Welcome to CDI

We make democratic ownership work for everyone.

Cooperative Development Institute (CDI) is the source for cooperative business development in the Northeast. CDI’s mission is to build a cooperative economy through the creation and development of successful cooperative enterprises and networks in diverse communities in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, Maine, Rhode Island and New York.

Cooperative Development Institute staff specialize in helping people work together to plan and launch a cooperatively owned business. We help existing privately held businesses convert to ones owned by their employees or the consumers of their products and services, we help start-up cooperatives, and we support existing cooperative businesses.

Our organization provides education, training and technical assistance to cooperatively-structured enterprises in all business sectors: food, agriculture, forestry, fisheries, housing, energy, arts, retail, service, health, and more. Find out more about CDI’s consultation services and our educational and training programs.

CDI fully supports the statement of values and principles adopted by the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA). CDI’s work is also guided by the Madison Principles, professional standards set by cooperative development leaders in Madison, Wisconsin in 1994.


How Worker Co-ops Decide to Share Profits

Meet Cathy, the Cooperative Development Institute’s new answerwoman! She can take on any co-op questions you might have, big or small. Today we address the submitted question: “How do worker co-ops decide how to share profits amongst the employee-owners?” See all of Cathy’s answers and ask your own on her home page. This blog post…

CDI Wins “People’s Choice Award” for Transitions to Worker Ownership

Rob Brown, director of Business Ownership Solutions at CDI, was among ten finalists chosen to do short presentations on their innovative economic and community development ideas at the Friends of Midcoast Maine annual meeting. His presentation showed how converting existing Maine businesses to worker owned cooperatives can make it easier for current business owners to…

CDI to the United Nations: Sustainable Development through Cooperative Development

Can cooperatives help achieve sustainability and peace in the world? We think so! The United Nations is no stranger to cooperatives. 2012 was declared the International Year of Cooperatives, and the Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon noted that co-ops “are a reminder to the international community that it is possible to pursue both economic viability and…