News & Blogs


‘Ensuring our younger employees have an equal say in direction of the business is vitally important’ – LUC

LUC is empowering its younger employee owners to contribute to the decision-making process, believing it is “vitally important” to ensure they have an equal say in the direction of the business. The EOA trustee member, which was set up in 1966 and has around 250 skilled professionals across six offices in the UK, formally transferred ownership on Christmas Eve 2019, ready to embrace being employee-owned fully at the start of 2020. LUC, which stands for Land Use Consultants, is an award-winning environmental consultancy providing planning, impact assessment, ...

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Together we can aim to grow twice as much in half the time! | CEO blog

This year is the 10th EO Day with the theme of #GrowEO - today, at 50 days to go to the June 24 celebration, I reflect on the moments that really helped the sector grow.  Together with you our members and stakeholders we have driven the growth of the EOA and the sector over the past 10 years. We have reflected the learnings of this journey in our asks for this year’s EO Day.  In 2012, the EOA was working with Graeme Nuttall and John Lewis Partnership to influence government on what became the employee ownership trust (EOT), an activity that followed up on the ...

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Lyon Equipment ‘enhances employee-owned status’ with EOT move as 82-year-old founder ‘takes a back seat’

Lyon Equipment Ltd – the UK’s leading specialist outdoor and access gear distributor and training provider – has passed control of the company to an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT). Founder Ben Lyon, 82, started making caving ladders in a shed back in 1967, little thinking that over half a century later that tiny business would develop into the present-day Lyon Equipment Limited, with around a hundred staff and an enterprise that encompasses manufacturing, distribution and training from its base in Tebay, Cumbria. Here, Ben explains the rationale and future ...

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People and preparation just as important to consider as finance when funding an EOT | ThinCats guest blog

ThinCats’ slogan is ‘helping the mid-size thrive’, with its sights set on filling the finance gap for SMEs that are evidenced as struggling to access the finance they need. In the lead-up to ThinCats publishing its Guide to EOTs, Head of Credit Greg Beamish, pictured, shares his insights in this guest blog: For the founder of a company, handing over the reins can be one of the most difficult things to do. They have spent years building up a business, may know every individual employee, and know what they want for the future of the company. Once they have ...

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How ‘flat management structure’ helps Quintessa ‘share control’ with its employee owners | EO Stories

EOA member firm Quintessa has highlighted how its flat management structure helps it “share control” and “delegate responsibility” to its employee owners. The scientific, mathematical and strategic consultancy firm has spoken a year on from making its submission for the Employee Ownership Association’s EO Stories 2021 competition in the Delivering Good Governance and Engagement category. Launched as part of activities in the run-up to EO Day, the EOA is again asking members to submit their stories in one of four categories where they have excelled, with ...

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Employee-owned MSL Solution Providers scoops Queen’s Award for International Trade

The UK’s leading microbiological testing and regulatory specialist, MSL Solution Providers, has been honoured with a prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise for International Trade. Celebrating business excellence across the UK, this year 226 organisations nationally have been recognised for their contribution to International Trade, Innovation, Sustainable Development and Promoting Opportunity (through Social Mobility). And the EOA would like to congratulate employee-owned MSL Solution Providers after it was commended for its excellence in international ...

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Employee-owned Flexeserve wins Queen’s Award for Innovation for its food-to-go hot-holding technology

The EOA congratulates Flexeserve after its ground-breaking developments in hot-holding technology received royal recognition with a Queen’s Award for Innovation. Flexeserve, the world expert in food-to-go hot-holding, which is a brand of The Alan Nuttall Partnership, an employee-owned manufacturing company employing 90 partners based in Hinckley, Leicestershire, has been honoured with a Queen’s Award for Enterprise: Innovation 2022. Hailed by CEO Jamie Joyce as “Flexeserve’s greatest achievement to date”, the award will be marked with a reception hosted ...

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ProTech Recruitment transitions to employee ownership after getting the ‘inside track’ from EOA member in the same building

Hemel Hempstead recruitment company ProTech has announced its transition to employee ownership.   ProTech, which is one of the fastest growing technology and engineering recruitment agencies in the UK, has transferred 100% of shares to an employee ownership trust (EOT) for the benefit of its 14 employees. The decision to become EO was triggered by a conversation with another employee-owned businesses that is based in the same building. The Hertfordshire firm, which was founded in 1988 and specialises in the scientific, technology, engineering and manufacturing ...

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EOA welcomes employees at our member firms ‘pulling together’ to help the people of Ukraine

The EOA welcomes the efforts made by its members to help the people of Ukraine amid the ongoing conflict with Russia. A number of our members have been in touch to highlight things they have been doing to help and the Employee Ownership Association wanted to showcase these examples. Derby-based Pennine Healthcare, one of the UK’s leading employee-owned, medical technology manufacturers, for example, donated £200,000 worth of medical equipment to help support the people of Ukraine. The emergency donation, made up of face masks, dressings, bandages, sanitis...

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EO Stories 2022 launched as competition looks to shine a spotlight on the impact of ‘Good EO’ on our members

The EOA is marking 75 days to go until EO Day by launching its EO Stories 2022 competition and celebration. In 2021, the EOA launched EO Stories to celebrate how being employee-owned had supported businesses during challenging times due to the pandemic. We heard from employee-owned businesses of all sizes about how their focus on their people had supported employee health and wellbeing, helped the business adapt and delivered benefit for multiple stakeholders. And this year, we want to shine a spotlight on the good news stories from our community that demons...

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Consultancy firm Quod transitions to employee ownership to ‘formalise’ its culture as a people-focused business

Planning and development consultancy Quod says becoming employee-owned has “formalised its long-held belief that the success of the company comes from having a great, positively engaged team”. Quod has announced its transition to become an employee-owned company, with the shares held in an employee ownership trust (EOT) for the benefit of all current and future employees. Since its founding in 2010, Quod has experienced significant growth creating an award-winning, independent and dynamic consultancy at the cutting-edge of planning, development economics, ...

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Vox Pops International transitions to an EOT to give its employee owners ‘collective control of their futures’

Vox Pops International says its transition to employee ownership will enable its employees to have “collective control of their future” and “share in the success” of the business. The company, which is based in Epsom, Surrey, announced the move to employee ownership at the end of March and “can’t wait to embark on this new journey together”. Vox Pops International operates in the UK and worldwide for major brands and agencies to bring consumer insight to life and put the consumer at the heart of the business. The firm has been at the forefront of ...

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New CEO uses first formal speech in role to announce two major programmes and a return to face-to-face events

New Chief Executive James de le Vingne has given his first formal speech as CEO since joining the Employee Ownership Association (EOA) in February. In his keynote speech at our Better Business Together event, which incorporated the EOA AGM, James spoke about his vision for the organisation's digital transformation, the most ambitious research programme to date called the Knowledge Programme, and also made an announcement about our 2022 events. Here is what he had to say: I have spent the past few weeks on tour meeting many employee-owned businesses, supporter members, ...

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How formalisation of Smile Together’s elected body has helped improve people’s understanding of their role as an employee owner

When the pandemic brought Smile Together’s Staff Council “even more sharply into focus”, the dental care provider decided to take the opportunity to relaunch this as its Shareholder Impact Board (SIB). After discussions with colleagues and on the EO Hub platform’s forum with EOA members helped it make this decision, Smile Together recruited an additional three representatives to join the existing four that initially made up the elected body; revised its objectives; and produced a visual roadmap to outline its collective ambitions. This formalisation, says ...

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Employee Ownership Trusts – In search of best practice: Seven key takeaways from research paper on the governance of employee-owned businesses

New research is published today to offer comparative insight into how employee-owned businesses are structuring their employee ownership trusts (EOTs). The study into the governance of EOTs, titled ‘Employee Ownership Trusts – In search of best practice’, has highlighted a series of key findings on common practices. The employee ownership sector is growing at an incredible rate and that growth has been driven by the introduction in 2014 of the employee ownership trust (EOT), which holds company shares for the benefit of all employees. Many companies in the ...

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Becoming even more connected is the ‘silver lining’ for HLM Architects after transitioning to employee ownership

Award-winning architectural practice says employee ownership was ‘right for our next generation’ and the ‘natural next step’ to further ingrain a culture that already existed at the ‘people-centric’ firm. “Our mantra is ‘everything is connected’. We work as one team without boundaries, sharing ideas and resources to an international client base. We’ve always had great relationships across our studios, and the silver lining of becoming employee-owned is that these connections have strengthened even further,” says Karen Mosley, Managing Director of ...

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Spring Statement: EOA welcomes cut to fuel duty and extra support for SMEs

The EOA has welcomed the cut to fuel duty and extra support for SMEs announced by Rishi Sunak in his Spring Statement in the House of Commons today. Against a backdrop of rising fuel, energy and food costs amid the war in Ukraine, the Chancellor was under pressure to deliver some much-needed respite for people and businesses in the UK. His statement came on the day it was revealed that prices had risen by 6.2% in the 12 months to February and that inflation is likely to average 7.4% for the rest of this year. Mr Sunak began by announcing that fuel duty will be cut ...

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EOA congratulates Collective Architecture’s Jude Barber on her RSE Fellowship

The EOA congratulates Jude Barber from member firm Collective Architecture after receiving a Fellowship from the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE), Scotland’s National Academy. Jude is among 80 names from the arts, business, public service, and civil society, as well as academia, from Scotland and beyond to be made a fellow, including singer Annie Lennox. She joins the RSE’s current Fellowship of around 1,700, who are recognised as being some of the greatest thinkers, researchers and practitioners working in or with Scotland today. Jude is a director and ...

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100 days to go: EOA launches 10th EO Day celebration of employee ownership 

The EOA is today launching the countdown to EO Day 2022 with a call to action for members, supporters, and stakeholders to come together to collectively raise awareness about employee ownership.  Today marks the 100-day countdown to EO Day, which this year takes place on Friday, June 24, and – as recently first announced in Episode 2 of the EOA Podcast – has a theme of #GrowEO.  Each year, thousands of employee owners, EO businesses and supporters from across the UK come together to celebrate and raise awareness of the benefits and impact of employee ownership ...

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‘Our role holding the Employee Ownership Association to account to help it hit its targets and mission’ | EOA Board showcase

A member of the Employee Ownership Association’s Board has spoken of its role in helping to “hold the EOA to account”. We want to raise awareness and highlight the work of our Board, for example in helping during the recent recruitment process to find a new chief executive. To gain a perspective from someone that sits on the EOA Board, Charlotte Tickle has revealed how it “helps the EOA be successful in hitting its targets and its mission”. Charlotte, pictured, who is the People and Culture Director at EOA member Riverford Organic Farmers, has been a ...

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‘Why you need to keep that momentum after transitioning to employee ownership and ensure it doesn’t just feel like business as usual’ | HLM Architects

HLM Architects has revealed one of the main lessons it learnt in the first year of being employee-owned was how important it is to “keep that momentum in the early months” after transitioning. The EOA member, which was listed as third best architectural practice in the UK and in the top 100 best companies to work for in the Sunday Times 2021, transitioned 100% of its shares to an employee ownership trust (EOT) in December 2020. The Architects’ Journal AJ100 Employer of the Year 2020 and 2021, which has a workforce of 190 spread across studios in London, ...

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International Women’s Day: Seven reasons why employee ownership can help break down gender bias in the workplace

The EOA is marking International Women’s Day by highlighting the opportunity employee ownership has to break down gender bias in the workplace. International Women's Day celebrates the achievements of women, while calling for gender parity across the globe – with the theme this year being #BreakTheBias. To highlight this ‘opportunity’ employee ownership has to #BreakTheBias, Helen Moreton has provided her insights into why being EO can create gender equality. Helen, pictured, is well placed to offer a broad view on the employee ownership sector as an ...

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‘Give employees time to understand what becoming employee-owned means for them’ | Ovation Finance guest blog

In this guest blog, EOA member Ovation Finance provides tips to any company starting out on the process of transitioning to employee ownership. The Bristol-based firm of independent, chartered financial planners, which has over 20 years’ experience helping clients, became employee-owned in March 2018 when founder Chris Budd sold the majority of his shares to an employee ownership trust (EOT). Director Tom Morris and Tammy Devonald, Ringleader of Creative Operations and employee trustee, provide their insights looking back at their own transition as they celebrate four ...

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‘It would be great to see more companies consider the EOT route’ | Fuel distribution firms transition to employee ownership

The EOA has welcomed the news that northern-based fuel supplier Craggs Energy Ltd and its sister company in Devon, Moorland Fuels Ltd, have transferred ownership of the businesses to their 55-strong workforce. The directors have transferred 100% of shares in the businesses to their teams by establishing an employee ownership trust (EOT), funded by future profits. The companies, both of which have been in operation for over 10 years, have grown into significant players in the UK fuel industry, providing fuel delivery services and wider solutions to homes, farms and ...

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‘We believe the people best able to run – and indeed own – a recruitment business are those who work in it’ | SSQ transitions to employee ownership

The EOA has welcomed the news that SSQ has transitioned to employee ownership, with the international legal talent consultancy stating that it “believes the people best able to run – and indeed own – a recruitment business are those who work in it”. The market leading global legal talent business is now 100% employee-owned by an employee ownership trust (EOT) after announcing its transition this month almost 20 years since it was formed. SSQ, which was founded in 2003, operates out of London, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Munich, Paris, Madrid, the Middle East, ...

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EOA highlights benefits of member online platform the EO Hub as it reaches 2,000-user milestone

The Employee Ownership Association (EOA) is celebrating after reaching 2,000 users of its EO Hub platform and is using the milestone to highlight the benefits of the site for its members. The EO Hub, which was launched in 2017, is the EOA’s online platform for member networking. The member-only site enables businesses, stakeholders and advisers to connect with fellow members from across the network, register for events, read the latest news, join conversations in the forum and access documents in the resource library. This week the EOA approved the 2,000th user of ...

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‘A must for a new employee director or trustee’: Four key takeaways Family Psychology Mutual highlighted after attending EOA course

Family Psychology Mutual CIC has pinpointed four key takeaways from sending a group of its employee owners to the EOA’s ‘How to be an Effective Employee Director or Employee Trustee’ course. The EOA member sent four people on the course in 2021 – with one attendee remarking it’s “a ‘must’ course for a new employee director or trustee”. Taking on the role of employee trustee or employee director as a business transitions into employee ownership can be a little daunting at first, particularly for candidates without prior experience. The Employee ...

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New Chief Executive takes the helm at the EOA

Today (February 14) the EOA welcomes James de le Vingne as the new Chief Executive. James, who has spent the past 5 years leading the Development Unit at Co-operatives UK, joins the EOA as it embarks on an ambitious transformation and growth plan. James will build on the legacy of Deb Oxley OBE’s tenure at the EOA which saw the association double its number of members and creating relationships that have helped drive both the success of the EOA and the growth of the employee ownership sector. James, whose work at Co-operatives UK includes establishing the ...

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Leadership versus ownership: Why decision-making at Middleton Hall Retirement Village more ‘considered and thoughtful’ since transition

The former owner of Middleton Hall Retirement Village says he had to adapt his leadership style after the business transitioned to employee ownership. Middleton Hall, a premium retirement village based in Darlington, Co Durham, became employee-owned in April 2019 – although the impact of the pandemic hindered the start of this journey. Jeremy Walford, the former owner who joined a then failing nursing home in 1996, had been the managing director for over two decades until Suzanne Graham was promoted to the role in January 2021. During the EOA’s January Virtual ...

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Outdoor entrepreneur sells Nikwax and Páramo brands to employee ownership trusts to safeguard their ‘guiding principles’ 

The EOA welcomes the transition of Nikwax and Páramo to employee ownership, with founder and outdoor entrepreneur Nick Brown making the move to safeguard “the guiding principles” of the two brands.  Back in 1977, Nick Brown was living in London and had just finished university; he was both unemployed and in love with the outdoors – specifically long-distance walking and backpacking.   Nick also had a flair for chemistry and he utilised this talent to create his first product – Nikwax Waterproofing Wax for Leather, which he supplied to the 1980 Royal ...

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How employee ownership aligns with the Government’s ambitions to ‘Level Up’ the UK

The Employee Ownership Association (EOA) has welcomed the Government's Levelling Up plan announced by minister Michael Gove in Westminster. The drive to boost opportunity and productivity in the regions aligns with our own regional plans to grow employee and worker ownership, thereby driving increased business performance, innovation and resilience. Anything that makes sure more people can take advantage of improved opportunities, wherever you live in the UK, is to be welcomed. As a national organisation once based in London, but for the past eight years based in ...

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‘Acting like an employee-owned business during our transition journey helped make the process a success’ | LDA Design Blog

LDA Design, a planning and design consultancy with 180 staff and eight UK offices, started its journey towards 100% employee ownership in 2018, before transitioning in August 2021. It told the EOA Annual Conference it felt the success of the process was helped by the fact it started acting like an employee-owned company before it became one during that journey. Here Lindsay Tilley, LDA Design’s Head of People who led its culture and communications project during the process, details how it became employee-owned by bringing its people on the journey: It all started ...

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EOA launches new monthly podcast to highlight EO best practice, insight and news

The Employee Ownership Association (EOA) has launched a monthly podcast series to support its work to champion, promote and provide insight into employee ownership. The EOA Podcast aims to bring  employee ownership (EO) best practice and insights to life and further raise awareness of the impacts of good employee ownership. Each month, The EOA Podcast will bring you interviews from a range of guests across the employee ownership sector – including founders, employee owners, specialist advisers and esteemed stakeholder partners – as well as learning insights ...

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Delegates look to implement ‘little gems’ from ‘light-bulb moments’ during EOA’s ‘empowering leaders’ course

The first cohort of delegates on the EOA’s leader course have spoken of the “little gems” and “light-bulb moments” gained from attending the virtual learning sessions. Run across five mornings, our first ‘How To Be An Empowering Leader Or Manager In An EO Business’ course finished in December 2021, with the delegates commenting on the “good balance” of topics covered and many saying they were “very likely” to recommend it to others. Recognising that management and leadership in an employee-owned business requires a different approach to that ...

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How forming an employee council helped bring ‘tangible’ change for 3P Innovation after its transition

Automation company 3P Innovation says giving its employees a say has resulted in a “tangible” change for the better in its business a year on from transitioning to employee ownership. The Warwick-based firm, which “makes the machines that make pharmaceuticals”, became employee owned in late 2020 and states its top tip for any company doing the same is to “talk to your employees and set up a council”. After transitioning, 3P said the “next natural thing” was to form an employee council and it shared its lessons from doing so to delegates at the EOA ...

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‘Make sure you shout about employee ownership from the start,’ says Jerba Campervans founder after double award

Jerba Campervans founder Simon Poole admits the biggest benefit from winning a double accolade at the IoD’s Scotland Director of the Year Awards was the chance to further shout about employee ownership (EO). Simon won the Institute of Directors’ National Small-Medium Business and Edinburgh & Lothians Regional Director of the Year awards in December 2021. The wins recognise his work managing employee-owned Jerba Campervans, which he co-founded with wife Cath in 2006, with the judges describing Simon as a great example of an authentic leader. “I’ve ...

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‘Employee ownership is a natural progression for us’: Marketing agency Formative Content transitions to an EOT

The Employee Ownership Association (EOA) is delighted to announce that Formative Content has transitioned to a 100% Employee Owned Trust (EOT) to enable its 70-plus employees to share more in the future direction and success of the business.  Founded by former television news executive Gay Flashman in 2014, the digital marketing and communications agency develops communication strategies and original content for corporate and B2B clients around the globe. Formative’s clients include Microsoft, McKinsey, Tata Consultancy Services and the World Economic Forum. For...

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EOA welcomes law firm Ison Harrison’s transition to employee ownership

The Employee Ownership Association (EOA) has welcomed the news that one of Yorkshire’s leading law firms has become entirely owned by its employees after the three shareholder directors agreed to sell the business to an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT). Ison Harrison, which has a network of 16 offices throughout the region, was founded in 1978 as S.C Harrison & Co, merging a decade later with Ison Driver & Furness, to form Ison Harrison. The firm, which now employs more than 230 staff across Yorkshire and has an annual turnover of £16 million, has become a ...

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Gripple’s employee owners ‘go that extra mile’ after making financial commitment

Gripple, which designs and manufactures precision engineering products for export to more than 80 countries, employs more than 800 people across 15 global locations and wants them all to share in its success and ‘realise how good it is to be employee-owned’ “Our employee owners are committed because they personally have shares in the business – this leaves us in a great position to innovate and grow,” says Hugh Facey, founder of Gripple. Gripple, which is a market-leading manufacturer of wire joining and tensioning devices for construction and agricultural ...

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‘In my last month as CEO, I can look back on 2021 as a year of adaption and innovation for employee ownership’

As we start 2022, looking back to this time last year, I guess no one could have imagined we would still be deep amid the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. After almost 24 months of significant restrictions to our personal and business behaviours, and with the tragic loss of so many lives, most of us were hoping that 2022 would be the start of a new, Covid-free, or at least restriction free, future. However, humankind is highly adaptable and innovative therefore I’m sure that in time we will overcome and learn to live with the ‘new normal’ of coronavirus. And ...

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‘How being on the EOA Membership Council builds our skills and improves the member offer’ | EMC showcase

The EOA Membership Council (EMC) is eager to “put itself out there more” to showcase the work it does to help the Employee Ownership Association “develop and deliver a compelling membership proposition”. In a bid to raise awareness of the work of the EMC, some of its representatives have shared their insights on how it seeks to “hold the EOA to account and represent its members”. Representatives from the EOA network are recruited to the council to represent member views and support the organisation develop its services. Oliver Smith, Head of Membership ...

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‘Seek invaluable advice from like-minded businesses before you transition to employee ownership’ | Horizon Platforms case study 

A platform hire company from West Yorkshire admits one of the most important lessons it has learnt from its transition to employee ownership is to take advice from other businesses that have been through the process. Horizon Platforms became employee-owned in February 2021 and found it “so helpful to get other perspectives” during the year-long process. The Normanton-based company says the “invaluable advice” it received from Employee Ownership Association (EOA) members helped it see the benefit of taking its employees “on that journey with us”. The ...

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EOA welcomes debate by MPs on contribution of co-ops and mutuals

The EOA welcomes today’s debate at Westminster Hall on co-operatives and mutuals, which included the impact businesses owned by its employees can have on the economy. Steve Baker, the Conservative MP for Wycombe, brought the debate – titled ‘The contribution of co-operatives and mutual societies to the economy and public life’ – on behalf of Co-operatives UK, which has tabled a brief and policy proposals to the Government. The parliamentary session heard contributions from MPs across all the main political parties, who championed examples of co-operatives ...

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‘Why I’m passionate about making sure the younger generation are moving the employee-ownership sector forward’ | Guest blog

Following his contribution as a speaker at the EOA Annual Conference 2021, Jake Hallatt – a 22-year-old graduate management trainee at employee-owned Gripple – has produced a guest blog on why he is so passionate about spreading the employee ownership (EO) message to younger people. Jake is an elected employee representative on the Glide council, which represents all the shareholder members who work in its partner companies like Gripple. A former apprentice of the year award winner, read Jake’s blog here: When I was elected to the Glide council, I was just 18 and ...

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EOA announces new Chief Executive to lead growth and transformation plan

The EOA has recruited a new Chief Executive to lead the EOA through its ambitious transformation and growth plan. James de le Vingne, who has spent the past 5 years leading the Development Unit at Cooperatives UK, will join the EOA in February 2022. The search for a new CEO began back in August when current EOA Chief Executive Deb Oxley OBE announced that she would be stepping down from her role at the EOA after 9 years - 3 as Membership Director and 6 as CEO. James, whose work at Cooperatives UK includes establishing the Ownership Hub in partnership with the EOA, ...

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Essential Recruitment moves to Employee Ownership

The EOA welcomes Essential Recruitment's move to employeeownership. HR Essentials Ltd T/A Essential Recruitment, based in Chesterfield, has sold 100% of its shares to HR Essentials Trust making the business wholly owned by its 50 employees. The business, which has offices in the East Midlands and South Yorkshire, saw Owner-Directors of the recruitment business; Marc Orli, Kristyan Rachael, Lisa Smith, Alison Wilby, Gary Wilson and Carl Wootton sell their shares for an undisclosed sum. With the exception of Gary Wilson, who will step down from his role as Chairman, ...

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EOA congratulates Graeme Nuttall OBE as international award recognises him as employee ownership champion

The Employee Ownership Association congratulates Graeme Nuttall OBE on being recognised for his work championing employee ownership in the UK and internationally. Graeme, partner at law firm Fieldfisher and head of its Employee Ownership Solutions practice, was the recipient of the 31st ‘Txemi Cantera’ International Social Economy Award, handed out by the ASLE – which is the business association of employee-owned and investee companies in the Basque Country. The employee ownership trust (EOT) was introduced in the UK as a result of the 2012 Nuttall Review of ...

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Industry experts offer top tips for employee-owned businesses accessing finance for the first time

Employee-owned businesses thinking about funding for the first time have been offered top tips for what they should and shouldn’t do when accessing finance. Speaking at the EOA Annual Conference 2021, three industry experts provided their insights into the role banks and investors can play in unlocking the potential that employee ownership can bring in terms of benefits to businesses, employees and customers, both in financing the transition and investing in future growth. The trio showcased the “many different options available for accessing finance – all with ...

