Founded as Good Work Network in 2001, Go.Be. is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that supports minority- and women-owned businesses with revenue ranging between $150k and $1M, providing them with the tools and access to resources and networks they need to grow and be prosperous. Go.Be. is motivated by the belief that when all small business owners have equal access to what they need to succeed and prosper, we will have a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable economy that ensures minority- and women-owned businesses have equal opportunity to grow and create sustainable intergenerational wealth.
Well-known and respected in the community for 20 years, Go.Be. provides a supportive learning environment where it is safe for entrepreneurs to share their ambitions, achievements, and challenges. Their compassionate coaches and relatable mentors provide an extended community of support. And as a second-generation nonprofit, Go.Be. understands firsthand the small business owner’s entrepreneurial journey.
Go.Be.’s work environment is characterized by mutual respect and collaboration. The leaders and staff are passionate, honest, self-starters, committed, highly talented, professional, nurturing, and flexible in meeting the needs of their clients. All staff contribute toward decision-making and the administration of the programs. It is an environment where the staff tests hypotheses and evaluates, tweaks, implements, or discards depending upon the results.
Go.Be. provides business development services to a client base that is 45% African American and 78% female. Go.Be. offers their expertise in three ways:
From its inception, Go.Be. has assisted more than 6,000 individuals, helped create or sustain over 5,000 jobs, and assisted clients in obtaining over $70M in contract awards.
With a solid financial base and longstanding collaborative donor relationships, Go.Be. has promising opportunities that await the right person to seize; it has a good core structure and is future-focused with the opportunity to continue to experiment and innovate.
The organization is stable financially, with a healthy income stream and multiple local, national, and governmental funders. Nevertheless, the organization recognizes the importance of continuing to diversify its funding base.
When Go.Be. began 20 years ago, there were two other entrepreneur entrepreneurial support organizations in the New Orleans ecosystem – the Urban League was just starting its entrepreneurship program in New Orleans, and the federally-funded Small Business Development Center was based at a local university. Since that time, at least six new organizations have come into existence. Some have supported entrepreneurs of color, but that market has increasingly emerged as a trending focus area. Therefore, Go.Be. must continue to be innovative with its products and services to remain competitive.
The opportunity for Go.Be. to increase its public profile is significant. Participation in national cohort programs, such as Resource II, and membership in the Black Innovation Alliance provide a good foundation for continued national growth. As an experienced and respected community institution, there are ample opportunities for Go.Be. to contribute to policy formation and analysis that levels the playing field for small businesses and to develop women and minority-owned businesses as advocates for their interests. Because Go.Be. recently re-branded itself, opportunities remain to increase its brand awareness.
Another opportunity is continuing to increase Go.Be.’s geographic market, reaching beyond New Orleans. This was a business model that began in response to the unique challenges of the pandemic when Go.Be. had to shift to online services that provided the opportunity to reach a larger audience beyond businesses based in the New Orleans region. At the same time, Go.Be. is in New Orleans and must balance its focus on local issues as it expands geographically. Go. Be.’s next director will need to continue to focus on maintaining the organization’s financial stability by developing relationships with key funders and developing new sources of revenue.
There is an opportunity to cultivate leadership and engagement within the organization, the staff, and its Board of Directors. The staff is universally respected for its professionalism, competence, integrity, and passion. There is an opportunity to further support the staff in its professional growth and development to become leaders within the organization and in the larger community.
The new Executive Director must be passionate about economic inclusion and supporting the growth of minority- and women-owned small businesses. The ideal candidate will have proven experience working in the nonprofit sector, either as a nonprofit executive or extensive service experience on nonprofit boards. The next Executive Director should be a visionary, entrepreneurial and strategic thinker. The successful candidate will be able to demonstrate by their prior experience a genuine commitment to the mission of Go.Be.
Although Go.Be. is now reaching an audience beyond the New Orleans region, the new Executive Director must maintain an active presence within the New Orleans ecosystem.
The ideal candidate will be able to demonstrate from their experience and in their presentation that they possess these skills and attributes:
The next Go.Be. director must demonstrate a strong ability to work with others. They will be willing to be hands-on with day-to-day operations and be able to motivate staff and clients. They must be able to provide leadership that fosters the opportunity for staff to be engaged in shaping the future of the organization. They will be able to improve efficiency to maximize the use of Go.Be.’s resources. They will develop effective and creative approaches to achieving Go.Be.’s mission. They must be able to establish strong relationships with stakeholders, especially funders, donors, and partner organizations, and the ability to foster trust in all aspects of the organization’s work.
Go.Be., as is true for many post-pandemic organizations, has become very reliant upon technology to deliver its message and services. The new director will be comfortable using and expanding the use of online technology.
The ideal candidate will be able to demonstrate how they have been entrepreneurial in their professional life, either in a for-profit or nonprofit setting. They will have real-life experience with business development and appreciation for what is required to sustain successful customer service. The new Executive Director must have the vision to see beyond the now to what is possible and can execute effectively on that vision. They will have the ability to innovate and take occasional risks for the sake of progress. They must be strategic and able to make difficult decisions, with an ability to discern the difference between aspiration and reality. They will be known for accomplishing what is promised. They will be a person of integrity.
The successful candidate will have meaningful experience working in the nonprofit sector and a demonstrable aptitude to raise funds. Accordingly, they must demonstrate significant success with fund development and building trusting, effective relationships with funders from the philanthropic and government sectors as well as individual donors. They will demonstrate how they have been effective stewards of these resources.
They must also have demonstrated experience working effectively and meaningfully engage with nonprofit board members.
Go.Be.’s director will be widely known for effective communication within the organization and in the larger community. They will be outgoing and personally engaging. They will have a demonstrated ability to build effective external partnerships and expand the Go.Be. brand.
External Partnership Cultivation
Finally, Go.Be. values diversity within the organization that reflects the diversity of the clients and community it serves. Candidates from diverse backgrounds and those with a demonstrated ability to work well across all racial, gender, and socio-economic lines are encouraged to apply.