How does a business go about transitioning —“converting”— to a worker-owned cooperative? This report provides illustrations with case studies of businesses that have converted and highlights key lessons from those companies’ experiences. The report categorizes conversions into four types: Type I: Owner sells to existing employees with the intention of remaining with the company; Type … Read More
We the Owners: Employees Expanding the American Dream is a documentary from the Foundation for Enterprise Development that follows three companies of different sizes in different industries and regions (New Belgium Brewing, Namaste Solar, and DPR Construction) that use employee ownership in diverse ways (an ESOP, a worker cooperative, and a phantom stock plan respectively). … Read More
Most people know either first-hand or through someone close to them what it feels like to not be valued, to not have a say, to not have control, or to be demotivated at work. A feel-good movie about three companies – New Belgium Brewery, Namasté Solar, and DPR Construction – that strive for the opposite is a welcome relief.
Integrating art, business and education, this documentary film captures inspiring stories of employees and founders from three companies, each structured with distinct forms of broad-based employee ownership, who share an insider’s view of shared wealth and responsibility, high involvement culture, and their approaches and challenges in creating opportunity and prosperity through ownership.
Increasing numbers of businesses view their employees not as a mere cost but as invaluable contributors for business success. These firms are implementing strategies to fully engage employees at all levels. The Employees Matter report identifies sixteen fast growing entrepreneurial firms that employ employee ownership and engagement strategies which they perceive as directly linked with improved business performance. Eight other notable companies with key lessons to share are included as sidebar profiles.
Should a fast-growing, employee-owned solar electric company accept a buyout offer from a private equity investor? Could it do so without sacrificing its distinctive, high-involvement culture? Namaste Solar, a 55-person firm based in Boulder, Colorado, designed and installed solar electric systems for residential, commercial, non-profit and government customers. In 2008, the company had been growing … Read More
Each of Namaste’s 27 co-owners receives the same compensation, has equal voice in decision-making, and is afforded the same opportunities to participate in company ownership, says Namaste president Blake Jones, who reluctantly adopted his title to give customers and the media a sense of company leadership.