Everyone loves a good story and we know from experience that ESOP companies have great stories to tell. For several businesses, employee ownership is an opportunity for business owners to reward and incentivize employees while preserving their company’s values.

While employee ownership information can and should be shared throughout the year to communicate with employees, many people find it especially useful during October, which is Employee Ownership Month. This is an opportunity to celebrate the spirit of employee ownership, and an invaluable opportunity for ESOPs to educate employee owners, elected officials, the media, and the public at large about the benefit of employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs).

In honor of Employee Ownership Month, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite resources for the most up-to-date information about employee ownership:

  1. National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO): As a nonprofit supporting the employee ownership community, NCEO is one of the top places to learn about employee ownership. Whether you are considering employee ownership, managing a plan, or advising clients, the NCEO can help.
  2. The ESOP Association: This Association is focused on advocating for all ESOPs at the federal and national level. It provides education on ESOPs via national conferences and a nationwide network of 18 chapters.
  3. Employee Ownership Foundation: As a subset of The ESOP Association, the Employee Ownership Foundation funds research that examines the potential benefits employee ownership can offer to companies, individuals, and our nation.
  4. Fifty by Fifty: An initiative of The Democracy Collaborative, Fifty by Fifty is aimed at creating a more inclusive economy through employee ownership. Their goal is to catalyze a movement with the knowledge, resources, and skills to grow the number of employee owners in the U.S. from 10 million to 50 million Americans by 2050.
  5. The ESOP Podcast: This one-of-a-kind podcast invites listeners from all over the world to hear insights from the best in the ESOP business. Each episode focuses on a variety of fields in the ESOP world – including employee owners, management, and ESOP professionals. Their latest episode highlights Employee Ownership Month ideas to celebrate, advocate, and serve the community.
  6. Certified EO: This is a certification for employee-owned companies offering its members much more beyond its core program. Certified EO helps employee-owned companies optimize the impact of employee ownership to increase sales and recruit top talent while spreading awareness.
  7. Democracy at Work Institute: Created by the U.S. Federation of Cooperatives, this group ensures that worker cooperative development in economically and socially marginalized communities is adequately supported, effective, and strategically directed.
  8. Becoming Employee Owned: An initiative of the Democracy of Work Institute, their mission is to expand the worker cooperative model to reach communities most directly affected by social and economic inequality.
  9. [Rutgers Research] Employee Ownership Narrows Gender and Racial Wealth Gaps: This 2019 study discovered that ESOPs enable families to significantly increase their assets, therefore shrinking gender and racial wealth gaps. The research further suggests that employee ownership can reduce wealth inequality in the U.S.
  10. Employee-Owned S Corporations of America (ESCA): ESCA is a leading voice in Washington, DC that advocates for employee-owned S corporation ESOPs. According to a study by Ernst & Young, S ESOPs outperformed the S&P 500 total return index in terms of total return per participant by 62% from 2002 to 2012.
  11. Beyster Institute at UC San Diego’s Rady School of Management: The Beyster Institute works to advance the understanding and practice of employee ownership as an effective and responsible business model. They focus on education, research, and consulting to promote employee ownership and the creation of effective ownership cultures.
  12. The Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program: The Economic Opportunities Program (EOP) advances strategies, policies, and ideas to help low- and moderate-income people thrive in a changing economy. EOP focuses on expanding individuals’ opportunities to connect to quality work, start businesses, and build economic stability that provides the freedom to pursue opportunity. 
  13. We The Owners [documentary]: What does it mean to be an owner? In We the Owners: Employees Expanding the American Dream, employee owners from New Belgium Brewing, Namasté Solar and DPR Construction answer this important question.