Skip to main content

Catalyzing worker co-ops & the solidarity economy

Where Does a Worker-Owned Collective Business Get a Loan?

Don’t try to ask for the manager at Red Emma’s in Baltimore. That’s because there isn’t one. The self-described “worker cooperative radical bookstore, vegan/vegetarian restaurant, and coffee roaster,” is proud of its radical and anarchist roots, as demonstrated by its organization as a non-hierarchical workers’ co-operative. All of this was fine, until it wanted to expand and discovered that most traditional banks didn’t want to draft loan paperwork including all of the shop’s 12 worker-owners. Instead, Red Emma’s turned to BRED, the Baltimore Roundtable for Economic Democracy. BRED is part of a new model of investment focused on supporting worker-owned and co-operative business models.

“In practice it looks a lot like patient capital,” says Kate Khatib, a co-founder of BRED, “because it is an investment that doesn’t come with an ownership stake.”

Read the rest at Inside Sources


Go to the GEO front page

Add new comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.