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Why you should value your values if you are considering entering an award | Synergy Vision’s story

‘Fresh. Smart. Open. Real. That’s Synergy Vision’s commitment to delivering the difference’ – this set of values is what has helped the medical communications agency claim industry recognition and numerous awards over the years, according to founder and Global CEO Ffyona Dawber. Synergy Vision has achieved Investors in People (IIP) Platinum accreditation – something less than 2% of organisations in the UK achieve – and been named the 3rd Best Small Workplace by Great Place to Work. “I do believe it was our values and sticking to those values that ...

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Postlethwaite – 5 Tips to a Successful Employee Ownership Transition – Guest Blog

You’ve done the research and are convinced of the multiple benefits of transitioning to Employee Ownership (EO) and how it can have a positive impact on your business, your employees, their productivity and also your legacy. You realise the employee ownership option provides the best exit strategy for you and your business, so what happens next? To assist and ensure your business’s transition to employee ownership is as smooth and as successful for the long term as possible, there are some key considerations you should take the time to think about and address. ...

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Why employee-owned Wave Refrigeration is putting ‘Generation Z’ at the forefront of its sustainable development goals

Wave Refrigeration’s vision for future success is built around the belief that its next generation programme and sustainable development goals initiative “will ensure that the business continues to grow and thrive”. It is an approach that helped the West Yorkshire firm become the first refrigeration engineering consultancy to achieve Investors in People (IIP) accreditation in 2019. The employee-owned business, which is also an Investors in People Awards 2021 finalist, was founded by James Bailey in 2015 and as well as its main base in Keighley, it has a ...

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Why HLM Architects is ripping up the rule book when it comes to reward strategies and ways of working | Guest blog

Employee-owned company HLM Architects, which was listed as third best architectural practice in the UK and in the top 100 best companies to work for in the Sunday Times, has studios in London, Sheffield, Glasgow, Belfast and Cardiff and a workforce of 190. Managing Director Karen Mosley – who joined the company as an apprentice at 17 more than 33 years ago – details how and why it is ripping up the rule book when it comes to reward strategies. We know that a feeling of belonging and sense of reward can be achieved or indeed eroded in so many ways. At its most basic, ...

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Video case study: Claremont Group Interiors

Claremont Group Interiors, which became employee-owned in late 2020 and is a longstanding workplace design and build agency with headquarters in Warrington and a second office in Bristol, produced a video case study of its employee ownership journey after winning the President’s Pick award as part of EO Stories 2021. Watch its story here:

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Video case study: Scott Bader

To mark 100 years of Scott Bader Company Limited, and 70 years of the Scott Bader Commonwealth Limited, and after Godric Bader won the Celebrating a True EO Champion award as part of EO Stories 2021, the global manufacturer of adhesives, resins, gelcoats and functional polymers based in Wollaston, Northamptonshire, and with offices across the world, produced a video case study of its employee ownership journey. The work of Godric and his father Ernest helped Scott Bader become the first company to hold a Common Ownership Certificate, a trailblazer of this new type of ...

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Video case study: Seetec

Seetec, which has its head office in Hockley, Essex, and delivers employment, skills and rehabilitation services, produced a video case study of its employee ownership journey after winning the Promoting Employee Wellbeing award as part of EO Stories 2021. Watch its story here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VYzJMBqWwy4

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Video case study: Community Dental Services (CDS) CIC

CDS CIC, which delivers community dental services and has locations across the country and a base in Bedfordshire, produced a video case study of its employee ownership journey after winning the Delivering Good Governance and Engagement award as part of EO Stories 2021. Watch its story here:

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Video case study: The National Self Build and Renovation Centre (NSBRC)

NSBRC, from Swindon, which has 17 employees, produced a video case study of its employee ownership journey after winning the Developing Business Resilience award as part of EO Stories 2021. Watch its story here: https://youtu.be/36pomLyA8Sw

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Seven takeaways from Day Three of the EOA Annual Conference 2021

The third and final day of the EOA Annual Conference 2021 showcased employee ownership from a variety of different voices all at different points of their EO journey. The Employee Ownership Association (EOA) leads the campaign for growing employee ownership in the UK – with government, the media and across the wider business community. The purpose of the EOA is to unlock the potential of people, businesses and communities, which was reflected in the conference video content, written case studies and support materials that were created to deliver the event. This ...

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EOA Annual Conference 2021 hears of Japan’s ambition to create employee-ownership ‘movement’

The Japan Employee Ownership Association (JEOA) is eager to learn from the “front-runners of employee ownership in the UK” in embedding the model in its country. Art Hosokawa, chairman of the Japan EOA, who is helping pioneer employee ownership in the Far East nation, attended the EOA Annual Conference 2021 to take on board lessons from attending sessions and networking with delegates during the three-day virtual event. Art revealed at the conference that he has helped around 20 companies to become employee-owned since establishing the Japan EOA around five years ...

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Why Purcell’s pathway to employee ownership ‘took some considerable time in comparison to others’

As one of the world’s leading architectural heritage conservation experts, Purcell took seven years from initially finding out about employee ownership to becoming an EO business in May 2021 – a structural change for the company “the likes of which it has never seen before” in its 74-year history. “Purcell’s pathway to EO took some considerable time in comparison to others and of paramount importance was our desire for the transition to succeed. We firmly believe the length of time and effort taken to realign our culture will pay off in the longer term as we ...

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Seven takeaways from Day Two of the EOA Annual Conference 2021

The theme of “happy people, happy workforce” was championed as Day Two of the EOA Annual Conference 2021 continued the theme built up on day one. This theme was abundant in the EO Stories Celebration as 6 winners were announced at the event, kicking off the second day of the conference. To read up on the winners click here >> Here are seven takeaways from Day Two of the event on Wednesday 17th November: 1. Our survey said: ‘It’s not mandatory to be miserable at work’ Employee-owned Clarasys was on hand to share its employee engagement strategies ...

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EO Stories competition winners announced at EOA Annual Conference 2021

The EO Stories competition has crowned six winners at the EOA Annual Conference 2021, where the more than 500 delegates has heard from companies such as Go Ape on their transition to an employee ownership model. EO Stories, delivered in partnership with Baxendale, is a celebration of the exceptional stories of employee-owned (EO) businesses and the challenges they have faced over the last year. Thousands of votes were cast by the EO community for their favourites this summer as part of the Employee Ownership Association’s (EOA) EO Stories competition, which ...

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Seven takeaways from Day One of the EOA Annual Conference 2021

More than 500 delegates were on hand as Day One of the EOA Annual Conference 2021 offered them the opportunity to learn more about ‘unlocking the potential’ of employee ownership. The virtual three-day event put on sessions on exploring succession, ‘Good Employee Ownership’, and delivering ‘Better Business’. The EOA is providing seven hours of learning to choose from across these three topics, as well as the chance to network on virtual round tables. EOA Chief Executive Deb Oxley OBE launched the conference with a keynote speech, which you can read by ...

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What swung it for Go Ape to realise employee ownership was the right path to safeguard its ‘very unique’ culture?

What started out as a drawing and a vision of a future involving “trees, tepees, tree houses and bonfires” has evolved into an adventure company welcoming more than a million visitors a year – and one that is now employee-owned after Go Ape’s founders handed over control to their 1,000-strong workforce. During the almost 20 years that Go Ape has been in existence its founders, husband and wife team Rebecca and Tristram Mayhew, have always wondered ‘where do we see this going?’ Safeguarding the “very unique” culture and values of the treetop adventure ...

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Why it’s critical the EOA and its members remain constant and authentic champions of ‘Good Employee Ownership’

Deb Oxley OBE, Chief Executive at the Employee Ownership Association, gave a keynote speech to open up day one of the EOA Annual Conference 2021. Here is what she had to say: Believing that business and society are better when people have a meaningful stake and a say in their work, the Employee Ownership Association (EOA) has a clear mission to unlock the potential of people, businesses and the economy through employee ownership. And arguably the opportunity for employee ownership (EO) has never been greater as businesses seek to be more sustainable, equitable and ...

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EOA Conference Headline Sponsor – J Gadd Associates Guest Blog

Guest Blog by Jeremy Gadd, J Gadd Associates Where has the last year gone to? How can we be on the eve of the 2021 EOA conference already? We are delighted to be Headline co-sponsors for the third year running, along with Postlethwaite, supporting the first fully digital EOA conference. We know the EOA team have been working hard alongside First Event to bring together more opportunities to experience case studies, discussions and share best practice, in addition to formal and informal networking. Some of the benefits of attending any conference, are the opportu...

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Demonstrating how larger companies can consider Employee Ownership as part of their future. – RVE

Guest Blog by Tom Lethaby, RVE Corporate Finance   TTP Group Ltd (“TTP”) – the largest company to convert to an Employee Ownership Trust (“EOT”) structure demonstrates how larger companies can consider Employee Ownership as part of their future. Statistics compiled for the Employee Ownership Association (“EOA”) show that, since the changes introduced in the 2014 Budget made it easier to convert a business to employee ownership through use of a John Lewis style trust structure, over 600 UK companies have chosen this path. This includes ...

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Employee Ownership Trusts (EOTs): Key considerations – Moore Kingston Smith

Guest Blog by Harpreet Gill, Moore Kingston Smith   Moore Kingston Smith is a leading UK firm of accountants, lawyers and business advisers. With over 60 partners and more than 500 staff based in and around London, we are a leading member of the international accounting and consulting network, Moore Global. As well as providing accountancy, tax, legal and corporate finance services, one of the areas we specialise in includes Employee Ownership Trusts (EOTs). EOTs continue to grow in popularity as a way of engaging with employees while providing an alternative ...

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We predicted that employee-owned resilience would be an advantage in the face of a global pandemic. But were we right?

Guest blog by Simon Everingham, Baxendale Employee Ownership   According to two recently published surveys by Ranstad UK1 and Autonomy2, almost a quarter of UK workers are planning on leaving their current employment in the next few months. Some are calling this ‘The Great Resignation’, and fear a mass exodus may be on the cards if companies do not act to improve their offer to employees soon. While the reasons for workers to move jobs are diverse (on average it’s expected that 11% of workers will move jobs every year1), in some sectors such as care, ...

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GO APE founders hand over control of adventure company to staff

The founders of  EOA member Go Ape are handing control of the adventure group to staff, in a move that will give all employees an equal stake in the ownership and success of the business. Founders Rebecca and Tristram Mayhew announced 90% of Go Ape shares will be transferred into a John Lewis-style trust, for the benefit of all current and future employees. They will tell their story at the EOA Conference on November 16 to kick-off the event which offers 40 networking and learning sessions live on the afternoons of the 16-18 November, as well as being available ...

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EOA Conference content programme launches

The three key learning strands are employee ownership as a succession plan, building good employee ownership and delivering better business. Here are our five picks for this week, which have a better business focus: Tuesday 16th November: Hear from CEO of UMi Nicki Clark’s story on how they achieved the maximum of three-star accreditation for workplace engagement and how they are now working towards BCORP status. Tuesday 16th November: Karen Mosley, Managing Director of HLM Architects, shares her thoughts as part of a discussion on how reward strategies and ...

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EOA growth plan drives team expansion

The UK’s employee-owned economy is growing at pace as an increasing number of business owners consider and then convert to employee ownership. With a 30% increase in the number of employee ownership transitions in 2020 and an ambitious growth strategy and transformation plan, the EOA is looking to expand its team. The EOA passed the 500 corporate member milestone in the first half of 2021. Its plans to evolve its offer to its growing community of businesses, will continue to support businesses through their employee ownership transition as well as supporting them ...

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EOA urges EO community to contribute to e-book in honour of Nigel Mason

The EOA is encouraging those who knew one of the EO sector’s leading lights, Nigel Mason, to share their condolences, stories and memories that celebrate his life, with his loved ones through an e-book.   Nigel, who sadly passed last week, was a close friend of the EOA, having worked on behalf of and for the EOA /Job Ownership, latterly as Policy Director.   More recently, Nigel had worked in partnership with the EOA to publish the annual UK Top 50 and the EOT Survey – two key publications which have directly supported the EOA’s ability to promote and ...

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EOA condolences on the passing of Nigel Mason

The EOA is saddened to hear of the passing of Nigel Mason and sends its heartfelt condolences to his family and all those who worked with him at RM2. Nigel, a friend, colleague and adviser to many in the EOA network and wider EO community, has had a long association with the EOA, from being its Policy Director to working closely with the EOA on research, and as noted by RM2 was a leading light in the sector being instrumental in the growth of employee ownership. He will be missed by the EOA team, all of whom appreciated his advice, support and innovative ideas.

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Member News | LDA Design becomes employee-owned business

Independent design, environment and planning consultancy LDA Design has become a 100% employee-owned business. LDA Design has set up an Employee Ownership Trust to acquire all the shares of the nine owners, which provides a route to succession that builds on everything they have done over the last 42 years, and assures the long-term independence of the business. LDA Design has been working towards this move for a number of years, confident that a business in which all employees have a stake will enjoy greater success. The time has been used to develop new more ...

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Member News | Hawkins\Brown moves to Employee Ownership

Hawkins\Brown has transitioned to an Employee Ownership model, having established an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT) which has purchased the business of Hawkins\Brown from current partners and will operate it for the long-term benefit of all its employees. Over 33 years, Hawkins\Brown grew from two founder employees to an international practice with offices in the UK and US, with a staff of over 260 led by 21 Partners who jointly owned the business through an LLP. The decision to transition to Employee Ownership has been taken to provide the best option for the sustain...

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EOA partners up to launch new course to support businesses to develop good EO

The EOA is launching a new course aimed at leaders and managers in an employee owned business to helps businesses develop good employee ownership and unlock the potential of people and their business. Telos and J Gadd Associates, in partnership with the EOA, have developed a programme to equip leaders and managers with the right tools and mindset to drive success in an employee-owned business. The Ownership Dividend report 2018 evidenced that when then the interests of leaders and employee owners are aligned it unites them behind a common purpose allowing them to ...

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Member News | CDS to host Employee Ownership Explained Webinars 2021

Following last year’s successful ‘Employee Ownership Explained’ webinar series, Co-operative Development Scotland, part of Scottish Enterprise, will be hosting a further 3 webinars on employee ownership that will go beyond the facts and figures.  These 3 webinars will focus on the Employee Ownership Trust (EOT); using the legislation to achieve the best outcomes, financial planning for an EOT transaction and the role of the bank in an EOT transaction. Aimed at professional advisers these expert webinars will explore different aspects to help advisers broaden ...

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Levelling up our economic recovery: the regional opportunity for employee ownership

The ambition to ‘Level Up’ the economy is a familiar phrase but it’s not necessarily clear how this ambition will be realised, what it means to families, businesses and the regions in which they are based or how its impact will be measured.  However, what is clear is that imbalances in economic activity across the country, with wealth and prosperity in some areas driven by investment whilst other areas struggle to shake off their post-industrial decline must be addressed if there is to be a level, UK-wide, post-Covid economic recovery. In addition, the UK’s ...

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Case Study – Experiences of an Independent Trustee

We spoke to Helen Moreton, Founder and Director of Boombox Consulting, to ask her about her experiences as an Independent Trustee for employee owned businesses.   What would you say are the top three things you gain from being an independent trustee? There are many things that I could say in answer to this question, but primarily I would say it is the kind of organisations and people that I get to work with. By the very nature of being an independent trustee you are working with people that are willing to consider a better and fairer way of doing business. I feel ...

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EOA seeks new CEO to lead new era of growth

The CEO of the EOA Deb Oxley OBE has announced that she will step down from the EOA once she has supported the recruitment and induction of a new CEO – expected to be late 2021 early 2022. Deb has announced she will be leaving the EOA at the end of 2021 after 9 years - 3 as Membership Director and 6 as CEO.  The move to pass on the baton of CEO comes as the EOA welcomes its 500th member and progresses with a transformation programme and strategy to ensure its future sustainability and continued growth and influence. Supported by the EOA team, Deb is ...

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Guest Blog | The Eternal Business Consultancy – Avoiding The Shop Steward

One of the key functions of trustees in an employee owned business is to act in the best interests of the beneficiaries for the employees. They need to hear the employee voice, and so inspire the team to step up and think like business owners. Crucially, the trustees need to hear the voice of employees on ownership issues – not to act as a shop steward for employees interests. There are lots of positive steps to take to instil the feeling among employees that they are being heard. But there are also a few pitfalls to avoid. For example, the trustee body which is ...

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Guest Blog | J Gadd Associates – 5 Ways Governance and EO Go Hand in Hand

Governance was once a topic that could empty a room in seconds, but things are a little different these days. Attitudes are changing, and fast. Top line, governance is about the way an organisation is managed, at the highest level. It is also about the systems and practices in place for doing this. It is focused on direction, control and accountability. In practical terms, governance is about having the right things in place to preserve and strengthen stakeholder and shareholder confidence. Governance is about making sure the basis for a high performing organisation ...

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Howden Group Holdings joins the Employee Ownership Association as Trustee member

The Employee Ownership Association (EOA) today welcomes Howden Group Holdings (Howden) as a Trustee member.  Howden is ranked number six in the Employee Ownership Top 50 2021, which lists the UK’s largest employee-owned businesses by number of employees.  Howden joins other Trustee members of the EOA, including the John Lewis Partnership, Arup and Mott MacDonald. Howden recently acquired A-Plan Group, which increased its number of employees to 8,500 globally, meaning it could be ranked number five on the list in 2022. When the international insurance group was ...

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Kingsland Drinks Group Makes Move Towards Being Employee Owned

Leading independent drinks firm Kingsland Drinks Group, including Kingsland Drinks, and newly established Ten Locks, has made a move to being partially employee owned. Current director shareholders, Andy Sagar, Karen Wilson, Michael Forde, and Mark Dixon have successfully managed the business for 17 years, investing significantly in capability and capacity and diversifying the business into new markets. After a period of careful consideration and planning, the owners have agreed that the time is now right to restructure the ownership model whilst recognising any ...

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How the employee ownership model protected Aardman Animations’ intellectual property and legacy

As the Oscar-winning animation studio responsible for world-renowned titles such as Wallace & Gromit, Shaun the Sheep, Chicken Run and more, Aardman’s transition to employee ownership caused ripples in the media industry when it was announced in 2018.  Peter Lord and David Sproxton co-founded the business in 1972 and after 40 years of producing award-winning content, decided it was finally time to prepare for their own future, as well as the business’s. But the co-founders didn’t want to opt for a conventional trade sale as part of their exit ...

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Member News | DJS Research announces move to employee ownership on 20th anniversary

North of England market research agency, DJS Research, has become an employee-owned company following two decades as a highly successful family-owned business. The company, which has offices in Stockport and Leeds as well as a growing network of permanent remote-working staff, is now one of 500+ employee-owned trust (EOT) businesses in the UK, and one of just three employee-owned market research companies nationwide. Taking the business forward in this way will ensure DJS Research remains independent for many years to come and stays firmly in the hands of the ...

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Member News | Merlin celebrates being Employee Owned for 5 years

Merlin Energy Resources Ltd. (MERL) was originally formed by 6 former colleagues of Clyde Petroleum on 1st May 1998, as a subsurface geoscience and data management consultancy. Initially the shares were owned by the founder members supported by a third party company. Over subsequent years, as employee numbers grew, the third party was bought out and individual shareholders changed. As many of the principal shareholders started reaching retirement age, it was decided that a new model of ownership should be investigated to allow the company to continue for the benefit of all ...

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Member News | Childbase Partnership goes ‘Climate Positive’

Childbase Partnership is now ‘Climate Positive’ after saving more greenhouse gas emissions than are generated by its 44 day nurseries and Head Office while recording a year on year reduction in its total carbon footprint. Investing in two United Nations-certified carbon reduction projects, the award-winning employee-owned company - which uniquely targets ‘Scope 3’ emissions generated by staff and customers in accessing its settings - has also launched the Childbase Partnership Sustainable Travel Challenge to tackle this, the largest remaining contributor to its ...

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Last call for Owner/Founders looking to fast-track their EO transition plan

Stir to Action and J Gadd Associates – the creators of a new employee ownership accelerator course – are making their last call to Owner/Founders keen to find fast-track support. The EO Accelerator, the UK’s first, is Sponsored by TLT and Triodos Bank UK. The EO Accelerator launches at Stir to Action’s New Economy Centre at Selgars Mill in Devon, and runs from 17 to 19 September 2021. The three-day course will support Owner/Founders to explore the full range of employee ownership models available, and gain expert insight into the legal, financial and tax ...

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Five reasons why employee ownership can re-energise and unify your workforce post-Covid – Trace Solutions

Neil Stewart, Sales Director, Trace Solutions   In a year that has witnessed huge change for organisations, employee ownership – offering employees a stake in the business - has come to the fore as a way to re energise and unify the workforce. The Employee Ownership Association reports year on year growth in EO companies in the UK, with over 450, contributing in excess of £30 billion to UK GDP in 2020. It offers a compelling option for improving staff retention, putting employees at the heart of the organisation whilst delivering a persuasive point of ...

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EO Day back in full swing as sector grows by 30%

The employee-owned sector has experienced unprecedented growth and displays resilience and social responsibility as it prepares to celebrate Employee Ownership Day (EO Day) 2021. Thousands of employee owners will celebrate EO Day on Friday on June 25, with virtual or socially distanced get togethers. This year EO Day is sponsored by Unity Trust Bank, a socially determined, ethical business bank. A key highlight of the day will see more than 30 EO businesses telling their stories, sharing good governance and communications, and supporting health and wellbeing as part of ...

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EO Day Guest Blog | Gaining authority by giving it away – UMi’s approach to employee ownership

From creating a culture of togetherness to simply doing the right thing, employee ownership has helped UMi become a better business for both its customers and its staff. Here, Simon Allen, Chair of UMi’s Employee Ownership Trust (EOT) explains how the company became employee-owned back in 2011 and why #BetterTogether is a fitting philosophy for its 130+ strong team. Now in its 10th year of employee ownership, UMi has come a long way since becoming an organisation run by and for its people. That was the motivation for the Board of Directors back in 2011 – to ...

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Worker co-ops and employee ownership to play key role in economic recovery, says Mayor Dan Jarvis

Sheffield City Region is the first region to partner with the Ownership Hub to grow resilient and inclusive businesses through employee and worker ownership. As Covid restrictions ease across England, focus moves to the economic recovery of businesses hit hard by the pandemic. Today (22 June 2021) a new national initiative aiming to support businesses, advisers and regions to grow employee and worker ownership is launched. Sheffield City Region is the first region to commit to growing the number of worker and employee owners in this way. Sheffield City Region ...

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Member News | ADT Workplace becomes a 100% Employee Owned business

Commercial interior design, build and delivery specialist, ADT Workplace has today announced that it has placed 100% of the business into employee ownership, heralding the start of an exciting new chapter in the history of the company. Started in 2005 by David Clemetson, Tommy Cocking and Ashley Smith, ADT Workplace has grown to be one of the leading independent commercial interiors organisations in the North West, employing over 60 people at its Manchester HQ. Having grown turnover this year to £45m, the founders have decided now is the right time to change the ...

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Member News | Teamwork makes the dream work: Salad’s shift to employee ownership

Brand and communication agency, Salad Creative has announced transfer of ownership to its team in an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT). Only 600 companies in the UK have adopted the HMRC approved scheme and Dorset based Salad, is the first creative agency in the region to make the shift. The process transfers Salad’s private shareholding to a collective ownership across its workforce. Producing brand, marketing and digital work for clients including Commonwealth Games Team England, House of Garrard, Mitchell & Butlers Plc and Grape Tree Health Foods, Salad ...

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EOA calls for evidence ahead of #EODay

We're calling on employee owned businesses to take just a few minutes to complete the following surveys in order to help us build a better picture of the performance of the EO sector in the face of COVID-19, informing and supporting the EOA’s future campaigning and lobbying activities. We’ll be sharing the results of these surveys on the 25th of June as part of our EO Day celebrations.   EO Health & Wellbeing Surveys Mental health and wellbeing in the workplace has never been more important as we’ve all faced the Covid-19 crisis. We know that ...

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Better Business Webinar Roundup: “Demystifying ESG: What is it and why is it good for business?”

The EOA kicked off its Better Business webinar series with a fascinating discussion about Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) and why this matters for the businesses’ long term success. We heard from Andrew Ninian, of The Investment Association, Barry Murphy, from PwC and Kevin Matthews, CEO of Scott Bader. The webinar provided five key take-aways for businesses when considering ESG: Purpose. it’s about defining what the business wants to achieve and what good it wants to contribute to society. Kevin Matthews described how as a chemical company with a ...

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Guest Blog – Why Unity Trust Bank is proud to sponsor EO Day and how we can support businesses that want to become employee-owned

Unity Trust Bank is a proud trustee member of the Employee Ownership Association and we are delighted to sponsor this year’s EO Day on June 25th. As a bank with a social conscience and a rich heritage, we share the EOA’s commitment in supporting business models that bring true societal benefits. We were established in 1984 to serve the common good, and this year’s theme for EO Day, #bettertogether, has never resonated more as we emerge into a post-pandemic world. Mark Clayton, Chief Operating Officer at Unity Trust Bank, said: “It’s clear that there is a ...

