Cooperative Business Development Officer at Land O’Lakes Venture37


Cooperative Business Development Officer

Cooperative Resilience and Equity Activity (CORE)


Land O’Lakes Venture37 (Venture37) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit helping communities around the world build economies by strengthening agriculture from farm-to-fork, helping businesses grow, and linking farmers to markets. Since our start in 1981, we have been leveraging nearly 100 years of expertise in crop inputs, agricultural insights, dairy and animal nutrition from our close affiliate, Land O’Lakes, Inc., a farmer-owned agribusiness committed to fulfilling its purpose of feeding human progress.

Project Description:

Land O’Lakes Venture37 is implementing the Cooperative Resilience and Equity Activity (CORE) cooperative development program in Rwanda and Zambia, a five-years project (October 2023- October 2028) funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The goal of the CORE activity is to foster vibrant, sustainable cooperative ecosystems in Rwanda and Zambia, in which self-managed agricultural cooperatives and all their members flourish economically and socially.

Through CORE, Venture37 will take a localized and market-responsive approach, engaging market actors, including women and youth, in activity design, implementation and measurement. The activity’s objectives will be met through three major components, namely:

  • Inclusively strengthen the capacity of cooperatives by dynamically responding to their unique challenges and market opportunities through but not limited to provision of tailored capacity strengthening, professional management, enhanced strategic market and finance linkages.
  • Improve the cooperative enabling environment by working with private and public service providers to deliver market-responsive and well-coordinated services to cooperatives.
  • Spur innovation, learning and continuous improvement in the local and global development community through embedded applied research.

In Rwanda, (CORE) has identified the geographical scope split over 4 districts classified into two clusters: Eastern: Kayonza & Ngoma districts; Western: Nyabihu & Rubavu).

Position Summary:

Supervised by CORE’s Cooperative Business Development Advisor, the Cooperative Business Development Officer will be responsible for field implementation of CORE’s cooperative performance improvement component in the assigned geographical zone. This position will support the efforts to streamline activities associated with advancing the business performance of partner cooperatives from the assigned districts, ensuring quality program implementation by working directly with cooperatives and by building relationships with stakeholders. This role will also support to provide expertise in areas of cooperative business development services, cooperative governance and management, financial management, linkages/access to finance and markets.


The primary responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Work with the CORE Cooperative Business Development Advisor to develop scopes of work that are responsive to identified cooperatives’ capacity needs.
  • Develop and maintain relationships with program partners, cooperatives, districts, and private businesses through regular visits.
  • Provide effective business advisory services to target cooperatives.
  • Conduct annual capacity-needs assessments at partner cooperatives to inform performance priority areas of improvement.
  • Co-design action plans with cooperatives and ensure their successful implementation.
  • Provide capacity strengthening to cooperatives through training and/or coaching, focusing on relevant capacity needs areas identified during performance assessments.
  • Liaise and work closely with CORE consultants and other casual local experts during their assignments with cooperatives.
  • Monitor and track cooperative business performance and liaise with the Cooperative Business Development Advisor and MEL Manager for associated reporting and thoughtful planning.
  • Other duties as assigned by the supervisor to support the project and/or the work of Land O’Lakes Venture37

Reporting & Supervision:

  • This position will report to the CORE Cooperative Business Development Advisor.

Required qualifications:

  • A university degree in agribusiness, agricultural economics, management, business, rural development, cooperative management, or other related fields.
  • Minimum of three (3) years’ experience strengthening the capacity of member owned agriculture cooperatives and or small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
  • Relevant record with the agriculture sector development, in the Rwandan context.
  • Experience in managing relationships with public actors and strategic private service providers.
  • Proven track record in facilitating successful business linkages
  • Proficiency in MS Office, especially Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook.
  • Fluent and competent to report in English and Kinyarwanda.
  • Readiness to be based in the assigned zone and travel several times to the field.

How to apply:

Interested candidates are encouraged to submit their motivation letter and CV to not later than May 7, 2024, at 5:00 pm Kigali time.

Land O’Lakes Venture37 will never ask you for personable identifiable information, and we will never request money or payment during the recruitment or employment process.

Land O’Lakes Venture37 is an equal opportunity employer and an organization striving to help global communities thrive through agriculture. We consider all qualified applicants without regard to race, religion, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, or veteran status, among other factors. Our culture values a diversity of voices. So, bring us your unique experiences, your workstyle, and your dreams — they’ll only make us stronger.

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