Beta release offers opportunity for users to weigh in
By Thomas Dudley
Excitement around employee ownership is growing. In the past three months we’ve seen Taylor Guitars become employee-owned, the announcement of a new Center for Shared Ownership, and had an employee ownership advocate appointed to the President’s Council of Economic Advisors.
This energy and attention will certainly lead to more interest in employee ownership. One of the first questions someone new to this space might ask is: what companies are employee-owned?
This used to be a very difficult question to answer, and the lack of visibility presented a significant barrier to people interested in shopping at, working at, or doing business with employee-owned companies.
To solve this problem, Certified Employee-Owned has put together the first-ever Directory of Employee-Owned Companies.
The new directory is searchable by company name, state, and industry.
We have compiled the major sources of data on employee-owned companies into one place and have added useful information like company websites. Our new directory is searchable by company name, state, and industry. Additionally, companies are not only displayed in the state where they are headquartered, but in every state where they have an office or store.
The ultimate goal of our directory is to list every company in America that meets our certification standards — at least 30 percent of the company owned by employees in a board-based way. Because we want the directory to be comprehensive, all businesses that meet our standards have been included, whether or not they are a Certified EO member.
This is an ambitious and difficult task. Our work is ongoing, and as of today our Directory is in Beta release. The challenges are numerous: most EO companies are private, so the percent of the company owned by employees is only known by the company, which may or may not choose to share the information publicly; the major data releases are delayed by years and have inconsistent quality; many key variables like website and office locations must be added manually.
One goal of our Beta release is to tap into the wisdom of our community to help accelerate our information gathering. If you’re using our directory and see something wrong — maybe there’s a company we’ve incorrectly identified as employee-owned or maybe we’re missing an EO company that you know about — send us an email (info [at] certifiedeo [dot] com) and we will correct it ASAP.
As we build this resource together we will create more and more visibility for employee ownership and accelerate the growth of this powerful way of doing business.
Thomas Dudley is founder and CEO of Certified EO.