Business Development Advisor


Locations Colombia, Honduras, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Nigeria, DR Congo

Start Date  Departure dates to be determined

Length of Placement 12 Months  

Language Requirements English, French or Spanish fluent depending on location

Open to Canadian Citizens and Permanent Residents of Canada only

The Volunteer’s Role


Your Business Development skills can have an international reach and global impact!

We’re inviting candidates with a Business Development, Entrepreneurship, International Development, Organizational Development and Economic Development background to apply for new placements starting as early as June 2020.

We need your skills to help our local partners (usually Non-Government Organizations) around the world increase the impact they’re making in their communities by sharing your insights and expertise. You will use your knowledge and problem-solving skills to address critical issues while immersing yourself in a different culture!

Please be advised, duties, education and essential requirements may vary by partner and project.

As a Business Development Advisor, you will:

- Enhance the services offered by our partners by accessing the current strategy, developing an improved business plan, and implementing the strategy to increase the number of beneficiaries. Partners may be supporting entrepreneurship, employment and income generation of rural women, small-scale entrepreneurs, families, marginalized populations, refugees and the larger community.

- Support new entrepreneurs by facilitating training in areas such as business strategy, management, financial planning, marketing, etc.

- Lead organizational development and strengthening initiatives for non-government organizations

- Develop organizational tools that can be utilized for improving business operations

- Report on the progress of different initiatives, collect and analyze results and provide recommendations on lessons learned.

- Provide support, coaching, and mentoring where necessary

Essential Academic Qualifications:

- Bachelor’s Degree/Diploma in business development, entrepreneurship, international development, project management, economic development, or a related field

Essential Professional Background:

- At least 3-5 years’ work experience in business management, business development, or a related field

- Ability to adapt and apply business knowledge and techniques to grassroots organizations

- Excellent written and communication skills


What’s in it for YOU? A life-changing experience!

Each volunteer placement is a unique experience. Read about the impact our volunteers made in similar roles: Christina Tellez - Bolivia, Millicent Letoya - Nigeria, Mikaila Ross - Myanmar, Amanda Klassen – Philippines, Maria de Brigard – Colombia" target="_blank" rel="noopener">, Frédéric - Peru, Martine Kurtzweg - Benin, Mary Thompson - Myanmar


About Cuso International


Cuso International

Cuso International is a not-for-profit development organization that works to eradicate poverty and inequality. Each year, we mobilize hundreds of volunteer professionals to work alongside local partners to maximize their impact through capacity building. We work in partnership with governments, civil society organizations, multilateral agencies and the private sector to develop and deliver programs aimed at advancing gender equality, promoting the empowerment of women and girls, and improving access to and quality of economic opportunities for young people.


Terms and Conditions


Cuso International terms and conditions allow you to lead a modest and healthy lifestyle while being effective in your placement. This support package will cover basic living expenses for one volunteer and is not intended to cover home-based expenses (ex. loans, support payments, etc.) or luxury items such as imported items in placement or international personal travel.


Support Package

- Modest monthly living allowance (varies depending country)

- Accommodation while in placement

- Return airfare and visa/work permit costs

- Cost of required vaccinations, antimalarial medication and health insurance

- Pre-departure training program and in-country orientation (more details below)

- On the ground support through our Cuso International country program office

- Access to Employee Assistance Program while in placement and upon return

- Travel and accommodation for the pre-departure training course, in-country orientation, and reintegration debriefing weekend

- Modest support for accompanying partners and dependents going on placement with you for 12 months or longer (Return flight, emergency medical insurance, vaccinations)

- Bonus: Additional return flight home or cash in lieu after 12 months of service for volunteers who extend for another 6 months


Pre-departure Training and Briefing

We commit to helping you prepare as best as possible for your placement. You will have an advisor to support you through the pre-departure process and will receive essential training as part of your preparation. This training is designed to maximize your understanding of your placement country and culture, help you identify and plan your own learning, and help you stay safe and healthy during your placement.

Overview of pre-departure training:

1.Skills and Knowledge for Working in Development (SKWID) program - A 45-hour training program that uses a blended learning approach including 4 days of in-person sessions and online e-modules to be completed before and after the in-person session.

2.Self-directed briefing documents, online training and external resources accessed through the volunteer portal

3.Online health briefing

4.Fundraising 101 Webinar


In-Country Training and Learning

You will receive an In-Country Orientation (ICO) that builds upon the pre-departure training. This will be conducted by either the country program office or the supporting partner organization. This normally lasts for 2-10 days (depending on language learning requirements and other factors). In some countries, volunteers will be able to access ongoing language training opportunities. In-Country Orientation equips you with the relevant skills, knowledge, and country-specific information to be successful in your placement. Furthermore, our Country Program Office or local partner will provide you with continuous in-country support throughout the duration of your placement.



We ask each volunteer, regardless of placement length, to raise $2,000. All volunteers receive support from Cuso International to help achieve the goal through fundraising. If the volunteer chooses not to fundraise or is unable to achieve the fundraising goal, he/she can make a one-time donation or become a monthly donor to support our work.


Residency and Citizenship  



The majority of Cuso International volunteer applicants are residing in Canada at the time of application and during the pre-departure process. Occasionally we received applications from volunteer applicants who are residing outside of Canada at the time of application. In both instances, between your application date and placement start date, we must be able to contact you and you must be able to contact us easily and promptly throughout the process.

We may require your passport and would need to be aware of your current place of residence and any travel plans you may have during this time. You will also require unrestricted access to Canada during this time for training, as applicable.



Leaving your country of residence can have significant effects on your citizenship status in that country. It is your responsibility to research the consequences of traveling to Canada during the pre-departure process if you are living outside of Canada and of leaving your country of residence for a placement with the immigration authority where you live.

By applying to this placement, you accept full responsibility for any consequences related to your citizenship, residency and immigration status or penalties as a result of travel to pre-departure training, international placement or other Cuso International related travel.

You  must  check the implications that apply to you, but examples include:

- Canadian permanent residents may need to make arrangements with immigration authorities before traveling. These arrangements allow them to travel without risk to their status in Canada. Without them, residency status may be withdrawn.

- Citizens of other countries, including those visiting Canada on a visa, may have travel restrictions.