The Employee Ownership Trust (EOT) is not a new concept. It’s been alive and well in the U.S for a few decades and has been growing in the UK too. An EOT is a trust that makes it possible for a business to become owned by its employees. Among its many attributes, since the shares are held in trust, the employees don’t have to pay to purchase their share of the business.
Okay, it’s a bit more complicated than that but one of the benefits of an EOT is its potential to tackle income equality. Keep in mind that a small percentage of people hold most of the wealth in a capitalist society. Those with little money face little opportunity to invest in anything, including businesses. Wealth insecurity is a difficult status to shake off, after all.
But an EOT can provide a real chance for advancement, for change. Canada has yet to formally introduce the concept of Employee Ownership Trust though in its 2023 budget the government committed to creating one by January 2024 and published draft legislation for comment.
Jon Shell is working hard to move the legislation forward – correctly. We’ll speak with him next.
Welcome to In the Business of Change, where we speak with social entrepreneurs impacting their communities and the world. I’m your host Elisa Birnbaum publisher and editor in chief of SEE Change Magazine. On today’s episode we speak with Managing Director of Social Capital Partners, Jon Shell, who is spearheading the movement for Employee Ownership in Canada, encouraging legislative and policy change that would see EOTs gain ground in the country.
In our conversation he explains why EOTs have become popular succession mechanisms in the US and the UK, we then discuss their potential for creating a more inclusive and resilient economy, and the ongoing challenges with introducing it here in Canada.
Listen. Enjoy. Learn. Share.
To learn more about EOTs and the movement to introduce them formally in Canada, click here