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Building Community Wealth with Cooperatives: Episode 26 of Money + Meaning

SOCAP July 16, 2019

A new episode of SOCAP’s podcast series, Money + Meaning: Unlikely Allies Building New Markets for Impact is now available!


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Recorded live at SOCAP 365 Baltimore

“A lot of people grew up being socialized to think they could never own their own business. They were told, ‘you’re always going to work for someone else’…Cooperatives provide an opportunity to get outside that. Working together, aggregating what we have: our skills, the little bit of personal wealth that we do have–especially the connections that we have in the communities that we come out of–provides an opportunity to find a pathway into business ownership that a lot of people thought they were never going to have.” 
–Kate Khatib

Cooperatives hold incredible promise to build wealth in marginalized communities and reduce the racial wealth gap. But myths and misconceptions about alternative ownership models are common. Many lenders and investors are skeptical of cooperatively owned businesses or find them too “risky” to qualify for investment, even when they have a strong record of profitability.

In the latest episode of our Money + Meaning podcast, recorded live at a SOCAP 365 event in Baltimore, Kate Khatib (a founding worker-owner of Baltimore’s own Red Emma’s cooperative) leads a panel discussion among worker/owners and leaders who are investing in and accelerating businesses with alternative ownership models.

Produced in partnership with Impact Hub Baltimore, the Baltimore Roundtable for Economic Democracy, and the T. Rowe Price Foundation, this SOCAP 365 conversation was the first of a three part series in Baltimore focused on the topic of Building Community Wealth. Khatib, along with Joseph Cureton of Staffing Cooperative, Olivia Rebanal of Capital Impact Partners, and Greg Brodsky of Start.coop, offer their own personal stories of how they came to start or invest in cooperatives and examples of why more investors should see coops and alternative models as opportunities to see both social and financial returns on investment.

Panelists discuss the promise of the cooperative model to create social and economic change and offer frank observations about the challenges that often prevent those businesses from securing investment or achieving success at scale. They also address how investors and foundations can support cooperatives and discuss options for investment that are available to cooperatively owned businesses.

Featured Voices

Kate Khatib

Executive Director

Baltimore Roundtable for Economic Democracy

Headshot of Joseph Cureton

Joseph Cureton


Staffing Cooperative

Headshot of Olivia Rebenal

Olivia Rebanal

Director of Inclusive Food Systems

Capital Impact Partners

Headshot for Greg Brodsky

Greg Brodsky



Host: Alex Kravitz

About Money + Meaning

Money + Meaning is the official podcast of SOCAP. This series aims to expand the conversation around impact investing and strategies to finance and support social change while stimulating innovative and valuable new partnerships across sectors. 

Resources, Cooperatives, and Funders Mentioned in this Episode

To learn more, you might also be interested in listening to the Money + Meaning episode on Democratizing Community Development: An Interview with Boston Ujima Project

Sustainable Development
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