Why being headline sponsor feels like a milestone in our journey at Baxendale Employee Ownership | EOA Annual Conference 2022 guest blog

In this guest blog, Emily Alston – employee ownership consultant at Baxendale Employee Ownership – talks about its sponsorship and involvement at the EOA Annual Conference 2022 at the ACC in Liverpool on October 3 and 4.

As employee owners ourselves, Baxendale Employee Ownership is extremely proud to be the 2022 headline EOA Conference sponsor.

It makes it even more special to do so as representatives from the 1,000-plus strong sector come together in person for the first time in three years.

We’ve been involved in the Conference for a long time via the UK Employee Ownership Awards, but to be going into this year’s event as headline sponsors is new ground for us and we are all very excited about it.

My colleagues have decided I can be the one to give the opening speech on the first day, which is both exciting and terrifying! The Conference has always been hugely important to me, as it is where my employee ownership journey began, so I am hoping I can pass on some of my enthusiasm to everyone attending, right at the beginning of the first day.

We’re at an important new phase for our business, as our team has almost doubled in size since before the pandemic and we are helping more businesses than ever before to become employee owned.

We believe all the businesses we work with are unique, and, to help our clients, we first need to understand their business, their values and their objectives so we can find the model of employee ownership that will work best for them, and give the business and its employee owners the best chance of success in the future.

Our increased capacity has also led to more work supporting businesses that are already employee owned, and we are committed to supporting our peers in the employee-owned community wherever we can.

We can’t wait to have the chance to network with other employee owners on a peer-to-peer basis, to meet people we can help, as well as raise awareness of the work we do.

Delivering sessions at the EOA Conference

On day one of the Conference, my colleague Simon Everingham and I will be presenting two of the seminars. Simon’s session at 1pm will talk through ‘Is EO right for my business?’.

We are passionate about employee ownership, but we also acknowledge that it is not right for everyone. For EO businesses to succeed, everyone’s interests need to be aligned. Simon leads EO transitions at Baxendale and also runs workshops for explorers that look wholistically at a founder’s succession objectives, so this should be a great session.

Then, at 1.45pm, I am delivering a session called How to become employee owned where I will look at the legal and financial aspects of an employee ownership transition and how to approach decisions on the future governance of the business. I’ll also talk about stakeholder communication and how it is possible to bring people on a journey with you, to create a positive culture change alongside the ownership change.

Delve into a jam-packed agenda

While I’m delighted about the sessions we’re presenting, it’s also great to see employee-owned businesses telling their own stories, it’s a huge part of the Conference and there are some fantastic businesses again this time, some of which I know well, like DXW and Torchbox, from our work with them.

The Conference brings our EO community together – explorers, those new to employee ownership and long-established EO businesses – in a spirit of learning, knowledge sharing and celebration.

Once again there is a jam-packed programme of sessions delegates can delve into to gain insight.  Whether you’re exploring employee ownership, looking for best practice or seeking inspiration for better business, there will definitely be something for you in the programme.

When delegates are thinking about what they’re going to take away from the Conference, I would advise everyone to think about the questions they would like answers to or things their business needs help with.

It’s likely one of the sessions will answer your questions, but if not, there are always plenty of people at the Conference who are willing to share their knowledge and expertise during networking sessions (or sometimes just when they are having a cup of tea). That’s one of the best things about the EOA Conference, the generous spirit of the employee-owned community.

Baxendale Employee Ownership, which advises firms transitioning to EO and those already employee owned, is the headline sponsor for the EOA Annual Conference 2022. As well as being an employee ownership consultant at Baxendale Employee Ownership, Emily Alston is a former member of the EOA Board who used to work in an employee-owned business before joining Baxendale Employee Ownership, which is also employee owned.

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