Business Development Advisor
Position # 1229-109


Volunteer Cooperant (VC/OS)
Unaccompanied assignment - This assignment does not include support for accompanying partners or dependants


Women's Development Center (WDC)


SRI LANKA , Kandy/ Jaffna


Flexible duration


Departure date is contingent upon completion of administrative file and approval of visa. Applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis and position will remain open until filled.


Uniterra is a leading Canadian international volunteer cooperation and development program, jointly implemented by the Centre for International Studies and Cooperation (CECI) and World University Service of Canada (WUSC).

Uniterra contributes to improving the socio-economic conditions of poor and marginalized communities in 14 countries and with over 200 partners in Africa, Asia and the Americas through the exchange of expertise and knowledge of Canadian and international volunteers. Uniterra believes that economic growth, when inclusive, is the most powerful driver of poverty reduction. The purpose of the Uniterra program is to improve the lives of some of the world’s most vulnerable populations by stimulating growth and facilitating access to the benefits of growing and diversified markets. To make this happen, we are working with our local partners to enhance the income of poor and marginalized women and youth through better access to employment and income generation opportunities. Uniterra country program staff work with our local partners to design Uniterra assignments in the context of the country strategy, supporting the inclusion of women and youth in key economic subsectors.

For more information on the Uniterra program, our approach and countries of focus please visit:


The mission of Women Development Centre (WDC) is to facilitate and encourage an environment for victimized women and children, persons with special needs, youth and other vulnerable groups to achieve positive changes in their lives by resolving or minimizing their problems through active participation in decision making within the socio-economic process. Sthree, meaning ‘Women’ in both Sinhala and Tamil languages, has been established as a not-for-profit social enterprise. This commercial space allows women entrepreneurs/producers to showcase and sell their handicraft products such as eco-friendly purses, batiks, home décor items, artwork, silk scarves and shawls etc. They also sell beautiful wood furniture handcrafted by people with disabilities. In order to increase market share and success, Sthree aims to increase the visibility among tourists and develop partnerships with the local tourism sector including hotels and tour operators to provide unique high-quality souvenirs. Sthree’s success will ensure sustainability for itself, support WDC’s broader mandate and continue to support some of the most vulnerable people in the region. In addition to the shop, a new venture has been established as Shtree café with the support of the Planeterra (Canadian org) in the same premises. At the moment it caters to adventure tour groups and it will be open to the general public in the near future.

For more information visit

WDC’s Sthree cafe and shop are doing well and making a profit since January 2018. WDC, therefore, hopes to replicate the Sthree Cafe and shop in the North as a brand extension. This will provide opportunities for women in the North to showcase their products and to improve their economic capacity. As such, WDC seeks a volunteer Business Development Advisor to provide support in developing a café and shop in Jaffna.


  • Provide support with setting up a new Sthree outlet in Jaffna;
  • Create a communication/promotional strategy to improve the visibility of Sthree and women entrepreneurs in the North;
  • Provide recommendations to strengthen the quality and diversification of current products and recommend new designs;
  • Organize workshops and training on continuous supply and quality maintenance to women producers;
  • Introducing products from the North to Sthree in Kandy;
  • Train staff in sales, marketing, display, and stock control;
  • Consolidate the results, document best practices and participate in the implementation of exit strategies;
  • Ensure the participation of women and youth, as well as their representation, in all activities of and all program benefits; and
  • Write reports required by WDC and the Uniterra program.


  • Degree in business or management or related field
  • 2 years experience in business development
  • Creativity and innovation with marketing strategies
  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively in cross-cultural environments
  • Demonstrated coaching or mentorship skills, including tact and professionalism
  • Written and oral fluency in English


  • Support and guidance prior to departure and while on assignment in country.
  • Participation in a pre-departure training where you will have the opportunity to learn about the program, gain practical skills for living and working in an intercultural context and meet other volunteers. Travel, meals and accommodation are covered.
  • In-country orientation and briefing upon arrival in-country.
  • Language training in-country where required.
  • Return flights, visas and work permits.
  • Cost of required country specific vaccinations and antimalarials.
  • Health insurance.
  • Modest monthly living allowance while overseas.
  • Accommodation while overseas.
  • Vacation leave entitlement.
  • Return debriefing in Canada after completion of assignment. Travel, meals and accommodation are covered.
  • An incredible opportunity to enhance your professional skills and participate in an experience of a lifetime!


  • Applicants must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada between the age of 18-70.
  • Departure date is contingent upon the timely completion of all administrative requirements (e.g. visa processes, medical clearance, police checks, travel documentation).
  • With the support of the program, all volunteers shall undertake to make a minimum financial contribution of $1,500 for participating in the program.


  • You must ensure that you have a SYGESCA session open and that your profile contains a curriculum vitae before applying for the position. 
  • You must ensure that you have a SYGESCA session open and that your profile contains a curriculum vitae before applying for the position.