New Nonprofit Ownership Works Launches Movement to Help Create at Least $20 Billion in Wealth for Working Families Through Employee Ownership Programs

Ownership Works, a new nonprofit with a mission to increase prosperity through shared ownership at work, launched with the support of over 60 partners across the private, public and nonprofit sectors. Ownership Works will develop and help implement broad-based employee ownership programs to create better work environments and financial opportunities for employees, and to help businesses improve their performance by attracting and retaining engaged employees who are invested in their company’s success. This new movement is particularly timely as many Americans are leaving jobs to seek better pay, benefits and corporate cultures.

Ownership Works is supported by an unprecedented consortium of corporations, foundations, investors, labor advocates and pension funds that recognize the power of employee ownership to unlock new levels of success for companies while creating a pathway to wealth creation for workers. This approach can play a role in helping to address the lack of stock ownership among the bottom 50% of households and by people of color.

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Ownership Works aims to catalyze a groundswell of interest in employee ownership across corporate America, and to provide private and public companies with practical models and tools to support program implementation. By 2030, the nonprofit anticipates that the shared ownership movement will:

  • Create hundreds of thousands of new employee-owners
  • Generate at least $20 billion of wealth for working families

At scale, this movement has the potential to extend ownership to millions of lower-income workers and people of color who have been excluded from this wealth-building opportunity for generations.

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“This movement is about working in concert to create a future of work where employers and employees can win together,” said Anna-Lisa Miller, Executive Director of Ownership Works. “We believe broad-based employee ownership should be an important pillar of stakeholder capitalism and of an inclusive, equitable and resilient economy. We’re grateful to our partners for helping us create new models of shared ownership that can generate superior financial returns for businesses, investors and employees alike.”

Ownership Works’ founding partners have made a range of commitments including contributions from:

  • Financial services firms and pension funds to elevate shared ownership as a leading ESG strategy;
  • Public companies with employee ownership to share their knowledge and expertise;
  • Labor advocates to advance shared ownership as one core pillar of a quality job; and
  • Nineteen investment firms to co-create replicable models of shared ownership for implementation at over 50 companies by the end of 2023.

Ownership Works is advancing employee ownership programs with four components:

  1. Structuring & Implementing Broad-Based Ownership Programs that provide every employee with the opportunity to participate in the value they help create. Ownership participation should be meaningful – providing the potential to earn at least six months of an employee’s annual earnings – offered at no cost to employees earning under $100,000 annually, and may range from tradable shares to options, restricted stock units, or other forms of actual or synthetic equity.
  2. Developing a Culture of Ownership that addresses long standing employee engagement issues by aligning an entire workforce around a common purpose, values and goals to maximize shared wealth creation and foster work environments where employees feel respected and engaged.
  3. Creating a Financially Inclusive & Resilient Workforce through programs that address the widespread lack of financial literacy in America by providing employees with access to personal financial education and coaching, along with access to cost-effective financial services.
  4. Sharing Data, Best Practices & Insight on the impact of shared ownership on employee financial wellbeing and corporate performance.

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