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Guest Blog – Should Former Owners Be EOT Trustees?

It is common, especially in the early years of the company being employee owned, for the previous owners to want to be one of the trustees. The former owners almost always have the best interest of the company at heart. It’s not easy letting go of control, especially when you are being paid out of the future profit of the business. However, giving up a little bit of control is like being a little bit pregnant. It’s kind of an all or nothing situation. A former owner who keeps a position of influence is inadvertently sending a message to the employees that is ...

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UMi Shines Bright At Best Companies 2021

The employee-owned company has shone brightly in this year’s Best Companies Listings – with a trio of accolades that recognise both its regional and national strengths. UMi is celebrating after it secured the highest star rating and was named in three prestigious Best Companies 2021 listings announced at a special event on Friday, 21 May. In the list representing the UK’s 100 Best Mid-Sized Companies, which is for those that employ between 75 and 199 people, UMi ranked 33rd. The business also achieved a 12th place regional listing and was named 8th in its ...

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Childbase Partnership celebrates ‘Best UK workplace’ Awards

Childbase Partnership Founder and Chairman Mike Thompson retains his title as the country’s best company leader and the employee-owned business is No.2 in the prestigious competition to find the best UK workplaces. Cheering in 44 Childbase Partnership day nurseries in the south of England greeted the announcement in the Best Companies virtual awards ceremony which was relayed to staff who staged tea parties for children in celebration. Mike Thompson, who was rated Best Leader last year and realized his dream of full employee ownership at Childbase Partnership in ...

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Haremi Ltd becomes an employee-owned business

Haremi Ltd, the Cheltenham-based educational publishing services provider, announces that it has become an employee-owned business. Founded by Paul Farnworth in 2006, Haremi has grown to become one of the UK’s leading educational content creation services, working across the educational publishing, awarding body and professional membership sectors. Daniel Scales becomes CEO, taking over from Paul, who is retiring from the business to spend more time with his family and pursue other interests. Daniel will manage Haremi along with the existing senior leadership team. ...

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EO Stories: Baxendale – Our EO Story

The Baxi Partnership was founded by Philip Baxendale, and his values and his vision reflect the business we are today. The business was founded in 1866 by Richard Baxendale as a family manufacturing and engineering business. The company made everything from street lights to railway trucks and ultimately became Europe’s leading manufacturer of heating boilers with the iconic Baxi Boiler. The company was transferred into employee ownership by the Baxendale and Castleton families in 1983 with the creation of the Baxi Partnership Trust. The creation of the trust was the ...

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Member News | Purcell Architects Become Employee Owned

In May 2021, Purcell became an employee-owned business run through an employee-ownership trust. With studios across the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, and Australia, the decision to become employee-owned recognises the practice’s evolution and is a commitment to the next phase in our business’s development and to our multidisciplinary team who have been instrumental to our growth and success. The new employee ownership model will build upon the successes of our past, strengthening the practice and ensuring all our people can contribute to its future. This will invigor...

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New partnership launches EO accelerator for exiting founders

Stir to Action, J Gadd Associates, TLT, and Triodos Bank UK, together with support from the Employee Ownership Association, today launched a partnership to deliver an Employee Ownership Accelerator in September 2021 for those in the early stages of business succession planning. The five values-driven organisations have formed a new partnership to support business owners who are interested in sharing ownership and success with their employees. Stir to Action, J Gadd Associates, TLT and Triodos Bank UK, have also launched a programme of content and events to champion ...

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EO Business 3P Innovation Receives a Queen’s Award For International Trade Amidst a Global Pandemic

Announced today, 29th April, Midlands-based manufacturer, 3P innovation has received its second Queen’s Award for Enterprise. This latest award is in recognition for British excellence in International Trade, and follows on from their first Queen’s Award for Innovation last year. Internationally recognised, these are the UK’s most prestigious business awards, which date back to 1966. High-tech engineering company, 3P innovation, works collaboratively with global pharma and medical device businesses to help develop their new products, devices and production ...

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Member News | Better Placed moves to employee ownership

Digital, marketing, tech and sales recruiter Better Placed has completed its transition to become 100% employee owned. The Better Placed Group, which is headquartered in Leeds, has offices in Manchester and London and includes the executive search practice bpesearch. Founded in 2002, its clients include the Co-op, PZ Cussons, Greene King, Costa Coffee and First Direct. Each of its 40 employees will take a share in the business through an employee ownership trust. Founding Directors Simon Stephens, Andrew Gibson and Dean Bartle and the rest of the board will ...

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Member News | BDB Transitions To 100% Employee-Owned Business

Altrincham-based B2B consultancy, BDB (Barrett Dixon Bell Limited) has established an employee ownership trust, transferring with immediate effect to 100% employee ownership. BDB is one of the first 500 employee-owned companies in the UK, giving its 50-strong team the opportunity to directly benefit from the continued growth of the business. The decision to transition to an employee-owned business was driven by the desire to sustain the company’s independence and protect its culture and values, alongside aiding long-term succession planning. Its previous Board of ...

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Member News | Creative Space Management Announces Move To Employee Ownership

Leeds-based property management and urban regeneration business, Creative Space Management, has made the progressive move to an employee ownership model, securing the future of this £1.7m turnover business for its teams operating across the North of England. Established in 2006, shares in Creative Space Management Ltd had previously been owned by three prominent, northern businesspeople: Chris Brown, Toby Hyam and Paul Taylor. The move to employee ownership effectively transfers all business interests to a Trust, which will manage the shares and bonuses on behalf of ...

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Member News | Aldridge Trimming transfers ownership to employees.

Wolverhampton based Aldridge Trimming Ltd has become the latest company to join the rapidly growing number of companies across the UK owned by its employees. Founded in the 1930’s, Aldridge Trimming originally provided general trimming services for cars of the 1920’s and 1930’s era. Simon Aldridge took over the business in 1980 and since that time the business has developed a worldwide reputation for supplying quality British made interior trim and bespoke trimming refurbishments for classic car enthusiasts in the UK, Europe and worldwide. The company’s 37 ...

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#EODay countdown to share why business is better together

The EOA is asking members and supporters to share why business is #bettertogether for EO Day 2021. Today marks the 100 day countdown to EO Day 2021, which takes place on June 25. The EOA is asking its members and supporters to mark the annual celebration by making some noise about how individuals, business or economies are better together because of employee ownership. The annual campaign celebrates Employee Ownership and Employee Owned businesses in the UK, raising awareness of the benefits of employee ownership as a business model as well as the social and ...

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Deb Oxley – EOA Statement on the 2021 UK Budget

"There was a lot to welcome in this important Budget in terms of continuation of pandemic financial support, a programme for economic recovery and investing for the future.  However, we do recognise that for some members, the planned changes to corporation tax will be a concern. "While we heard that there was a freeze on an individual's annual exempt amount for Capital Gains Tax, we still wait to hear the detail of other possible changes and initiatives around the UK tax regime later this month. "We hope March 23rd will herald an end to the uncertainty about a ...

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Member News – Denny Bros Group announce plans to become employee owned

Denny Bros Group has announced exciting plans to become employee owned. The group has restructured its ownership so that a majority is now held in trust for the benefit of the employees. A new company, Denny Bros Trustee Ltd, has been formed to administer the trust while Barry and Graham Denny retain a minority shareholding. The previously family-owned group, which has its headquarters based in Bury St Edmunds, reached its 75th anniversary of trading last year and has made this move to safeguard its independent future. Denny Bros Ltd Managing Director, Graham ...

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Guest Blog – Jenny Herrera: Good Business a no-brainer for Employee-Owned Businesses

I had the privilege of being on a panel alongside Neil Wright of TensCare Ltd in EOA’s November 2020 three-day series of webinars called EO Boost.  We were talking about ‘good business’ as part of a three-part series looking at its benefits for individuals, business and society. I loved hearing his example of how effective employee representation at board level translated into the company branching out into a completely new product, for facial muscles, which is now their biggest selling item!  As our conversation continued ‘off webinar’, Neil learned about ...

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Member News – Synergy Vision becomes an EO Company

Medical communications specialist Synergy Vision (SV) is now an employee-owned (EO) company, joining a growing movement that includes Aardman Animations, John Lewis, PwC and Riverford Organics. It is a definitive move that further empowers the team to drive long-term growth and deliver the difference for clients in an environment that boosts staff engagement, innovation and motivation and safeguards the intrinsic values of the company. Since inception, a people-focused ethos has been intrinsic to SV. This is most recently evidenced by trailblazing initiatives, such ...

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Member News – Bluesmith Technology Group Moves to Employee Ownership

Data Analytics and Software Development specialist Bluesmith Technology Group has joined the ranks of a growing number of Employee Owned businesses in the region. The founders marked Bluesmith’s ten year anniversary by moving a majority 75% shareholding into an employee ownership trust (EOT), with all staff automatically benefitting from the future success of the business. The move has been welcomed by blue chip customers including Yorkshire Water, Co-op and Oliver Wyman. The EOT model of ownership is an increasingly popular alternative to the traditional trade ...

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Member News – Utility contractor Falco transitions to employee ownership

Utilities contractor, Falco Construction Limited has announced it is now employee-owned. The London-based company, established in 2004 by Brendan Griffin, has transitioned its ownership structure to an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT). Many of Falco’s twenty-seven full-time staff have been with the firm throughout its rapid development and the transition to employee ownership was the logical next step in its development says the company’s founder, Brendan Griffin: “The creation of an EOT enables us to preserve the legacy of the Falco brand and maintain its status ...

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EOA Launches EO Trustee Search to help EO businesses build good governance

The EOA has launched the EO Trustee Search to support EOA members to recruit Independent Trustees.  The new suite of services provides three distinct options for employee-owned businesses seeking to acquire the services of an Independent Trustee to help them deliver robust governance.   The EOA believes that employing an Independent Trustee, on the employee ownership trust,  provides objective insight and support to represent the interests of the business’ employee owners and deliver on the purpose of the business.  As well as the EOA’s self-service ...

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Big four firm PwC joins EOA after continued growth of the EOT model

PwC has joined the EOA after seeing the continued growth of businesses becoming employee owned via an employee ownership trust (EOT). As one of the big four professional services firms, the business sees the relevance of employee ownership after seeing the sector’s continued strong growth despite the pandemic. PwC has been involved in a number of EOT transactions including advising on tax, valuations, structuring, modelling, legal, debt advisory, employee communications and governance. The values of the sector are seen as a great fit with PWC’s purpose to ...

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EOA Member News – Gripple Crowned Manufacturer of the Year

The EOA congratulates the employee owners at EOA Member Gripple on having won big in the Make UK awards, taking home the title of "Manufacturer of the Year" recognising their success in what remains challenging and unprecedented times for UK Manufacturing. They also won the ‘Business Growth and Strategy’ and ‘Developing Future Talent’ awards, both demonstrating that putting people, innovation and world class manufacturing at the heart of the business drives their success. You can find out what Gripple have to say about winning these awards, as well as the ...

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CEO Blog – Staying on course to Better Business

Whilst the entire world has been buffeted and blown around by the pandemic, there has never been a more important time for organisations to stay agile and to stay focused on their purpose. Of course, it has been essential to divert valuable resources to manage the national response to COVID19 here in the UK.  However, the implications of this approach on the longer-term challenges are profound, for example in the NHS, where waiting lists for non-COVID related illness are now at an all-time high and not expected to recover to pre-COVID levels for many years, putting at ...

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EOA Member News – Agulhas becomes an Employee-Owned Trust

At the start of 2021, Agulhas became an Employee-Owned Trust. They are now owned and run by those who know Agulhas and our values best – their people. Agulhas’ principles are central to everything they do as an organisation. After almost 20 years building a company based on these values, becoming an Employee-Owned Trust will ensure that Agulhas continues to grow and be nurtured by those who embody these values, ensuring a sustainable future for the company. As an Employee-Owned Trust, employees will be invested in Agulhas Applied Knowledge for as long as ...

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EOA Member News – Interface NRM Ltd announces Employee Ownership Transition

EOA members Interface NRM Ltd have officially announced their transition to an employee ownership trust model, with founders Dr Gavin Jordan and Mike Greenland parting with 80% of their shares as the company became officially employee owned on the 6th of January. Dr Gavin Jordan and Mike Greenland established Interface NRM Ltd in 2002, they set up the company in the West Midlands as an ethically driven business, with the aim to increase the sustainability of wood being used in the UK, and to improve the environmental, social, health and safety performance of forestry, ...

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EOA Member News – Five Welsh Firms Switch To Employee Ownership in 2020

Five Welsh firms transitioned to the Employee Ownership model in 2020, in a move that is part of a growing trend that will continue to gain traction in Wales, according to some of the leading experts in the field. This year saw the Employee Ownership model being adopted by an increasing number of firms in Wales including BIC Innovation, Wavehill, Heron House Financial Management, Lorax Ltd (Heinie Haynes) and Arfon Timber. Paul Cantrill from the Employee Ownership Wales team at Social Business Wales, which provides fully-funded Employee Ownership help and advice, ...

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EOA Member News – Cullinan Studio open for business in the Midlands

Cullinan Studio has announced today that it has established a permanent base in the Midlands and is developing a regional presence to respond to opportunities in the area. The architectural and masterplanning practice is seeking to build upon a strong portfolio of built work across the region, including Building Awards 2020 Project of the Year, the National Automotive Innovation Centre (NAIC), which is one of several buildings completed for WMG at the University of Warwick. Other projects in the Midlands include the RIBA Award-winning BFI Master Film Store archive in ...

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EOA Member News – WAVE Announces EOT Transition

Wheatland's Aire Valley Engineering Limited (WAVE) has formed an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT) and transitioned to an employee owned business model. The basis of an EOT is a method of share ownership whereby employees hold a controlling stake in the company for whom they work, via a trust. Unlike many employee-owned businesses where employees have to “buy” into a scheme across a small number of allocated and often lower value shares, the WAVE EOT will benefit all employees without having to purchase shares. WAVE were advised in their employee ownership transition by ...

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EOA Member News – Quiet Storm becomes an Employee Ownership Trust in its 25th anniversary year

Quiet Storm has shifted to an Employee Ownership Trust model as the independent agency celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. The agency’s founder Trevor Robinson OBE and the rest of the management board of Quiet Storm, headed up by Rania Robinson, will continue to lead and direct the running of the business under the new structure. An Employee Ownership Trust entails a shift of business ownership from the current shareholders to a trust that is set up to act in the interests and ultimate benefit of the staff. While staff do not have physical shares in the ...

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Mott MacDonald Executive Chair Mike Haigh on Employee Ownership

Employee ownership has many advantages for us as a business from the independence it creates to the knowledge that what we do is for the benefit of our colleagues and wider stakeholders. Importantly, it allows us to focus on what is important to us, to invest in what is important to us. This is a time when society is more and more questioning how we invest in the built environment and are asking “what wider benefits can these investments bring to our communities”. Bringing about these wider benefits requires a focus on the outcomes that investments can achieve. ...

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Smooth Employee Ownership Switch for Wavehill

An Aberaeron-based social and economic research company has become employee-owned, cementing its team-orientated ethos and business approach. Wavehill, which was established in 1992 with offices in Aberaeron, Bristol, Newcastle and London, has developed a strong reputation and proven expertise in the fields of social and economic research, evaluation and impact assessment. The company has moved to an Employee Ownership model with the support of the Employee Ownership Wales team at Social Business Wales, which offers fully-funded guidance and support on Employee ...

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5 reasons why the UK needs an EO Boost

There’s just under 2 weeks to go until our three-day virtual event that offers engaging learning and insightful discussions about succession, good business and employee ownership. The EOA strongly feels that employee ownership has a key role to play in building back better in a post COVID-19 UK, linked to resilience and better income equality, which is why employee ownership experts and advocates J Gadd Associates and Postlethwaite have supported EO Boost as headline sponsors to the widest audience possible, free of charge, along with supporting sponsor Mott MacDona...

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New EO think tank Chief Exec targets national recovery and social impact

Ownership at Work – the employee ownership (EO) sector’s new think tank – has appointed an interim Chief Executive who wants to prove beyond doubt the significant social and economic benefits EO businesses can drive in post-pandemic recovery. Campbell McDonald has taken on a six-month interim role as the organisation’s first Chief Executive with a mission to help advance the EO sector’s research base and strengthen the case behind increasing levels of EO in the UK economy. Campbell said: “When you work in the employee owned sector it’s all too easy to ...

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EOA welcomes report that highlights how EO can redesign work

The EOA welcomes a report by research partner Ownership at Work that delves into the experience of employee owners to reveal a business model that’s fit for the future.  The paper entitled "Redesigning Work: Employee Owners Speak"; shows a business model uniquely equipped to cope with the challenges of the pandemic - companies that are resilient, agile and capable of rapid change; thanks to shared ownership and reward, high levels of employee commitment, and deep roots in their communities.  The author, Stefan Stern, interviewed employee owners from four establ...

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Lilliput Montessori Day Nurseries praises Unity Trust Bank support after it becomes an Employee Owned Company

A group of pre-school nurseries in Leicestershire which became an Employee Owned Company has praised the support it’s received from Unity Trust Bank. Lilliput Montessori Day Nurseries was founded by Paul and Sam Graveling in 1994 and has five centres in Anstey, Coalville, Whetstone, Glenfield and Leicester Forest East. The couple, who got into childcare when Sam couldn’t find a suitable nursery for their first son so that she could return to work, decided to transition the business as part of their future retirement plans and to support their 100-strong workfor...

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EOA Chair appointment completes new line-up for EO Champions

The Employee Ownership Association (EOA) has appointed a new Chair who will take over the role at its next board meeting on October 22. Chris McDermott, Managing Director of The 1:1 Diet by Cambridge Weight Plan, will take over from former John Lewis Partnership Director of Communications, Simon Fowler, who has been Chair for the past decade. Chris, who has worked for The 1:1 Diet by Cambridge Weight Plan in various roles for 17 years becoming Managing Director in 2015, started his career in journalism, PR and communications. The announcement follows last month...

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Seetec Announces New Employee Trustee Director

The EOA welcomes the latest news from member Seetec, as they announce the appointment of their new Employee Trustee Director, Karen Palfreyman: "Seetec is delighted to have passed another key milestone in its transition to employee ownership with the election of Karen Palfreyman as its new Employee Trustee Director. This new role will represent the views of Seetec’s 2,500 employee owners at board level to influence the strategy and direction as a leading public services provider in the UK and Ireland. Seetec’s employee council, which is made up of 10 frontline ...

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Paul Clark Accountants announces employee ownership transition

Paul Clark Accountants, which was set up by Paul Clark in 1993 and became a limited company in 2009, has been handed over to its workers by its founders and owners, with shares transferred into an employee ownership trust (EOT). Paul Clark will remain as managing director and the existing senior management structure has been bolstered with the appointment of long serving members of staff, Kevin Beale and Rhys Davies, as directors. “We took the decision to transfer ownership of the company primarily to strengthen the team and reward our employees for all their hard ...

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Tapestry Compliance becomes employee owned

A Yorkshire law firm which is a former winner of a Queen's Award for Enterprise has been sold to an employee ownership trust. Tapestry Compliance, which has offices in Sheffield and Leeds, was founded by Janet Cooper OBE and Bob Grayson. Their shares, as well as those of the other two founders Shirley Cooper and Marianne Chalcraft, have been sold to a newly-formed EOT. An agreement has been reached for the founders to be paid the purchase price out of future profits. Tapestry has worked with Aviva, HSBC Goldman Sachs and TripAdviser on employee and executive ...

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BPG Announces Move to Employee Ownership

BPG ANNOUNCES MOVE TO EMPLOYEE OWNERSHIP BPG Architects and Surveyors, founded in 1988 will become Employee Owned as from 1st October 2020. Robin Goddard, Chris Bula and Roger Mahoney remain as directors but the Employee Owned business format will allow new directors to be appointed from within the practice to develop and sustain the business into the future. BPG strongly value sustainability and environmental/social responsibility as their main practice values thus the move to Employee Ownership was a natural decision. Becoming Employee Owned shows that the board ...

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EOA welcomes EO transition of Heron House Financial Management

Heron House Financial Management Ltd, the award winning Chartered Financial Planning and Wealth Management firm based in Newport, has just become employee-owned. The company founders, Saran Allott-Davey and Christopher Jordan have sold a controlling share of the business to employees through an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT). Having worked hard to build the business over the last 25 years, Saran and Chris wanted to ensure that the ethos and service which has been a major factor in the company’s success, would continue for decades to come. When they started to ...

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EOA backs calls to rebuild business for society

The EOA has backed a call from the Building Societies Association to support a call for meaningful change in the institutions that shape the business environment. Currently, funding and awareness raising for business support is disproportionately skewed to just a few types of business models, when a wider focus could see growth in the plurality of business models with a benefit to the economy and society. The Rebuilding Business for Society report–compiled by a group of co-operative and mutual trade associations–says they can play a leading role in reinvigorating ...

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Patrick Lewis: It’s time to harness the full potential of employee ownership

Whether it’s the inequality of unconstrained capitalism, the untapped capability and commitment of those in and out of work, or the unsustainability of our way of living – we all know that we need to find a better way. We need to address many issues – and fast - and the obvious place to start is where many of us spend most of our time – in the workplace. The Government has a role to play – but each of us has a key part in striving to make the organisation we work for lead the way in its contribution to our community. Too often we have seen absent “sharehol...

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EOA welcomes members doing well, while doing good

This month EOA members Riverford and Rowlinson Knitwear announced their certification as ethical B Corporations. Their employee ownership was cited as a major factor in how they have demonstrated the ethical credentials required to become a Certified B Corporation, which the community of B Corps defines as: "Certified B Corporations are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. B Corps are accelerating a global culture shift to redefine ...

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Rowlinson becomes a Certified B Corporation

Employee-owned schoolwear manufacturer Rowlinson Knitwear (Rowlinson) proudly announced its B Corporation (B Corp) certification today. Rowlinson has met the highest verified social and environmental standards representing its commitment to goals beyond shareholder profit, joining a global movement dedicated to using business as a force for good. Rowlinson is the only organisation in the schoolwear industry to achieve B Corp certification. B Corp certification addresses a company’s entire business operations covering governance, workers, community, environment and ...

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Environet roots its future in the hands of its employees

The EOA welcomes the employee ownership transition of a Surrey-based company which specialises in the removal of Japanese knotweed. Environet UK, which started life 25 years ago, has been handed over to its workers by its founders and owners with shares transferred into an employee ownership trust (EOT). Their transition to Employee Ownership was assisted by EOA members Postlethwaite. Nic Seal will remain as managing director and the existing senior management structure has been bolstered with the promotion of Emily Grant and Mathew Day to directors. Seal said: ...

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Member News: Chemco International Undertake Initial £1m Investment

Despite the challenges of Covid-19 and after months of lockdown, Chemco International Ltd has embarked on a major investment programme in its hometown of Coatbridge. Phase One of this project includes the acquisition and subsequent upgrading of existing buildings; together with neighbouring property; commenced at a cost of over £1 million. It is the first major investment by Chemco since the company became 100% Employee-Owned and in the hands of new management at the beginning of last year. This announcement coincides with the company switching to 100% Renewable Energy ...

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Patrick Lewis’ president role heralds new era for employee ownership champions

Patrick Lewis, Executive Director of Finance of the John Lewis Partnership, will take over as the president of the Employee Ownership Association (EOA) in September. His presidency heralds a new era for the EOA, which was established in 1979 by English journalist, economist and social reformer Robert Oakeshott, with other changes to key roles on its board expected in the coming months. Patrick takes over the role from Sir Charlie Mayfield, former chairman of the John Lewis Partnership, who had been in the role since 2013. Sir Charlie played an integral role in ...

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CEO Blog: Employee ownership; if not now, when?

‘United we stand, divided we fall’ describes the collaboration that unites people to overcome difficult times. Currently what unites all of us is that as a global community, we all have first-hand experience of how the pandemic has changed the way we live, work and play. Whilst some yearn for a return to ‘normal’, many long for a ‘new’ normal that celebrates what has been learnt in lock-down; more local and responsible consumerism; less use of cars and more use of bikes (or legs); adapting our homes to suit working from home – or even consideration of a ...

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Guest Blog – My lockdown experience at Unity Trust Bank

This entry was first published by Julia Tarpey, HR Director of EOA member Unity Trust Bank on BSB When lockdown first started in March, I felt that Unity was uniquely placed to support its customers. Unity Connect, our UK Customer Service Centre, enabled customers to speak directly to one of my colleagues, and we aim to answer all calls within 15 seconds with 92% first call resolution. I feel proud of this level of service and feedback from our customers confirms they really value the human interaction. At the height of the pandemic I heard someone on the news say, ...

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Member News – Co-operative Development Scotland launches webinar series

Since its introduction in 2014, the Employee Ownership Trust has proved to be a feasible exit option for business owners who may not fit with more traditional succession routes. To help professional advisers broaden their knowledge and equip them to support their clients in making informed decisions, Co-operative Development Scotland are hosting a series of webinars exploring the Employee Ownership Trust as a succession solution. These webinars are also relevant for business owners looking towards succession planning. View the full series in detail. The Employee ...

