The story of BRED and our larger peer network in Next City

From a great article by Oscar Perry Abello in Next City:

If the financial cooperative works out, worker cooperatives will be able to access all or most of the financing they need through the people that know them best — the other worker-owners in their city or community. Each locality will have one or more local loan funds controlled by, and primarily invested in, local worker cooperatives. Each local loan fund will grow over time out of local loan repayments, and they will also raise capital collectively as a group from large investors who are interested in investing larger amounts than any one local loan fund can handle.

The whole thing is being built on the fly.

The membership of the financial cooperative consists of local organizations committed to incubating and providing technical assistance to worker cooperatives, just as The Working World has done for its borrower cooperatives primarily in NYC. In Baltimore, Red Emma’s got together with a few other cooperatives in the city to create the Baltimore Roundtable for Economic Democracy, or BRED. Other founding members (so far) include the Southern Reparations Loan Fund and the LA Co-Op Lab.

“BRED is basically a network table, it brings together worker-owners from the big cooperatives in Baltimore, one person from DAWN, which is the Democracy at Work Network, and then we have a couple solidarity economy lawyers who are involved, because obviously legal counsel is really useful at this particular moment in building cooperatives,” Khatib explains.

Read the story now