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.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, and where applicable, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or because all or part of an individual’s income is derived from any public assistance program. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact the USDA’s TARGET Center at 202/720-2600 (voice and TDD).

To file a complaint of discrimination, write to USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Ursula K. Le Guin’s Powerful Speech, And The Need For Artist Cooperatives

We were jazzed to hear of Ursula K. Le Guin’s receiving the National Book Award last night. She has opened millions upon millions of readers’ minds to new ways of thinking about gender, property, race, freedom, and culture with books and stories that always stay true to the particular reality of human beings’ lives. In […]

Ask Co-op Cathy: What’s the Difference Between a Worker Co-op and an ESOP?

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 ask: what’s the difference between worker cooperatives and ESOPs? See all of Cathy’s answers and ask your own on her home page. This is an important question we hear often. And it’s […]

Ask Co-op Cathy: How do co-ops benefit their communities?

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 ask: how do co-ops benefit their communities? See all of Cathy’s answers and ask your own on her home page. Plenty of people want to know the answer to this question–community activists, […]