Building and Strengthening Neighborhoods and People

Community Wealth Building

WHAT is Community Wealth Building?
Community wealth building is a systems approach to economic development that creates an inclusive, sustainable economy built on locally-rooted and broadly-held ownership. Unlike traditional economic development strategies that funnel resources to support large or national businesses, often creating poor quality jobs for locals while benefiting corporate owners in other regions, community wealth building puts residents and communities first, valuing equity, inclusion, and sustainability.

WHY is Strong City embracing this approach?
As a partner to some of the city’s biggest institutions and smallest community groups, and many entities in between, Strong City Baltimore works to reinforce the pillars of a strong Baltimore: safe streets, desirable and diverse housing stock, quality public schools, a robust and educated workforce, and a deep sense of civic engagement. Strong City’s community wealth building initiative will build off and strengthen Strong City’s core neighborhood work by helping to nurture quality, people-centered job opportunities and more vibrant local economies centered around strong, connected neighborhood enterprises.

The Strong City Wealth Building Initiative – Two Strategies
Promoting critical community wealth building strategies and models at the city-wide level

  • Convening anchor institutions and other nonprofits to build support for a city-wide community wealth building approach.
  • Developing a Community Wealth-Building Policy Platform to educate policymakers and political candidates about this critical approach and encourage them to adopt such a vision.
  • Promoting city policies and initiatives that recognize the value of local ownership, promote equity and inclusion, and help build an eco-system around this important work.
  • Identifying and advancing proven models, such as worker-owned businesses and land trusts, which foster stronger local economies and neighborhoods.

Catalyzing projects designed to build community wealth in targeted neighborhoods

  • Targeted effort to connect local businesses along the Greenmount Corridor to each other and local nonprofits to ensure dollars do not leak out of the community and businesses can be as successful as possible.
  • Analyzing opportunities to create new local enterprises that could meet unmet community needs in neighborhoods along the Greenmount Avenue/York Road corridor.
  • Technical assistance to groups in South Baltimore as they collaborate on a new community plan.
  • Developing “buy-local” strategies to help residents, businesses, and nonprofits recognize the values of directing their dollars towards local enterprises.

CWB Spending Info


Community Wealth Building infographic


Contact Strong City Baltimore’s Community Wealth Building Initiative:
Stephanie Geller, Community Wealth Building Strategist
410-240-3373 or

Learn More:

Worker Cooperatives Are More Productive Than Normal Companies – The Nation