EOA Partners

The EOA works with a broad range of partners to support our work to grow the number of individual employee owners in the UK to at least 3m by 2030.

Crucially our work with partners includes providing insight into the sector and its growth, support businesses with choices at the point of succession and influence opinion formers and the government collectively on future policy.

Read our partner newsletter – first edition July 2019


Research Partners


The White Rose (WREOC) Survey

The EOA works with Prof Andrew Robinson (University of Leeds) & Prof Andrew Pendleton (UNSW) of the WRCEO, to publish the White Rose (WREOC) Survey, which charts the growth and characteristics of the UK employee ownership sector.


    The RM2 Partnership

    The EOA works with RM2 to publish two key pieces of data:

    – The Employee Ownership Top 50 – the UK’s largest employee owned companies. This tracks the performance of the largest employee owned businesses in the UK

    – The EOT Survey – a measure of the growth and performance of businesses that have adopted an Employee Ownership Trust since they were introduced in the Finance Bill of 2014.

    • Read more about The RM2 Partnership

      For over twenty years RM2 has been advising successful private companies on equity incentives for employees. They help business owners sell their company and benefit employees using Employee Ownership Trusts.

      Read about the Top 50 Employee Owned Businesses on our evidence page>>



      The Ownership Dividend

      In 2018 partners concluded the Ownership Effect Inquiry with the launch of the report The Ownership Dividend – the Economic Case for Employee Ownership.

      The inquiry and report was delivered in partnership with financial support of John Lewis Partnership and the eaga Trust, leadership of Baroness Sharon Bowles and the academic rigour of Cass and Alliance Manchester Business Schools. The action plan continues to shape the work of the EOA and its partnership projects.

      • Read more about The Ownership Dividend

        The report concluded that the Ownership Dividend can deliver a more productive and inclusive economy in three ways:

        • More engaged employees – via more inclusive, transparent and effective models of corporate governance and employee engagement which better involve, motivate and financially reward individuals through their ownership stake

        • Improving productivity – via more businesses unlocking the enhanced performance and productivity powered by the increased personal endeavour and discretional efforts of employees acting with greater common purpose once they become employee owners.

        • Resilient regional economies – via a more sustainable and resilient business model that root jobs locally by providing an effective business succession solution, business independence and the ability to plan growth and investment over the longer term.

        Download the report>>


      Regional partners


      Cooperative Development Scotland 

      Co-operative Development Scotland plays a key role in on the EO Sector group which brings together the knowledge or key partnerships, insights, opportunities and issues for employee ownership in the UK.

      CDS is a great example of where government intervention in growing employee and worker ownership has worked to bring employee and worker ownership into the mainstream offering valuable best practice and also stimulating a UK-wide conversation on EO.

      • Read more about Cooperative Development Scotland

        Co-operative Development Scotland (CDS) is the arm of Scotland’s enterprise agencies that supports company growth through collaborative and employee ownership business models.

        It helps new and existing co-operatives to grow and develop with a range of advisory services, as well as raising the profile of co-operatives as a viable business model through the media and events.

        Get the latest news on the CDS blog>>



      Formerly known as the Wales Co-operative Centre, Cwmpas is a development agency working for positive change. We are a co-operative, and our focus is on building a fairer, greener economy and a more equal society, where people and planet come first.

      The agency plays a key role in the EO Sector group which brings together the knowledge or key partnerships, insights, opportunities and issues for employee ownership in the UK.

      • Hear from the team at Cwmpas in the EOA Podcast

        Members of the employee ownership team within the Social Business Wales service at Cwmpas joined Episode 4 of the EOA Podcast to paint a picture of the impact and influence EO is having in Wales.

        The service provides Welsh companies with advice about employee ownership transition from a range of industries.

        Listen to Episode 4 here >>

      Business organisations and policy partners

      Chartered Bankers Institute (CBI)

      Chartered Banker has worked with the EOA on awareness raising which has included an article in its publication and a webinar which explored the impact of employee ownership on individual employees, who through high levels of empowerment and meaningful influence, tend to offer additional discretional effort that drives the productivity in a business.



      Co-operatives UK

      The Employee Ownership Association and Co-operatives UK are calling for the UK Government to invest in an intervention and make it a national policy objective to support a voluntary expansion of employee and worker-owned businesses.

      The campaign #1MillionOwners campaign calls for £2.17million to be allocated over the next three years with an ambition to create one million worker and employee owners by 2030, addressing some of the challenges currently facing the UK economy.

      The investment would help five local enterprise partnerships (LEPs) pilot an intervention to address the biggest barriers to employee and worker ownership.



      Institute Chartered Accountants England & Wales (ICAEW)

      The EOA’s work with the ICAEW began back in 2017, first delivering a webinar and some articles.

      As well as the ICAEW providing a representative on the Ownership Effect Inquiry panel and being part of the launch of the Ownership Dividend report, work between the two organisations has continued in 2019 with a cover feature in Corporate Financier publication and an agreement for the EOA’s Chief Executive Deb Oxley OBE to deliver keynote address to the ICAEW Annual Reception of the Corporate Finance Faculty in November 2019.

      The ICAEW and EOA are now exploring the delivery of some roadshows targeting accountants in the regions later in 2019.

      • Read more about ICAEW

        The ICAEW are leaders in accountancy, finance and business, ICAEW Chartered Accountants work with organisations to look beyond the next quarter and take the long view on key issues – to help them achieve more than they’d imagine.

        One of the barriers to the growth is the awareness and knowledge of employee ownership as an effective succession solution in the advisor market.

        Read ICAEW’s Corporate Financier article on employee ownership>>



      Federation Small Businesses (FSB)

      Activity at the beginning of 2019 year has included the Guide to EO being actively distributed through the FSB Legal Hub and an article about employee ownership has been published in the FSB’s publication First Voice. This activity has generated a number of enquiries from businesses about employee ownership.

      New activity has now been agreed with FSB, with a number of seminars being planned for quarter four 2019, to help support businesses on their thinking around succession – with employee ownership explored as one of the options.



      Grant Thornton & Activate Apprenticeships

      Activate Business School, Grant Thornton and the Employee Owner Association have
      collaborated in developing modules specifically for employee owned organisations.

      They  have worked with EOA members to understand the different skillsets of leadership in an employee owned businesses which has included which has included attending the EOA’s Regional Networks, with a launch expected late 2019.


      • Read more about Grant Thornton

        EOA member Grant Thornton is one of the world’s largest professional services networks of independent accounting and consulting member firms which provide assurance, tax and advisory services to privately held businesses, public interest entities, and public sector entities.

        • Read more about Activate Business School

          Activate Business School is a subsidiary of the Activate Learning Group which has over 1,000 employees supporting 16,000 students in our colleges and schools. It has a 50-year heritage of delivering training and education, we combine the integrity of an educational institution with the agility and rigorous quality control of a commercial training provider.