Our economic system is profoundly broken but solutions are bubbling up all around us in the form of economic alternatives like cooperatives, employee-owned firms, social enterprises, and community land trusts.
The alternatives emerging in our time represent an unsung ownership revolution. This isn’t just about small, local, founder-run companies. It’s possible to keep the soul of these companies alive even at large scale, and long after the founder is gone.
Consider, for example, the John Lewis Partnership (JLP) in England. It’s the largest department store chain in the country, with revenues of more than $11.5 billion. The stated purpose of the company is to serve the happiness of its employees, or, as the company calls them, partners.
The structure and ownership of an organization have a profound impact on its success and its future.
Structuring decisions must take into account
- preservation of values and mission
- effects on stakeholders such as workers, investors, suppliers, the community, and the environment
- governance and control
- the ability to bring in appropriate investment if needed
- tax consequences
- exit strategies for the founders
- and much more
CEC assists start-ups and established organizations in the design of ownership and governance to achieve their goals.
Download CEC’s entity design questionnaire.