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Employee and worker ownership in the UK

The Ownership Hub supports businesses, professional advisers and regions to grow employee and worker ownership, and promotes the associated economic and social benefits of these business models.
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Employee and worker ownership gives the people who know the business best, a stake and a say in how it is run. When you own something it changes your behaviour – who washes a rental car? Businesses benefit from employees and workers becoming owners as it drives a culture that empowers individuals to increase performance and impact.

What is the Ownership Hub?

Find out how the Ownership Hub will grow worker and employee ownership in the UK

Want to know more?

Fill in our expression of interest form
Dan Jarvis, Mayor of Sheffield City region

Worker co-ops and employee ownership to play key role in economic recovery, says Mayor Dan Jarvis

Sheffield City Region is the first region to partner with the Ownership Hub to grow resilient and inclusive businesses through employee and worker ownership.
The Answer Digital team in from of their building

Is employee ownership the answer?

Read how Answer Digital chose employee ownership over an eight figure buyout from venture capitalists
Edinburgh bike co-op holding sign saying 'owned by our workers'

Why choose worker and employee ownership?

If you own something your behaviour changes. Learn how worker and employee ownership creates more productive and committed workforce
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Help us create 1 million owners

Join our campaign to grow the number of worker and employee owners five fold by 2030

How does it work in practice?

Richer Sounds

Employee ownership is increasingly popular as a succession plan for SMEs and family run businesses, as well as some notable medium sized businesses. Like Richer Sounds which transitioned to employee ownership when the founder stepped down.
Julian Richer
“To me the decision to sell the company to my colleagues was an obvious one. Nobody knew my business better than the people in it and we’d created a culture together.”
- Julian Richer, founder of Richer Sounds

Suma Wholefoods

Worker co-operatives fit well with start-up businesses where everyone wants to have an equal share and say in decision making. There are also examples of larger, well established worker co-ops like Suma Wholefoods, who have hundreds of worker-owners and a multi million pound turnover.
“Worker ownership has been the key to our success over the last 40 years. All our members are paid the same and are given an equal say in how the business is run, with each carrying out a range of jobs across our worker co-op.”
- Ross Hodgson, Suma member

What are the two most common models for employee and worker ownership?

Worker co-operatives

Worker co-operatives are owned and run by the people who work in them. Worker owners have an equal say in what the business does, and an equitable share in the wealth created from the products and services they provide. Read our guide to setting up a worker co-op.


Employee-owned businesses are either owned in part or whole by their employees. Shares are either held indirectly on behalf of employees or via direct shares. Employee owners are engaged in the operational and strategic direction of the business and can share in both responsibility and reward. Read our guide to employee ownership.