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Member News – Cullinan Studio launches campaign to Make Room for Nature

Originally published August 3rd on www.cullinanstudio.com   55 million urban dwellers in the UK are increasingly disconnected with nature and all of its benefits, but it does not have to be this way. We are launching a campaign to Make Room for Nature – for nature’s sake and for ours. We are looking to collaborate with designers, makers, planners and academics to help rethink cities and restore the connection between people and the natural world. It is clear our cities are undergoing rapid changes. More than three-quarters of the world’s population ...

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CEO Blog – Making the case for employee ownership has never been more important

As the UK takes its first gentle steps towards recovery, it is more important than ever that the role and relevance of employee ownership to society and the economy is understood and respected – especially by those with influence who have the power and opportunity to assist in its growth. Therefore, whilst the EOA team works hard to deliver activity that enables engagement, networking and learning between members, our other major priority remains that of representing your interests and campaigning for more employee ownership. In this regard, throughout lockdown and ...

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Employee ownership – the solution to higher standards of ESG

Graeme Nuttall OBE, a partner at European law firm Fieldfisher, has today called for employee ownership to reach new heights and fulfil environmental, social and governance (ESG) obligations. Leading employee ownership organisations have backed his proposal, agreeing that employee-owned companies should be an exemplar for reducing inequality, tackling climate change and sustainability especially as we face the ongoing challenges of COVID-19. The UK Employee Ownership Association, EO Wales, Scotland for Employee Ownership, Irish ProShare Association and EO Australia ...

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Member News – ThinCats begins accepting CBILS applications from new customers.

From 13th July, EOA member ThinCats is accepting CBILS applications from new customers, Head of Sales Mike Hackett had this to say: "As one of the first non-bank lenders to be accredited for CBILS term loans we have, up until now, been focusing on supporting our existing borrowers, however, I’m delighted that we are now opening up applications to new borrowers. Our experience with existing borrowers shows that CBILS loans can be used for a wide variety of funding needs including working capital, investment, refinancing and acquisitions. Our expertise has also ...

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EOA welcomes Chancellor’s latest economic statement.

Deb Oxley, Chief Executive of the EOA said: “The EOA welcomes the Chancellor’s economic statement. It will provide much needed support to protect jobs and give confidence to businesses across the country.   “In the Spending Review we would like to see the Chancellor commit to long term action to address the issues uncovered by this pandemic - that the economy has not been working in the best interest of those who are key to powering it – the workers.   “To build back better it is essential that the government commits to supporting more ...

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EO Day stories: Employee-ownership model pivotal in helping Ayrshire firm thrive

A Scottish chemical engineering company is attributing its ability to provide an unimpeded client service throughout the Covid-19 crisis to its transition to employee ownership two years ago. Taytech, based in Dalry, began the new business model in 2018, Director Iain Lindsay, who heads the 15-strong team, says the residual benefits of being employee-owned, such as high moral and increased productivity, are allowing Taytech to weather the economic challenges arising from the pandemic. Today (June 26) is EO Day, the Employee Ownership Association...

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Eo Day Stories: Fieldfisher employee ownership team complete over £275m worth of EOT transactions

European law firm Fieldfisher is delighted to celebrate Employee Ownership Day 2020. As leading advisers on employee ownership, Fieldfisher is marking the occasion by reflecting on how the firm has recently contributed to the shaping and success of the EO business model. Fieldfisher don't just advise on employee ownership, we helped create the UK's employee ownership framework and continue to work to simplify its regulation and increase its take-up in the UK and abroad.  As the UK celebrates EO Day 2020, Fieldfisher reviews some of its recent activities to develop ...

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EO Day stories: EOA welcomes new Industry leadership group Scotland for Employee Ownership (SfEO) co-chair

The EOA's CEO Deb Oxley welcomes new Industry leadership group Scotland for Employee Ownership (SfEO) co-chair board Isabella Miller, who will be working alongside existing joint chair Jamie Hepburn MSP, Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills. Isabella Miller, head of branch for John Lewis in Glasgow, has been confirmed for the role and formally takes up the position this month, taking over from previous chair Dennis Overton of employee-owned Aquascot. Isabella joined the John Lewis Partnership in 1989 as a graduate trainee and has since held a ...

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EO Day stories: Frontline employees ready to take ownership of leading public and business services provider Seetec

Employee representatives at Seetec, one of the UK’s newest employee-owned businesses, today take up their seats on the company’s first directly elected employee council as part of the move to majority employee-ownership. Ten frontline employees including probation workers and employment coaches will represent their 2,500 colleagues on the new council, which will influence the strategy and direction of the UK and Ireland’s leading provider of public and business services. Key decisions await the new council, from determining which of them will serve as trustee ...

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Eo Day stories: EO is the Answer as digital entrepreneur moves agency to employee ownership

The owner of a digital and IT consultancy has passed up eight-figure offers from venture capitalists to give his employees a stake in their future through employee-ownership. Gary Parlett and his wife Kate Parlett MBE founded Answer Digital 21 years ago. With offices in Leeds and London, it has grown to become one of the most respected digital companies in the UK with clients that span the NHS, international retailers and global financial institutions. The move to employee-ownership is a natural one for Answer Digital as one of the company’s core values is recogn...

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EO Day stories: Knowles Associates announces move to employee ownership on EO Day 2020

Leading independent transport management and car benefits provider, Knowles Associates, has become employee-owned. Company founder Colin Knowles has transferred 100 per cent ownership of the business to its 54 staff through an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT). The transition, announced on Employee Ownership Day 2020 (26 June), also included the acquisition of Ensure UK Ltd, providers of fleet insurance mediation and accident management services. The reason behind the decision to become an EOT was to secure a sustainable future for the business and crucially, to retain ...

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EO Day stories Jerba Campervans: There’s the bank balance”: How an employee-owned firm reassured its furloughed team

THE TEAM at one of Scotland's most prominent employee-owned businesses have revealed the extent to which its model of ownership has boosted morale during lockdown. While it may have been the last thing on the minds of most business owners, 15-strong Jerba Campervans even took the decision to share full details of its financial position, to reassure its team after its workshop was forced to close before grants or furlough payments were received. The North Berwick-based VW T6 Transporter converters has now welcomed back all of its workers as production on its bespoke ...

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EO Day stories: Baxendale launches succession options review

Baxendale is delighted to introduce the Succession Options Review for EO Day 2020. This is an innovative new product designed to help business owners find the succession solution that is right for them and their businesses. We have learned that that the most successful succession transitions occur when: (1) business owners have had an opportunity to explore all of the succession options available to them; and (2) a bespoke succession plan is prepared to meet the individual needs and objectives of exiting owners and their businesses. Our new product comprises of two ...

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EO Day stories: New service helps businesses convert to employee ownership

Two South West advisory firms have joined forces to offer a new service to help businesses to convert to employee ownership. EOA member Stephens Scown LLP, the first large law firm in the UK to become employee-owned, and consultants BoardroomAdvisors.co.uk are offering a one-stop service to help companies make the transition. They believe an ‘employee buy-out’ could be the ideal solution for founders looking to exit their business in the post-Covid world while keeping the interests of employees at heart and, provided it is structured in the right way, is currently ...

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THOUSANDS OF EMPLOYEE OWNERS CELEBRATE EO DAY AND SHARE WHY “EO IS THE ANSWER”

Thousands of employee owners across the UK are celebrating their employee ownership status today for Employee Ownership Day (EO Day), an annual, national date in the calendar, which highlights the collective strength and achievements of the UK’s employee ownership sector. EO businesses and supporters will be sharing the questions that relate to why EO is the Answer, which includes a video from John Lewis Chairman Sharon White and other key figures. Over 470 employee owned (EO) businesses in the UK contribute over £30bn to UK GDP every year includi...

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CEO Blog – Webinars evidence why EO can help build back better

Over the past three months, at the height of ‘lock-down’ I had the privilege to chair our series of webinars, which supported our members and the wider employee owned community as they dealt with the health and economic challenges of Covid-19.  As I reflect on the case studies from the webinars and the stories shared with us by our members over the last months, it’s clear that during the initial response to the pandemic, EO businesses were able to leverage their employee ownership spirit to unite employee owners behind a common purpose, helping their ability to ...

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EOA Member News – Raised Floor Solutions Secures CBILS Loan

Raised Floor Solutions has secured a substantial six-figure loan through the Government’s Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) from Lloyds Banking Group. The specialist composite flooring contractor, which is employee owned, is Kingspan’s largest UK steel decking approved supplier with a significant share of the UK composite floor decking market and a £17 million annual turnover. The CBILS funding package provides significant liquidity to return to normal capacity as soon as it is safe to do so.  Sixty per cent of its workforce were furloughed ...

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Join the conversation on the operational and psychological return to the workforce

Many businesses will have started the transition or will be planning now on how they might bring people back to the workplace later this year. This is not just an operations exercise to get back to ‘normal’, but also a strategic look at what the business can now do and how, as well as being a huge human resources and engagement exercise. In this week’s webinar we will build on the conversations from the past few weeks to talk about the operational and psychological return to the workplace. In our webinar two weeks ago Be the Business CEO Tony Danker polled ...

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Learning from the Covid-19 crisis to create a productive workforce for the future

Earlier this year, we began a conversation about the future of work at our 2020 Robert Oakeshott Lecture, and the need for socially responsible automation so it works for us all. Now, the world of work has changed, possibly forever, as the Covid-19 crisis has changed supply and demand in ways that were previously unimaginable. Many have had to quickly embrace and adapt to new and smarter ways of working and consider how this will impact on future ways of working. This is why we have invited Co-Founder and Director of the Institute for the Future of Work, Anna ...

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EOA member story: i4 Product Design produces and distributes 3D-printed PPE directly to NHS

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND:  Weeks into the UK Lockdown with continued PPE shortage in the NHS preventing the protection from the spread of the Coronavirus, i4 Product Design has produced and distributed 3D-printed PPE directly to the NHS. The initiative was spearheaded by a group of long-term staff members: Marco Miglionico, Ewan Maxwell, James Mackay, and Douglas Wood with 95 per cent of materials costs funded by staff. Using open source designs, i4pd produced the Prusa RC3 face shield, but due to material issues, the design excluded a filter-mask to accompany the ...

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EOA welcomes family business McGee’s move to employee ownership

The EOA is delighted to welcome its member London-based, specialist engineering contractor, McGee, as it becomes part of the employee owned sector in the UK. The family business announced today that it has become employee owned through an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT). Founded in 1959, the second generation McGee brothers have grown the capability, size and reputation of the business, making it synonymous with delivering world-class engineering solutions, either as standalone disciplines or as part of a high-value integrated offering. To date, it has worked on a ...

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Can your business go from survive to thrive? Join our latest case study-led webinar

Necessity is the mother of all invention - an old proverb given new salience during the Covid-19 crisis. From cafes becoming takeaways, or producing their own products, to manufacturers quickly changing to deliver PPE equipment, there are thousands of stories of how businesses have innovated. But whatever your Covid-19 status and experience, from temporarily closing, applying for finance to quickly having to deliver your business virtually from home, there are two things businesses are starting to realise: 1. You have had to act quickly and have learnt things that ...

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CEO Blog: Living by the numbers

The last few weeks and months have seen a new interest and focus from the public on the numbers that are framing our everyday lives. In addition to daily updates on death and infection rates; there are the 5 tests the Government is using to assess progress; it’s been 4 months since the advent of the coronavirus in the UK; we are now all familiar with the regular 3 presenters of the daily Government press conference; we have concluded 2 terms of ‘lock-down’; and the world awaits the results of the search for 1 vaccine. Never have data and facts been more ...

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How transparent and open communication can guide your business through a crisis

Trust, transparency and open lines of communication have never been more crucial than they are in the current crisis.  These values and practices are key to fostering a collaborative and innovative environment between the workforce, customers, supply chain and external stakeholders. On Thursday 30th of April, the EOA will be hosting an EOA Better Together Webinar entitled “How transparent and open communication can guide your business through a crisis”. Host Deb Oxley will be joined by expert guest speakers from employee owned businesses who will share how open ...

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EO Community Stories: Make’s modelshop team joins the effort to print PPE for NHS workers

Make Architects’ modelshop team is supporting NHS workers by creating headbands for much-needed personal protective equipment face shields. The modelshop team, led by Paul Miles, is printing the headbands from home using 8 of Make’s requisitioned studio Ultimakers, with 100 bands created per day. Make is contributing via #thebigprint, set up by 3DCrowd, which has delivered 65,000 facemasks to NHS frontline workers. Over 500,000 have been requested. As of April 27th, Make has created 700 bands for the project and is one of almost 8000 organisations to have ...

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The Role of an EO Trustee in Times of Crisis: How to Guide Your Business

Employee owned businesses excel in the art of good leadership. It is in their DNA to empower and embolden employees. It has never been so crucial for businesses to give everyone a voice and ensure their resilience in these challenging times. On Thursday 23rd of April, the EOA will be hosting an EOA Better Together Webinar entitled “Employee Ownership & the role of the trustee – how to guide your business in challenging times”. The webinar will be hosted by Deb Oxley, CEO of the EOA, joined by expert guest speakers from employee owned business including ...

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A fifth of smaller UK firms ‘will run out of cash’: How do you survive a cash flow crisis?

The global business and financial landscape has been rocked by the impact of the COVID-19 crisis, with many businesses facing uncertainty about cash flow as a result. Earlier this month the BBC cited research that suggested between 800,000 and a million firms nationwide may soon have to close, that equates to a fifth of small and medium-sized businesses in the UK. On the 16th of April, the EOA and expert guest speakers will be sharing advice for businesses facing a cash flow crisis in the latest EOA Better Together Webinar. Included in the advice shared will be four key ...

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Will the third week of your new normal be the most difficult? It’s time to focus on Mental Health & Wellbeing

The environment around us is changing, from where, how - or even if we can - continue to work, alongside the daily updates of how the Coronavirus pandemic is impacting on the health and the economy of both the UK and globally. Employees’ health and well-being are paramount in the current situation with employers needing to be proactive in protecting their people and minimising the risk to staff and business continuity. It has been reported that the third week of working from home is supposed to be the toughest on people’s mental health and wellbeing. Which is ...

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EO Community Stories – City Health Care Partnership CIC: On the front-line in the battle against COVID-19

City Health Care Partnership CIC provides health and care services in Hull, the East Riding of Yorkshire, Knowsley, Wigan and St Helens. Community nursing and care often gets forgotten about in times of crisis, but our colleagues are right there on the front-line in the battle against Covid-19. Our district nurses are still visiting patients who can’t get out, often at great personal risk as despite our best efforts it’s not always possible to know if the patient or someone else in the household has symptoms of Coronavirus. We are working with our local hospital ...

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Naomi Climer promotes the virtues of human centred technology at Robert Oakeshott Lecture 2020

The 160+ attendees of the 8th annual Robert Oakeshott Lecture, titled The Rise of the Robots: What Role for Employee Ownership in the 2030 Economy?”,  heard Naomi Climer, Co-Chair of the Institute for the Future of Work, promoting the potential benefits of technological developments that put people, not profits at the centre. In her lecture; Naomi, an engineer and leader who is a non-executive director on the Boards of a number of quoted companies and charities, spoke to the audience about how the 4th Industrial Revolution, dubbed “The Digital Revolution” has led ...

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EOA welcomes paper that documents how EO shapes leadership

The EOA has welcomed a new paper that investigates how being employee owned changes the shape of business leadership. The paper, published yesterday (March 1 2020) by Ownership at Work and Grant Thornton UK LLP, investigates an emerging model of leadership that puts power in the hands of employees. Authored by eminent business and management writer, Stefan Stern, the paper is based on a series of interviews with the leaders of ten employee owned businesses. Currently turning over a combined £30bn plus annually, employee owned organisations demonstrate excepti...

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CEO Blog: “Business as usual” is no longer good enough

56% respondents thought that capitalism as it exists today does more harm than good in the world, that is one of the key findings of the 2020 Edelman Trust Barometer, an annual survey of people around the globe that looks at levels of trust for government, business, NGOs and the media. I’ve written previously about the importance of establishing trust for successful businesses, and the intervening years have only further proved how vital trust is to business. In fact, I am sure most of us can name a handful of big businesses over the past few years that have ...

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EOA Conference on countdown to ticket sales in March

Tickets for the EOA Annual Conference 2020 will go on sale on March 26th. With three keynotes, including last year’s winner of the UK Employee Ownership Awards Rising Star of the Year Award - Riverford Organics, lined up for the event on Monday 16 and Tuesday 17 of November, the first 200 early bird tickets are expected to sell out quickly. Also confirmed is the return for a second year joint conference sponsors J Gadd Associates & Postlethwaite, In 2019 the event was sold out with more than 700 attendees who gathered to be involved through networking, be ...

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EO business leads the way in Good Employment Charter

Employee Owned business Rowlinson Knitwear is one of the first 6 businesses to sign up to The Greater Manchester Good Employment Charter. The Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham launched the Good Employment Charter’s ‘membership tier’ last month alongside Manchester City Council Leader Sir Richard Leese and Councillor Sean Fielding, Greater Manchester Combined Authority’s (GMCA) lead for work and skills. The charter has seven ‘good employment principles’, including providing a real living wage, recruitment and progression, health and wellbeing and ...

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Ken Lindsay – Developing impact in the role of Employee Trustee/Director

The Employee Owned sector is a great place to work for many reasons. Employee owners are empowered to have a say in and do great things that impact the business and the communities they serve – from making key changes that impact positively on their customers to supporting the communities in which they are based as the custodians of the business for future generations. As I have met more and more businesses across the sector, I have been constantly impressed by the way they value and treat their people, trusting them to try new things, new roles and new responsib...

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EOA welcomes new paper that highlights ‘missed opportunity’ to invest in EO

The Employee Ownership Association (EOA) welcomes a new paper that highlights one of the key barriers to growth of the employee ownership sector – access to finance. The report, published by employee ownership think tank Ownership at Work, entitled Capital Partners? Why it’s time for finance and employee ownership to talk, heralds a missed opportunity that has resulted in the unmet needs of more than half of the employee owned sector. Copies of the paper will be shared at an event an EOA event “Investing in Employee Ownership” on March 16, where representat...

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Prevista ownership passes into Employee Owned Trust

Prevista, a leading provider of government funded Apprenticeships, Traineeships, employment and youth programmes has passed into 100% employee ownership via an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT). James Clements Smith, Managing Director and the previous 100% shareholder in the Prevista group, recently completed the transaction. The Prevista group will now be 100% owned by a Trust governed by independent and staff trustees. Islington headquartered Prevista is almost a quarter of a century old and has served its communities, across London and the South East, tirelessly over ...

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Staff at Bluefruit Software Handed Ownership of Business After Turnover Grows By 50%

75 staff at the Cornwall tech company now have a significant and meaningful stake in the business Bluefruit Software becomes employee-owned after 51% of the business is placed into an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT). The move to employee ownership will preserve Bluefruit’s values and its culture as the team continues to grow. Bluefruit Software recorded a revenue growth of 50% year-ended April 2019 and turnover has more than doubled in the last two years Staff received a tax-free bonus of up to £1200 each following the transition. Research from the ...

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Deb Oxley: The best is yet to come – a decade for EO

This new decade could be the best yet for employee ownership.   The sector is well placed in terms of awareness of its benefits by business owners, there is rapidly growing capacity amongst professional advisors in their ability to support these owners and the wider business environment is now actively seeking forms of business that deliver wider value back to society.    Added to that, our new Prime Minister has made a commitment to ensuring that the whole of the UK can benefit from economic growth, expressing his ambition to ‘level up’ the investment and ...

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EOA launches EO Learn to support the sector to thrive

The EOA has launched EO Learn with a trio of learning programmes that support employee owned businesses to succeed. The courses are in answer to demand from hundreds of employee owners and businesses through the EOA’s member survey and via enquiries at the EOA’s Annual Conference. Key contributors from the employee owned sector have liaised with EOA members to build courses that hone the skills of leaders and employee representatives in employee owned businesses including: Leadership Succession in an Employee Owned Business by Telos Partners & JGadd ...

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Speaker announced for ‘investing in employee ownership’ event

The EOA and Unity Trust Bank have confirmed their keynote speaker for an event that aims create understanding of the opportunities for finance in the employee ownership sector. On March 16th the EOA in association with Unity Trust Bank will be hosting its first finance symposium to discuss the opportunities for financiers to invest in the UK’s employee owned sector. Eric Leenders, Managing Director – Personal Finance, UK Finance will deliver the keynote address on the important role employee ownership can play in the UK economy as well as how investors and ...

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Educating Leaders in Financial Services about Employee Ownership

Margaret Willis, CEO of Unity Trust Bank, explains why she is committed to working with the Employee Ownership Association to help boost the number of employee-owned businesses in the UK and how they are a force for good. The core purpose of Unity Trust Bank is to lend to organisations which make a positive social, economic and environmental impact and help to create a better society. It is now widely recognised that employee ownership helps to create dynamic and successful businesses which also deliver those vital outcomes. However, although the employee owned ...

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Naomi Climer – Automation, AI and Putting People First

A recent piece of research at the Institute for the Future of Work showed that voting patterns strongly correlate with the perceived risk of job automation in an area. You can read our report here. It’s clear to me that uncertainty about the impacts of automation is a top of mind issue for many people, especially in regions with industries where the likely impact of automation is very visible. AI, automation and new ways of doing things online have already transformed some industries - such as manufacturing where we’ve seen a reduction of workforce as lower ...

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Seetec to become one of the UK’s largest employee-owned public services companies

Seetec, a leading provider of skills, employment, justice and rehabilitation services, today becomes one of the largest employee-owned companies delivering public services in the UK and Ireland. The company has annual revenues of £150 million and will be the 9th largest employee-owned company in the UK by number of employees. A new employee council will be set up to manage and represent the interests of employees, which include frontline probation workers, employment coaches and trainers. Seetec’s founder and 80 per cent shareholder, Peter Cooper, has sold 51 per ...

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It’s time to enable employee ownership to be a crucial part of the future of work

So, the enduring uncertainty the UK has experienced over the past three years has ended – the people of the UK have spoken and returned an 80-seat majority for the Conservatives, the party’s best result since the 1980s. With the deadlock now broken, there is a need to address a looming resilience emergency in our regions. As part of that, there is a key role for employee and worker ownership to play - as highlighted in our manifesto – through offering better corporate governance and oversight; greater productivity driven by engaged employees, and improved ...

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The art of identifying and creating future leaders in an employee owned business

Organisations are complex human systems with a unique combination of relationships and circumstances. They demand a tailored approach to most critical decisions around its people. And arguably, the most important people-based decision in a business will be leadership succession. When you look at this alongside employee ownership succession, having the right successor identified with the necessary support to lead in a business where employees have a stake and a say is even more crucial. The CEO is going to be a steward for the business and will need to consider its ...

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Lecture to focus on rise of the robots and the role of employee ownership

The rise of the robots and which types of businesses are best able to benefit from emerging technology will be the focus of the Robert Oakeshott Lecture 2020. Engineer and technologist Naomi Climer CBE, Co-chair of the Institute for the Future of Work, will deliver the lecture with a focus on the Rise of the Robots and yet unpublished research that illustrates how a focus on the employees in a business can support it to make the most of technology. Naomi, whose main message will be about taking a human centred approach to technology, is the eighth person to give the ...

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EO businesses urged to contribute to ownership survey to help define impact on society

The Employee Ownership Association is calling on its members to take part in a piece of research that will help to deliver insights into the role different business models have in society. The EOA has agreed to be a partner on the innovative survey that looks at models of business ownership, culture and work practices, and the impacts of these on the locations in which they operate or serve. Supporting the Building Societies Association (BSA) on its research project, delivered via YouGov, the EOA joins the Association for Financial Mutuals, Coops UK and Social ...

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EOA moves to new headquarters

The EOA has moved its office to Brough as part of its plan to continues its growth. The past year has seen the EOA go from strength to strength, with highlights of the EOA’s 40th year including 18% growth in the sector, high profile media coverage of transition stories – most notably Richer Sounds – plus membership exceeding 400 and one of the most successful EOA Annual Conference’s to date. The EOA’s success over the past three years has seen the team and its activity grow meaning it has outgrown its previous offices at Melton. The move to new premises, ...

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Taking Away the Three Rs of Why EO Matters

Our conference last week has given me chance to pause and reflect on our 40th anniversary year so far. While in the wider economic and political landscape not much has changed by way of gaining any kind of certainty, with little to be done right now but await the outcome of the 12th of December General Election, this year for us has been bigger and better! There has been continued growth for the sector – growing by 18% in 2019 with SMEs and family business remaining dominant. Our membership has tipped 400 for the first time ever and the EOA Annual Conference was ...

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Leadership apprenticeships launched as part of EO Learning

The 2019 EOA Conference saw the announcement of several exciting new training and leadership programmes designed specifically for the employee owned sector. The first of these innovative new programmes to launch is the Leadership Apprenticeship Programme from Activate Business School and Grant Thornton. Launched under the umbrella of EO Learn, it will initially sit alongside 2 other programmes: Leadership Apprenticeship Prgramme -  from Activate Business School & Grant Thornton Leadership Succession Programme - from Telos & Jeremy Gadd Associates ...

