The Foundation for Enterprise Development (FED) was established as a private, non-profit operating foundation in 1986 by Dr. J. Robert Beyster, the founder of Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) and The Beyster Institute.

He created the FED in response to a fundamental question—how could the idea of employee ownership be spread to other companies so that they, their employees, their customers, their owners, and the nation as a whole could benefit? Because of the FED, three decades later, tens of thousands of employees have become owners and become more entrepreneurial; hundreds of businesses have improved their performance; thousands of scholars are making serious inquiries on best practices and policy; and major local and national economies have in some way adopted employee-owned enterprises into their plans.

FED Archive and 30-Year Retrospective

Through the implementation of programs and development of products, the FED developed many strategic collaborations and partnerships with business, academia, foundations, and the U.S. government including The Aspen Institute, the Academy of Management, DARPA, U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), XPrize Foundation, the Employee Ownership Foundation (EOF), UCSD, Rutgers University, University of Michigan, Stanford University, Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) companies and others in the U.S. and the European Union. FED hosted numerous conferences and published regularly including with regional, national, and global media organizations.

Read more about the FED’s 30-Year history here.

Watch Beyster’s Retrospective of 30 Years of Employee Ownership history, Enterprising Owners.

The UCSD Special Collections is home for the FED Archive that serves as a historical resource for 30 years of conferences agendas and proceedings, speeches, and a range of education programs.


The FED is honored to have received the following industry awards:

2015 – John Logue Employee Ownership Excellence Award, awarded by the Ohio Employee Ownership Center (OEOC) to Mary Ann Beyster, as an outstanding person in the field of employee ownership. Watch a key note video here. Read more about the OEOC conference including Mary Ann’s award (pg. 9), a tribute to Dr. Beyster (p. 32), and an interview with Martin Staubus of the Beyster Institute (p. 21) here.

2014 – Global Equity Organization (GEO) Judges Award for “exceptional contribution towards promoting global employee shared ownership”. More here.