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We’re Hiring: Development and Administrative Assistant

Development and Administrative Assistant

African Economic Development Solutions (AEDS) (www.aeds-mn.org), a nonprofit that serves
African immigrants in Twin Cities Metropolitan area build wealth, is seeking an experienced Administrative assistant. It provides business plan training, financial literacy education, loan access, business consulting, home ownership education, and creative place-making.

Location: Twin Cities Metro
Activity Area: Economic Development
Category: Administrative Assistant
Job Type: Full Time (40Hrs per week)
Salary: $39,000.00-$41,000.00

Responsibilities: performing administrative and communication duties for the organization
including preparing and reviewing correspondence, reports, scheduling and coordinating
meetings and appointments, event planning, providing customer service, copying, scanning,
filing, answering phones, greeting visitors and coordinating administrative support services.

Development Associate

60% of time
• In consultation with the Development and compliance manager, creates a development
plan and a comprehensive annual giving program.
• Prepares annual fundraising goals for the organization including objectives.
• Prepare thorough and timely call reports on all assessment, cultivation, solicitation,
stewardship and sponsorship for events.
• Work with development and compliance manager to identify and prioritize special
opportunities or needs for major gift fundraising.
• Maintain an ongoing list of funding opportunities and research for new donors.
• Work on the GiveMN “Give to the Max Day” and other online fundraising program to
increase revenue and number of donors each year.
• Identify potential donors to meet identified priorities.
• Conduct discovery calls and outreach to qualify new and prospective donors for
assignment to development and compliance manager.
• Conduct cultivations calls to invite donors to meet with President and CEO.
• Meet weekly with development and compliance program manager.
Administrative/marketing Assistant

40% of time
• Handles organization communication such as website, Facebook, twitter, Instagram,
newsletter, and YouTube.
• Data entry and retrieve as requested by President and CEO.
• Prepare and send staff, board, and committee agenda.
• Prepare board reports and packets, schedule board and committee meeting.
• Manage and maintain schedule of President and CEO.
• Assists in the development and distribution of organization communication materials.
• Open, sort, and distribute correspondence such as email, mail, and fax.
• Maintains and retaining files and keeping inventory.
• Carries out other duties as assigned.

Experience:
• Associates Degree in a business administration or bachelor’s degree in a related field or 2
years of experience in an administrative
• Two years of annual fund development experience preferred.
• Experience communicating with donors.
• Strong ability to execute strategies to achieve development revenue goals.
• Strong oral and written communication skills required with a demonstrated ability to
communicate with donors in person or via phone, email, mail, etc.
• Managing multiple tasks/ projects with competing priorities and deadlines.
• Proficient in excel, words, outlook, and publisher.
• Excellent verbal, written, and interpersonal and communication skills.
• Bilingual (knowledge of at least one African language is preferred but not required)

Additional Info:
Work schedule: M-F 8:00-4:30 pm, 40 hours/week with some occasional evening and weekends.

How to Apply: Send resume with cover letter to hr@aeds-mn.org

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We’re Hiring: Director of Operation

Director of Operation

Job Description
AEDS mission is building wealth within African immigrant communities. Our work is guided by our value of entrepreneurship, cultural intelligence, innovation and art and culture informed economic development strategy. For more information at www.aeds-mn.org.

The Director Operation is a position that supports the ongoing growth and development of the organization with lead/main responsibility for operation. AEDS is an independent, nonprofit organization since 2008, provide business development training, technical assistance, financial literacy, homeownership education, workforce development, and creative placemaking programs.

Location: Twin Cities Metro Activity Area: Economic Development
Category: Director of Operation Closing Date:
Job Type: Full Time (40Hrs per week) Salary: Commensurate qualification

POSITION SUMMARY
This position is designed to oversee all fiduciary and administrative task of African Economic Development Solutions. The director of operation serves the office of President and CEO and report to the President and CEO. Director of Operation assist the president and CEO and the leadership team and oversees a range of internal organizational operations, including financial systems and budgeting, contracts, human resources, and information systems. The Director of Operations works very closely with the Director of Programs and the President and CEO. Assists the President and CEO in management functions.

The director of operation is an executive leader with track record of overseeing programs and operation and committed to the mission and value of AEDS and commitment to serve diverse African immigrant communities. The director of operation oversees the operation of the organization, tract the strategic goals, outcomes using dashboard, marketing and communication, and evaluate the programs delivery.

Key Responsibilities:

Program Oversight
• Provide leadership and direction for the overall service delivery and organization operation.
• Oversee directors and operation of the organization and support the team.
• Develop and track organization workplan in line with its goals.
• Develop Provide overall direction for programs and day to day operation of the organization.
• In collaboration with the President and CEO and the Directors of Programs, cultivate and maintain strong relationships with staff and partners.
• Manage all grants received through external fundraising and assist the development team in establishing and maintaining systems for annual and planned giving.

