Cooperative Business Development Specialist

Website Cooperative Development Institute

Cooperative Business Development Specialist

Do you want to help preserve businesses and grow more and better jobs throughout the Northeast? Do you want to help workers build wealth through ownership and advance economic opportunity, security and justice? Then we’ve got a position for you! The Cooperative Development Institute is looking for an enterprising, highly organized innovator and entrepreneur to join our Business Ownership Solutions program and help business owners and their workers explore and execute transitions to worker-owned cooperatives.


About The Cooperative Development Institute (CDI)
Founded in 1994, the Cooperative Development Institute (CDI, is the USDA-designated Cooperative Business Development Center for the Northeast, providing cooperative education, training, technical assistance, research and advocacy throughout the region. 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.


CDI is a 501c3 nonprofit virtual organization with 30 employees located throughout the region. CDI employees enjoy their jobs and appreciate the flexibility of working from a home office, the commitment to continuous learning, and how interesting and varied our work is. Because our organization is transparent, accountable and participatory, our staff’s ideas and opinions count. We are committed to maintaining this as a priority.


About Business Ownership Solutions (BOS)
BOS has become a nationally recognized leader in the field of worker cooperative transitions as a way to address the economic harm caused by:

  • The accelerating wave of baby boomer business owner retirements and the potential liquidation and closure of their businesses, particularly in rural communities.
  • The massive racial wealth gap, particularly in urban communities.

Our team works to:

  • Raise awareness about employee ownership transitions among policymakers and the general public as a uniquely beneficial option for business owners, workers and communities.
  • Educate business owners and service providers on the exit planning process and options.
  • Assist business owners and their employees as they work through the design, execution and financing of a transition.
  • Provide the training and coaching new worker-owners need to be successful.
  • Train and consult with other economic, business and workforce development entities that want to support transitions.


Position Description
Depending on skills and experience, the successful Cooperative Business Development Specialist candidate will join our team to:

  • Educate and consult with business owners and their workers as they explore transitioning to a worker cooperative.
  • Facilitate and coach groups of workers as they move through the cooperative, business, financial and transaction development process with a variety of advisors.
  • Train and coach new Boards of Directors, management teams and workers on topics such as: business development strategy, ownership culture, financial education and engagement, effective communication and conflict resolution, evaluation and accountability systems, leadership and organizational development, and management strategies and skills that promote worker engagement and participation.
  • Assist with design and facilitation of bilingual (Spanish-English) trainings in a variety of management and worker-owner topics.
  • Assist in education, training and consulting programs that engage other business and workforce development and lending entities in this work.

Your Knowledge, Skills and Experience
Experience in cooperative development is preferred, but not required. We are dedicated to continuous learning, experimentation and developing and documenting best practices, and will provide comprehensive on-the-job orientation and training in worker cooperative development for the successful candidate. We are looking for the following knowledge, skills and experience, at a minimum:

  • Extensive experience in one (preferably 2 or more) of the following areas is required: business development and/or management, worker training and/or organization, cooperative development and/or management, entrepreneurship training and coaching.
  • Excellent training, coaching and mentoring skills
    Strong experience with leadership development, organizational development and change management, facilitating groups through conflict and transformation processes and supporting skill-building in group decision-making.
  • Demonstrated ability to build trust and confidence with business owners and workers from a wide variety of backgrounds and sectors.
  • Strong project management skills.
  • Experience and comfort with a variety of organizational tech tools, databases and systems. Experience developing and managing data and metrics systems is a plus.
  • Understanding of business financial management, including budgeting and analyzing financial statements, is a plus.
  • Experience with business sales, mergers and acquisitions, including valuation, financial and market analysis and transaction design, is a plus.
  • Experience with communications and marketing is a plus.
  • Preference for candidates who are bilingual or highly proficient in Spanish.


Your Work Style and Abilities
No two workdays are the same. The successful candidate will be adaptable and resourceful in managing themselves and meeting client and project needs, while participating in and contributing to remote work teams. The successful candidate must demonstrate:

  • Success in a highly autonomous, remote/virtual staff structure, managing multiple tasks and priorities, and meeting deadlines with discipline and self-direction.
  • Superior emotional intelligence and organizational, interpersonal, communication, and written and oral presentation skills.
  • Confidence in what you know and resourcefulness, innovation and efficiency in figuring out answers and solutions for what you don’t know.


Geographic Location: The successful candidate must be located in the Northeast (CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT or northern NY), and ideally will have knowledge of and experience working within some of the business, workforce and/or community development ecosystems in the region.

The successful candidate must provide for their own high quality, productive office environment. Infrequent travel is required; mileage or rental car reimbursement is provided.


Supervision: The Cooperative Business Development Specialist will report to the BOS Director.


Hours: Full-time, 40 hours/week. Schedule can vary from week to week. There are often 3 – 4 evening meetings per month and occasional weekend meetings and events.


Qualifications: Minimum 7 years relevant professional experience and/or education required.


Compensation & Benefits: $30.74-$33.14/hour ($63,939-$68,931 annual), depending on experience, for full time work (40 hours/week). FLSA non-exempt/hourly. Paid time off (3 weeks vacation, increasing to 4 weeks after two years’ tenure, plus 13 paid holidays/year and 6 Personal, Family and Medical Leave days). Health benefits, Parental Leave, retirement savings plan, monthly home office stipend and other benefits. Additionally, we are proud to offer all staff a 5-week sabbatical after 5 years, and a 7-week sabbatical after 10 years.

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


Because we believe in economic prosperity and justice for all, CDI commits to acknowledging, untangling and eliminating all forms of oppression. We do this by recognizing and counteracting racism, classism and other forms of bias within ourselves and the organization, by making our board and staff more inclusive, by prioritizing marginalized people and by promoting these practices within the co-op 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.


To Apply:
Applicants for the Cooperative Business Developer position should submit their full resume, a cover letter, and three references at: specialist/.

No phone calls, please. We are an Equal Opportunity Employer. Visit us at

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