Social entrepreneurs interested in ESOPs and worker owned cooperatives: Take a look at what’s happening in the Chicago area. The Cook County Commission on Social Innovation, which was formed in 2016 to foster initiatives related to underemployment, public health, education and a slew of other issues, is exploring a variety of ways to support such arrangements, according to Marc Lane, a lawyer and vice chair of the Commission.
According to Lane, not long ago he came upon research from the National Center for Employee Ownership about employee ownership and economic well-being. It found, for example, that household wealth of the median employee-owner was 92% higher than the household wealth for the median non-employee-owner. And that was true for everyone from single women to workers of color. “It made us start thinking about the importance of looking at wealth, not income,” he says.