Administrative Leadership and Support
• Assist the President and CEO in developing mechanisms that support the goals of AEDS.
• Design and coordination, grant/contract management, grant and report writing, and publications/materials.
• supporting communications activities,
• represent at meetings, establishing, and maintaining partnerships to advance the organization’s mission.
• Operation director position requires organizational operation skills, knowledge and experience as well as excellent analytical, interpersonal, organizational, and writing skills and the exercise of extensive discretion, independent judgment, and business acumen.
• Develop and implement performance measurement for AEDS
• Help in setting policies, procedures, and streamline service delivery across all programs
• Work with director of financial services in preparing organization budget
• Guide and oversee organizational systems, e.g. technology/infrastructure, office operations, central database.
• Special projects as requested, example, assist in development of grant proposals and reports, data, and research, and Lead various committees.
• Help in managing human resource systems, including personnel policies and procedures, hiring and termination processes, employee relations, and performance review procedures.
• Ensure compliance with applicable legislation and regulations.
• Support the President and CEO in implementing professional development programs and guiding overall organizational development.
• Oversee and guide organizational development and plan implementation.

Qualification Required
• Graduate Degree in business or related field and 5 years of relevant experience or bachelor’s degree in a related field or 10 years of same experience.
• Ability to communicate effectively to develop rapport with staff, clients, and others.
• Highly focused and able to work independently while managing multiple tasks and projects with competing priorities and deadlines.
• Excellent verbal, written, and interpersonal skills.
• Experience working with business development, including personnel, marketing, cost and financial management.
• Strong responsive to change and ability to be flexible and serve as change agent.
• Strong organizational and administrative skills with 3–5 years’ experience at the management level of a nonprofit or small business, including staff supervision and coordination.
• Strong financial management skills, with 3–5 years’ experience in budgeting, planning and forecasting.
• Highly organized, systems-thinker with attention to detail; resourceful and friendly.
• Excellent verbal and written communication and problem-solving skills
• Ability to provide leadership, analyze situations and data, solve problems, handle or recommend appropriate course of action.
• Ability to present complex and technical information to a general audience in order to facilitate decision-making.
• Planning, project management, and facilitation skills.
• Capacity to work and thrive in a growing, fast-paced entrepreneurial organization that values collaboration.
• Bilingual (knowledge of at least one African language is required)
Preferred
• Experience working with non-profit donors and foundations is a plus.

Additional Info:
Work schedule: M-F 8:00-4:30 pm, 40 hours/week with some occasional evening and weekends.

How to Apply:
Send resume with cover letter to hr@aeds-mn.org

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Save the Date for Little Africa Fest 2018

Little Africa Fest 2018 will be from 2-8pm on Saturday, August 18th! Come for a full day of activities, African cultural performances, music, storytelling, food vendors, African clothing, arts and crafts for sale, and more! This event is free, family friendly, and open to the public. All are welcome. More info to come in the following months. Please email info@aeds-mn.org or call (651) 646-9411 if you’re interested in being a sponsor or volunteer. Thank you for supporting Little Africa!

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Save the Date for Little Africa Fest 2017!

Little Africa Fest 2017 will be from 2-8pm on Saturday, August 19th! Come for a full day of activities, African cultural performances, music, storytelling, food vendors, African clothing, arts and crafts for sale, and more! This event is free, family friendly, and open to the public. All are welcome. Little Africa Fest 2017 is made possible through the generous donations of our sponsors: Twin Cities Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), City of St. Paul Cultural STAR program, Metropolitan Regional Arts Council (MRAC), the Knight Foundation, Minnesota Association for Volunteer Administration (MAVA), US Bank, Sunrise Banks, and BMA Multicultural Channel. Please email info@aeds-mn.org or call (651) 646-9411 if you’re interested in being a sponsor or volunteer. Thank you for supporting Little Africa!

LittleAfricaFest2017 (1)

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Take a Home Stretch class on Saturday, June 17th for FREE!

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Did you know that June is National Homeownership Month? AEDS is celebrating by offering a FREE Home Stretch class on Saturday, June 17th! Home Stretch is an eight-hour homebuyer workshop that covers all of the essential steps that buyers should take in order to realize their dream of homeownership. Sign up today to prepare yourself to be a successful homeowner.

*PLEASE NOTE: There will be no Home Stretch class held on Saturday, June 3rd.

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AEDS is hiring a Business Advisor/Loan Officer!

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We’re hiring a full-time Business Advisor/Loan Officer! The successful candidate will have experience in small business lending and a commitment to helping African-owned businesses survive and thrive. Click here for more details on what we’re looking for: Business Advisor-Loan Officer Job

To apply, email cover letter and resume to info@aeds-mn.org or call (651) 646-9411 for more info.

