Rise Asset Development

Program Associate

Posted: August 6, 2013

Job Title: Program Associate

Company Name: Rise Asset Development

Position Type: Contract

Location: ON - London

Application Deadline: 2013-08-15

Category: Business Development

Position Overview:

Rise Asset Development (Rise) is committed to improving the lives of people who are unable to secure or maintain employment due to mental health or addictions challenges. Rise provides micro-financing (loans, leases, etc.) and business mentorship to those in this population who are interested in self-employment.

Rise was seeded in Toronto in 2009, with the support of the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. In 2013, Rise began to expand to other regions of Ontario, beginning with Ottawa (Rise Ottawa). London (Rise London) is the next region targeted for expansion, with the International Centre for Health Innovation at the Richard Ivey School of Business (the Centre) as the home department for the program.


Reporting directly to the Executive Director of the International Centre for Health Innovation at the Ivey School of Business and dotted line to the Executive Director of Rise Asset Development, the Program Associate will be responsible for establishing, managing and growing Rise London. In this role, he or she will be responsible for securing the required partnerships within and outside of Western University and establishing effective outreach mechanisms for the intake of both prospective clients from the community with mental health or addictions challenges, as well as mentors who will provide business advice and support to the participating entrepreneurs. he or she will also be responsible for management of the Rise London loan portfolio.

The Program Associate will be responsible for driving the design, build, implementation, and ongoing management of Rise London. Specifically, this encompasses three major duties:

External & Community Outreach

  • Supports the development of relationships and formal partnerships with Ivey, Western and community players to support the intake of prospective clients.
  • Drives the marketing of Rise in the London region, by running informational sessions, idea generation sessions and workshops at local community agencies
  • Works with Rise Toronto to develop a pool of mentors and other business support services

Rise London Programs

Rise London’s client intake will focus on all individuals who self-declare as having a mental health or addiction challenge, and are interested in self-employment. Additionally, targeted sub-programs of Rise London, which compliment the traditional Rise outreach channels (of community and mental health agencies, and small business and self-employment centres), include:

  • Youth small business program
  • Acquired brain injury program
  • Veterans Mental Health program
  • Workforce transitions program (from long-term disability to entrepreneurship)

The Program Associate will support the build (through partnerships), rollout, management and growth of the aforementioned targeted sub-programs of Rise London.

Loan Portfolio and Client Intake

  • Initial microloan origination and business consultation to prospective Rise London entrepreneurs.
  • Manages and analyzes loan submissions/business plans in determining risk/success potential of loan requests from London-based entrepreneurs. Analysis also includes determining whether the loan applicant has the ability, character and commitment to fulfill their business plan. Decisions require a balanced analysis, which considers both the social objectives as well as financial objectives/constraints of Rise.
  • Provides advice, support and counsel to London-based loan applicants in the development of realistic and viable business plans; connects entrepreneurs with external resources or program mentors where in depth coaching is needed to develop a viable business plan. Will also refer applicants to other community resources where the assessment suggests that another resource may be required.
  • Assists in supporting Rise Toronto in managing the London-based loan funds and disbursements including monthly payments.
  • Manages quarterly reporting and accounts in arrears for London-based entrepreneurs.
  • Works closely with mentors and community agencies that may provide individual support to Rise entrepreneurs.
  • Manages situations/relationships where the entrepreneur does not fulfill her/his obligations to the mentor or community agency
  • Works with mentors and others in the post disbursement management of the loan.



  • Minimum of a bachelor’s degree in business or related field
  • Master’s level degree in business or related field would be an asset
  • An equivalent combination of education and experience will be considered


  • Broad understanding of the local and provincial context for mental health and addictions, employment and entrepreneurship
  • Experience with forming strategic alliances and partnerships between non-profit, public and private entities
  • Direct related experience working with small business owners and entrepreneurs would be an asset
  • Experience navigating across multiple faculties, schools and divisions with Western University would be an asset
  • Experience working with individuals with mental health or addictions challenges is desired
  • Experience working in a startup environment under minimal supervision is desired


  • Ability to work independently, self-motivated; flexible and ability to adapt to varying situations, schedules and demands
  • Excellent communication (both written and oral) and interpersonal skills, including listening, facilitating, and presentation delivery
  • Demonstrated skills in operating in a complex multi-stakeholder environment including tact, diplomacy, maturity and sound judgment.
  • Empathy and sensitivity to work successfully with clients with a history of mental health or addiction challenges
  • Advanced skills in Microsoft Office products including Excel, Word, and PowerPoint
  • Solid understanding of financial statements

How to Apply:

Interested applicants are invited to submit their resume and cover letter to Dr. Zayna Khayat at the International Centre for Health Innovation, Richard Ivey School of Business at healthinnovation@ivey.ca, quoting the position title in the subject line.

All submissions must be received before August 15, 2013 at 4:59 p.m.

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