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Dedicated to assisting people prosper in rural areas through cooperative business development

2021 Cooperative Business Development Mini-Grant Program

The Nebraska Cooperative Development Center (NCDC), a program of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Department of Agricultural Economics, is seeking applications for its 2021 Cooperative Business Development Mini-Grant program.

To apply click this link to the mini-grant application or copy and paste this URL into your internet browser:

About Cooperatives
The key strength of the multi-owner or cooperative business model not seen in other businesses is the power of a group of people working together, sharing their individual talents and experiences, to build a successful business. People build cooperatives. Cooperatives build jobs, trust, communities, opportunity and hope. Cooperatives provide 2.1 million jobs in the U.S. and create annual wages of more than $75 billion. Cooperatives help build a better world and a better Nebraska (Source: USDA).

Cooperative Business Development Mini-Grants are available to groups who are pursuing/exploring a multi-owner or cooperative business or to incorporated cooperatives (or other business entities operating as a cooperative) in rural Nebraska. Groups (including communities) that are exploring community-supported ventures are also eligible to apply.

Characteristics of Cooperative ventures include:
User-owner - the users of the business own and finance the business. Cooperatives are financed by members purchasing stock, paying membership fees, or accepting self-imposed assessment on products purchased and/or sold or fees for services. In some cooperatives, members reinvest their earnings (profits) to capitalize the business.
User-control - Users vote, democratically, to set major policies and to elect a board of directors composed of the cooperative’s users. Users draw up bylaws to describe how the cooperative functions.
User-benefit - Users benefit by using the business. Distribution of benefits is based on members’ use of the cooperative, not on the amount of capital they have invested.

More information is available by downloading this brochure.

For more information contact Cindy Houlden, 308-293-6417 or

Cornhusker Economics
March 18, 2020

Since 1999, the Nebraska Cooperative Development Center (NCDC) has provided technical assistance, education and training to groups who are developing or are considering the development of a cooperatively owned business. The primary objective is to improve the economic condition of rural areas through cooperative business development. 

Click here to read the entire Article

NCDC in Midst of COVID-19 

Since March, NCDC has been taking proactive steps to protect the health and safety of employees and customers in respect to the potential spread of COVID-19.

NCDC Can Meet Virtually

NCDC has zoom capabilities and we are happy to coordinate and organize group meetings to explore the possibilities, assess feasibilities and implementation of your group. We are also available to meet one-on-one via zoom or over the phone.

As we receive guidance from UNL, we will update our meeting options.

Nebraska Cooperative Development Center Contacts

Charlotte Narjes:

Cindy Houlden:
308-293-6417 (cell)

Skylar Falter:

Margaret Milligan: