Fund for Employee Ownership Started in OH
According to this article in NextCity.org, Evergreen Cooperatives launched in 2008 to create living-wage jobs in seven low-income Cleveland communities by using employee ownership models. Those efforts have been very successful and now, Evergreen is launching the Fund for Employee Ownership aimed at supporting the conversion of existing businesses to cooperatives or ESOPs. A separate advocacy group called Democracy Collaborative is also supporting the Fund. The Fund is intended to buy out existing owners when they are ready to sell or retire, and then convert those businesses to employee ownership.
Evergreen Cooperatives and Democracy Collaborate see something that we have been writing about in this space for years: that of the six million operating privately-held companies in the U.S., 63 percent of them are owned by people between 54 and 72 years of age. Those businesses represent roughly $10 trillion in wealth that is poised for transition. Many of these business owners would prefer an option which protects and rewards their employees, which is where ESOPs come in.