Small Giants Community

June 28, 2023

Growing with Purpose Podcast: Mailbag - Dispelling the Myths of Employee Ownership with Corey Rosen

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On this mailbag episode of the Growing with Purpose podcast, host Paul Spiegelman speaks with Corey Rosen to answer listener questions about the world of employee ownership. Corey is the founder of the National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO), a nonprofit membership and research organization that is an authoritative source on broad-based employee ownership plans. 

Corey founded NCEO in 1981 after working as a staff member in the US Senate, where he was first introduced to and intrigued by the concept of employee ownership. As he tells us, employee ownership was legislatively recognized in 1974, and is a unique topic in US politics because ever since its conception, it has been consistently favored by both major parties. Despite employee ownership being politically practical, financially strategic, and allowing economics to become more equitable, there are still misconceptions on the topic hindering it from becoming more widespread. 

In this episode, Corey helps us to understand the origins of employee ownership, the different variations, including ESOPs and purpose trusts, and what types of companies are good candidates for them. We’ll also dig into dispelling some of the myths around ESOPs, and the many benefits your company may see from adopting an employee ownership structure. 

If you still have more questions on the subject after listening to the episode, consider checking out the NCEO website for free resources, or read Corey’s recent book, written with John Case, titled Ownership: Reinventing Companies, Capitalism, and Who Owns What.


A few questions Corey answers: 

  • When did the concept of employee ownership first take shape in the US?

  • Who makes a good candidate?
  • Why haven't more companies jumped on the employee ownership bandwagon?

  • What are good ways to measure the impact of your plan?

  • How does somebody take the first steps on their employee ownership journey?


Listen to Corey's episode below:

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