Empowering New York’s Asian American Community Since 1989

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Small Business Program Intern – Summer 2023

The Asian American Federation (AAF), founded in 1989, is New York City’s most powerful leadership voice for better policies, services, and funding that lead to more justice and opportunity for Asian New Yorkers. Our mission is to raise the influence and well-being of the pan-Asian American community through research, policy advocacy, public awareness, and nonprofit support.

In collaboration with 70 member and partner community-based organizations, we serve the interests of 1.7 million New Yorkers from 20 ethnic groups—diverse in language, culture, and religion—that make up New York’s Asian community, by providing expert research and unrelenting advocacy; working with lawmakers to change policies; and training Asian nonprofits to better serve their communities.

We fight to keep the pan-Asian American community visible and to ensure our needs are met, our contributions are valued, and our stories are told.


AAF’s Small Business Program acts as a critical bridge between Asian small business owners and government agencies, building relationships in order to empower immigrant small business owners to advocate for their own needs.

This internship is a unique opportunity for a highly organized, motivated college or graduate student to learn about the ins-and-outs of small business assistance and advocacy in a nonprofit setting. Reporting to the Associate Director of Small Business Programs, the Intern will provide assistance in a number of areas focused on Asian small business assistance, including advocacy; government policy and regulation compliance; and small business recovery and support. The Intern will gain hands-on experience in implementing small business assistance programs and interacting with small business owners, local media, and government officials.

This internship requires a minimum commitment of 14-19 hours per week for 10-12 weeks, starting on or before May 22, 2023. A portion or the entirety of the internship may be remote. This internship is unpaid.


  • Outreach to small businesses and partner groups to provide updated information on the latest government policies and regulations impacting small businesses
  • Respond to inquiries from small business owners
  • Liaise with media and government offices through written correspondence and by phone
  • Organize and plan logistics for upcoming AAF events relating to small business assistance and advocacy work
  • Translate documents and serve as an interpreter for meetings, webinars, and interviews


  • Background in public policy, public administration, business, data community organizing, immigration, and/or working with marginalized groups a plus
  • Proficient in both English and either Mandarin or Korean, able to communicate fluently in conversation and in writing
  • A high degree of self-motivation, ability to take initiative, prioritize with minimal supervision, and work independently as well as function as a member of a team
  • Strong analytical skills
  • Ability to work well under pressure while juggling multiple tasks simultaneously
  • Experience working with community organizations, nonprofits, and/or elected offices a plus
  • Strong interest in issues related to the Asian American community, social justice, immigrants, and community organizing

All new staff must be vaccinated and must stay up to date with vaccines against the COVID-19 virus unless they have been granted a reasonable accommodation for religion or disability. If you are offered a position with AAF, this requirement must be met by your date of hire, unless a reasonable accommodation for exemption is received and approved by AAF.

To Apply: Please email cover letter and resume with [Last Name, First Name] Small Business Program Intern in the subject line to [email protected] by no later than April 21, 2023. Applicants considered for the internship will be notified for an interview. No phone calls, please.

The Asian American Federation is an Equal Opportunity Employer.