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 Employee ownership in SMEs

Today it is a fact, employee ownership is developing at a dazzling rate in SMEs. Where? In Great Britain.

The secret? It is a collective employee ownership. Much easier to finance and to manage than individual shareholdings.

Every day in the UK, a new SME is passed on to its employees. Medium size, 75 employees. They often become 100% employee-owners.

Ten years ago, the Nuttal Review commissioned by the British government gave the signal for this political choice for employee ownership in SMEs. Hence a set of measures based on the implementation of the "Employee Ownership Trust" scheme.

Today Graeme Nuttal looks back on this success by showing "How the UK is encouraging employee ownership internationally". This ranges from the United States to Australia, Canada, South Africa as well as Denmark and continental Europe.

The next 10 years could see collective employee ownership established as the standard model of employee ownership internationally for business successions.



 Corporate Governance

Professor Sami Adwan and a team of the University of Sussex just published a beautiful new study work based on the EFES database of employee share ownership in European companies.

The study provides new evidence on wether and how employee share ownership affects the quality of financial reporting. As a conclusion, they find a positive association between broad-based employee share ownership and the quality of financial reports.

It confirms that firms with more employee share ownership have lower incentives to manipulate reported performance. That employee share ownership at present levels is large enough to drive employee incentives and affect corporate policies. That the firms tend to disclose more information when employees have larger stakes in the firm.

This is thus underscoring the role employee share ownership can play in improving a firm's corporate governance, and reducing the incentives to manipulate financial statements.

Here the full study


Press review
We have a selection of 33 remarkable articles in 7 countries in June 2022: Belgium, Czechia, Denmark, Germany, France, United Kingdom, United States.
Belgium: An idea to relaunch employee share ownership in Belgium.
Czechia: How employee share plans work.
Denmark: áThe group of experts for employee ownership has submitted its recommendations to the Government.
France: New employee share plans for TotalEnergie, for Voltalia, for Euroapi, for Sanofi, for Visiativ, for Unisoft, for Veralia, for Korian, Business transfer through a workers' cooperative for Embell'Fašade.
Germany: Towards a real share ownership policy in Germany, the project of the Ministers of Finance and Justice.
UK: Record figures for business transfers to employees. The Government plans a doubling in Wales. Every day a new SME is transferred to employees. This month, among others, the cases of: Potter Raper, TaxAssist, The Executive Shaving Company, A&F Sprinklers, Carlton Bingo, Giles Wilson, Evolve Family Law, Gilbert Thompson, Woods Hardwick, Denby Campervans, Crooke Walker Consultancy, Great Cornish Food Store.
USA: Business transfers in the form of ESOP plans for GVC and for Apex Plumbing.

The full press review is available on:


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   With best regards



Marc Mathieu
Secretary General
Avenue Voltaire 135, B-1030 Brussels
Tel: +32 (0)2 242 64 30 - Fax: +32 (0)2 791 96 00
Web site:
EFES' objective is to act as the umbrella organization of employee owners, companies and all persons, trade unions, experts, researchers, institutions looking to promote employee share ownership and participation in Europe.