Human Resources

Small Business Navigator & Tribal Liaison

Apply now Job No: 24118
Department: Innovation & Commercialization
Work Type: Staff - Full Time
Location: Off Campus
Full Time / Part Time: Full Time
Categories: Business

Department: Innovation and Commercialization

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Michigan Technological University is an Equal Opportunity Educational Institution/Equal Opportunity Employer that provides equal opportunity for all, including protected veterans and individuals with disabilities.  

If you require any auxiliary aids, services, or other accommodations to apply for employment, or for an interview, at Michigan Technological University, please notify the Human Resources office at 906-487-2280 or

Job Description Summary

Small Business Navigator will provide strategic guidance and support to local startups. This role is pivotal in fostering a thriving business community by offering in-depth consulting and facilitating growth and development opportunities within assigned counties. (Baraga County, Keweenaw Bay Tribe, and Hannahville Tribe)

Essential Duties & Responsibilities (other duties may be assigned)

  1. Consulting and Coaching Duties
    • Actively guide and encourage clients through targeted questioning and reflection, to improve their leadership, decision-making and business acumen.
    • Provide one-on-one consultations to entrepreneurs and small business owners, focusing on developing business plans, strategies, marketing, product/service delivery, and financial planning.
    • Offer advice and resources for navigating legal and regulatory requirements for small businesses.
    • Build meaningful connections with stakeholders through timely, transparent and effective communication.
  2. Navigator Specific Duties:
    • Be available to small businesses in their assigned territory a minimum of 36 hours a week (unless on PTO)
    • Travel directly to small businesses in their area on a regular (at least quarterly) basis
    • Proactively build relationships with businesses and economic development organizations in their territory
    • Continually learn and engage in professional development opportunities to better perform their role
    • Host trainings, networking, and other events as determined to be most impactful in each county (minimum of one per calendar quarter)*
    • Meet county-level targets established by the Hub, including reporting to a centralized system
    • Recommend actions for marketing the Hub in assigned counties.
    • Attend Hub Advisory Council meetings as asked by HUB Coordinator
    • Assist the Hub Coordinator with small business grants in their coverage area
    • Work directly with an assigned intern from the NMU Main Street Academy
    • Navigator will be required to work with tribal governmental offices to develop relationships that facilitate tribal business development
  3. Administrative Duties:
    • Track all business engagements and interactions in Salesforce CRM.
    • Document and monitor client progress, ensuring accountability and measuring intervention effectiveness.
  4. Commit to learning about continuous improvement strategies and applying them to everyday work. Actively engage in University continuous improvement initiatives.
  5. Apply safety-related knowledge, skills, and practices to everyday work.

Required Education, Certifications, Licensures (minimum requirements)

  • Bachelor’s degree in Entrepreneurship, Business Administration, Marketing, Accounting or related field; or equivalent experience (including small business ownership).

Required Experience (minimum requirements)

  • Minimum of 3-5 years of experience in small business development, consulting, or ownership.
  • Minimum of 3-5 years experience working with tribal governmental offices or outreach programs to tribal small businesses.

Desirable Education and/or Experience

  • Bachelors or Associate Degree in Business Administration, Marketing, Accounting,

Required Knowledge, Skills, and/or Abilities (minimum requirements)

  • Exceptional interpersonal skills and the ability to communicate effectively with a diverse range of individuals.
  • Self-motivated with the ability to work independently, prioritize effectively, and manage multiple projects.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite and customer relationship management software (CRM), or ability to learn.
  • Apply safety-related knowledge, skills, and practices to everyday work.

Desirable Knowledge, Skills, and/or Abilities

  • Demonstrated success in, or potential future contributions to, working with persons from diverse backgrounds, creating a sense of belonging, and fostering a fair, objective, welcoming place to work for persons with a wide variety of personal characteristics and viewpoints.

Work Environment and/or Physical Demands

  • WORK ENVIRONMENT: Position requires travel to remote offices daily. Work stations may vary in environmental controls and noise levels. Travel away from home may be required weekly.

Required Training and Other Conditions of Employment

Every employee at Michigan Technological University will receive the following 4 required trainings; additional training may be required by the department.

Required University Training:

  • Employee Safety Overview

  • Anti-Harassment, Discrimination, Retaliation Training

  • Annual Data Security Training 

  • Annual Title IX Training

Background Check:

Offers of employment are contingent upon and not considered finalized until the required background check has been performed and the results received and assessed.

Other Conditions of Employment:

Please note that successful applicants are responsible for ensuring their eligibility to work in the United States (i.e. a citizen or national of the United States, a lawful permanent resident, a foreign national authorized to work in the United States without the need of an employer sponsorship) on or before the effective date of your appointment, and maintain eligibility without sponsorship throughout your appointment.

Michigan Technological University is an Equal Opportunity Educational Institution/Equal Opportunity Employer that provides equal opportunity for all, including protected veterans and individuals with disabilities

Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) % (1=100%)


FLSA Status


Pay Rate/Salary

Negotiable Based on Experience (No Less than $55,000)

Title of Position Supervisor

Associate Regional Director SBDC

Posting Type

Internal & External

Dependent on Funding


Additional Information

Contract Start Date: 05/01/2024 

Contract End Date: 08/30/2026

Required Education, Certifications, Licensures* (minimum requirements)

Advertised: Eastern Daylight Time
Applications close:

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