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Employee Ownership Learnings

In 2024 we will, incredibly, be marking ten years of the NSBRC being led by our team of employee-owners and it is true to say that this model has transformed the business. On Wednesday 8th March Amanda and Harvey travelled to Manchester to attend a special one-day conference, run by our investor (Capital for Colleagues) allowing other investees to share information and learnings from our different EO journeys.

Guest speaker was Deb Oxley OBE, recently departed CEO of the Employee Ownership Association (EOA) who – appropriately on International Womens Day – gave an inspiring and informative talk on the power of the EO model. Employee ownership is growing at its fastest rate ever, and covers a diverse range of business sizes and sectors. However, we were surprised to hear that EO businesses still represent just 0.1% of all companies operating in the UK. We also heard about the concern that some professional advisors might encourage owners to look at employee-ownership for the wrong reasons, focusing purely on the potential tax advantages it can bring, missing the huge intangible benefit that an EO culture can bring to a business and its clients and other stakeholders.

Harv and Manda.jpg

In February, Amanda and Harvey gave a live online case study for the EOA on the flexible nature of our ‘hybrid’ ownership model and how it helps us all feel and act like genuine owners and later that month Harvey travelled to London to attend the 10th annual Robert Oakeshott lecture, produced by the EOA, with Kate Raworth giving a fascinating talk on ‘Doughnut Economics’. Kate is an ecological economist focused on making economics fit for 21st-century realities, and her lecture was titled ‘Redesigning business with Doughnut Economics’.

Kate discussed redesigning business through the lens of planetary boundaries to unlock regenerative and distributive​ possibilities.

You can watch the talk below:

We are continuing our employee-ownership journey and can announce that we have agreed with Capital for Colleagues to complete the ‘buy-back’ of further ‘A-shares’ and we are on track for the team – via our Employee Ownership Trust, Share Incentive Plan Trust, or held directly – to hold 85% of all shares in the business by 2026.

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