EOA expands its policy and influencing activity

The Employee Ownership Association (EOA) is expanding its policy and influencing activity to solidify its position as the voice of the employee ownership sector and champion of ‘Good EO’.

As the EOA seeks to support the continued growth and impact of the EO sector, with more than 1,000 employee-owned businesses now in the UK, we’ve appointed our first dedicated team member to focus on our policy influencing work.

Sam Blakeborough joins us as Policy & Partnerships Officer, and will be responsible for building relationships with key stakeholders. Sam will support the EOA to harness the collective influence of EOA members and act as the national voice on public policy matters that deliver a clear value offer and further growth of employee ownership.

Together with our members, the EOA is embarking on an ambitious new strategy that looks to seize the opportunities in front of us to sustain the continued growth of the employee ownership community to deliver greater corporate diversity and economic resilience across the UK.

In his role, Sam will support and lead on our efforts to engage with the UK nations, regions, local authorities, parliamentarians and government departments. He will also build the EOA’s expertise in reaching and influencing all of our stakeholders, from EO businesses and partners, to business networks and public sector bodies.

James de le Vingne, Chief Executive at the EOA, said: “I’d like to welcome Sam to the EOA team. His appointment is a major step in our ambition to strengthen our position with decision makers, whether in Westminster, Whitehall, the devolved nations, or local government.

“As the voice of the EO sector in the UK, we will be advocating for employee ownership as a way to boost prosperity in the UK.

“Sam will be expanding our existing strong network of advocates, convening regular discussions with members to shape future dialogue and priorities, and ensuring that all political parties prioritise support for employee ownership.”

Exciting opportunities

Sam joins us from Rotherham Borough Council, where he spent three years in its policy team. He has worked on a number of public policy areas, including the climate emergency and local economic development.

Sam said: “I’m really pleased and excited to be joining the EOA team, and to be working in a sector that’s already demonstrating massive social and economic impact in the UK.

“Working with members, we’ll be aiming to co-produce a comprehensive idea of what great employee ownership looks like and how this can be achieved, and advocating for key decision makers to continue to support the sector.

“There will be many exciting opportunities for us to all learn from each other, and I’m looking forward to being a part of that process.”

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