The Baltimore Roundtable for Economic Democracy (BRED) is a coalition of Maryland-based worker cooperatives, advocates, and technical assistance providers committed to building a robust cooperative ecosystem. BRED supports democratically-controlled economic institutions with loans and technical assistance.
We prioritize coop development that directs educational and financial resources to historically marginalized communities—especially communities of color that have been excluded from the current economic system. We are part of an emerging national peer network of loan funds to aggregate non-exploitative financing to scale this work.
We believe in the creation of democratically-controlled economic institutions, whether as start-ups or through converting existing businesses. We see it as a powerful model that addresses concrete community needs—like living wage jobs with dignity—with an expansive vision of a transformed and equitable economy. Self-managed workplaces create key sites for skill-sharing and grassroots leadership development.
Viable cooperative businesses with values grounded in community provide meaningful examples of corporate responsibility and accountability. Community-owned economic institutions demonstrate that Maryland communities can thrive without courting elite developers or national corporations that siphon profit from the local economy.