VP, Business Development & Innovation

VP, Business Development & Innovation

VP, Business Development & Innovation 150 150 gbrown@housingpartnership.net
Housing Partnership Network
June 5, 2023
Job Type
Contact Name (not public)
Gievaughann Brown



The Housing Partnership Network is a national membership organization with a deep commitment to new business development and innovation. With over 30 years of developing new social enterprises that help address gaps in the affordable housing sector for scaled impact, our innovation work is central to who we are. This work primarily grows out of peer exchange, which distinguishes HPN and is how we explore, create, and manage social enterprises.

The VP, Business Development & Innovation is responsible for spearheading this work with HPN staff and members to advance new businesses, and some program concepts, that fulfill a collective HPN member need, strategically address needs in the affordable housing and community development marketplace, and support HPN and member sustainability. This role has a particular focus on creating businesses that generate recurring revenue for HPN, in addition to the primary objective of creating member value. With a number of HPN businesses recently spinning off our platform, the person in this position will have primary responsibility for establishing the next generation of new HPN social enterprises.

The Housing Partnership Network has launched fourteen business enterprises to date, demonstrating a long and successful track record of creating social enterprises that stem from and benefit its members and the sector.  The VP Business Development & Innovation will continue this legacy by working closely with HPN members and staff to identify, shape and evolve enterprise opportunities that will cover a broad range of areas, with many focusing on advancing initiatives that further HPN’s commitment to social justice and racial equity. The VP Business Development & Innovation is a member of the Peer Exchange Team and will oversee Associate, Senior Associate and/or Director level staff on the Team who are charged with assisting in this work. Additionally, the VP is a valued member of HPN’s Senior Leadership Team that helps strategize around essential business operations, guide core initiatives, and establish organization-wide policies and procedures.

The VP will work with internal HPN business line and program leads, industry partners, and member organizations from across the country to explore, research, design, pilot, incubate and launch new business ventures. Elements that are critical to success in this role include, among others, strong business development skills; business acquisition and valuations, significant experience with business and program innovation; connecting with HPN members through peer exchange and direct engagement; mining and tracking innovation ideas; working with multi-disciplinary groups through a collaborative process to address and reconcile the wide range of stakeholder needs for a new business to succeed; and working across HPN and its membership to ensure that staff and members can easily connect and collaborate around innovative ideas.

The VP will be a mission-driven leader who will utilize their expertise across housing, innovation, public policy, and racial and economic equity to scale the impact of HPN and its members through collective social enterprise. The VP will be nimble, flexible, and adaptable, be a creative non-linear thinker who is comfortable with ambiguity and pursuing multiple paths and be able to quickly figure out new and complicated business areas. Additional qualities and skills include:

  • Demonstrated ability to create sustainable business solutions that address pressing issues and challenges;
  • Ability to scan the market for opportunities to purchase businesses that would complement HPN/Member efforts, needs, or opportunities, and provide near term profitability to HPN;
  • Aptitude for facilitating and managing groups, and commitment to collaborate with peers and existing business partners;
  • Considerable ingenuity and an ability to understand systems, detect patterns and create effective approaches to new initiatives and businesses;
  • Experience in and energized by group problem solving, leveraging expertise in a group rather than being the “expert”;
  • Strong motivational and organizational skills; equally comfortable leading business explorations and coaching other staff to do so;
  • Empathetic leader and change agent, oriented toward a human centered perspective on effective business and program design and development; and
  • Committed to building HPN’s knowledge base, innovation and social enterprise.


Building off HPN’s distinguished peer learning and social entrepreneurship models, the VP, Business Development & Innovation will be responsible for the development of future businesses and innovations that emerge from member peer exchange and common interests.  Working closely with the Peer Exchange Team, business line and program leads, and other HPN staff the VP will:

  • Develop and coordinate an efficient and effective process for discovering and evaluating new business and program concepts emerging from members, partners, and existing business lines, as well as maintaining awareness for possible business acquisitions and mergers that would accelerate a response to an innovation, need, or opportunity.
  • Work collaboratively with the VP, Membership & Peer Exchange to devise and implement forums and opportunities to learn of innovation interests from HPN’s members.
  • Leverage technology to catalogue new ideas and manage innovation pipeline; gather materials and data from members to inform new business ideas; evaluate progress on explorations; identify support and resources needed to advance business concepts; and determine midcourse corrections in explorations, including when a business concept should be discontinued.
  • Analyze market needs and opportunities by conducting and/or overseeing qualitative and quantitative market research and data collection from several sources to determine market size, growth potential, financial viability and profitability, and competition.
  • Solicit ongoing member input regarding explorations by overseeing the formation and facilitation of member design groups, vetting concepts with members through individual and small group conversations, and meeting with HPN and external content experts. Work continually with member design groups from concept to launch.
  • Produce (or support the production of) business plans, with assistance from HPN’s Finance staff and in conjunction with business line leads (as appropriate), to develop preliminary budgets, financial statements and business models; conduct stress testing; undertake market, relationship and reputational risk assessment; identify key resources required including internal capacity, HPN investment, other capital/funding needs, and operating/investment partners; define member and HPN roles, responsibilities and retained rights; and complete all other elements of a standard business plan to determine feasibility and contribution to HPN sustainability.
  • Work with members and partners to identify business opportunities that advance HPN’s commitment to racial and economic equity.
  • Update HPN’s Executive Team to advance and make decisions about business opportunities.
  • Monitor financial expenditures and schedules to ensure that explorations advance in a timely and sustainable manner.
  • Work with HPN’s fundraising team to match potential funding opportunities with emerging business concepts and encourage philanthropic support that advances HPN’s innovation work by participating in funder meetings and providing supporting materials regarding solicitation of funding and impact of grant awards.
  • Prepare and track the Innovations annual budget and participate in regular Finance meetings to review revenue and expenses, including stewardship of philanthropic funding sources.
  • Prepare investment proposals for review and decisions by the HPN Board Investment and Asset Management (IAM) Committee. Produce quarterly and other ad-hoc reports as needed for the IAM Committee. Assist with collecting data that help HPN leadership, funders, and partners quickly view progress, challenges, and trends.
  • Develop feedback loops to learn from and integrate current and past HPN business successes and setbacks into HPN’s innovation process.



