevant.
  • Convene a local SBDC Advisory Council to help set priorities.
  • Plan, develop, manage, and evaluate the delivery of high quality services to small businesses and entrepreneurs in Humboldt, Del Norte, and Adjacent Tribal Lands– including client information & referrals, confidential business advising, and developing and/or delivering training workshops as appropriate.
  • Promote North Coast SBDC activities through a full range of marketing and outreach tactics, focusing on attracting clients and engaging stakeholders.
  • Develop a strategy for engaging and supporting clients from historically underrepresented and excluded groups, including Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC); Low and Moderate Income entrepreneurs; Hispanohablante (Spanish-speaking) clients; Women; LGBTQ+ people; and others as appropriate.

Operations & Management

  • Help North Coast SBDC meet or exceed annual performance objectives.
  • Manage the Center budget and resource allocation in line with state and federal contract requirements.
  • Analyze and monitor the SBDC activities, costs, and operations to determine progress toward goals. Prepare ad hoc, quarterly and annual program reports.
  • Negotiate and ensure compliance with independent consultant and partner service delivery contracts.
  • Supervise, train and evaluate the performance of staff and independent contractors serving as SBDC business advisors.
  • Conduct regular staff and advisor meetings.
  • Create, deploy and manage a work plan for the North Coast SBDC Center that correlates to the Northern California SBDC regional strategic plan. Participate on regional strategic planning committees.

Community Partnerships

  • Undertake regular engagement within business, economic development, and finance/lending communities.
  • Act in an entrepreneurial manner to create opportunities and build resources for the North Coast SBDC the small businesses it serves.
  • Initiate, build and maintain relationships with key stakeholders to include city and county economic development entities.
  • Collaborate with community partners and other SBDCs to develop and run training events, conferences, incubators, and other strategic activities.

System Coordination

  • Work in coordination with NorCal SBDC’s regional headquarters and SBDC’s fiscal sponsor CalPoly Sponsored Programs Foundation.
  • Attend regional SBDC meetings and events held throughout Northern California. Represent the North Coast service region’s interests in regional SBDC planning activities.
  • Other duties as assigned.


  • Familiarity with rural small business markets and how to help small businesses start and grow.
  • Strong public speaking ability.
  • Demonstrated ability to plan and execute a variety of events (large and small).
  • Experience using Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Dropbox and Google Docs, and one or more types of client or customer databases.
  • Ability to direct, supervise, plan and evaluate work of staff.
  • Strong project management, time management, and performance management skills.
  • Ability to develop strong relationships and work with senior level executives.
  • Ability to work effectively as part of a management team.
  • Ability to prepare clear, concise and timely reports and correspondence.
  • Prior experience creating and managing budgets.
  • Experience or willingness to learn institutional fundraising.


Preference will be given to candidates who demonstrate many of the following:

  • Prior experience working for a Small Business Development Center or similar program.
  • Prior direct business consulting, training or teaching experience.
  • Prior experience working within the business community, economic development programs, and/or small business ownership.
  • Prior experience managing nonprofit or economic development programs.



  • A Bachelor’s degree in business, economics, education, communications, or a closely related field; or an equivalent combination of education and experience. Master’s Degree a plus.
  • At least five years of management-level experience.
  • Must possess a valid California driver’s license.
  • Must be able and willing to travel overnight multiple times per year.


Qualified applicants should submit the following items via email to

  1. Cover letter
  2. Résumé
  3. Three professional reference contacts
  4. Cal Poly Humboldt SPF Employee Information Form for Applicants

Position will remain open until filled. Apply before 8 am on March 20th, 2023 to be included in the first round of application reviews.

Cal Poly Humboldt Sponsored Programs Foundation is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex including sexual orientation and gender identity, national origin, disability, protected Veteran Status, or any other legally protected status. More information about Cal Poly Humboldt SPF’s Equal Employment Opportunity hiring can be found here.

For assistance with the application process, please submit an Accommodation Request Form, which can be found here or contact ADA Coordinator at 707.826.3626 or confidential fax at 707.826.3625. For more information regarding accommodation, you may also visit the Cal Poly Humboldt Human Resources website at Individuals in need of a telecommunications relay service may contact the California Relay Service at 877.735.2929 TT