The Co-operative and Entrepreneurship Development Institute (CEDI) Universiti Utara Malaysia was established on 1 March 1990 at the Sintok Campus located in Bandar Baru Sintok. The area is located 48 kilometers north of Alor Setar and 10 kilometers east of Changlun town, a small town on the North-South Highway.

At the beginning of its establishment CEDI was known as the Center for Business and Entrepreneur Development (Pusat Perniagaan dan Pembangunan Usahawan). On 1 November 1993 PPPU was upgraded as an Institute and known as the Institute of Entrepreneurial Development or Institut Pembangunan Keusahawanan (IPK).

On 1 January 2009, IPK was rebranded as the Cooperative and Entrepreneurship Development Institute (CEDI), which is in line with the university's intention to mould the institute a Strategic Business Unit (SBU). The expansion of its functions has even been extended to co-operative development.

On 1 January 2011, its functionality expanded with the addition of the Postgraduate, Research and Publication Division in line with the University's aspiration to become a Research University in 2013. In 2012, the function was re-aligned to help CEDI gain recognition as the Higher Institutions Center of Excellence (HICoE) Core Services by focusing on external training, research and consulting activities, as well as Postgraduate programs. The unit was rebranded to the Business Start-up Division in 2019.

In 2019, the function of CEDI has been changed from Center of Excellence to Service Center. In line with this, the Postgraduate, Research and Publication Division has been rebranded to the Business Start-up Division in line with the ministry's intention to uphold the job creator framework.

The CEDI building is located at the Convention Centre and has complete infrastructure, namely the Administration Office, Business Simulation Laboratory, Dining Hall and student business incubator room.