EOA’s ‘campaign for change’ announced at annual Summer Dinner

EOA Annual Commons Dinner__06-16_hi_110Taking place at the Palace of Westminster ahead of what has been a highly divisive EU referendum announcement, this year’s Summer Dinner saw more than 150 EOA members come together to reflect on the passing year in employee ownership and consider the challenges that lie ahead.

At a time of great political and social unrest, change, it seems, has become the new constant and the evening’s proceedings opened with a rousing call to action from Deb Oxley, CEO of the EOA, who revealed the EOA’s three core objectives of its ‘campaign for change.’

  • Firstly, for every accountancy firm to have at least one specialist accountant who can advise clients on the business benefits of employee ownership by 2020
  • Secondly, to ensure that the business education curriculum across both higher and further education includes comprehensive coverage of employee ownership as part of the syllabus
  • And, finally, to ensure that every lender has at least one local expert who fully understands employee ownership as a positive and credible business model and is favourable to lending to it.

A growing mistrust of business and banks, dismay at the corporate behaviours of some high profile business leaders and frustrations at inequality of the increasing gap between the wealthiest and poorest in society seem to have contributed to widespread feelings of loss of control and lack of representation.

And whilst employee ownership cannot act as a panacea for the political, social and economic issues currently challenging the UK in their entirety, as a business model, it undoubtedly offers companies a way to operate which is much more closely aligned to the public’s expectations – one which is more fair, more transparent and more inclusive.

Not only this, but with EO businesses consistently proven to demonstrate greater resilience during times of instability than their non-EO counterparts this period of unrest presents business owners with a valuable, and no doubt increasingly appealing, opportunity to safeguard their assets during this period of unrest.

Raising awareness of employee ownership remains key to ensuring that this strong, fair and economically balanced model is able to successfully move into the business mainstream, and we hope that working towards the objectives outlined in our ‘campaign for change’ will ultimately lead to wider adoption of employee ownership and better business for everyone.