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2807 Food System Intern - Durham, NC

The Organization:

The Organization:
Self-Help is a leading national community development financial institution (CDFI) headquartered in Durham, NC. Founded in 1980, Self-Help has provided over $7 billion in financing to 131,000 families, individuals and businesses underserved by traditional financial institutions. It helps drive economic development and strengthen communities by financing hundreds of homebuyers each year, as well as nonprofits, child care centers, community health facilities, public charter schools, and residential and commercial real estate projects. The Self-Help family of non-profit organizations includes North Carolina’s Self-Help Credit Union, Self-Help Federal Credit Union, Self-Help Ventures Fund and the Center for Responsible Lending, a national policy and advocacy organization addressing abusive lending practices. Through its credit union network, Self-Help serves over 129,000 people in North Carolina, California, Chicago and Florida and offers a full range of financial products and services. Learn more at, and

Internship Program:
Self-Help/CRL offers a 10 week summer internship program that is designed to give students valuable experience in a professional setting while broadening their knowledge of Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI’s). Along with each specific intern project, the intern will participate in a series of brownbag lunches to learn more about Self-Help and the Community Development industry as a whole. Interns will also be given the opportunity to network with one another and other Self-Helpers through a variety of planned events.

Internship Description:
The Food System Impact intern will work jointly on the Development, Policy and Impact team and in conjunction with the Commercial Lending team to contribute to the Healthy and Equitable Food Systems Capital Initiative. The main goal of the initiative is to increase capital access for food enterprises, ranging from farmers, to food processors, distributors and hubs, and to grocers serving low-income communities, through development of partnerships and policy. The intern will assist the teams in assessing the business development needs of these food enterprises and Self-Help’s capacity to help meet these needs. Proposed research will seek to understand:
What technical assistance do we currently provide entrepreneurs?
What are the gaps in our technical assistance offerings?
How do these offerings vary across team members?
What are common business development needs among current borrowers and our entrepreneur network?
How do the needs vary across the food sector?

The intern will also work more broadly to assist with development and implementation of procedures that enable Self-Help to better incorporate its food systems work into its day to day activities, particularly via our credit union branch network, and help organize events as necessary.

Essential Responsibilities:
Collaborate with the Healthy Food System team to develop research questions and interview or focus group guides
Conduct research activities with relevant commercial lending staff, community partners, and food entrepreneurs
Collaborate with the Healthy Food System team to analyze data and produce a report that can be shared internally and among sustainable food system funding networks
Assist with ongoing tasks related to the Healthy and Equitable Food Systems Capital Initiative, such as outreach and network development, coordination of regional partner meetings, and creating knowledge-sharing products

Minimum Qualifications:
Be enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate degree program, or a recent college graduate
Foundational understanding of qualitative research methods
Interest in community and/or economic development with a particular focus on using food systems as a catalyst for healthy and prosperous communities
Fundamental understanding of the implications of structural racism within the modern U.S. food system and the effects it has on racial wealth disparities
Ability to work independently and on an inter-disciplinary team
Proficiency in Microsoft Office

Desired Qualifications:
Familiarity with Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI)
Basic understanding of steps involved in developing a business plan
Experience with qualitative data analysis methods and software (Atlas.ti, NVivo, Dedoose, etc.)
Experience synthesizing data and producing summary reports
Experience with community-based research

Physical Requirements:
Frequently requires use of manual dexterity and repetitive motions, primarily with the wrists, hands, and/or fingers. Must be able to occasionally lift and exert force of up to 10 pounds.


Please submit a thoughtful cover letter describing why you are interested in this internship and a resume to  with the internship title as the subject by March 8, 2019.

Self-Help is committed to providing equal employment opportunities to all persons regardless of race, color, class, age, gender, religion, disability that can be accommodated, marital status, ancestry, nationality, family status or sexual orientation.