Chris Galloway, Director, CoActive Developments Worker Co-op
February 24, 2023
|*(Please note that this is an introductory post for a series of blog posts over the coming weeks that will outline some of the many benefits of transitioning to employee ownership)|
We set up CoActive in late 2022 to promote and support the creation of employee-owned businesses. Our mission is based upon the belief that broad-based employee ownership leads to stronger and fairer economies.
We know that employee-owned businesses have generally been proven to keep jobs in local communities at a higher rate, and they are much less likely to default on their debt. They have also been able to weather financial crisis more effectively, and therefore are more resilient in economic downturns, which unfortunately seems to be where we are right now.
This all might sound far too good to be true and you’re likely asking yourself:
“If this is the case then why are there not more employee-owned businesses?”
Well, your question is totally valid, and we are big believers that the world needs more employee-owned businesses, including the creation of more worker-owned co-operatives. The reasons as to why employee-ownership is not more prevalent in our society is frankly multi-faceted, and this question is probably better discussed in a coffee shop or a pub!
Rather than focusing our blog efforts on analyzing all of the problems that that are caused by an economic system that actively promotes monopoly ownership, we thought that it is more beneficial to discuss what the many benefits that will come from transitioning to a more equitable society that actively promotes businesses that are owned by their workers.
We truly believe that this type of action can be one of the ways that we can start to diminish this divide in our society and to reverse the lack of cohesion in the relationship between capital (money) and labour (people). It can be a way to tackle the lack of equity in the workplace, and to decrease the level of wealth inequality that is seemingly increasing exponentially.
Over the coming weeks we will post a series of five blog articles that will outline at least one key benefit of transitioning businesses to being owned by their employees. We will discuss how employee-owned companies can achieve something that many other inequality solutions struggle to do which is helping more people build wealth through the accumulation of assets.
Employee ownership isn’t necessarily a new idea, but it’s often widely overlooked, which is surprising, given that it can be beneficial to not just workers, but also to owners of small- and medium-sized businesses who are looking to sell or divest.
If you are chomping at the bit already and can’t wait until our first post next week, we highly recommend that you watch one of our favourite movies, The Take, written by Naomi Klein, and directed by Avi Lewis (see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Take_(2004_film)). The Take tells the story of workers in Buenos Aires, Argentina who reclaim control of a closed Forja auto plant where they once worked and turn it into a worker cooperative. While the movie itself is really compelling and a great story, it is also a good introduction to this blog series so cook some popcorn and give it a watch!
CoActive Pilot Project
CoActive will be conducting 10-12 feasibility analyses over the next 12-18 months at little or no cost to a business that wishes to determine if employee-ownership works as an option for them. We hope that by screening our applicants that we would have at least a 75% continuation rate through the next stages of the transition process. By the end of our pilot project, we will compile several case studies for analysis and sharing with other agencies. We firmly believe in cooperative principle #6: cooperating amongst cooperatives, and so reach out if you want more information or if you are interested in working together. For more information either email email@example.com or contact us on Linkedin or Facebook.