The Case for Employee Ownership - CLEO Skip to main content


The case for employee ownership is undisputed. As philanthropists and government leaders grapple with how to address both long-entrenched and newly-emerging forms of economic insecurity, there is no better time to look to effective but lesser-known solutions, such as employee ownership. Even before the economic crisis brought on by COVID-19, income and wealth inequality and downward economic mobility for frontline workers were truths so obvious that one could visually observe them in most communities. Now, more than ever, we need solutions that create economic resiliency for workers and local economies.

Employee ownership has transformative effects on employee-owners by creating high quality jobs that help families build assets, with compounding benefits to communities, and when successful businesses become employee-owned, they become even stronger.

The Case for Employee Ownership summarizes the evidence that broad-based employee ownership, in both Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) and worker cooperatives, is a great value proposition for businesses, workers and communities, making a strong case for increased investment by both government and philanthropy to help it scale.