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Steward Ownership: Exiting Your Business with Employee Ownership – The Journey of Alison Lingane

What is the definition of success? If you’re a mission-driven business for good, you know that success is about more than just the bottom line. However, you need to make a profit in order to survive and make a positive social impact. That’s where employee ownership comes in. Employee-owned businesses do better on average than their standard counterparts, and also do good for society.

In this episode, Alison Lingane provides insights into the benefits of employee-owned companies. She also discusses ways to get into employee ownership, its financing structure, and the financial institutions to support the transition. Finally, she explains the relevance of financial record keeping, financial forecasting, and transition planning to various ownership structures.

If you’re interested to know how your business can engage more employees and create a positive impact in the community, then tune in to this episode!

Episode Highlights:

  • [05:04] Alison’s Journey in Project Equity
  • [06:26] Building a Program for the Urban Youth 
  • [07:17] Getting Her MBA at UC Berkeley 
  • [08:24] Alison Working for an Employee-Owned Company 
  • [09:21] About Project Equity
  • [10:47] Why Employee Ownership Is Not Taught in Business School 
  • [12:00] Launching of The Global Social Venture Competition
  • [15:18] Employee Ownership Increases Enterprise Value
  • [16:11] Different Forms of Employee Ownership 
  • [20:01] Finding the Right Form 
  • [24:43] Difference Between ESOP and Worker Co-op
  • [28:10] The Financing Process 
  • [31:32] How Employees Become an Owner
  • [34:40] Transitioning to Employee Ownership
  • [36:51] Bringing Capital to Your Business
  • [37:49] Lending Institutions
  • [43:23] The Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI)
  • [45:57] Does Credit Score Matter?
  • [51:03] Engaging Employees During COVID-19


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