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The UK EO Awards 2019 in Review – An Evening Celebrating Excellence

There were celebrations galore at the UK Employee Ownership Awards with a total of 6 Winners and 10 Highly Commended Employee Owned businesses taking home awards. This years UK EO Awards, managed by the Employee Ownership Association and sponsored by leading EOA member Baxendale,  saw 40 submissions which were reviewed by an independent panel of judges from across the Employee Owned sector in a two-stage process. After much deliberation by the judges, when the evening finally came we saw a total of 6 Winners and 10 Highly Commended Employee Owned businesses take ...

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Record-Breaking Year for EOA Conference 2019

The EOA conference has achieved a record attendance with more than 715 people from 220 businesses gathering to discuss employee ownership in the UK. Attendees heard from keynotes Sir Charlie Mayfield of John Lewis Partnership; Jason Parker Director of Make Architects and Peter Lord & David Sproxton Founders of Aardman Animations. Plus Shaun the Sheep made an appearance! There were more than 330 words captured on the Building Blocks of EO Wall where those who attended recorded the word they most associated with employee ownership – inclusive, relevant, innovat...

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Date set for ‘investing in employee ownership’ event

A finance symposium for industry professionals to look at the opportunities and solutions to support the growth of the sector will take place on March 16. Those attending the event, which is supported by Unity Trust Bank, will hear from the experiences of employee owned businesses and have the opportunity to share ideas on policies and action required to transform the role of finance in this sector with Baroness Sharon Bowles of Berkhamstead. Baroness Bowles chaired the Ownership Effect Inquiry that resulted in findings and an action plan being published in the 2018 ...

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HSBC supports Building Technology Systems with transition to employee ownership

Warrington-based building control system designer and installer, Building Technology Systems (BTS) has been acquired by an Employee Ownership Trust with support from HSBC UK. With the support of a seven-figure funding package from HSBC UK, the newly formed Employee Ownership Trust (EOT) has made a 100 per cent purchase of Building Technology Systems from current owners Graham Spark and Dean Brookes. The existing owners were keen to adopt this route as it allows them to stay in operational control of the Company until their eventual future retirement, with a smooth ...

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UK’s Oldest and Largest Employee Owned Business Wins Culture Award

The UKs oldest and largest employee owned businesses has been named the winner of Employee Ownership Culture of the Year in the UK Employee Ownership Awards 2019. John Lewis Partnership which has 50 John Lewis & Partners shops and 338 Waitrose & Partners shops across the UK has been employee owned for 90 years. The partnership which has a written constitution which defines the principles by which it should be run, begins with its ultimate purpose being the happiness of all its members, through their worthwhile and satisfying employment in a successful ...

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Farmers Reap Record Results to Win Employee Owned Rising Star of the Year

A business that has grown from one man and his wheelbarrow to a 50,000 box a week organic veg delivery business has won an employee ownership award, just one year after its ownership transition. Riverford Organics has scooped the UK Employee Ownership Awards Employee Owned Rising Star of the Year Award after impressing judges with the results of its first year of being an employee owned business. Judges noted that that having employees engaged ahead of and involved in the transition has helped Riverford to benefit from the “whoosh effect” very early in its EO ...

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Leading Lives Crowned Public Service Mutual of the Year

A strong mission and employees driving innovation for community benefit has seen Leading Lives take the title of Public Service Mutual of the Year. Leading Lives, which is an employee owned co-operative trading as a social enterprise, was chosen for the UK Employee Ownership Award - which is endorsed by the Department for Media, Culture and Sport -  after amazing judges with the ways they use their culture to drive great impact for vulnerable people and their carers. Based in Suffolk and surrounding areas, Leading Lives has a mission to help the people who need ...

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Financial Freedom Shakes up EO Success for Award Winner

Employee owners are feeling free to push performance to its maximum as their business 1:1 Diet by Cambridge Weight Plan becomes Employee Owned Business of the Year. The UK Employee Ownership Award winner, which is a 100% employee owned business, employs 265 and sells diet food that it proudly manufactures in Corby. It has seen the continued evolution of its culture, engagement and performance on its 9-year employee ownership journey. In the past year they have recorded a 74.8% employee satisfaction rate, while turnover is up 23% with 10% profit being distributed in a ...

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David Manufactures People Power to Take Employee Owner of the Year Crown

Classed as the ‘go to’ person both inside Gripple and beyond, David Wroe inspires, supports and empowers his fellow owners at Gripple to drive performance. And it is this that has seen the UK Employee Ownership Award Judges select David as Employee Owner of the Year 2019. David joined the Sheffield-based manufacturer Gripple as engineering team leader 19 years ago, and after being one of the first employee representatives from when the business became employee owned four years later, he has taken this knowledge throughout his various roles to where he his now as ...

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Sir Charlie Mayfield Awarded Philip Baxendale Fellowship Award

Sir Charlie Mayfield, Chairman of the John Lewis Partnership & President of the EOA has been awarded the Philip Baxendale Fellowship Award. The Award, which is for an individual who has in the past made, or is currently making, an outstanding contribution to the growth of employee ownership in the UK, has been awarded to Sir Charlie in recognition of both his corporate and personal advocacy for employee ownership both inside and outside of the John Lewis Partnership. As Chairman of John Lewis Partnership plc, an office he has held since 2007 and from which he ...

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Plandescil celebrates 40th year in business

EOA40 big birthday club: Formed in 1979 Plandescil Ltd – employee owned Consulting Engineers based in Norfolk, has reached a key milestone. Plandescil currently employs over 40 staff from at its offices in Attleborough, the majority of who have been with the business for many years. The internal culture this created an extended successful family business unit, which has thrived and prospered, and celebrating 40 years in business in 2019. Roderic Riley started the business in 1979 and was joined in due course by sons Simon and Julian Riley with his wife Sara. The ...

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The EOA Membership Council is Seeking New Representatives

The EOA Membership Council is seeking new members to help support the continuous development of the EOA membership proposition. The council is an essential platform for gathering the views of our members and supporting in the development of the EOA projects. The core aims of the EOA Membership Council are to: Consider the views of the EOA with regards to plans and ambitions to develop the membership proposition in line with the approved EOA strategy; Support delivery of specific developments of the membership proposition, forming ‘Task and Finish’ groups ...

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Delivering Quality Jobs Needs More Humanity 

Recently I was lucky enough to visit the Spanish city of San Sebastian to present and speak about the role of employee ownership in delivering quality jobs.  Sharing the platform with a range of other speakers from the EU and beyond also enabled me to learn about the range of emerging technologies that have the potential to develop or threaten the global provision of quality jobs.  A speaker from the Autonomous Systems Policy Institute explained how autonomous vehicles (AVs) have the potential to change personal travel and the transport of freight.  Driverless ...

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#1MillionOwners Campaign Expands with Programme Manager Role

In July 2019 the Employee Ownership Association and Co-operatives UK launched the #1MillionOwners campaign, calling for the UK Government to invest in employee ownership and create a clear national policy objective to support a voluntary expansion of employee and worker-owned businesses. As 2019 sees more and more high-profile businesses make the transition to employee ownership, the EOA and Co-operatives UK are expanding the scope of the #1MillionOwners campaign to further drive awareness of employee and worker ownership by working directly with Local Enterprise ...

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EOA welcomes Richmond and Towers move to 100% EO

Richmond & Towers, the UK’s longest established public relations consultancy, is now 100% owned by its employees following its sale to a newly created employee ownership trust. “This is a very exciting day for our business,” commented chief executive Nikki Thomson. “We think we are the first Top 150 PR agency to be 100% employee owned, reflecting the pioneering attitude that has kept the business successful for so long.” The last two years have seen numerous award wins and significant business growth for Richmond & Towers, with the addition of ...

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Our manifesto for a sharing economy to benefit the UK

While the way forward politically and economically for the UK becomes so close but so far from being clear, in stark contrast the EOA’s call to action has grown in both momentum and clarity. Our voice has been amplified through working in partnership with business organisations such as the ICAEW, FSB and IFB and through invites to share our thinking with key influencers relating to a more inclusive economy, better engaged employees driving more productivity in businesses and how employee ownership succession has a key role to play in the resilience of our regional ...

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Press release: EOA Challenges Government to Adopt National Strategy for Employee Ownership

EOA calls on new administration’s commitment to delivering a shared economy that prepares the UK for future social and economic challenges UK: The Employee Ownership Association (EOA) has published a new proposal today that challenges any government, new or existing, to adopt a national strategy for employee ownership. This call comes in advance of the Autumn budget from the chief executive of the EOA, Deb Oxley OBE. Backed by evidence, worked examples from Scotland and the US, and recent new thinking, the EOA is encouraging government to adopt and invest in a ...

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EOA congratulates The Helpful Book Company on its move to employee ownership

The Helpful Book Company is a Millom based publishing company that specialises in books and online courses that help novices (often seniors) get to grips with technology - for example PCs, smartphones & tablets. It has customers from all around the country and indeed around the world - over 140,000 people have used their books & courses to help them master technology. The Helpful Book Company was first established in 2005 by Tim Wakeling but on the 16th October the company became owned by its 10 existing employees under an employee ownership trust ...

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Success of EOA first webinar sparks 2020 series

The EOA’s first webinar has been a huge hit with members and has sparked a full series in 2020. Looking at subjects that help our members bring employee ownership to life in their business, the series will launch in the new year. The webinar, which featured the 2019 Annual Conference sponsors Postlethwaite & J Gadd Associates, focussed on how employee ownership can transform your business. Running webinars was also a request made by members in the recent EOA Member Survey. More than 130 people actively engaged with the webinar on the day, representing 74 ...

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EOA Member Council to create People and HR Special Interest Group

Two members of the Membership Council are looking to establish a People and HR Special Interest Group. Paul Seath and Neil Hughes are looking to develop a network of those whose role in their employee owned business focuses on people, to develop and promote best practice for People and HR standards. The group will aim to meet three times a year to enable members to increase their knowledge and aid their own development, whilst sharing with other members – all with a focus on EO specific matters. This will include subjects such as communications about finance, how ...

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It’s time to ‘go big’ with plans for more employee ownership

Thinking about the future of employee ownership inevitably causes reflection on our journey so far. Whilst the EOA 40th anniversary year has given us a chance to celebrate the origins of the EOA and our current direction of travel, it was the release last week of a new paper Equity for All, authored by Nigel Mason and published by new think tank Ownership at Work, that has led me to reflect more closely on the past five years. Just 5 years ago there were fewer than 130 employee owned businesses in the UK. And it was back then, following the recommendations of the ...

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EOA welcomes new paper on ‘next gen EOT’ from new think tank

The EOA welcomes the first paper of new think tank Ownership at Work - Equity for All. The paper outlines a radical plan to encourage more companies to give employees a stake in the business in which they work could create 1.5 million employee owners by 2030 and the biggest share out of wealth in a generation. From helping to close the pension gap to allowing employees to build their own capital stake, the ideas for a next generation EOT could create a shift in wealth and ownership in the UK. In Equity for All, author Nigel Mason claims new tax incentives are ...

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2020 Finance Symposium set to address the opportunities and challenges for the EO sector

The EOA, supported by Unity Trust Bank, is hosting a finance symposium in March 2020 to discuss opportunities and challenges for the EO sector. The event aimed at financial institutions will share the latest research and evidence on employee ownership finance. Hosted at the ICAEW's Chartered Accountants Hall in London, the invite-only symposium is aimed at representatives from the UK’s main banks, challenger banks, funds and professional advisers. Those attending will hear from employee owned businesses Richer Sounds and Cambridge Weight Plan about their ...

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Global Food and Drink Recruitment Consultancy Focus, Refocus Their Business Plan with A Move to Employee Ownership

The EOA welcomes the news its member Focus Management Consultants has become employee owned. Focus Management Consultants, a recruitment consultancy for the food and drink sector, has announced its transition to employee ownership after establishing an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT) and transferring majority ownership (90%) of the business to its employees, giving them a meaningful stake and a say in how the business operates. Focus’ transition to employee ownership comes at a time of growth and development for the Cheshire-based agency. The change to employee ...

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EOA supports the CBI snap survey ‘how business are preparing for Brexit’ – Have your say!

As part of ensuring that the employee owned sector is represented at the heart of UK business, the EOA has recently joined the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and is now a member of the CBI’s Trade Association Council. Both will enable the EOA to represent our members' voices alongside other leading trade associations and membership bodies. As many of our member businesses are likely not to be corporate members of the CBI, the EOA’s membership now provides our member businesses and their employee owners with valuable additional benefits, which we will ...

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EOA supports DCMS public consultation to help better define and understand public service mutuals

The EOA is supporting the DCMS to help the government better understand the needs of public sector mutuals. The consultation, which is the next step in the development of the public service mutual model, aims to determine if the current definition of a Public Service Mutual is still fit for purpose. The DCMS and the EOA are urging all public service mutual to take part in the public consultation ahead of it closing on the 18th of October. The consultation document can be accessed on gov.uk  The association’s CEO Deb Oxley supported the development of the ...

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Clarity on spending review brings new focus to #1MillionOwners campaign

The spending review campaign by the EOA and Coops UK - #1MillionOwners - has a clearer focus as the government provides clarity on its process. The government has announced a fast track 1-year spending review to be concluded by the end of September 2019, followed by a full three-year spending review in 2020. The #1MillionOwners campaign calls for £2.17million to be allocated over the next three years with an ambition to create one million worker and employee owners by 2030, addressing some of the challenges currently facing the UK economy. Research from the EOA ...

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Ownership Dividend – One year on: partnership focus FSB

The EOA is delighted to grow its partnership activity with the FSB, linked to the growth of employee ownership amongst SMEs in the UK. Activity at the beginning of the year has included the Guide to EO being actively distributed through the FSB Legal Hub and an article about employee ownership has been published in the FSB’s publication First Voice. This activity has generated a number of enquiries from businesses about employee ownership. Recent data shows that the shape and size of the employee owned sector is changing. Once reliant on a handful of large busine...

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Ownership Dividend – One year on: partnership focus ICAEW

Back in May our Operations Director Cathy Brown visited the ICAEW (The Institute of Chartered Accountants England and Wales). It was the 14th of May to be exact, which sticks in our minds as the day Richer Sounds announced its transition to employee ownership and a pay-out for staff – a story which was alive in the media for days with a positive commentary from journalists, business orgs and politicos on its links to a more inclusive economy. As documented in the Ownership Dividend, one of the barriers to the growth of employee ownership in the UK is awareness and ...

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A reflection – one year on from the Ownership Dividend our partnerships are crucial to growing EO

Just over one year ago we concluded the Ownership Effect Inquiry with the launch of the report The Ownership Dividend – the Economic Case for Employee Ownership. With financial support of John Lewis Partnership and the eaga Trust, leadership of Baroness Sharon Bowles and the academic rigour of Cass and Alliance Manchester Business Schools, the Ownership Dividend was launched to great acclaim. The launch and the aftermath of media coverage confirmed that the Ownership Dividend tapped into a very current and relevant set of issues facing the UK: business ...

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Invest now in employee and worker ownership for a more inclusive economy

Ed Mayo, Co-operatives UK and Deb Oxley, Employee Ownership Association It’s time to move on from simply talking about the benefits of a more inclusive economy – and start investing in one. The delivery of an inclusive economy requires more political will and targeted investment. When it comes to reducing wealth inequality, driving employee engagement and tackling regional resilience, employee and worker ownership offers a proven and popular opportunity to achieve this. The recent announcement of the move by Richer Sounds to become employee owned received ...

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Press release: UK GOVERNMENT URGED TO INVEST IN EMPLOYEE AND WORKER OWNERSHIP

New campaign launched today calls on the government to set a target for #1MillionOwners by 2030 LONDON, UK – July 22nd 2019 – The Employee Ownership Association (EOA) and Co-operatives UK are calling for the UK Government to invest £2million in the upcoming Spending Review and create a clear national policy objective to support a voluntary expansion of employee and worker-owned businesses. Research from the EOA and Co-operatives UK shows that growing employee and worker ownership – businesses that give employees a stake and a say – would help Government ...

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CEO Blog: Telling the employee ownership story – it’s all in the numbers

One of the most important tools that supports the EOA in being the voice for employee ownership in the UK is the insight we have about the size and shape of the sector. Our purpose to influence, inspire and support UK employee ownership to become more admired, widespread and successful depends on being able to tell a compelling story using sector data, alongside the rich case studies from our membership. This is why, working with partners, we publish data that helps us to tell the story of employee ownership to influencers, business owners, the media and political ...

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EOA & Community Dental Services launch EOA40 Give a Healthy Smile

CDS CiC EOA 40
Community Dental Services and the Employee Ownership Association (EOA) officially launched the EOA40 Anniversary Appeal, which aims to Give a Healthy Smile to 4,000 children in the UK. The appeal was launched with the oral health team at the Carlton Road Academy in Boston, Lincolnshire, which is aiming to raise £40,000 to fund teeth-brushing programmes after NHS figures[1] revealed tooth decay is the single largest reason children aged between five and nine are admitted to hospital. The EOA and CDS CIC decided to partner on the appeal to bring employee owned ...

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Thanks for spreading an enormous smile for EO Day 2019

EO Day 2019
The EOA wants to thank its members and stakeholders for helping them reach millions of people through social media and articles for EO Day 2019. Thousands of employee owners and supporters of employee ownership celebrated the annual EO Day campaign, sponsored by Gripple, on Friday 28 June. On Twitter alone there were 3.3 million impressions of #EODay and #EODay2019 reaching more than 1.25 million accounts with hundreds of pictures, links and videos about how employee ownership supports wellbeing and happiness at work. The smile spread even further with 6 MPs ...

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Thousands celebrate with a smile for EO Day while data reports reveal sector growth

Thousands of employee owners across the UK are celebrating their employee ownership status today for Employee Ownership Day (EO Day), an annual, national date in the calendar, which highlights the collective strength and achievements of the UK’s employee ownership sector. Some 370 employee-owned businesses in the UK contribute over £30bn to UK GDP every year and includes businesses such as John Lewis and Partners, Lush Cosmetics, Aardman Animations, Riverford Organics and Richer Sounds. The growth of the sector in 2018 was 18.6% - its best year yet. To mark EO ...

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Smiling – all year round UMi style

This EO Day we are reflecting on what is important to us as business and what makes us smile. We know that businesses are more than just brick and mortar or numbers on a spreadsheet, they’re powered by people – just like our own.  UMi is all about helping businesses go further, not only to achieve their own ambitions but because we believe business has a major role to play in making the world around us a better one. Recognising the power of individuals, and the great things that can be achieved when those individuals come together, is embedded within our ...

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The EOA member survey is now live – our survey needs you!

The EOA’s first full member survey has launched. As the membership continues to grow alongside the sector the association needs make sure it delivers its strategy of making the EOA membership a more compelling proposition as well as developing thought leadership, member voice and partnerships to generate greater awareness, demand and influence. The survey will help the EOA to plan to remain relevant and fit for purpose for the future. The survey will land in the inboxes of 1,200 individuals from the 380+ members of the EOA, is also open to all members via the ...

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EOA Blog: One year on, the momentum for EO is thriving

By Operations Director Cathy Brown It is a year since we last met at the Summer Dinner, in fact it was my first engagement for the EOA. It has been a fascinating year for me, especially realising how closely aligned the worlds of EO and my previous experience in the world of employee engagement are. Having been brought in to run the operations of EOA, and support projects being generated by new partnerships being developed by our CEO, this anniversary for me seems a great time for me to reflect on where we are now. Last year Respublica Director Philip Blond ...

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Guest Blog: UK EO Award sponsor Baxendale on retaining a family business legacy

Over many years, and often over generations, family owners nurture and grow their businesses. Family businesses often have collective stewardship, responsible risk-taking and a focus on long-term business goals as their core values. These values, combined with the family’s loyalty to their employees, commitment to a geographic location and a sense of pride in their success and independence, create the family business legacy. This is a legacy that families quite rightly strive to build upon and want to protect. When it comes to succession planning, families ...

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EOA looking for new board members

The EOA is recruiting to its board as part of its succession planning. The board, which meets four times a year, supports the Chief Executive in agreeing the direction and strategy of the association, acting as a sounding board for new ideas and monitoring the progress of the strategy. Board members are also expected to take a leadership role in promoting awareness of the sector,  be passionate about employee ownership and committed to raising awareness and encouraging and affecting change within the sector.  The EOA is seeking applications from both Partner ...

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EOA Summer Dinner: Nita Clarke heralds ‘sea change’ for UK business as an opportunity for EO sector

EOA Summer Dinner
Members attending the Summer Dinner 2019 heard how a sea change in the way the role of business in society is seen, creates a perfect storm to grow EO. The annual dinner was sponsored by global engineering, management, and development consultancy Mott MacDonald with the drinks reception sponsored by pensions specialists MyCSP. Guest speaker Nita Clarke OBE, Director of the IPA, told the room of 150 EOA members that while the connections between engagement, EO and productivity have been talked about with authority for the past decade, the appetite in the UK for ...

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Judges insight Professor Andrew Robinson – UK Employee Ownership Awards 2019

Professor Andrew Robinson, of Leeds Business School and White Rose Centre for Employee Ownership, said: Over the last 30 years I have been carrying out research into employee ownership and more recently charting the growth and characteristics of the employee ownership  sector. This year I am delighted to continue the involvement of the White Rose Centre for Employee Ownership in the Awards, taking on the baton from my research partner Professor Andrew Pendleton. Awareness of employee ownership seems to be at an all-time high with very positive mainstream ...

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Judges insight Nicola Ryan – UK Employee Ownership Awards 2019

Nicola Ryan
Nicola Ryan, Joint Director of People Services, Rowlinson Knitwear said: I’m really delighted to be a judge for the UK Employee Ownership Awards for the second consecutive year. My professional passion is employee engagement that drives performance.  As a judge, I get a valuable insight into the many ways that EO businesses empower their people to be the change that leads to success. These powerful stories inspired Rowlinson in our journey to become employee owned in 2015. It’s my experience that the awards offer the opportunity to reflect on and showcase ...

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Parfetts: UK EO Award Winner Case Study

Employee Owned Business 2018 Winner
Parfetts, established as a family business in 1980, and became employee owned in 2008. The Cash & Carry business, which has over 600 employee owners has been able to drive success through well executed engagement and reward, including an annual dividend plus sales target bonus which has seen the team get two bonus payments for the last 3 years after surpassing targets.

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Alfa Leisureplex Group: UK EO Award Winner Case Study

UK EO Awards
The Lancashire based Alfa Leisureplex Group is the only employee owned Travel Company within the UK. Offering expertly planned holidays from start to finish, the operator offers passengers a range of vibrant and exciting destinations with the convenience of well-situated pick up points throughout the UK. Exceptional customer service is at the heart of everything they do, due to the enthusiastic team of owner employees, which make up the Alfa Leisureplex Group. 

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Gripple Limited: UK EO Award Winner Case Study

The successful launch in 1988 of a wire joining and tensioning device called a Gripple not only gave the company producing it its name, but also provided the impetus for employee ownership. The award-winning Sheffield company has since developed over 6,500 products for agricultural fencing, trellising and anchoring and more recently, hanger systems for installing mechanical and electrical services, seismic bracing and geo-synthetic turf mat anchors. Its overseas operations include facilities in New Delhi, Obernai near Strasbourg and Aurora near Chicago.

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EOA to contribute to Employee Ownership session at Co-op Congress

There’s just one month to go until Co-op Congress in Manchester, where the EOA will be leading a session on employee and worker ownership alongside Damon Horrill from Cornerstone Inns, Polly Robbins from Outlandish and Sandy Lindsay MBE from communications agency Tangerine.   With a theme of Building Co-operative Places, speakers at the event include Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham, the RSA, Co-op Group and bestselling author Oliver Bullough. There are workshops around leadership, brand identity and the innovative use of technology.   You ...

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Our survey needs you!

The EOA is launching the first ever full member survey to help it understand how members value our proposition. The survey which will launch the week of EO Day will gather data to help us understand what our members value and how we continue to support our four membership groups in the most effective way. The creation of the survey has been supported by the EOA Membership Council, which represents the needs and views of the membership. The plans resulting from the results of the survey will be shared by EOA Chief Executive Deb Oxley at the EOA’s Annual Confere...

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Does Richer Sounds mark the tipping point for employee ownership?

Last week saw the announcement of Richer Sounds’ move to employee ownership. As the Employee Ownership Association (EOA) prepared itself for this welcome announcement of another business owner taking the progressive step to securing the future of their business, we could not have predicted the response. For last week’s news seems to represent a tipping point in the employee ownership revolution. Founder Julian Richer’s decision to sell majority ownership of his business to his employees via an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT) has been universally welcomed and his ...

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Sir Charlie Mayfield joins keynote line-up as EOA Conference tickets go on sale

Sir Charlie Mayfield has joined the line-up of keynote speakers at the EOA Annual Conference which will take place on November 18 and 19. Ticket sales from the event which is being sponsored this year by J Gadd Associates and Postlethwaite launch today (May 15) for the event which will be held at the Birmingham Hilton Metropole. Sir Charlie who announced he would be stepping down as Chairman of John Lewis Partnership in 2020 will give a keynote speech that outlines why from social mobility, fair work and fair pay, to tackling regional disparities and delivering ...

