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Organization Name:
LURN (Leadership for Urban Renewal Network)
Approximate Salary:
Not Specified
Los Angeles, California
United States
Position type:
Full Time
Experience level:
2 - 5 years
Education level:
Master's Degree

Associate, Economic Development

LURN is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to building sustainable communities through innovative urban planning strategies, advocacy, action-oriented research, and responsible development. Founded in 2008, the organization employs a multi-disciplinary approach to its work, creating spaces for new ideas, compiling research, supporting local entrepreneurs and leaders, and helping other organizations implement their innovations.


LURN administers a suite of economic development initiatives that provide resources to businesses and entrepreneurs in low-income neighborhoods. These initiatives include:

  • COMPRA Foods, a purchasing cooperative and distribution program managed in partnership with the LA Food Policy Council and API Forward Movement. COMPRA Foods aims to increase access to healthy and affordable foods in low-income neighborhoods by leveraging the collective purchasing power of small grocers and convenience stores in low-income neighborhoods of Los Angeles;
  • The Semi’a Fund, a micro-loan fund focused on providing low-interest loans to entrepreneurs In low-income neighborhoods. The Semi’a Fund focuses its outreach on entrepreneurs in the informal economy and other business owners who have an entrepreneurial vision but no access to capital. In addition to capital, the Semi’a Fund offers one-on-one coaching for its clients; and
  • The (Re)Store Fund, a micro-equity program that invests in businesses in low-income neighborhoods. In exchange for patient capital, LURN receives a minority stake in the business and leverages its networks and resources to help the business grow over time. Repayment of the investment is based on the performance of the business.

In addition to this work, LURN advocates for thoughtful urban policy such as the legalization of street vendors, and maintains a portfolio of clients through its mission-oriented consulting practice, LURN Advisors.

Position Overview

LURN is seeking an Associate to support LURN’s economic development initiatives. The Associate will primarily focus their efforts on: the COMPRA Foods initiative, a purchasing cooperative and distribution system for small grocers and the Semi’a Fund, a micro-loan fund for entrepreneurs in low-income neighborhoods. The Associate is a self-motivated, energetic individual, who will be working with a wide range of community members and program partners. The Associate will report to the Director of Programs and Operations and will work closely with LURN staff on other projects as necessary.

Primary Job Responsibilities


  • Create and implement a business development strategy to increase participation of businesses in COMPRA Foods;
  • Provide technical assistance to entrepreneurs on topics including pricing, branding & marketing, and product placement;
  • Maintain and collecting evaluation data; and  
  • Support other team members with COMPRA Foods logistics and operations.  

Semi’a Fund

  • Create and implement a business development strategy to identify potential borrowers;
  • Meet with potential borrowers to assess their compatibility to the fund’s mission;
  • Administer the loan program including, processing applications, preparing files and documents for loan committee review, notifying clients of loan committee decisions, completing loan contracts, and monitoring payments throughout the term of each loan;
  • Develop support systems to ensure successful repayment from borrowers;
  • Collect and track monthly client payments;
  • Provide business coaching and technical assistance to clients; and
  • Manage grant-reporting responsibilities as needed.

Other programmatic Support 

  • Assist in program-related research projects and outreach efforts;
  • Support the cultivation of a creative, productive environment with LURN staff and its partners; and
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Ideal candidates will have the following qualifications:

  • Master’s degree from an accredited university;
  • At least three years of experience in program implementation and evaluation;
  • Fluency in economic development and/or community-based finance;
  • Capability to work effectively with diverse audiences;
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills;
  • Written and verbal fluency in the Spanish language;
  • Valid driver’s license with reliable transportation;
  • Positive, upbeat attitude that supports LURN staff and its organizational partners; and
  • Commitment to LURN’s mission and interest in urban planning and economic development.


LURN offers a competitive salary commensurate with experience. A cover letter and resume should be submitted to [email protected] For more information on our organization, please visit