Job Opportunity: Rural Ecosystem Navigator

The Central Virginia Small Business Development Center (CV SBDC) is an energetic and dedicated team of business professionals that work together to support small business success. We and our host organization, Community Investment Collaborative (CIC), collaborate with state, federal and local partners to bring confidential, one-on-one assistance and resources to entrepreneurs, free of charge. Our CIC / CV SBDC family is seeking a Rural Ecosystem Navigator / part-time (10-20 hours/week) to join our team. This role will work remotely with a primary connection to the Charlottesville-based CIC and SBDC office at 300 Preston Avenue.

We are seeking a diverse workforce and are actively recruiting candidates in accordance with diversity, inclusion, and equal opportunity practices.

Job Description:

The Rural Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Navigator position is a part-time professional position responsible for cultivating partnerships through community outreach and raising awareness of entrepreneurial activities throughout Central Virginia. This role will focus on the counties of Culpeper, Orange, Rappahannock, Fauquier, Madison, Louisa, Greene, Fluvanna, and Nelson. The position will work to improve community knowledge of the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and establish relationships with businesses, individuals, and other organizations interested in supporting entrepreneurs. The role is anticipated to average 10- 20 hours per week and works remotely with a primary connection to the Charlottesville-based CIC and SBDC office at 300 Preston Avenue. This can be a staff or contractor position.

This position is an employee of Community Investment Collaborative and reports to the Director of the Central Virginia Small Business Development Center (CV SBDC – which serves the counties of Culpeper, Fluvanna, Nelson, Greene, Louisa, Madison, Orange, and Rappahannock) and the Director of the Laurel Ridge Small Business Development Center (LR SBDC – which serves Fauquier County.) This position is supported by the Rural Ecosystem Builder, operating under a GO Virginia grant.

Community Investment Collaborative (CIC):
CIC’s mission is to strengthen our community and contribute to economic development by fueling the success of under-resourced entrepreneurs through education, mentoring, financing, and networking. CIC is the host and fiscal agent of CV SBDC.

Virginia Small Business Development Centers:
The Virginia SBDCs are accredited members of America’s SBDCs. Regional SBDC offices, like LR SBDC and CV SBDC, are supported by the Small Business Administration, George Mason University, Virginia SBDC, and regional sponsors and donors in the communities in which they serve. Our team is dedicated to serving entrepreneurs throughout the life cycle of business, from startup through international expansion.


Within the limits of the CIC’s programs, policies, procedures, and budget, the Rural Ecosystem Navigator is responsible for and has authority to perform the duties listed below:

    • Connect and nurture relationships with entrepreneurs, connecting them to entrepreneur support resources throughout the region
    • Act as a point of contact, as needed, for potential entrepreneurs and business owners throughout the region
    • Identify potential mentors, sponsors, and locally-based subject matter experts
    • Identify, cultivate and support local champions in each county and in target industry sectors including Finance and Business Services, Food & Beverage Manufacturing, IT, Communications and Light Manufacturing
    • Support the development and launch of business circles in target industry sectors as needed
    • Support activities of CIC and Central Virginia SBDC as needed
    • Track activities and metrics for required grant reporting
    • Self-starter with the ability to manage goals, time, and deadlines effectively
    • Comfort with conducting outreach and “knocking on doors” with the ability to start, cultivate, and guide connections with entrepreneurs who are generally disconnected from regional entrepreneur service organizations (ESOs)
    • Highly organized and detail-oriented (reporting and tracking required)
    • Excellent written and oral communication skills
    • Proficiency in Google Workspace and Microsoft Office Suite
    • Flexibility to work evenings and weekends for occasional event attendance
    • Personal or professional connection to one or more counties in Central Virginia, including counties Culpeper, Orange, Madison, Fauquier, Rappahannock, Louisa, Fluvanna, Nelson, or Greene Counties
    • Ability to coordinate or lead meetings, including public speaking
    • Knowledge of the entrepreneurial life cycle and how businesses work
    • Connection to one or more targeted industry sectors: Finance and Business Services, Food & Beverage Manufacturing, IT, Communications, and Light Manufacturing

Training will be offered. This is a professional role representing, and performing outreach on behalf of, regional ecosystem builders that are supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration. Significant outreach (cold calling) and travel are anticipated. Mileage is reimbursed beyond a 10-mile office radius. Reliable transportation is the responsibility of the employee.
The salary range for this 1⁄2 time position is $27,500 – $35,000, depending on level of expertise. If less than 20 hours is sought by an accepted applicant, this may be a contracted (rather than staff) position.

To apply:

To apply, please email a cover letter, resume, and three references to Mesa McMurtrey at

We don’t expect all applicants to have every listed qualification. If you would like to explore in a conversation if you might be a good fit, please contact Mesa McMurtrey at or 434-295-8198. We are happy to discuss the minimum qualifications to succeed in the role before you take the time to submit your application. The CV SBDC team is committed to inclusiveness and accessibility including readiness to train the right candidate for the position.

Deadline for application submissions is May 10, 2024.

If you prefer, you can view the position details as a PDF here: Rural Ecosystem Navigator | Job Description