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EOA welcomes Richer Sounds’ move to majority employee ownership

The EOA is delighted its member Richer Sounds has transitioned to employee ownership via and employee owned Trust: Deb Oxley OBE, Chief Executive of the EOA, said: “We congratulate Richer Sounds on its transition to employee ownership: another great brand bringing employee ownership to the high street. "We’re delighted to see it secure its future independence with a focus on its people and an eye on the future world – a world with a more inclusive economy and where more businesses are doing well while doing good.” Below follows a press release from Richer ...

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It’s time to showcase your people power in the UK EO awards

UK EO Awards
The EOA and sponsor Baxendale have launched the UK Employee Ownership Awards 2019 (UK EO Awards) The UK Employee Ownership Awards celebrate businesses that, through their business structure and culture, empower employees to drive performance and share in the reward. The Awards, managed by the Employee Ownership Association, and sponsored by leading EOA member Baxendale, help to draw out the rich stories of employee ownership success that help us to celebrate and champion the sector. Baxendale have given us their top tips for entrants: View Here Those who wish ...

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Tribute to employee ownership pioneer Philip Baxendale

The EOA was saddened to hear of the death of employee ownership pioneer Philip Baxendale in April. Philip, who was one of the first founders to work with the EOA’s own founder Robert Oakeshott to transfer his business to employee ownership, was a key contributor to the sector. In 1983, he turned down multi-million pound offers for the leading boiler company – Baxi - his grandfather founded, and which he had worked in for decades. He instead chose to sell his business to his workers at a significant discount. Convinced of the benefits of employee ownership, he ...

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Built environment sector to gather for EO Day event

Representatives from the built environment sector are invited to an event to explore, celebrate and champion employee ownership for EO Day 2019. The event, which is being hosted by Arup and builds on the successful event in 2018, will take place in the week of EO Day on Wednesday 26 June. The event for employee owners and representatives from businesses that are interested in employee ownership will get the chance to: network with peers take part in a panel discussion on the topic of culture, involving three employee owned businesses from the built environm...

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EOA welcomes roadshows to grow number of specialist EO advisors in Scotland

The Law Society of Scotland, The Institute of Chartered Accountants Scotland (ICAS) and Co-operative Development Scotland are joining forces to promote employee ownership amongst Scotland’s professional advisers (EO advisors). The partners are coming together to host a unique series of events on employee ownership for members of the legal, accounting and banking professions. Taking place across the length and breadth of the country in May and June, the roadshow is designed to raise awareness of the important role professional advisers play in informing clients about ...

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Moving the goal posts makes employee ownership a political football

In recent months both sides of the political divide have proposed employee ownership as the solution to some of the UK’s burning economic woes. Good news you might think? Frustratingly however, these references have been politicised; Labour’s policy recommendations of the ‘Inclusive Ownership Fund’ and ‘Right to Own’ proposing employee ownership as a solution to economic failures, mandated in law, and that the former include what is ostensibly an additional stealth tax on larger private and public businesses. Government’s response to Labour’s propos...

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Celebrated architect announced as EOA conference keynote

One of the fastest growing sub sectors of employee ownership will be represented at the Employee Ownership Association Conference. Celebrated architect Ken Shuttleworth, founder of employee owned architectural practice Make which this year celebrates 15 years, has 40 year’s experience working on some of the most ground-breaking architectural landmarks in the world. Ken will speak on why he chose Employee Ownership for Make, which is one the UK’s foremost architectural firms with offices in London, Hong Kong and Sydney, and the difference EO has made to the ...

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Mariana urges a shift to an economy that makes, not takes, at the Robert Oakeshott Lecture

EOA Robert Oakeshott 2019
The 200+ attendees at the Employee Ownership Association (EOA’s) seventh Robert Oakeshott Lecture were urged by Professor Mariana Mazzucato to challenge, debate and understand value. The lecture, which is held every year in commemoration and celebration of the EOA’s founder Robert Oakeshott, this year marked 40 years of the EOA. In her lecture Mariana, a celebrated economist – named “one of the three most important thinkers on innovation” by the New Republic – and an advisor to policymakers around the world, brought together the many issues affecting the ...

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RM2 converts to full employee ownership

On the occasion of its 25th birthday, RM2, the market leading employee share schemes and EOT consulting business, is converting to full employee ownership as the present owners transfer their entire shareholding to an Employee Ownership Trust. Since 1994, RM2 has helped private companies set up and run equity incentive schemes, ranging from EMI share option schemes for start-up companies to larger scale all-employee share schemes including Share Incentive Plans. Since 2015, the company has developed a market leading position in Employee Ownership Trust transactions, ...

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Risk & Policy Analysts transition to employee ownership

Risk & Policy Analysts Limited have announced that on the 3rd April 2019 they transitioned to become an employee-owned business run through an employee ownership trust (EOT). Pete Floyd and Meg Postle founded RPA in 1990 providing independent consultancy to the private and public sector across UK and Europe. RPA has developed a strong reputation and proven expertise in the fields of environment, economics, chemicals, UK & EU policy and sustainability. RPA’s headquarters are just outside Norwich in Loddon and are supported by London and Brussels offices. The ...

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New sponsors announced for EOA Conference 2019

EOA Annual Conference sponsor 2019
The EOA is delighted to announce its 2019 conference sponsors – J Gadd Associates and Postlethwaite have come together to sponsor the event. With their experience in supporting two key aspects of employee ownership – the culture and engagement and the legal structure and governance – the two leading EOA members have come together to support the EOA Annual Conference in the EOA’s 40th year. The 14th EOA Annual Conference will see the UK employee owned sector, those exploring employee ownership and those who advise businesses meet to be involved, be informed ...

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Smile – it’s 100 days to EO Day

The EOA is today reaching out to its members and stakeholders to prepare them to make some noise for EO Day 2019. The annual campaign celebrates with our members and stakeholders to raise awareness of the social and economic impact of employee ownership in the UK. The campaign is a key part of the EOA’s 40th anniversary year which is focussing on the impact of employee ownership on individuals and communities. This year the campaign is supported by employee owned business Gripple. The theme for EO Day 2019 is ‘what about EO makes you smile?’ which acknowle...

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CEO Blog: The certainty of happiness

Considering the current economic uncertainty, I am consoling myself this month with another quote from Benjamin Franklin, “there is nothing more certain than taxes and death”. For every day that passes, the current level of uncertainty remains, with each new day bringing yet more confusion about what might be the future of the UK’s relationship with the EU. At a recent lunch with the Bank of England’s Chief Economist, Andy Haldane, it was therefore refreshing to hear business leaders confirm their response to this was to seek to control what they could and to ...

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Aardman founders to share employee ownership journey at flagship conference

Peter Lord and David Sproxton
Aardman Co-founders Peter Lord and David Sproxton have agreed to share their journey to securing their creative legacy in the UK at the EOA Conference 2019. The duo will reflect on their employee ownership transition in 2018 and the year that has followed when they are interviewed by compere Martine Croxall at the event in Birmingham on 18 and 19 November 2019 Both the EOA and Aardman are celebrating key milestones in 2019 – Aardman which is 42 year old will celebrate the 30th anniversary of Academy Award®-winning Wallace & Gromit while the EOA celebrates 40 ...

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Mariana Mazzucato to give Robert Oakeshott Lecture in EOA40 year

Professor Mariana Mazzucato PHD will give the Employee Ownership Association’s (EOA) 2019 Robert Oakeshott Lecture – a key event in the 40th year of the EOA. Mariana, a celebrated economist - named “one of the three most important thinkers on innovation” by the New Republic - advises policy makers around the world and is known for her strong challenge to rethink capitalism, through her books and articles, advisory roles and speaking engagements. The theme of the lecture, which is being held on April 4, at International Students House, One Park Crescent, ...

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Succeeding at succession – the employee ownership way

“Failing to plan is planning to fail”. This famous phrase, attributed to Benjamin Franklin, has significant resonance for any business owner thinking about their succession options. Far too often, an owner puts off this important decision – sometimes until it is too late. However, it’s easy to see why this is often the case. Owners of established businesses invest their lives in their business – it and they are intimately intertwined. But they are often patriarchal leaders; involved in every decision, and the person everyone turns to for the nod of ...

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Final deadline for Mutuals Support Programme applications

It’s the final week for those who are Public Service Mutuals, or aspire to be, to apply for support in the Mutuals Support 2 programme. Two EOA members Baxendale and Bates Wells Braithwaite are part of consortiums that offer professional advice and support across areas including legal, financial, business planning, marketing, HR and organisational change, bid writing and measuring social value. Members of both consortia – Go Mutuals and Mutual Ventures consortium - have been selected through a competitive procurement process, and have extensive experience of ...

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Member news: Tickets launched for EOA Summer Dinner 2019

Tickets for the EOA’s Summer Dinner can now be reserved.   The members-only event, which provides a unique opportunity to network with other employee owned businesses in the impressive surroundings of the Members' Dining Room at the Palace of Westminster is being held on the evening of Thursday 13th June 2019.   The dinner is the celebratory highlight of the year that hosts a speaker for the world of politics. Previous speakers include Phillip Blond ResPublica, Baroness Bowles of Berkhamsted, Mark Price, former Managing Director of Waitrose, and ...

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The EOA congratulates the Rooflight Company on its EO transition plan

The EOA is delighted to see its member the Rooflight Company is on track to transition to employee ownership in March. The move will help its founders secure the future of the business as they plan their exit. Deb Oxley OBE, CEO of the Employee Ownership Association, said: “We congratulate the Rooflight Company on its planned transition to employee ownership supported by our members Postlethwaite Solicitors and J Gadd Associates. “By widening ownership of the business to its employees the Rooflight Company is securing the future of the business, including ...

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Help the EOA celebrate 40 years of better business together

The EOA is 40 in 2019 and the organisation will be celebrating 40 years of better business together. The association, which was established as Job Ownership Limited (JOL) by English journalist, economist and social reformer Robert Oakeshott in 1979, is urging its 350 members as well as its stakeholders to get involved in events and campaigns throughout the year. The organisation is collecting 40 voices of employee ownership and EOA facts from across 40 years for its EOA40 web page, and is urging those who feel they can contribute to this to get in touch. There is a ...

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EOA congratulates Gripple on UK best employer award

The EOA is celebrating another of its members receiving a national accolade for business excellence. Gripple which as been named as the UK's Best Employer in the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) awards was the also winner of the UK Employee Owned Culture Award in 2018. Deb Oxley OBE, Chief Executive of the Employee Ownership Association, said: "We are noticing a trend of employee owned businesses becoming recognised for business excellence in particular linked to employee engagement and empowering employees to drive business performance. "We congratulate Gripple ...

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40 years of better business – a year of opportunity

As is usual at the start of a year, I write to offer some insights into the opportunities and challenges that 2019 poses for the employee owned sector. Undoubtedly this year will be one of the UK’s most important in recent history and with the expected exit from the EU in March, possibly also one of its most transformative. To that end, I believe that this could also be one of the most important years for employee ownership, which as a social and economic enabler can offer a more sustainable and inclusive way to do business. One of the biggest opportunities for ...

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OBE honour recognises growth of employee ownership and social enterprises

Deb Oxley OBE, Chief Executive, EOA
Deb Oxley Chief Executive of the Employee Ownership Association (EOA) has been awarded an OBE in the 2019 New Year’s honours list for services to employee ownership and social enterprise. As Chief Executive of the EOA since 2015, Deb leads engagement and campaigning to influence government and policy makers and to raise awareness of the relevance and importance of employee ownership to the UK economy. In her role leading the EOA, the UK’s membership body for the employee owned sector, she has shaped the organisation’s business engagement and membership propos...

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Employee Engagement – what’s it all about then?

‘Employee engagement’ can be something of a fluffy term, and for companies to tackle it, it needs to be defined first of all. What does it mean to you and what does it look like in practice? Definition of the term needs to happen within the organisation - while certain elements remain consistent, organisational culture and vision has a large impact on how that organisation sees engagement and subsequently how it chooses to measure it. It is about how we create the conditions in which employees offer more of their capability and potential. Despite there being some ...

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Member news: We’re recruiting for the EOA Membership Council

The EOA is recruiting to two vacancies on the EOA Membership Council (EMC). The Council supports the EOA to develop the membership proposition providing challenge and review of EOA activities. Since being formed 18 months ago the EMC has supported projects such as the testing and development of the EO Hub, EO Day 2018, Conference content in 2017 and 2018 and planning of the EOA Survey. Closing date for applications is 18 January 2019. Those interested can request an application pack, which includes the terms of reference and a statement of interest form, by ...

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Member news: Give your thoughts on how to celebrate EO sector

The EOA is asking for help to shape the future of the UK Employee Ownership Awards. In 2018 the awards celebrated 6 new winners that were presented at the EOA Conference Gala Dinner. Members are urged to give their views to help us with the continuous improvement of the awards application process and presentation event to make sure we best represent and celebrate the sector. The EOA wants responses from organisations and individuals with a separate short survey of fewer than 10 questions for those who have applied and those who have not previously applied: ...

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EOA congratulates 2Excel’s full-throttle move to employee ownership

Deb Oxley, Chief Executive of the EOA, said: “We are delighted that 2Excel has chosen to adopt an employee ownership model which will secure the businesses ethos, values and employees while rooting the jobs locally for the longer term. “The employee owned sector contributes more than £30bn to the UK economy and is growing at more than 10% a year, with 70% growth in the sector happening since 2010 - this looks set to accelerate with all the UK political parties looking at ways for more employees to share in the wealth they help to create. “In the recent ...

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Socialising capital the employee ownership way

The media is prone to labelling; hence, we have ‘millennials’, ‘the gig economy’ and ‘soap stars’. In the absence of a deeper understanding of the employee ownership structure by some commentators, it is sometimes the case that this innovative and progressive structure of business ownership is also labelled - as a form of socialism. This was the case recently, in what was an otherwise excellent article about the transitions to employee ownership by Union Industries and Aardman Animations. I could use the rest of this article explaining why I don’t ...

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Our culture is essential for our sustainable growth

Gripple Culture
By Michael Hodgson, Gripple Gripple is 100% employee owned, which means that every one of our employees has a vested interest in it and play a significant part in our growth. Founder of Gripple, Hugh Facey OBE once said: “Look after the people and the business will look after itself,” which is one of the key beliefs within the business In our 30th year of trading, we have a proven model for sustainable growth, which is driven by our people. Through that growth, our shared values remain the same and we expect our people to be passionate, team players that are ...

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UK EO AWARDS: Owners cashing in on Parfetts’ success

A passion to do the best by its employees, customers and suppliers has driven a ‘spectacular performance’ in a challenging industry, for this year’s Employee Owned business of the Year. The judges of the UK Employee Ownership Awards, sponsored by Baxendale, highlighted how Parfetts, established as a family business in 1980, becoming employee owned 10 years ago, has been able to drive success through well executed engagement and reward including an annual dividend plus sales target bonus which has seen the team get two bonus payments in 2018 after surpassing ...

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UK EO AWARDS: EO winner bridges the dental gap

Providing the best the dental outcomes for patients most in need, powered by insight from the front line, has inspired an award win for Community Dental Services (CDS). The employee owned social enterprise, which employs 286 people providing referral dental services for difficult to reach groups in Bedfordshire, Luton, Suffolk, Norfolk (Thetford), Oxfordshire, Leicestershire, Essex and Lincolnshire, has scooped the Public Service Mutual of the Year at the UK Employee Ownership Awards 2018. The Awards, sponsored by Baxendale, saw this category reintroduced after ...

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UK EO AWARDS: Angela leads a new era of ownership

If a change of employee ownership structure is Childbase Partnership’s new symphony, then Angela Brown is its conductor. This is the case put forward by her colleagues – citing her as a highly visible and passionate ambassador of employee voice and ownership – and it has seen her named by judges as the UK Employee Ownership Awards’ Employee Owner of the Year As the first ever elected chair of the Partnership Council, after 8 years serving as one of its members, Angela has taken charge of the council just four months after the business changed its employee ...

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UK EO AWARDS: For Hugh’s a jolly good fellow!

When speaking about his recent OBE, innovator and entrepreneur Hugh Facey did what he has always done - deferred to his employees. “I received this because of you – Our Brilliant Employees – thank you for what you do...” he said revealing one of the secrets at the heart of Hugh’s drive and success. Hugh who was awarded his OBE in 2018 for services to manufacturing, innovation, exports and employee ownership. Hugh is famed for saying “I came into it with nowt and I’ll go out of it with nowt”, expressing his ambition to make a good living for him and ...

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UK EO Awards: DNA that drives a culture of success

The first ever Employee Ownership Culture Award winner is a business with a clearly defined spirit and unique DNA, concluded the UK Employee Ownership Award 2018 judges. The award celebrates Sheffield-based manufacturer Gripple, a business in which employees feel a substantial, personal stake in performance and are empowered to act in ways that show measurable benefits. The market-leading manufacturer of wire joining and tensioning devices for construction and agricultural markets, Gripple, was established in the 1990s with its employee ownership being formalised ...

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UK EO AWARDS: EO spirit rises for travel firm

Travel business Alfa Leisureplex Group wowed the judges with coach loads of evidence of how it has brought employee ownership to life in its business. The business is the winner of this year’s Employee Owned Rising Star of the Year in the UK Award, sponsored by Baxendale, which celebrates a business that in its early years has embedded its EO ethos and culture across all of its teams. Alfa Leisureplex Group started with the Sawbridge family owning one hotel in Llandudno in 1984: by 2015 it owned 21 hotels and was a tour and coach operator in the UK and Europe with ...

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News release: Top 50 report shows positive growth for the employee ownership sector

Research continues to show that employee-owned businesses enjoy higher levels of productivity Publication of the Employee Ownership Association’s (EOA) annual 2018 Top 50 Report shows positive growth for the employee ownership sector, with a combined sales value of nearly £20bn, five new entries to the Top 50 and an almost 10% median increase in operating profits. The Top 50 list, complied by RM2 in partnership with the EOA, covers independent UK-registered companies that are at least 25% owned by their employees on a broad basis and UK subsidiaries of non-UK ...

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Employee Ownership Top 50 commentary

by Nigel Mason, RM2 It’s been an interesting year with conversations about employee ownership and employee share ownership in the political mainstream. At the same time the squeeze on the High Street has seen many household names such as House of Fraser collapsing into administration and Debenhams reducing its number of stores by 50 after a string of profit warnings. While our own number one in the Top 50 largest employee owned businesses, retailer John Lewis Partnership, has also seen a fall in both profits and head count, its independence and stable trust ...

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EOA congratulates Aardman on securing its future through employee ownership

Aardman
“We congratulate Aardman on its transition to employee ownership which is a great example of where the EOT  model can be used to secure the  businesses ethos, creative values and independence for the longer term while helping those who supported its creative success to share in the value they create. "They are a great British brand; born ,raised and now rooted in the Bristol and the UK economies for the longer term as it's founders plan to sustain the business after their exit "This has been an exciting journey for us to support David, Peter and the team ...

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Baxendale’s 10 Key Benefits of Employee Ownership

Baxendale’s 10 Key Benefits of Employee Ownership 1: Continuity When becoming employee owned, the business continues with minimal disruption, unlike the alternatives to selling to employees. 2: A fair price You don’t need to find a buyer and convince outsiders of the value of the business; your employees are already aware of its potential and will pay a fair price. A misconception is that selling to employees means selling at a discount. 3: Financial incentives There are tax breaks – introduced in the Finance Act of 2014 – when you sell to an ...

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The Future of Work – there’s an ownership solution

Author: Cathy Brown, EOA Operations Director The world is changing, and work (and all the surrounding structures like education, taxes and business ownership) have to change as well. At the moment, the world of work is in a state of tension, where demographic, technological and societal pressures are driving bottom up change in us as people, but our workplaces, ownership models and leadership structures are still operating in the old ways. The generation now coming into the workforce will drive an even stronger requirement to recruit and then retain skilled people. ...

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EO Hub celebrates milestone with new developments

The EOA is marking a successful first year for its online member platform the EO Hub by upgrading some of its features. Recent sponsorship of the platform by EOA Trustee Member Arup is being used to support the development of the Hub by making it a closed platform with a resource library to store useful information that can be used exclusively by members. Since starting the development way back in 2017 and launching ready for the EOA Annual Conference last year, the platform has seen more than 600 people from 230 businesses making more than 1800 connections. With ...

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Guest Blog; Chris Budd, The Eternal Business

In June 2017, I had reached a point of great frustration with the business I had founded in 2000, financial planning company Ovation Finance Ltd. For the previous seven years, I had been following a deliberate plan of making myself the least important person in my business. My original objective was to eventually perform only the roles that I enjoyed. Ultimately, however, I came to realise that the bigger picture was succession planning, and in particular the fact that I didn’t actually want to sell the business. Instead, I wanted to see it continue after I left. I ...

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EOA response to the Labour Party Policy Announcement on Inclusive Ownership Fund

Deb Oxley, CEO of the Employee Ownership Association, said: “The EOA is delighted EO is being talked about in the mainstream and totally agree with Labour that power comes from ownership and that employees should share in success. “A wider business ownership mix in the UK is essential to help spread wealth more equally and for employees to have more say. However this will be most effective if business owners are supported to grow employee ownership as a choice for business succession and growth, as has recently been legislated for in the US with cross party ...

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Better together – why the UK needs bipartisan action to enable more employee ownership

Working together inevitably delivers better outcomes and more value. However, it’s hard to do, and in particular politically, as it requires compromise that is difficult to achieve. So it was encouraging to hear of bipartisan cooperation on employee ownership in the US where President Trump has recently signed the Main Street Employee Ownership Act. With estimated potential to double or even triple the growth rate of employee-owned companies over the next decade as well as stabilising jobs in local communities and reducing inequality by giving more employees a ...

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EOA Member Middleton Hall Retirement Village set to transition to employee ownership

Middleton Hall Retirement Village
Middleton Hall Retirement Village, one of the UK’s leading retirement villages, is set to join the likes of John Lewis and Waitrose by becoming employee-owned. The move is aimed at safeguarding the long-term future and high quality facilities at the multi award-winning retirement village in Middleton St George outside Darlington, and will make it one of only 300 UK employee-owned companies and the first staff-owned retirement village or residential care facility in the UK. Middleton Hall’s 190 staff learned of the proposal at a recent briefing session where the ...

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Alan Davidson, pioneer of employee ownership in the built environment dies

It was with great sadness that we heard this week that Alan Davidson, founder of London based architectural visualisation studio and EOA member, Hayes Davidson has passed away.  Alan was diagnosed with MND in 2012 and bore the disease with great courage, continuing to work as a director and trustee of Hayes Davidson, as well as leading the Alan Davidson Foundation, which supports MND care and research, and art and architectural scholarships. The EOA had the pleasure of helping Alan understand how to secure the future of Hayes Davidson through employee ownership as he ...

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EOA welcomes formation of new industry leadership group

The Employee Ownership Association (EOA) has welcomed the announcement this week of the formation of a new industry leadership group called Scotland for Employee Ownership (SfEO). Deb Oxley, Chief Executive of the EOA commented, “With the aim to increase the number of employee and worker-owned businesses in Scotland from around 100 to 500 by 2030, SfEO will provide an important influencer of the growth of the UK employee owned sector and reflects the opportunity recently uncovered by the Ownership Dividend. The EOA has been working with the partners of the steering ...

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EOA expands to deliver roll-out of Ownership Dividend

The EOA welcomes Cathy Brown as Interim Operations Director to take over its day to day running. Cathy who most recently was the Executive Director of Engage for Success (EFS), following on from a long career in IT and Risk management at BT, has a wealth of experience growing partnerships and engaging with stakeholders through conferences, regional events and online. The move enables EOA CEO Deb Oxley to work on an engagement and roll out plan for the Ownership Dividend, the evidence report of the Ownership Effect Inquiry, working on partnerships and activity that ...

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Equality is the much needed rescue remedy for the UK economy

One glance at the business and mainstream news illustrates the deep problems facing the UK economy as businesses collapse on the high street, wages continue to stagnate although interest rates are rising and more working families’ incomes are being topped up by the government. It is clear that change is needed. And whilst the UK ponders Brexit – deal or no deal – there is work to be done to make sure that UK business is as resilient as it can be. With 10% of the wealthiest people in the UK owning almost 70% of financial wealth and today’s news from the High ...

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EOA to host masterclass in supporting employee ownership transition

The EOA is hosting a masterclass for accountants and advisors to support their clients to explore and transition to employee ownership. The one-day event in Birmingham includes three technical seminars, two keynote speakers on employee ownership, plus the opportunities to network with 700 delegates who are exploring employee ownership, or have recently transitioned to EO, or are established employee owned businesses, who will be attending the second day of the EOA Conference. The technical sessions are being run by Employee Share Scheme and Employee Ownership ...

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Bigger Thinking Series Part 6 – Potential on Tap: What does the Ownership Dividend mean for the UK economy?

Our ‘Bigger Thinking’ series has explored and explained how the employee owned business structure affects performance and productivity, corporate governance and employee voice. As this first series draws to a close, it is clear there is potential in employee ownership for businesses aspiring for a sustainable structure that benefits the individual, the business and the regional and wider economy. In 2017, the EOA, in partnership with The eaga Trust and the John Lewis Partnership, commissioned an inquiry led by an independent panel of UK senior business leaders ...

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Thanks a million for celebrating EO Day – you really made an impression!