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Little Africa Fest 2016 video!

It’s been a little over a month since Little Africa Fest and we’re missing the celebration, but luckily we can relive it through this great video! Thanks so much to Infiniti Pictures for capturing the spirit of the Fest, and thanks again to all the artists, businesses, organizations, volunteers, and community members who support Little Africa Business & Cultural District of Minnesota and Little Africa Arts. We can’t wait for next summer!

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Latest Little Africa Tour showcases where we’re going and how far we’ve come

Jacob and Freweini share the story of Greta McClain's mural, Braided. Two local African artists, Sara Endalew and Hanna Gashaw, apprenticed on this project.

Jacob and Freweini share the story of Greta McClain’s mural, Braided. Two local African artists, Sara Endalew and Hanna Gashaw, apprenticed on this project.

Art, food, coffee, and conversation were some of the things shared on our Friday, June 17th Little Africa Tour for the final stakeholders celebration of the Central Corridor Funders Collaborative (CCFC). The celebration marked the close of the CCFC after 9 years of investing in organizations that support cultural districts along the Green Line; their goal was to protect and uplift communities during Green Line construction and implementation. The CCFC supported the effort of cultural nodes such as Little Africa. Our tour showcased all the ways Little Africa has grown in the past decade.

As part of the day-long final celebration, stakeholders had the option of touring one of the cultural districts in which they’d invested: the Innovation District (Prospect Park Station), Creative Enterprise Zone (Raymond Ave Station), Hamline Station, or Little Africa (Snelling Ave Station). We were so happy that Little Africa was a popular choice!

The tour kicked off at the Southern Theater, where 27 CCFC “tourists” were presented with goody bags filled with snacks and tea from Little Africa businesses. Gene Gelgelu, AEDS Executive Director, and Lula Saleh, AEDS arts organizer, guided the group onto the Green Line LRT where they departed for Snelling Ave. Station. At Snelling Ave, guests were introduced to 3 Little Africa tour guides: Lori Greene, Mosaic on a Stick founder and muralist; Genet Abate, musician, and Ayano Jiru, writer.

From left to right, tour guides Lula Saleh (AEDS Arts Organizer), Genet Abate (local musician), and Lori Greene (muralist and founder of Mosaic on a Stick). Not pictured is Ayano Jiru (local writer) who also helped guide the tour.

From left to right, tour guides Lula Saleh (AEDS Arts Organizer), Genet Abate (local musician), and Lori Greene (muralist and founder of Mosaic on a Stick). Not pictured is Ayano Jiru (local writer) who also helped guide the tour.

Our first stop was Star Food, a coop-style grocery, deli, enjera manufacturer, and barber shop. Guests toured the store aisles as Ayano Jiru talked about the different products available. Lula described the cultural importance of enjera, a spongy, sour pancake traditionally made from a grain called teff and commonly eaten with East African meals.

Stepping outside and just around the corner, guests were wowed by Berbere, a mosaic mural designed and installed by Lori Greene. Lori talked about the mural and the importance of women in African cultures. Ayano pointed out items on the mural which were of particular importance to the Oromo, one of the cultures of Ethiopia.

Lori Greene, Mosaic on a Stick founder and muralist, discusses her mosaic mural entitled Berbere

Lori Greene, Mosaic on a Stick founder and muralist, discusses her mosaic mural entitled Berbere

The next stops along the tour were Dahabshiil Market and Addis Market. Dahabshiil (the name means “Goldsmith” in Somali) carries a variety of Somali foods and spices: 90% of clientele are Somali. Addis (the name means “new” in Amharic) carries more Ethiopian-oriented products. Elsa, the owner, passed around a big basket of qolo, a traditional East African snack of roasted barley and mixed with peanuts or chickpeas. Genet Abate then described some of the items available in the store including tuaf, a cultural candle made of long cotton rope mixed in wax. Tuaf is used for special occasions, such as holidays or Ethiopian Orthodox church ceremonies.

Walking just outside these markets brought guests to Braided, a Little Africa mural designed by artist Greta McLain for the Midway Mural Project. Freweini Sium, owner of the neighboring Sunshine Beauty Salon, spoke about the importance of hair and braiding to East African culture. While creating the mural, McLain mentored 2 African artists, Sara Endalew and Hanna Gashaw: both women were extremely excited about being a part of this project, and said it helped build their skills and confidence as artists.

Turning the corner, guides led the group into Fasika Restaurant where guests were greeted with the smells and tastes of Ethiopian cuisine. Genet explained that “Fasika” means “Easter celebration” in Amharic, a celebration which always includes lots of food, fun, and family. The buffet included enjera and a variety of Ethiopian wats, or stews. While silverware was provided, Gene lifted up his hand and encouraged guests to eat as Ethiopians do—with a “natural fork.”

