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

The EOA was challenged to ‘turn up the dial’ to grow the sector and help shift the economy during the keynote speech at the EOA Summer Dinner.

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 dial, we must set a significant target and drive hard towards it.”

The annual dinner was sponsored by global engineering, management and development consultancy Mott MacDonald with the drinks reception sponsored by pensions specialists MyCSP.

The speech gave food for thought at a time when the EOA and its partners The eaga Trust and John Lewis Partnership are poised to release the findings and recommendation of The Ownership Effect Inquiry.

CEO of the Employee Ownership Association Deb Oxley said: “We accept the challenge set by Phillip – if we don’t set a goal to stretch ourselves significantly then we will not grow enough.

“We can reveal that a year on from starting the Inquiry, which examined the evidence from more than 100 employee owned businesses and advisors, the panel of 20 business leaders has concluded that there is significant and valuable ownership dividend to be gained from increasing employee ownership within the UK economy.

“With this robust evidence we must make sure that this dividend is realised to the benefit of the individual, businesses and both regional and the wider economy.”