  • BA with advanced degree/MBA preferred, and minimum of 8-10 years of relevant work experience.
  • Strong analytical skills with an ability to thoroughly assess market opportunities and business viability using both quantitative and qualitative data and inputs.
  • Business development and/or business acquisition experience, including preparation of business plans, creation of business models, and launching new enterprises.
  • Ability and interest in relating to and empathizing with populations from different cultures, backgrounds, and lived experiences, and in approaching the work through a racial equity lens.
  • Interest and experience in cultivating collaborative processes, with emphasis on engagement to inform and accelerate innovation and drive positive change.
  • Strong facilitation and listening skills, and the ability to work with a diverse set of stakeholders to extract, synthesize, and communicate key insights.
  • Excellent project management skills and ability to work under multiple deadlines and competing priorities.
  • Creativity, curiosity, and an entrepreneurial mindset with the ability to be flexible and adapt effectively to change.
  • Strong interpersonal and networking skills to interact with HPN members, staff, and partners to inspire thoughtful communication and engender trust and collaboration.
  • Comfort with the use of technology tools, and the ability to quickly learn new tools and systems.
  • Knowledge of a wide range of housing and community development concepts and related opportunities for innovation, such as finance, real estate acquisition and development, property operations, technology products and familiarity working with low-income populations and understanding common challenges and needs.



  • This position reports to the Executive Vice President of Peer Exchange, Policy & Innovation.
  • Preference for this position to be based in Boston, Massachusetts, but location may be flexible.
  • A moderate amount of travel is required to attend biannual member meetings, and other meetings as needed.
  • HPN is a remote-first company. “Remote-first” is an organizational strategy that makes working remotely the primary option for most employees. All new employees will be required to be onsite at HPN headquarters or in the Boston area multiple days during weeks designated as All-Staff weeks. There may be additional times when teams are required to travel by their leadership based on scheduled events, team meetings, and business needs.
  • New employees need to either (1) provide proof that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or (2) granted an exemption prior to beginning work at HPN. At this time, HPN considers an employee “fully vaccinated” when they have completed their primary COVID-19 vaccination series and received a COVID-19 booster. Employees will have four weeks from their “due date” (five or six months, depending on vaccine type, from completing their primary COVID-19 vaccination series) to get the COVID-19 booster.



  • Starting Salary: $153,600 to $192,000 commensurate with education and experience with a bonus potential.



  • 20 vacation days, 12 sick days, 12 paid holidays, paid personal day, medical, dental and vision insurance, health savings account, flexible spending account, dependent care flexible spending account, retirement and savings plan/401(k) match, group life insurance, short- and long-term disability, parental leave, sabbatical leave, professional development and much more!



Please submit required documents; cover letter and resume



Housing Partnership Network (HPN) is an award-winning membership network of 100 of the nation’s leading affordable housing and community development nonprofits. Together, our mission is to help millions of people gain access to affordable homes and thriving communities that offer economic opportunity and an enhanced quality of life. We firmly believe everyone deserves to live in a vibrant community where housing fosters dignity, opportunity, and well-being.

Since our founding in 1992, HPN has collectively served over 11 million people; developed, rehabilitated, or preserved about 400,000 affordable homes; and launched 14 successful social enterprises. Our work has been recognized with honors including the MacArthur Award for Creative & Effective Institutions and Wells Fargo NEXT Award for Opportunity Finance. Learn more at www.housingpartnership.net.

Through practitioner-driven peer exchange, policy and innovation, the Housing Partnership Network’s mission is to leverage the individual strengths and mobilize the collective power of our member organizations.

Our vision is that all people live in vibrant and inclusive communities where access to affordable homes creates opportunity and economic mobility.



HPN is committed to creating a diverse and equitable environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. HPN recruits, employs, trains, compensates, and promotes regardless of race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, veteran status and other protected status. We believe that the more inclusive we are, the better our work will be. We aspire to build a diverse team, one that better reflects the people and communities we serve. Applicants who contribute to this diversity are strongly encouraged to apply.



Racial Equity - We are committed to diversity, equity and inclusion at HPN, and helping members advance initiatives that dismantle long-standing systemic racial biases and discrimination to achieve economic and social justice.

Collaboration - We are a true network. We believe in the power and benefits of broad engagement, empowerment and collaboration.

Connection - We actively build relationships that connect people, ideas, and organizations to forge new paths for improving communities.

Inclusion - We recognize our power comes from the collective and cooperative nature of our work, based on an environment that is inclusive of diverse experiences, backgrounds and perspectives.

Respect - We are open, honest, and respectful in all of our interactions which strengthens our relationships, our mission, our work with colleagues and members, and ultimately the lives of the people we all serve.

Transformation - We work with our members to transform our industry by creating systemic solutions to help people who live in our communities to thrive.

How To Apply


Please submit required documents; cover letter and resume here