Guests enjoy an Ethiopian buffet provided by Fasika Restaurant

Guests enjoy an Ethiopian buffet provided by Fasika Restaurant

After good food and conversation, guests were led to Sabrina Coffee for a traditional East African coffee ceremony. More delicious snacks—qolo, popcorn, sambusas, and homemade bread—were passed around as Karima Omer, owner of Sabrina Coffee, prepared coffee in the traditional jebena, or clay pot. Once it was brewed, Karima poured it into siini, small traditional cups, and offered it to guests. Lula Saleh read her poem, Coffee, which compared the typically fast-paced, work-centered American coffee culture to the slow, community-based coffee culture of East Africa. As Lula spoke—”we would wait what seemed like forever, but the time would pass as we’d enjoy each others company and the warmth of the smells and the smoke,”—we felt ourselves transported. For African immigrants, the experience of a traditional coffee ceremony can be an emotional one: “It almost makes me cry,” Karima relayed, “remembering all the friends and family back home.”

Karima, owner of Sabrina Coffee, treats guests to a traditional East African coffee ceremony

Karima, owner of Sabrina Coffee, treats guests to a traditional East African coffee ceremony

As guests were finishing their food and coffee, Tracy Kinney of the St. Paul Riverfront Corporation presented on the Facade Improvement project, an arts-based movement for making cultural districts like Little Africa more visible, strengthening a sense of place, and increasing economic opportunity. Facade Improvement plans include adding awnings with mosaics and cultural designs to buildings to make them more visually appealing and cohesive, placing maps of Little Africa businesses at different street-side locations, and adding green spaces. “These businesses and this community aren’t new,” Tracy emphasized. “It’s more about bringing everyone together.”

Lastly, guests shared their appreciation for the guides and our gracious business hosts. Some questioned how the Snelling-Midway stadium and redevelopment will affect Little Africa, but others credited the CCFC with building strong partnerships that have prepared communities to respond to such changes. Amelia Brown, founder of Emergency Arts, spoke to these alliances as one of the best things the CCFC did for the community: “I always believed in the power of [Little Africa] to support the vision of what they wanted for themselves. Little Africa is more cohesive now. There’s more coalescence between resources and opportunities…I think [the CCFC] helped us to see that emergencies are opportunities. Disruptions are opportunities.” While we can’t predict what the future will hold for Little Africa, we’re stronger, better prepared, and more hopeful because of our community partners.

 

 

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AEDS, Little Africa welcome the A-Line

photo courtesy of Kathy Graul of Metro Transit

Have you seen a fancy new bus running along Snelling Ave? That’s the A-Line! The Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) A-Line started running between the Rosedale Transit Center and 46th Street Station at 10:00 am on Saturday, June 11th. The opening ceremony brought community connections, along with a hope for increased visibility and economic opportunity for Little Africa business owners.

AEDS staff set up an info table to engage visitors in conversations about AEDS and Little Africa

AEDS staff set up an info table to engage visitors in conversations about AEDS and Little Africa

Launch party festivities took place near Snelling and University Ave on Saturday morning and afternoon. Acoustic music, dancing, face-painting, and lively conversation attracted local residents and passersby. About a dozen organizations, including small businesses and nonprofits, set up tables to engage with visitors and talk with them about their work in the neighborhood. Our staff had our own table to represent AEDS and Little Africa. We introduced ourselves to visitors, invited them to our upcoming Little Africa Fest on August 13th, and presented a map of local African immigrant businesses so people who had never heard of Little Africa before could visualize it. We also made new connections with community members and had some great conversations!

Samson Zeleke, owner of Samson Custom Upholstery on Snelling Ave., participated in the first bus ride

Samson Zeleke, owner of Samson Custom Upholstery on Snelling Ave., was honored to be one of the first A-Line riders.

Little Africa business owners were among the several dozen community members invited to ride the first A-Line bus. Samson Zeleke, who opened his upholstery business on Snelling Ave. five years ago, shared his support of the new bus service: “I think it’s very good for immigrants and businesses. Most immigrants, when they first come [to America], don’t drive. A lot of people get frustrated with driving,” Samson relayed. He looked forward to the A-Line making his business more accessible to customers, especially immigrants.

The A-Line is a new type of rapid bus transit for the Twin Cities, and will cut the length of time it takes to travel between Rosedale and 46th Street Station by 25%. Instead of paying onboard, travelers will buy a ticket or use a Go-To Card at the station before getting on the bus. Service will run every 10 minutes throughout most of the day and include fewer stops.

The A-Line will connect with the METRO Blue Line at 46th Street Station and the METRO Green Line at Snelling & University Station and other destinations including Hamline University, Macalester College, Highland Village, Rosedale Transit Center, HarMar Mall, Minnehaha Park, and the Midway area. Visit http://www.metrotransit.org/a-line-project-faqs for more info.

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