Business Development Advisor

Location: Calgary

City  Kingston, Jamaica

Start Date Apr - Jun 2019 (flexible)

Length of Placement 12 Months

Language Requirements English

English Reading: Level 4, Writing: Level 4, Speaking: Level 4

Language Scale:

Open to Canadian Citizens and Permanent Residents of Canada only


The Volunteer’s Role


We're looking for a volunteer like you to support three local partners in their communities in Jamaica: the Combined Disabilities Association (CDA), the Jamaica Society for the Blind, and the Abilities Foundation.

Cuso International collaborates with different types of partners in sustainable economic development, including private sector companies, networks and platforms, to help the communities to achieve sustainable growth and change. The CDA is a distinguished advocacy agency representing people with disabilities in Jamaica and advocates for access to housing, public transport, training, education, employment, health care, recreation and many other areas.

As a volunteer, you will support the development of a social enterprise that will provide a new stream of revenue for the organization. In this role, you will provide support by conducting a business feasibility study for the proposed enterprise, develop a business plan, and identify potential investors, partners and funders.

As a volunteer, you will:

-Conduct a business feasibility study and business plan for a social enterprise

-Identify potential investors, partners and/or funders

-Assist with proposal and grant writing, train staff to be effective grant writers

Essential Academic Qualifications:

-Undergraduate degree in business administration or accounting

-Course work organizational change, strategic management, economics, entrepreneurship

Essential Professional Background:

-Experience developing strategic business plans

-Experience working with people with disabilities       

-Familiarity with the non-profit sector  

-Excellent oral and writing skills

About Our Partner


Combined Disabilities Association (Jamaica Society for the Blind and Abilities Association)

The Combined Disabilities Association:

The CDA is a non-profit cross-disability umbrella organization established in 1978 that advocates or the rights and equality of persons with disabilities. It is the premier rights group in Jamaica. Its activities include monthly rap sessions, a revolving loan fund for individuals to generate income, a quarterly magazine “Mainstream”, a revenue generating print shop, a women’s’ group, sign language services, rural outreach (with 3 groups set up thus far), as well as advocacy and public education.


Jamaica Society for the Blind:

The Jamaican Society for the Blind is a non-profit voluntary national organization established in 1954 to promote the welfare, education and employment of persons who are blind or visually impaired and to prevent (avoidable) blindness. Its activities include an eye screening and health clinic, library and education services, and information technology training. It provides training to primary health care workers, computer training, client counselling as well as advocacy and public education.


Abilities Foundation:

Established in 1991, the Abilities Foundation is a registered non-profit organization to “provide quality vocational education to disabled individuals so that they can be channeled into creative and productive avenues”. Training is provided in literacy and numeracy and in trade areas including garment construction, cabinet making, information technology, horticulture and landscaping, and entrepreneurship. It works in collaboration with the Ministry of Labour, HEART, and various corporations and Foundations.


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 and in-country orientation

- Travel and accommodation for 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)

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

- Travel and accommodation for the five-day pre-departure training course and for in-country orientation

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



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.



Depending on the nature of the placement, volunteers are encouraged to provide e-volunteering support to the local partner or to Cuso International before or after their field placement. Volunteers can also request e-volunteer support to help them with their work, or any other partner-requested task while they are in placement.


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 travelling 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, an 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 travelling. 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.