Paradigm Research Internship

Washington, District of Columbia, United States · Market Research


The Opportunity

The number of minority and women-led companies has rapidly increased over the past five years. In fact, entrepreneurs of color are leading the way in new business formation. However, access and opportunity are not equally distributed amongst demographics and geographies. Many roadblocks and challenges keep small businesses and startups founded by entrepreneurs of color from obtaining the financing they need to grow and expand. This is despite the fact that 33% of new entrepreneurs are of color, including women of color who are the fastest growing segment of new entrepreneurs. With the inefficiencies by which new business ventures are identified, funded and grown, there is an untapped market of potential high-return businesses founded by entrepreneurs of color.

About Paradigm

Paradigm is an entrepreneur education and consulting firm based in Washington DC. Paradigm’s mission is to develop scalable models that deliver support services to idea-stage, early-stage, and established entrepreneurs of color. The work we do is focused on de-risking businesses, increasing survival rates and facilitating capital readiness. In addition to curriculum development, program management and consulting, Paradigm helps to conceptualize, build and operate inclusive ecosystems that help improve outcomes for entrepreneurs.

About the Paradigm Internship Program

The Paradigm internship program is a paid research-based program that exposes participants to the emerging field of entrepreneur education and technical training. This first-of- a-kind research project is designed to give greater clarity on how to support entrepreneurs of color at scale. Participants have the opportunity to:

  1. Work directly with emerging and established entrepreneurs
  2. Develop an understanding of entrepreneurial education programs
  3. Influence how entrepreneurial ecosystems are built locally
  4. Help craft a strategy for how entrepreneurial ecosystems are scaled nationally
  5. Interact with and present to the Paradigm executive team


This program is open to both undergraduate and graduate students. Applicants are required to be currently enrolled as a graduate student or undergraduate student at Howard University, Georgetown University, Bowie State University or American University and should be at least a rising junior. The position can be either part-time or full-time (full-time preference) and may extend into the fall 2017 semester. While we do not require an applicant to have a specific major, applicants are expected to have an understanding of entrepreneurship, and entrepreneur education (example: accelerators and incubators).

Preferred skills and experience

  1. Strong written and presentation skills
  2. Prior experience with conducting market research
  3. Demonstrated understanding of:
    1. Technology
    2. Business Accelerators and Incubators
    3. Economics
    4. Entrepreneurship
    5. Finance and Investment

Selection Criteria

When reviewing candidates, we look for candidates who are passionate about research, thrive in multidisciplinary teams and are not afraid to dig in. Other important characteristics we look for are:

  1. Curiosity and boldness to ask questions
  2. Drive to solve problems despite clear barriers
  3. Ability to thrive in ambiguous situations
  4. Ability to show leadership when faced with difficult circumstances

Core Activities

  1. Conducting market research
  2. Gathering data from various sources including in person interviews and surveys
  3. Analysis and summation of key findings


Rates provided below depend on the candidate's strengths and experiences.

  1. Undergraduate Students - $15 to $18 per hour (rising juniors and seniors only)
  2. Graduate Students - $20 to $25 per hour

Note: If the internship extends into the fall semester, the project would shift to part-time until completion.

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