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Cooperative Business Developer

Cooperative Development Institute
Northeast - New England and New York
$24.42-$25.62 for 40 hours/week. FLSA non-exempt/hourly.
Closing date
Nov 17, 2021

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Focus Areas
Associations / Union
Job Function
Direct Service / Social Service
Salary Range
$50,000 - $59,999
Position Type
Full Time
Willingness to Travel
up to 25%
Experience Level
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Cooperative Business Developer

Snapshot: CDI is transforming ownership of our economy so everyone can fulfill their needs and aspirations. We’re seeking an experienced co-op business developer to join our team and contribute to the creation of a cooperative ecosystem. Let’s work together!

Reports to: Coordinating Director of Cooperative Business Development / Cooperative Food Systems program

Geography: Must reside in the Northeast (New England and New York)

Compensation and hours: $24.42-$25.62 for 40 hours/week. FLSA non-exempt/hourly. Paid time off (3 weeks vacation, increasing to 4 weeks after two years’ tenure, plus 9 paid holidays/year). Five-week sabbatical after five years. Health benefits. Home Office stipend. Family and Medical Leave. Mileage reimbursement at the IRS rate. Ability to contribute to a retirement plan.

About The Cooperative Development Institute (CDI)

The Cooperative Development Institute (CDI, is the Northeast’s Center for cooperative business education, training, and technical assistance. CDI was founded in 1994 by cooperative leaders across industry sectors to build a cooperative economy in the Northeast.

Our mission is to work with people in the Northeast to create cooperative businesses and networks that grow a prosperous, equitable economy. We envision a democratically-owned and just economy where everyone can fulfill their needs and aspirations. Collective liberation is at the center of what we do. At the core of our work is transformation: at the individual, structural, group, and community level.

CDI works to support, advise and provide technical assistance to all sorts of cooperatives in the Northeast. Our Cooperative Food Systems (CFS) program works with all manner of cooperatives to start and develop new food and farm businesses, secure supply chains and develop new markets for their goods and services. Cooperative Business Services (CBS) provides start-up technical assistance ranging from organizational development to feasibility and market analysis. Business Ownership Solutions (BOS) works with business owners and their workers to transition existing businesses to worker ownership. Our New England Resident Owned Communities (NEROC) program provides support and assistance for residents of manufactured home communities to purchase their parks and run them cooperatively. And that’s not all of what we do!

CDI is a non-profit virtual organization  with about 30 employees. CDI employees enjoy their jobs and appreciate the flexibility of working from home, the commitment to continuous learning, and how interesting and varied their work is. Because the organization is transparent, accountable, and participatory, our staff’s ideas and opinions count. We are committed to maintaining this as a priority.

Essential Job Functions: Cooperative Business Developer

1. Co-op Developer - Provide technical assistance to cooperative businesses and groups forming cooperatives. Duties include:

  • Provide education, training, technical assistance and leadership development for clients, often working closely with partner organizations
  • Contribute to feasibility studies, business plans, financial pro forma and bylaws
  • Understand and teach the cooperative principles and development process
  • Facilitate meetings and presentations
  • Write project progress reports, as required

2. Cooperative Ecosystem Supporter - Support the expansion and cultivation of cooperative development networks and knowledge in CDI’s region. Duties include:

  • Support and connect to network development (including grant) efforts in priority areas as requested
  • Support the organizing of CDI events
  • Represent CDI in regional and national networks
  • Assist in outreach to and cultivation of partners, funders and other allies

3. Administrative Supporter - Provide organizational and administrative assistance and project management for the Business Services team and programs, including:

  • Assist in responding to new inquiries
  • Contribute to grant and other reporting, data collection, and evaluation processes
  • Support contractor relationship building and invoicing as applicable
  • Attend  and participate in team and other internal meetings 
  • Support the co-management of specific projects, as assigned
  • Assist with clients’ grant writing

Organizational Expectations

  • Attend and participate in retreats and other strategic meetings or all-staff meetings, including training and coaching opportunities that support professional and organizational development
  • Build positive and collaborative relationships with other CDI staff
  • Demonstrate personal responsibility and accountability in performing job duties
  • Model respect and collaboration with staff and clients

Minimum Requirements

  • 3 to 5 years of project management and development in the nonprofit, private or public sectors. Cooperative business experience preferred.
  • Experience with facilitation, training, coaching and conflict resolution.

Required Skills

  • Strong interpersonal communication, self-leadership, and emotional intelligence skills
  • Strong written and oral communication skills
  • Computer fluency, including strong knowledge of online organizational and data management systems
  • Critical thinking and creative problem solving, individually and with small and large groups
  • Strong knowledge of and commitment to cooperatives and cooperative development
  • Highly organized and detail-oriented
  • Experience with business planning, budgeting and development
  • Meeting facilitation

Additional Knowledge, Skills and Abilities Desired but not required

  • If these are not already acquired, we support these abilities in being developed within the first 12 months of employment.
  • Strong knowledge of operational management, strategic planning and general business practices
  • Additional communication skills, including confidence in public speaking, consensus-building strategies and conflict mediation techniques
  • Knowledge and comfort with democratically-run organizational structures, boards of directors, operational management, and cooperative policies
  • Demonstrated success in community building and organizing
  • Demonstrated experience in working remotely/independently
  • Can be available occasionally on evenings and weekends if needed
  • Ability to travel


  • Comfortable in a highly autonomous, remote/virtual staff structure, managing multiple tasks and priorities, and meeting deadlines with discipline and self-direction
  • Resourceful, innovative and efficient in figuring out answers and solutions to questions and challenges
  • Works collaboratively, self-motivated, flexible, enthusiastic
  • Demonstrates a strong belief in cooperatives


We don’t discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. CDI is an equal opportunity employer and service provider.

We promote economic prosperity for all through our work with our clients, our hiring practices, and our vigorous commitment to cooperative principles. We strive daily to acknowledge and eliminate all forms of oppression. By examining bias within ourselves and our organization, we work mindfully to make our board and staff more inclusive. We actively fight against racism, classism, gender inequality and all efforts to marginalize anyone. The nature of our work engages us directly with the working poor, the elderly, immigrants and refugees. It is our goal to see all of our clients prosper within the cooperative movement.

We welcome applicants from underrepresented identities, and those who have a commitment and track record of bringing an inclusive and equitable approach to their work.


Please fill out the application form at, and upload a resume, cover letter, and 3 references (preferably as one file). This position will remain open until filled.

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