The EOA wants to thanks the 750+ participants on social media and thousands of employee owners who took part in the national celebration of employee ownership on June 29 - EO Day 2018. Employee owned businesses and supporters of and advisors on employee ownership celebrated the impact EO makes on the national economy and the effect it has on the individual, the business and the economy by telling their EO Story and sharing pictures and videos of their EO Day activity. More than 200 social media messages contained pictures, videos and links with over 50 EO stories ...

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Guest Blog | The EOA Awards – A Judge’s Thoughts

As a first-time judge last year and after being fortunate enough to be invited back to judge again this year, I’ve been asked to share a few thoughts on the judging process with the aim of encouraging employee-owners from all corners of the UK economy to consider entering this year’s UK Employee Ownership Awards. As ever, the winners will be announced at the Gala dinner of the EOA Annual Conference in November - the highlight of a great evening that celebrates the best of our sector. Entries for the Awards close on Tuesday, July 24th, so there’s still time to ...

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Sponsorship boost for EO Hub

Trustee member Arup has sponsored EOA member platform the EOHub. The Hub, which launched in January 2018, after a testing period at the end of 2017, now has 520 members. Set up to allow EOA members to connect with and learn from each other outside of signature events and the EOA Regional Networks, the platform has seen more than 1,600 connections made between members. Through the EO Hub’s Forum, more than 40 discussion threads have been started on business-related subjects which range from ‘pensions’ and  ‘what to do with profit’ to ‘roles and ...

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Businesses tell their EO story for EO Day 2018

Thousands of employee owners are celebrating EO Day by telling their EO story. EOA members who support employee owned businesses are also sharing why they support the case for more EO. From staff picnics, volunteering for charities, away days, announcements of profit share and inviting MPs to visit, to writing blogs and sharing stories on their channels and websites, employee owners and employee owned businesses are helping raise awareness of this sector that contributes more than £30bn of UK GDP. By sharing these stories and comments across digital channels ...

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Government urged to deliver a more productive and inclusive economy following comprehensive national inquiry into employee ownership

The EOA is calling on the government to invest in growing employee ownership in the UK economy with the aim of having 3 million employee owners by 2030. The call comes on the back of the findings and recommendations of the Ownership Effect Inquiry, which was led by the EOA and supported by The eaga Trust and the John Lewis Partnership with the academic support of Professor Ajay Bhalla and Dr Aneesh Banerjee of Cass Business School and Professor Joseph Lampel of Manchester Alliance Business School. With the risk to the UK of two thirds of SMEs and family businesses ...

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Summer speech turns up the heat on push for a more inclusive economy

ResPublica Director Phillip Blond urged the employee owned sector to set a challenging target to make sure its growth is significant rather than incremental, in an address to 150 members of the Employee Ownership Association at the House of Commons. In his speech Phillip said: "I am here among people from businesses that are empowered to innovate through their ownership stake in their business. "But if this sector is to grow, it’s not enough to ask for more tax incentives or things that will help just a few more business to widen their ownership, we must turn up the ...

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EOA welcomes Riverford’s transition to employee ownership

The EOA welcomes Riverford’s transition to employee ownership which was announced on BBC Breakfast today (8 June 2018). With 74% of the business being held in an Employee Ownership Trust, 650 employees will now have a voice and stake in the outcome of the business. Founder of Riverford Guy Singh-Watson, who will retain 26% of the business, began Riverford Organic Farmers when he started delivering vegetables to 30 friends in Devon. Now with more regional farms, they deliver 47,000 boxes of veg a week to homes around the UK. On announcing that they were due to ...

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EOA Bigger Thinking Series part 5: Supporting the Spinouts

Rethinking how to deliver public services and consideration of how new delivery channels will be viewed by the public is a priority for leadership in every public sector body across the UK. Whilst there is a growing acceptance by the majority of the public that the current models must evolve, the recent collapse of Carillion highlights a major issue for this evolution. The same ownership structures or levels of governance do not bind such privately owned outsourced providers delivering many of these important public sector contracts. This creates a significant risk ...

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Share your EO story now for a chance to win

If your employee owned culture is something to shout about then we’ve got the place to do it.   The EOA, with the support of sponsor Baxendale, has launched two new Awards as part of the  UK Employee Ownership Awards 2018.   These  Awards celebrate business excellence in employee owned businesses and the contribution the employee owned sector makes to the UK economy. There are 5 awards for businesses and individuals to apply or nominate for as a well as the Phillip Baxendale Fellowship Award which will is  decided upon by the Judges.   ...

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Bigger Thinking Series Part 4: Growth and scale-up – Growing a Business that Goes the Distance

Growing a Business that Goes the Distance “Growth is never by mere chance; it is the result of forces working together.” James Penney, Founder of JC Penney In any market in any economy, one of the biggest challenges is the notion of ‘business growth’. With regular stories of the UK’s flat productivity and slow growth, nobody seems to have THE answer on how to kick start the UK’s economy especially during the great pause many businesses are experiencing as they try to unpick what Brexit might mean for them. A company’s approach to scaling up and ...

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CEO blog: Employee ownership’s role in our ‘special relationship’

Whilst French President Emmanuel Macron may have attempted to steal the ‘special relationship’ label of the UK and USA during his recent visit, after speaking at the National Centre for Employee Ownership’s (NCEO) annual conference in Atlanta recently, I am confident of the UK’s hold over that label – at least where employee ownership is concerned. For during my trip, I was struck by the similarities between these seemingly different employee ownership worlds. Firstly, we share the same challenges. Whilst there are almost 7,000 firms in the US that would ...

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Standing ovation for pioneering tech entrepreneur Dame Stephanie

More than 130 people gathered for an inspirational Robert Oakeshott Lecture by tech entrepreneur and philanthropist Dame Stephanie Shirley CH. A rousing standing ovation followed Dame Stephanie’s personal account of her journey as a migrant child drawn to collective work “most likely because of a lack of extended family or long term neighbours”, pioneering new working practices that allowed women to go back to work after a career break, her long journey to employee ownership, being the mother to a severely autistic child and later a philanthropist. The annual ...

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Sawday’s transitions to hybrid employee ownership structure

Travel company, Sawday’s and Sawday’s Canopy & Stars, has announced a new and innovative ownership structure. The hybrid model, thought to be the first of its kind, sees the majority share, 52%, going to the employees of the Bristol based company, 24% to a newly established Sawday charitable Trust and 24% remaining in the family. After 25 years as a family owned company, founder Alastair Sawday was contemplating his ‘exit’ from Sawday’s and he felt selling, in the traditional sense, was not an option. After reading a book by David Erdal: Beyond the ...

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EO Day 2018 countdown launches

Today the EOA officially launches its 100 day countdown to EO Day 2018 which is on Friday June 29. Over the next 100 days the EOA will be working with employee owned business, those who support and advise employee owned businesses and those who support the case for having more employee ownership as part of the UK business mix to plan celebrations for EO Day 2018. EO Day is a national campaign which celebrates what employee ownership means to employee owners, businesses and the impact they have on their local economies and sees businesses holding staff events, ...

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1,000 connections made on EOA online platform EO Hub

The EO Hub has seen more than 1,000 connections between its members with 32 discussions already started since it launched in January. As an EOA member you can join the EO Hub via the online platform or the app. You can now also be the news by adding your employee owned related stories to the EO Hub news section and a weekly digest has also been launched to keep you informed of the most popular discussions, along with who has recently joined the EO Hub – don’t forget to tick the box to receive it. Sign up or sign in

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Bigger Thinking Series Part 3 – Planning for success; planning for succession

It sounds incredible that successful UK companies, responsible for employing hundreds if not thousands of people may have business shelf lives that are wholly reliant upon either the existing directors living forever, or the business being sold, uprooted or asset stripped. Shockingly, this is the case for many businesses today. Without a strategy for succession of ownership, the jobs, profits and products of these companies will potentially simply cease to exist, or disappear According to Imperial College Business School, only 20 percent of UK family-owned businesses ...

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Press release: Just call me Steve! Dame Stephanie CH to give 2018 Robert Oakeshott Lecture

A leading entrepreneur and champion of women’s rights will deliver the EOA’s 2018 Robert Oakeshott Lecture. After coming to the UK as a child refugee in 1939, Dame Stephanie Shirley went on to build a business in the IT industry that helped women to work part time in the technology sector. Adopting the name ‘Steve’ to help win contracts in the male dominated IT sector, she went on to be an outspoken champion of women's rights, as well as an ambassador for autism awareness, donating more than £67m to charity. After establishing her female-friendly software ...

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Member news: Sopra Steria becomes Trustee member of the EOA

Sopra Steria and the Employee Ownership Association (EOA) are delighted to announce that Sopra Steria has become a Trustee member of the EOA in the UK. Employee share ownership has always formed a core part of Sopra Steria’s heritage and is seen by the company as a key driver for engaging employees, encouraging entrepreneurship and maintaining independence. At Group level around 7% of the share capital is owned by or managed for employees, with a further 22.6% held by founders, historic and current managers. The company frequently offers employee share programmes ...

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Bigger Thinking Series Part 2: Productivity and Performance Post-Brexit

2018 will be a year of change for UK businesses in so many ways; Brexit has seen to that. 2017 ended with news headlines of UK productivity lagging across a many markets. Now, in 2018, predictions regarding productivity levels, combined with the uncertainty of Brexit, are at times, as wild and varied as the process of exit is complicated. And whether you're forlorn about the grand exit, or delighted, the fact remains; the future success of the UK economy in a post-Brexit era will be heavily influenced by levels of productivity. The UK media has been focused on ...

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Assets don’t exist, only people

If business leaders genuinely believe that their people are their best ‘assets’ and make their brand so special, then why do so few employees get to input into management-level decisions? Why are most boardrooms made up of a tiny handful of people who do not even come close to representing the wider make-up of the workforce accurately? From recruitment adverts to marketing campaigns, time and time again, I see companies boasting about how ‘their people are their biggest asset’ and how much they are loved by the business leaders. But when you scratch beneath the ...

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Employee ownership is the antithesis of broken capitalism

As we welcome yesterday's policy paper from IPPR which looks to redress the in balance of wealth and its effects on the UK economy it joins the voices of many across business, society, the media and politics that capitalism MUST start to deliver more than simply financial value to senior executives and corporate shareholders. Those organisations with behaviours focused on generating short term, executive wealth, rather than protecting long term business health, are increasingly being called out as examples of 'broken capitalism'. The questions about the current ...

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EOA welcomes policy paper on widening ownership in UK economy

The EOA enthusiastically welcomes the IPPR’s policy paper Capital Gains – Broadening company ownership in the UK Economy launched today (Thursday 21 December). The EOA’s main objective is to grow employee ownership in the UK because of the benefits that the business model offers in terms of the individual, the performance of the business and in sustaining businesses along with their ethos, values, employees, customers and supply chain in its locality long after those who set up the business are no longer around. Both the IPPR report and the outcomes of the ...

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Bigger Thinking Series 1 – Mastering Corporate Governance and Engagement

This year I had the pleasure of chairing the UK Employee Ownership Awards, which recognise employee owned companies that have set their markets alight and delighted their customers by effectively engaging their employees via an ownership stake and culture. It's been a privilege to hear first hand these success stories, from various industries, including start-ups and seasoned SMEs, and including household brands - each delivering meaningful and memorable customer experiences. However, in contrast to this very positive experience, the media has had cause throughout the ...

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5 lessons I’ve learnt from my first 5 years

Deb Oxley speaking at the 2017 Summer Dinner
Today (1st December 2017) I celebrate 5 years with the Employee Ownership Association (EOA). And whilst 5 years is not necessarily an anniversary normally celebrated (unless my husband is reading this, in which case, our upcoming 5th wedding anniversary IS to be celebrated!), reaching this milestone has caused me to reflect and consider what have I learnt in that time. #1 - It’s a team game Leading a not for profit membership organisation is the biggest team game ever! The EOA is not just a small but perfectly formed executive group of Oli, Keely, Lisa, Hannah, ...

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Philip Baxendale Fellowship Award: Spin out pioneer rewarded for legacy

As co-founder of the UK’s first health spin out, Professor Jo Pritchard MBE ventured where no-one had before and in doing so has left a legacy of thousands more employee owners in the UK. It is her role as a pioneer, paving the way and supporting the transition of hundreds of public sector spin outs at the same time as leading CSH Surrey to grow and thrive as a social enterprise that has seen the judges award this prestigious accolade to Jo as she retires after 11 years leading the first-of-its-kind business she co-established. Jo believed that a different model, ...

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UK EO Awards Highly Commended: Purpose is key to success

More than 95% of staff were engaged in the decision for Provide CIC to be formed as an employee owned social enterprise as it spun out from the NHS in 2011. The theme of engagement and empowering staff has continued with 89% employees saying they would recommend their services to friends and family and 92.4% feeling a sense of pride in their job. Judges were impressed with Provide CIC’s strategy and purpose that has seen its 1222 employees who provide community services across Essex, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, Waltham Forest and Redbridge innovate and offer ...

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UK EO Awards Highly Commended: EO resilience drives rapid recovery

Golder Associates was highly commended by Judges as a great example of how employee owned businesses can deal with tough decisions and situations. The global design and construction services consultancy has been employee owned for 57 years and employs 6500 worldwide, with 120 people in five offices across the UK in Bourne End, Edinburgh, Leeds, London and Nottingham. Golder has enjoyed a long and successful history, with a strong and differentiated market position but saw its fortunes challenged in 2014/15 with a decline in the natural resources sector causing the ...

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UK EO Awards Winner: Business gives everyone something to smile about

Empowering employees has caused business performance to rocket for a dental service that treats some of the most vulnerable people in society. Community Dental Services (CDS), spun out of the NHS 6 years ago when more than 70% of its employees voted to become the first wholly employee-owned dental social enterprise in the UK. CDS provides dental services via 36 clinics across eight different counties throughout Bedfordshire, Luton, Suffolk, Thetford, Oxfordshire, Leicestershire, Essex and Lincolnshire. Delivering clinical dental and Oral Health Promotion services, it ...

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UK EO Awards Highly Commended: Social dentistry saves NHS funds

Smile Together Dental CIC was Highly Commended, with judges citing it as astounding example of offering a positive impact. The team of 102 operating in Devin and Cornwall, became a staff-owned Community Interest Company in 2016, providing both NHS and private dental care. Smile provides “dentistry with social impact” which has seen it invest surplus funds to tackle huge social problem in the health of teeth in adults and children by targeting those who are least likely to access dental services. Smile has treated double the number of those with special needs, ...

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UK EO Awards Highly Commended: Surplus resources drive community impact

The energy and commitment in driving a wide reaching impact at East Coast Community Healthcare (ECCH) was Highly Commended by the awards judges. Serving Norfolk and Suffolk, ECCH has been employed owned for 6 years, employs 880 staff and has an impressive rating of 98% of its customers saying they would recommend its services. ECCH is one of the first providers to introduce Out of Hospital Teams so patients can be treated in their own homes and has also developed health coaching for 300 staff from 32 partner organisations to help provide better care. The business ...

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UK EO Awards winner: Huge social benefit to redesigned service

Radical changes to services to those with memory problems in Brighton and Hove has seen service provider Here win Employee Owned Innovation of the Year. The not-for-profit business, which was established in 2008 and employs 150 people providing community care, redesigned its service after taking in a broad range of feedback that demonstrated that the organisations KPIs for its Memory Assessment Service (MAS) were not what mattered most to those that the service was caring for. As part of this redesign, they refocussed their service, moving away from an approach which ...

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UK EO Awards highly commended: Building an impressive recovery

The Homebuilding Centre (NSBRC) has had a challenging, yet very impressive start to its employee ownership life. When employees turned up to a locked office it was the courage of just six people that saw the potential to focus on and grow parts of the business that has seen it come back from the brink to be a successful employee owned business now employing 11 people. Since this dramatic change of ownership in 2014, the centre has welcomed 16,349 individual self-builders to the exhibition centre and 10,266 conference delegates, increasing conferencing revenue by an ...

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UK EO Awards Highly Commended: Employees feel reward of ownership

Judges felt that Highly Commended Alfa Leisureplex Group gave a great account of how they brought EO to life for employee owners. Alfa Leisureplex Group, which comprises 21 hotels and is also a tour and coach holiday operator in the UK and Europe, employs 700 people and became employee owned 2 years ago as part of succession planning from a family owned business. With a big drive to embed employee ownership, Alfa has seen employees vote in the first three elected employee trustees, introduce employee engagement surveys and mini surveys, a new intranet area, a program ...

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UK EO Awards winner: Rowlinson manufactures a tight-knit workforce

Since becoming employee owned two years ago Rowlinson Knitwear has driven a culture change that has ticked every box for success. After being Highly Commended in the Rising Star Category in 2016, Rowlinson has gone from great to outstanding in engaging not just its employee owners but also its customers. Established in 1935, Rowlinson Knitwear which employs 50 people, manufactures knitwear for the schoolwear and corporate wear markets. Moving to employee ownership has given Rowlinson greater control over its future and a renewed focus and confidence to empower and ...

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UK EO Awards Highly Commended: It’s not what you do…

While having a project that recognises and develops internal talent in itself is not new – the judges felt that this was a case of ‘its not what you do it’s the way that you do it’ when they read Care Plus Groups submission about their development of their own bespoke ‘Aspire’ programme. The Aspire programme pulls together a blended learning programme across coaching, team building, project management and learning styles in which participants identified and worked on actual projects that benefited the organisation. Part of the organisation’s plan to ...

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UK EO Awards Highly Commended: Cullinan has designs on future technology

Judges were really impressed with how Cullinan Studios inspired its young people and engaged with other organisations to design a new innovation called BIMspace. The collaborative meeting space was the result of Cullinan’s Innovate UK supported project, led by employees which concluded in them designing a large multiscreen set-up that brings data sets in front of decision makers helping to streamline design and construction process, saving cost in the process. Judges were impressed with how Cullinan’s employees were really thinking outside of the box to lead the ...

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Winner UK EO Awards: Huge social benefit to redesigned service

Radical changes to services to those with memory problems in Brighton and Hove has seen service provider Here win Employee Owned Innovation of the Year. The not-for-profit business, which was established in 2008 and employs 150 people providing community care, redesigned its service after taking in a broad range of feedback that demonstrated that the organisations KPIs for its Memory Assessment Service (MAS) were not what mattered most to those that the service was caring for. As part of this redesign, they refocussed their service, moving away from an approach which ...

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Highly Commended: Going for gold to empower employees

Judges also Highly Commended Nicola Ryan, Head of People’s Services at Rowlinson Knitwear for her ‘transformative policies’ that have helped to drive the success of Rowlinson as an employee owned business which included spearheading a cultural revolution that centred on being employee owned, embedding strong values and demonstrating exceptional care for all employees. Through setting up an Employee Council as a hub for ideas, implementing an open door management style and providing a raft of engagement opportunities, Nicola has driven the businesses vision to be a ...

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UK EO Awards Highly commended: Duo the cornerstone of culture change

Highly commended for Employee Owner of the Year are Ali Jennings and Simon Drewett from East Coast Community Health. Ali, a qualified nurse of 33 years, and Simon, a Training Officer, were elected by employee shareholders to join the board to represent the interests of the shareholders. East Coast Community Health became employee owned, after spinning out of the NHS 6 years ago, and has more than 880 employees. Judges were impressed with Simon and Ali’s accomplishments as employee shareholder representatives including helping to raise the number of shareholders from ...

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Winner UK EO Awards: Owner inspires as leader and advocate during difficult times

A young leader whose colleagues cited as “inspirational, supportive, positive, and passionate” has been named UK Employee Ownership Awards Employee Owner of the Year. Lucy Farrow, a Consultation and Engagement Team Leader at OPM Group, was nominated for the award by her fellow employee owners for being a consistent, articulate and passionate advocate for employee ownership values. This was especially valued during a very challenging period for the group as it underwent significant restructuring to respond to deep budget cuts in some of its key market. Lucy joined ...

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UK EO Awards: People focus drives community impact

A housing provider with a focus on people not just houses has become the first ever winner of the Employee Owned Positive Impact of the Year Award. Spinning out from the council in 2012 with a housing stock that needed significant investment, Rochdale Boroughwide Housing (RBH) became an Arms Length Management Organisation separate from the council, before Chief Executive Gareth Swarbrick embarked on a journey to make RBH the UK’s first tenant and employee owned mutual housing society. With a vision of ‘people succeeding together to provide better places to live ...

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Lush announces 10% move to employee ownership at EOA Conference

At the EOA Annual Conference in Birmingham Lush announced the launch of its Employee Benefit Trust. 10% of new shares in the business have now been issued into the trust to be held on behalf of all permanent Lush Group employees. On the same day as the government launched it’s industrial strategy focussing on people, place and innovation there is a clear fit for the ownership effect of employee owned businesses having real benefit on the UK economy. Lush hopes this will protect the values of the company, its independence and prosperity and in turn recognises with ...

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New member GlenWyvis distils multiple benefits for Dingwall community

GlenWyvis is the world’s first employee-owned and community-owned whisky distillery. GlenWyvis employs five people who are ‘members’ alongside those who have invested in the project and each has a voice and vote in the running of the business. The aim of the business is to help rejuvenate the historic town of Dingwall and the wider local community by reinstating the traditional industry of whisky distilling following a gap of 90 years, and also has its sights set on being a dual production distillery also producing gin from early 2018. Established in 2015 by ...

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Dream It, Dare It, Do It – a message to the Chancellor

Having recently attended an EOA member's event, entitled, ‘Dream It, Dare It, Do It’, I was left wondering what I might dream the Chancellor could dare to do in his budget this week to enable more employee ownership in the UK. As we seek answers to the UK’s ‘productivity puzzle’, there is stubborn inequality in prosperity between London and the rest of the UK, and the corporate behaviours of some of the UK’s largest businesses continue to disappoint, the Chancellor has a unique opportunity in this week’s budget to make a difference. Undeniably, Govern...

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Aerospace engineers STAR-Dundee transition to employee ownership and join the EOA

STAR-Dundee, a world leading provider of spacecraft on-board data handling network technology for the aerospace industry, has joined the EOA as it celebrates completing its transition to employee ownership. The business, which employs 25 people and has offices in both Dundee and Barcelona, has created technology that is now being used across the world on more than 100 spacecraft which are monitoring the Earth, exploring nearby planets and asteroids, mapping out and sensing the far flung parts of the galaxy. STAR-Dundee was established 15 years ago primarily because ...

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Member news: An employee-owned future for freight company Espace Europe

European freight forwarding firm, Espace Europe Ltd, moved to an employee ownership model to secure the long-term future of the business. The business, which has its headquarters in Lichfield, Staffordshire, handles international freight operations across a number of sectors, including automotive, aerospace, plastics and packaging. After trading for over 17 years, Espace Europe has decided to switch to an employee ownership model to secure the longevity of the business and reward its 15 staff members, many of which have been with the business since it started. E...

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Member news: Managed Service Providers Network ROI become employee owned

EOA member Network ROI has become employee owned - one of the UK’s first fully employee-owned Managed Service Providers. Major shareholder and Managing Director, Sean Elliot has signed over ownership of the business he formed in 2003 to all 32 employees. Sean will remain as Managing Director and will continue working with and developing the leadership team to guide Network ROI towards “a prosperous and exciting future as an employee-owned business”. Sean said: “In the technology industry, it is common for small and medium-sized companies with the regional ...

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Member news: MindWorks Marketing transitions to employee ownership in 20th year of business

EOA member, Hampshire-based marketing agency, MindWorks Marketing, has become employee owned. Now in its 20th year with clients including Suzuki, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, Royal Navy, Ford and Wiggle, it has announced its team of 34 have become owners of the business. Mindworks Managing Director, John Harris-Burland, has sold his majority shareholding to a combination of the senior management team which will be held in Trust on behalf of all the employees, meaning all employees will share directly in the profits of the company. John said: “Over the years, we have ...

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CEO Blog: To be trusted, businesses must be trustworthy

I have written previously about the danger of the promulgation of the ‘fake news’ message and how it risks undermining public trust. And as a Commissioner on the Vibrant Economy, I was delighted to contribute to Grant Thornton’s Business Case for Trust publication which highlights the importance of trust in business. More than ever, it is clear that trust in business is not just a matter of economics, but is now a matter of survival. Without trust, there can be little belief or confidence in an organisation by its employees, its suppliers, its customers or the ...

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New data finds employee-owned businesses are perceived as more trustworthy than businesses not owned by their employees

Results of a recent YouGov survey published today reveal that nearly 60% of those surveyed view employee-owned (EO) businesses as more trustworthy than businesses not owned by their employees. The survey, which was commissioned by the Employee Ownership Association (EOA) with support from Co-operative Development Scotland (CDS), evaluated the UK’s perception of trust and ethical practices in business. A timely analysis, given the recent political and societal focus on corporate governance and employee representation on boards. The research revealed that 58% of ...

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Tickets for Annual Conference selling fast

The EOA is warning that tickets are selling faster than ever for the EOA Annual Conference 2017, with half of them already being snapped up. We are urging those wishing to attend to book early so they don’t miss out on their opportunity to be involved, be informed, be inspired at the full two-day conference with 4 key note speakers, 5 dedicated networking sessions, 27 workshops and seminars and the EOA Gala Dinner featuring the presentation of the UK EO Awards. An expected 700 delegates from aspiring and established employee owned organisations, along with industry ...

