Fifty by Fifty is catalyzing a movement to scale up employee ownership
Our goal: 50 million employee owners in the US by 2050
An initiative of The Democracy Collaborative, Fifty by Fifty is aimed at creating a more inclusive economy through employee ownership. Our goal is to catalyze a movement with the knowledge, resources, and skills to grow the number of employee owners in the U.S. to 50 million Americans by 2050.
The latest employee ownership news
What does it say about the viability of market-based strategies that even the most integral moral commitment to worker equity ultimately could not stand up to economic and market pressures?
We should resist the temptation to mistake what is for what could or should be.
While both co-ops and ESOPs are often included under the umbrella of “employee ownership,” this term has been largely appropriated by conventional economic thought that places the right to dispose of property at the center of ownership rights.
Can lessons from New Belgium help us think differently about employee ownership in high-growth sectors?
Rumors of the death of employee ownership are greatly exaggerated.
We ought to celebrate instances of employee self-determination, including the right of employees to cash out and move on.
Sustainability isn’t the same as immortality, and it certainly doesn’t mean stagnation.
An ESOP in and of itself doesn’t create a company like New Belgium—it takes culture, too.
Employee ownership was core to New Belgium’s identity, and their story offered an alternative model to many concerned by the corporate consolidation of the craft beer sector over the past few years.
“It takes a job to get out of poverty but it takes assets to stay out of poverty. Ownership shares increase in value over time, generating wealth and security.”
—Fifty by Fifty cofounder Marjorie Kelly
Employee ownership offers a solution to the vast income and wealth inequality that is undermining America’s economy.
GOOD FOR EMPLOYEES
- WAGES: Employee owners earn average wages 5 to 12 percent higher than employees in conventional firms.
- WEALTH: The net worth of employee owners aged 28 to 34 is 92 percent higher than for non-employee owners.
- RETIREMENT SAVINGS: The average retirement savings for an ESOP employee is $170,000, twice the national average.
GOOD FOR BUSINESS
- TURNOVER: Employee engagement is higher and turnover is lower at employee-owned companies.
- GROWTH: Transitions to employee ownership increase productivity by more than 4 percent.
- STABILITY: Employee owners are one-fourth as likely to be laid off and their companies go bankrupt less frequently.
GOOD FOR COMMUNITIES
- JOBS: Employee ownership saves local jobs, because companies that are owned by their employees are far less likely to leave their communities.
- LOCAL WEALTH: Employee ownership keeps wealth circulating in local communities.
GOOD FOR OWNERS
- LEGACY: When business owners sell their businesses to their employees, they can keep their legacy alive for generations to come.
- SAVINGS: Entrepreneurs and family owners can realize the value the business has built while enjoying substantial tax savings.
- RESPONSIBILITY: Business founders and families can find ready buyers in employees, avoiding sale to those who would dismantle the business.