Fast Company – How Massachusetts is working to get retiring business owners to let their employees take over

From Fast Company:

Massachusetts wants to nudge these business owners toward another option: selling their companies to their employees. The state hired two nonprofits with expertise in shifting to employee ownership models–Working World and ICA Group–to revive its Office for Employee Involvement and Ownership (EIO), which was initially established in the late 1980s but faded after funding dried up during the recession. With a $150,000 budget, ICA and Working Wealth will aim to reach a number of the approximately 28,000 baby boomer-aged small business owners in the state, and consult with them about the possibility of transferring their business to their employees. “The office really emerged out of deindustrialization, and the administration at the time saying okay, plants are closing–is employee ownership a mechanism to combat closures and job losses?” says David Hammer, executive director of ICA Group. Now the impending sale of baby boomer-owned businesses, which perhaps on a more diffuse scale, poses a similar threat. “We really aim to focus on converting existing businesses to employee ownership models, and providing support to these businesses as they build out an employee ownership culture.”

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