Employee Ownership Annual Conference 2014

Over 500 delegates from a diverse range of businesses and public service organisations including; the John Lewis Partnership, Unipart, the Cabinet Office, Handelsbanken, and the Department for Business Innovation and Skills gathered in Nottingham earlier this week for the Employee Ownership Association’s (EOA) annual conference, the UK’s only annual event dedicated to employee ownership. The conference was sponsored by the Childbase Partnership and Arup.

Opening the day’s proceedings, Chief Executive of the EOA Iain Hasdell paid tribute to how those who worked in the sector were playing a significant role in the country’s economic recovery:  “I am proud of the pivotal leading role the EOA and its members are playing in the ongoing growth of employee ownership in the UK. The employee ownership sector’s contribution to UK GDP is beyond 4% – almost half way to the target I set in 2012, that has now been so widely endorsed, of 10% by 2020.

“Productivity in employee owned businesses is growing at an annual rate of 4.5% at a time when it is flat in all other types of business. Employee owned businesses are growing the size of their teams by nearly 3.5% each year and Operating profits of the top 50 employee owned companies are growing at an annual rate of more than 25%.”

Delegates attended a range of seminars chaired by leading industry experts to advise employee owned businesses, or those considering a move to employee ownership, on taxation, legal, financial and communications matters. Advice sessions included; successful employee engagement; maximising the employee ownership brand; effective succession and managing in an employee owned business.

Mike Thompson, Chief Executive of the Childbase Partnership provided the second keynote speech of the day, along with his father Sir Peter Thompson,  and told delegates of their successful journey developing a business of owners and their investment in engagement and involvement. The final speaker of the day, John Lupton of Tayport-based Scott & Fyfe, gave a candid account of key considerations on making the move to employee ownership.

Concluding his speech Hasdell spoke about how the onus was now very much on the employee owned sector to bring about a revolution in the way the economy was structured: “Overall, in the big picture this is a brilliant, unprecedented, time for employee ownership in the UK. As I have been saying for a long time now this really is the decade of employee ownership. Employee ownership is a movement for change. For a better way of doing business.”

For all slides and presentations from the conference visit: eoaconference.co.uk