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Sponsor viewpoint: Capital4Colleagues

"The UK economy undoubtedly faces a number of challenges over the coming months and it’s times like these that result in questions being raised again about productivity, innovation, good governance and employee representation. So it’s good to know that we already have a robust business ownership model in place that is proven to deal with these challenges well – the Employee Owned Business (EOB). Such companies typically ensure their employees have a meaningful stake in their business and the managers pay close attention to how people are engaged in the running ...

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Sponsor viewpoint: Baxendale

“Employee ownership in the UK is in impeccable health. 17 years after Baxendale launched our mission to create more EO businesses, each month that goes by sees the sector’s strength in depth grow – and we expect and hope to see that reflected in the 11th annual EO Awards in November. In 2017 alone, Baxendale has already worked with more than 40 clients either moving to employee ownership or looking to get the most out of their existing employee ownership. Our clients say they like working with us because of the sheer extent of our experience (not only having ...

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UK EO Awards – 50 days to go register now!

With 50 days to go until nominations close for the UK EO Awards we’re urging your business to apply before you fly or at least register before many of you pack you cases for the summer holidays. The Awards, which close for entries on Thursday 7th September soon after summer holidays conclude, have more profile than ever and celebrate the significant contribution and impact employee owned businesses make to the UK economy and recognise the productivity, innovation and excellence driven by teams and individuals in employee owned businesses. Managed by the Employee ...

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Thanks a million for reaching out on EO Day

From cakes, food, picnics, BBQs, business events, quizzes and challenges to hi-5s and expressions of what it means to be an employee owner, EO Day was a great success at making noise about employee ownership. In fact via Twitter your news and messages reach out to more than 1.03 million followers on twitter – that’s more than 600 tweets, with combined shares of more than 1200 shares, more than 440 photos and videos were shared using the EO Day Photo Prop Pack which received and more than 2,500 likes. Thousands more were reached through Facebook, Linked in and ...

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CEO viewpoint moving employee ownership into the mainstream – a marathon not a sprint

When we set ourselves big ambitions, it is the planning at the outset that is most important. When I decided I might just be able to run a marathon, it was running for 30 mins without stopping that was my first significant achievement.  Before I knew it, I was running for 90 minutes, then 120 and then… 6 months later and after 4 hours 30 mins, I completed that first marathon. I am now more convinced than ever that getting to a point when employee ownership is an every day occurrence will be a similar marathon feat, but that the early signs of us reaching those key ...

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The Ownership Effect call for written evidence – deadline extended

While we have been busy touring the UK hearing verbal evidence on the opportunities for Employee Ownership to support the UK economy we have also been calling on you to help evidence The Ownership Effect through our Call for Written Evidence. We have now extended the deadline by a week and we’re urging representatives from employee owned businesses and advisors to employee owned businesses to complete the online form. The Inquiry, which is led by the EOA in partnership with the John Lewis Partnership and the eaga Trust, chaired by Baroness Sharon Bowles and ...

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New members, transitions and successes

This month we welcome new members, celebrate three transitions and celebrate some member successes. New Members P4P Creative is a digital and design agency employing  8 people in Glasgow. Pillar Software is an IT software developers in Newent with  8 employee owners. Member transitions Flowstore - The business transitioned to employee ownership on EO Day 2017. The business, a specialist in applying Lean Manufacturing solutions for customers, provides custom built materials handling and storage equipment for manufacturing and distribution operations was ...

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Member spotlight: Unity Trust Bank

Unity Trust Bank, the EOA’s latest Trustee Member, is looking to embrace employee ownership from both inside the business and beyond. Unity Bank’s relationship with the EOA began almost 25 years ago when they became its bank. The bank has recently become a Trustee Member and is committed to fostering a deeper and broader relationship going forward. Unity's employee ownership is currently enabled  through an ESOP scheme, introduced in 2012 where staff receive 100 shares on their first and tenth year of working with the Bank. However, the ambitions of the bank ...

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EOA launches call for written evidence for The Ownership Effect Inquiry

The Employee Ownership Association (EOA) has launched the call for written evidence from businesses and individuals as part of the next stage of the Ownership Effect Inquiry – a national, business-led inquiry into the impact of employee ownership on businesses and the UK economy. All contributions will be considered, along with the oral evidence being gathered in a series of hearings around the UK. This evidence will then be used to develop a final report, which will include valuable recommendations of how to further support the growth of employee ownership. The ...

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Employee Ownership Association marks 5th annual EO Day with the release of new industry data

With events taking place all over the country, the EOA has released new research showcasing the strength of the sector and the profound and positive impact of employee-owned businesses on the UK economy. Employee Ownership Day (EO Day) takes place on June 30 and is celebrating its fifth Birthday with hundreds of events taking place across the country. To mark the occasion, The Employee Ownership Association (EOA) is also publishing a new suite of research illustrating the role of the sector as both an economic and social enabler. EO Day is the national celebration of ...

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EO Day case study Flowstore transition

Employee Ownership Association (EOA) affiliate member Flowstore will celebrate the national EO Day 2017 on June 30th by actually transitioning to employee ownership. The business, a specialist in applying Lean Manufacturing solutions for customers, provides custom built materials handling and storage equipment for manufacturing and distribution operations. It was established in 1984 with just 2 people, and has now grown to 50 employees covering the UK, Ireland & Benelux. Owners Simon Dennis, MD for 30 years, and his wife Alison, had been wondering how to plan ...

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EO Day case study Turley

For EO Day co-owners from Turley’s 12 locations are taking a half day to help 10 charities at 10 locations to celebrate its 10th company conference year. The list of activity includes supporting Southampton’s Naomi House and Jacks Place by sorting donations, a beach litter pick with the Marine Conservation Society in Scotland, helping the London LandAid Grenfell Tower Appeal and Crisis with a Triathlon and ‘bring a dish’ event to help fundraising as well as helping a night Shelter in Bristol, a reading scheme in Birmingham, The Cardiff Autistic Society, the ...

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EO Day Case study National Self Build & Renovation Centre

The National Self Build & Renovation Centre (NSBRC) will be celebrating EO Day with an Employee Company Update & Business Masterclass event with networking and a virtual ‘Afternoon at the Races’. They expect over 40 business owners & leaders to attend the event which includes an employee ownership masterclass with specialist investor ‘Capital for Colleagues’, featuring representatives from other employee-owned businesses such as the John Lewis Partnership. Other highlights include Sales and Marketing masterclasses and guest speaker Piers Taylor, a ...

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EO Day case study Agilisys

Agilisys will celebrate with its 1,500 employee owners at its 17 sites across the UK on EO day 2017. EO day will help raise awareness of the employee owned sector and will endorse Agilisys’ employee owned status. Highlights from the day will include Agilisys West London  “Owners Day”, the launch of the South West Offices employee ownership week, volunteering in the local community in the North West and employee engagement activities in Scotland. The West London “Owners Day” at Agilisys’ Hammersmith office will include over forty employees volunteering ...

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EO Day case study Cambridge Weight Plan

The sponsors of EO Day 2017, Cambridge Weight Plan, are planning to celebrate the day by officially opening a new building at their site in Corby. The business has enjoyed growth of more than £6m over the last couple of years, which has generated a pre-tax profit of £10.1m and created 27 new jobs at its head office. The additional space is required to support the expansion of the business, and to sustain future growth. It also underlines the business’ commitment to the local area and continued investment for the future of the Employee Owned Business. The ...

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EOA Summer Dinner launches a manifesto of employee ownership

The EOA Summer Dinner attended by more than 150 members of the EOA enjoyed an address from Baroness Sharon Bowles of Berkhamsted, on Thursday Jun 8. Held in the Palace of Westminster, Baroness Bowles addressed the room talking about the political journey of employee ownership and her commitment to revealing the evidence for employee ownership as an economic and social enabler in her role as chair of an inquiry, led by the EOA, The Ownership Effect. Baroness Sharon Bowles said: “Ethics, culture, governance and responsibility have been at the heart of my own career, ...

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One month to go to EO Day

With just one month to go to EO Day we are really enjoying hearing your plans that are coming in to the EO Day inbox. We’ve started to add them to the EO Day Celebration Map on www.eoday.co.uk Here are some things that can help get ready for EO Day 2017: Get familiar with our EO Day Photo Prop Pack In early June you will receive your EO Day Photo Prop Pack with speech bubbles, circle message and stickers. Take a look at the pack through the link below and get some ideas about how your team might use them in either pictures or videos to share on social ...

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Results published for EOT survey

The results of the latest EOT survey have today been published, reporting on the businesses to share information on their transition to an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT). Administrated by RM2, in partnership with the EOA and John Lewis Partnership, the evergreen EOT Survey, was introduced in 2015 to measure the take-up of EOTs which offer capital gains tax relief for those selling the company as well as the option to give income tax free bonus to employees. As RM2 now prepares to take a snapshot of EOT take-up for 2017, which will be shared in November, the partners ...

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EOA Membership Council holds first meeting

The new EOA Membership Council will provide an important voice for all EOA members and we’re delighted to have recruited 15 representatives from within the membership to represent members of all sizes from across the entire UK. At is first meeting in early May, the Membership Council agreed its role to provide  additional support and insight to the EOA as it continues to develop its services in line with members’ needs. Membership Council Chair, Alden Whittaker-Brown, of Arup, tells us his thoughts and hopes after the first meeting: "The first meeting of the ...

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Member spotlight: Konditor & Cook

At the 2016 EOA Conference Konditor & Cook were announced as the winners of the 2016 Investment Award , sponsored by John Lewis Partnership. The businesses’ compelling story with fans of their cakes including Nigella Lawson and their mission to “bring joy” to all through its luxury cakes, bespoke bakes, its cake school experiences or its day to day customers looking for a hot lunch alongside its need for a succession plan that was a fit it’s values, rewarded the hard work of their staff and ensured the future of the brand built up over many years shone ...

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New members, milestones and successes in May

This month we welcome more new members to the EOA, celebrate some key milestones and celebrate member successes. Firstly, its welcome to new members Combined Flooring and David Narro Associates. Combined Flooring is a specialist in industrial flooring offering consultancy and flatness surveying. The business has 11 employee owners and is based in Hampshire. David Narro Associates is a Consulting Structural and Civil Engineers. The business has 49 employee owners and is based in Edinburgh And it’s also ‘Happy employee ownership Birthday’ for our members ...

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More employee ownership is essential for economy and society in post-Brexit UK

From when the Industrial Strategy Green Paper was launched and then as the snap election prompted manifestos from the main three parties, I have not hidden my disappointment that they do not fully acknowledge the role Employee Ownership plays and the impact it could have in supporting the UK economy. In the Conservative manifesto, the party announced its plans for representation of workers on company boards. Whilst these plans may force listed companies to either create stakeholder advisory panels, designate an existing non-executive director as the employee represent...

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The UK Employee Ownership Awards 2017 are open for entries

The UK Employee Ownership Awards, which celebrate the significant contribution employee owned businesses (EOBs) make to the UK economy, are now open for entries. And this year they’re back with a new award The Employee Owned Positive Impact of the Year which celebrates pioneering, positive or lasting impact generated by employee owned businesses, over and above their financial performance. This adds to the 5 UK EO awards which recognise the productivity, innovation and excellence driven by teams and individuals in EOBs, which demonstrate how employees having a ...

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Employees from businesses from across UK recruited to new EOA Membership Council

The EOA has a recruited 15 representatives from businesses across the UK to its new Membership Council, which will have its first meeting today (Tuesday May 16). The representatives from the EOA membership have been recruited to the Membership Council, which will be chaired by EOA Board Director, Alden Whittaker-Brown, of Arup, to provide additional support and insight to the EOA as it continues to develop its services in line with members’ needs. CEO of the EOA Deb Oxley said: "We are really excited by the opportunity of the new EOA Membership Council and we look ...

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Lecture inspires the quest for a ‘new normal’ of businesses doing well while doing good

More than 190 people gathered last week for the annual Robert Oakeshott Lecture, in which Sacha Romanovitch, CEO of Grant Thornton LLP, inspired the audience with her lecture on why the world was ready for a 'new normal'. In the prestigious surroundings of the ICAEWs Chartered Accountants Hall, Sacha shared her journey so far leading Grant Thornton’s move to shared enterprise and its purpose of shaping a Vibrant Economy, which focuses on restoring trust and integrity in business, unlocking the potential for dynamic business to grow and creating environments where ...

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Events update: Lecture, Summer Dinner, Conference and Awards

The EOA Summer Dinner is now fully booked, with 150 of our members reserving a place. A wait list is now in operation. The event, this year sponsored by Mott McDonald, the UK’s largest employee-owned global engineering, management and development consultancy, will once again be held in the impressive surroundings of the Members' Dining Room at the Palace of Westminster on the 8th of June. Pre-dinner drinks will be very kindly sponsored for the fifth year by MyCSP, the leading employee owned civil service pensions administrator. This year the guest gift will be ...

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March: member transitions, milestones and successes

In this month’s EO Today we are able to celebrate three transitions, four employee ownership birthdays and a success story that congratulates employee engagement in an employee owned business. Transitions TensCare, which provides, develops and distributes tens machines for pain relief or muscle rehabilitation and employs a team of 17, transitioned on March 1 and heralded the news on it’s website as a “a positive alternative to more traditional ownership models and offers real advantages to both the employees and the prosperity of the business”. Ethos ...

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Welcome to new members

We’d like to thank our member Unity Trust Bank, which has become a Trustee member of the EOA for this additional level of support. Unity supports organisations and businesses that aim to create community, social or environmental benefit in a financially sustainable way. We’d also like to say welcome to Tens Care, The Biodiversity Consultancy Ltd, The Enterprise Tax Centre, Tithegrove Limited, Bright Ascension Ltd, Perrett Laver Ltd and Collective Architecture Limited who add to our membership’s huge array of sectors and specialisms. TensCare, is Europe’s ...

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Member spotlight: BMT

BMT is an international design, engineering and risk management consultancy, working principally in the defence, energy, environment, marine risk & insurance and ports & logistics sectors. Formed in 1985 from the merger of the UK’s British Ship Research Association and National Maritime Institute, the company is at work on projects in 35 countries - from one of the world’s biggest coal ports in Australia to ice breakers in the Caspian Sea. The Royal Navy’s future aircraft carrier is a BMT design and the company is the world’s leading independent ...

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CEO Blog: Employee ownership is the real deal

The new narrative of ‘post truth’, ‘fake news’ and ‘alternative facts’ should not be viewed as simply a harmless evolution of modern vocabulary. These new phrases are seeping into society and are gradually starting to undermine public trust; in everything from the business of news reporting, the opinions of experts, the role of politicians and even the decisions of the judiciary. In a world of social media, instant communication and Presidential tweets, the impact of this new narrative is hugely concerning, as a society without trust is a broken society. ...

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Come together to celebrate the 5th EO Day

Employee owners and those interested in employee ownership are being urged to make some noise for the 5th national Employee Ownership Day. The Employee Ownership Association (EOA) and EO Day 2017 sponsor Cambridge Weight Plan are urging employee owned businesses and their employees to celebrate their ownership structures as part of raising awareness of the economic benefits of employee ownership. EO Day 2017 will take place on Friday 30 June and is the opportunity for employee owned businesses to join forces to celebrate their ownership and their  business triumphs ...

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EOA welcomes Lush employee ownership announcement

The Employee Ownership Association (EOA) welcomes the news that the high-street retailer Lush will bring an element of employee ownership to its business, after setting up an Employee Benefit Trust for its staff members. As a lobbying organisation that aims to grow the size and economic impact of the employee ownership sector, the EOA applauds Lush’s success at the same time as positioning its business as a force for good, which contributes to the government’s objectives for a more productive, fairer society and an economy that works for all. Deb Oxley, CEO of ...

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We can do better; shining a light on corporate governance in employee owned businesses

In inviting responses to the Corporate Governance Reform Green Paper, government has reignited an important debate to consider the impact of the current structures of corporate governance of the UK’s listed or quoted businesses on society and the economy. At a time when trust in many of the UK’s biggest and most important institutions is at rock bottom, the economy is experiencing uncertain times, and with an urgent need to maintain consumer confidence, the publishing of this Green Paper opens up a much-needed dialogue about how business can do better. Ask any of ...

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EOA Corporate Governance Reform response shines light on fairer ways of doing business

Responding to the Government’s Corporate Governance Reform Green Paper, the EOA has shone a light on the outstanding examples of corporate governance from within the employee ownership sector. The EOA’s response includes evidence from employee owned organisations from a range of sizes and sectors including professional services, manufacturing, retail and distribution and health and social care. The response demonstrates a high level of positive examples of where employee owned businesses are structured to have the cultural norms relating to the transparency and ...

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EOA is recruiting for new Membership Council

The EOA is now recruiting to its new Membership Council. The opportunity to join the council is open to representatives from across the EOA’s membership including affiliate, supporter, partner and trustee members. The 15 successful candidates will contribute to the development of the EOA member proposition in making sure it is in line with members’ needs and wishes. The EOA is now seeking nominations for this from suitable candidates who have to be employees of current EOA member companies. The council will be chaired by EOA Board Director, Arup’s Head of ...

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Sacha Romanovitch to give Robert Oakeshott lecture

Sacha Romanovitch - Robert Oakeshott lecture
The EOA is delighted to announce that Sacha Romanovitch, CEO of EOA Supporter Member Grant Thornton UK LLP, is to deliver this year’s Robert Oakeshott Lecture exploring the theme of the ‘potential to do well while doing good’ in business. Sacha is leading Grant Thornton in its purpose of shaping a Vibrant Economy, which focuses on restoring trust and integrity in business, unlocking the potential for dynamic business to grow and creating environments where business and people thrive. Sacha follows in the footsteps of the four previous speakers; leading influencer ...

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EOA Membership Council recruitment

The EOA has changed its governance and will soon be recruiting members to join the new  EOA Membership Council, which will be a key platform to gather member views and support in developing the membership proposition. This change,  approved by the EOA Board in January, will see members  recruited to work with the EOA team on building the member offer and driving member excellence, one the EOA’s strategic priorities. We will update members shortly on timescales and a recruitment process.

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Looking to build on an excellent 2016

Most of you will have now have had sight of our annual review which gives an overview of successes and a focus for work in 2017 – if not you can read it here. 2016 was a fantastic year for the EOA as we continued on our journey of developing the size and impact of the employee ownership sector on the UK economy. Throughout the year, many members shared their success stories and spread the word far and wide as they continued to enjoy accelerated growth and prosperity. There is an exciting year ahead for the EOA and the team looks forward to hearing about the ...

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Congratulations and happy new year to new employee owners

We’d like to congratulate our member successful brand realisation company Novograf which saw in the New Year by becoming employee owned bringing 63 new employee owners into the sector. Read their story here And January sees us celebrate another EOA member NSBRC who transitioned two years ago on January 1 and we wish  them a happy EO anniversary. Novograf is one of a growing number of professional services companies to become employee owned with our other members BB Partnership and ADP, both architects, very close to announcing their transitions this week. Mea...

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Member spotlight: Barnard & Westwood

Austen and Michele Kopley, former owners of a majority stake in Royal Warrant holding company Barnard & Westwood, dedicated many years to developing and growing their printing and book-binding business. The company which exhibited examples of their products at the EOA exhibition as part of the EOA conference 2016 has worked with Postlethwaite Employee Ownership Lawyers on succession planning for its future. As the company approached its centenary, they wished to explore ways they could pass on the company whilst protecting both the loyal and experienced team of ...

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CEO viewpoint: ‘The ownership effect’

I recently had the pleasure of presenting at the Co-operative Party conference, ‘In our interest; building an economy for all’, where the topic was responsible business. Obviously, this is something close to the heart of the EOA as it is a phrase frequently used to describe the way in which businesses that the EOA represents, those that are employee owned. The sector, which employs over 300k people, and contributes around £30bn to the economy each year, that’s about 4% of GDP,  is growing at pace - at about 10% per annum, as entrepreneurs use the model to ...

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Review sums up a successful year for EOA

The EOA’s review of 2016 and focus for activity during 2017 has been released. The EOA continued to pursue its purpose of developing the size and impact of the UK employee ownership economy last year. In 2016 profiling the EOA was a high priority through a series of blogs, national media pieces as well as partnering with members in regional and trade press on stories linked to milestones and successes achieving more than 100 pieces of coverage. Alongside this our Chief Executive became a commissioner on Grant Thornton’s Vibrant Economy Commission and spoke at the ...

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Merry Christmas from the EOA – office closing

The EOA team wishes you a Merry Christmas. Our office will be closed from close of play on Thursday 22 until January 3. See you in 2017.

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Welcome to our new members

We’d like to welcome our new members from over the past two months our affiliate member and Investment Award winner Konditor & Cooke, partner members employee owned businesses Trust Inheritance and Laser Scanning, and supporter members Buzzacott, Santander and Rickett Mitchell. Konditor & Cook is a luxury bakery and provider of quality hot food, at one of its 6 London-based shops and online. Trust Inheritance is an independent will writing and bereavement support service that can guide you through planning your funeral, inheritance tax planning, protecting ...

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Regional Network Focus: South West

Garry Davis has worked as the network coordinator for the South West EOA Regional Network since the beginning of 2016. In seeking to derive maximum value for those attending the regional meetings he is able to reflect on his considerable experience of employee ownership having spent 25 years at John Lewis in a variety of HR and employee engagement roles. He currently works freelance with a wide variety of organisations including in this role with J Gadd Associates. Q How would you describe South West EOA Regional Network meetings? A A really engaging and evolving ...

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Top tips: working with the media by Martine Croxall

Here's some of her top tips: Journalists are time poor so the more you can feed them what they need the easier it is to get your story covered. They are looking for anecdote, emotion, opinion and case studies that illustrate the story, statistics and facts from research and surveys and success stories. When trying to get your story covered you may need different things for different mediums, for example something more visual for television items, to bring the story to life: Newspapers - you need quotes from relevant spokespeople and photos or options for a ...

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Conference Spotlight: Savant

Savant is this year celebrating 15 years as an employee owned company and is a great example of successful business succession. But proving that there is always something to learn to do things better or find out something new, two employee representatives attended the EOA conference. Savant, which was set up in the late 70s as a family owned company to promote the works of James Martin, one of the foremost thinkers in Information Technology (IT), and has been delivering software engineering since 1986 from its base in Cumbria, was taken over from the retiring ...

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Conference spotlight: Riverford Organics

Riverford Organics founder Guy Watson started his business as one man and a wheelbarrow and has grown it to an award-winning organic delivery company. It now employs 550 staff to help provide and deliver around 47,000 food boxes a week to homes around the UK from its regional farms. Guy has made no secret that he is looking into employee ownership as part of his future succession plans, driven by what he calls 'leftie views' but which currently chime with the government’s narrative around better businesses that benefits everyone not just the few. To further his ...

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More opportunities to experience Great Game

Following on from Jack Stack’s key note speech and Great Game Workshop sessions at the EOA Conference, the team at Great Game UK is running a series of workshops starting this month and throughout 2017. The Great Game Experience The Great Game team will be at Stellar Europe, in Irvine, Ayrshire, winner of the  Great Game of Business; Best Open Book Management Company in the UK for three years running, for 5 dates in 2017. You can see what it takes to become the UK’s Best Open Book Management Company, learn the fundamental principles and practices of open-book ...

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A tale of two cities; reflections on the Autumn Statement

Having returned to my desk after our Annual Conference, on the day of what we now know is to be the last Autumn Statement, I was struck by the stark contrast in the two events. At our Conference in Birmingham I was in the company of almost 650 wonderful employee owners who were optimistic, collaborative, passionate and purposed about how to deliver better business. This annual gathering is the highlight of the employee ownership year, and is the biggest opportunity each year to focus attention on a part of the economy worth over £30bn, and at 4%, makes a larger ...

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Biggest EOA Conference yet amplifies success of business that works for everyone

The EOA Conference 2016, sponsored by Capital for Colleagues, was not only a big success with more than 625 delegates, but also at making a huge noise about why employee ownership is better business. Through the 3 key note speakers, 37 seminars and workshops, the 5 EO UK Award winners stories, and the EOA Investment Award winner, the stories of how the sector delivers success through giving employees a voice, having checks and balances on executive pay and greater employee representation in businesses chimed with the current political narrative from the Prime Minster....

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EOA welcomes Millennials research

The EOA welcomes research that shows there is a good match between millennial attitudes and the ethos of employee ownership. Busting the Millennial Myth – the Power of Purpose - shows that employee ownership works well to meet the aspirations of the generation, and reveals that millennials value many characteristics of the employee ownership business model, such as profit sharing and personal development, more than previous generations did. Launched in November by EOA members Fieldfisher and the eaga Trust, the research  was co-authored by Peter Neville Lewis, ...

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Congratulations to UK EO award winners

More excellent success stories were shared at the UK Employee Ownership Awards 2016. The awards, delivered by the EOA, celebrate the success of the employee ownership sector, and in 2016 were sponsored for a second year by leading EOA member Baxendale. Presented as part of the EOA Annual Conference Gala Dinner on Monday 21 November, attended by 580 people, saw the 5 winners crowne