FED History

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

In honor of its 30th year anniversary, The Foundation for Enterprise Development (FED) transitioned from an operating foundation to a new ownership structure, a donor advised fund, called the Beyster Foundation for Enterprise Development (BFED). Starting July 1, 2017, as a purely granting organization, the BFED will continue support for research, education, and services that advance innovation, entrepreneurship and broad-based ownership.

We encourage you to browse this site to find out more about the history of the FED, as well as the major ongoing programs at the Beyster Institute at UC San Diego, Rutgers University, University of Michigan, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Academy of Management that have been established by the FED and are expected to be a continued resource for scholars, educators, and entrepreneurs.

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.


Mary Ann Beyster is honored to have received the following industry awards for exceptional impact in employee ownership:

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.

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