The Minnesota Center for Employee Ownership Receives McKnight Foundation Grant to Raise Awareness of Employee Ownership

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Employee Ownership Offers a Valuable Business Succession Planning Tool While Generating Wealth for Employees and their Communities

Funding from the McKnight Foundation empowers us to amplify awareness of employee ownership as a valuable, flexible succession planning tool that enables owners to sell their businesses to their employees while preserving jobs and keeping the company rooted in its community - Sue Crockett, MNCEO

The Minnesota Center for Employee Ownership (MNCEO) a non-profit organization dedicated to providing unbiased resources and education around the benefits of employee ownership as a succession planning tool, has been awarded a $50,000 grant from the McKnight Foundation. The grant will enable the MNCEO to expand its outreach and educational opportunities to business owners, their advisors, and community leaders interested in exploring the different forms of employee-ownership.

Succession planning is a growing concern. A new data study developed for the MNCEO by Project Equity (https://www.mnceo.org/employee-ownership-101#crises) shows that approximately 50 percent of the job-creating businesses in Minnesota are owned by those over the age of 55. These 53,000 businesses employ approximately 600,000 MN workers with payroll of about $24 billion. It is estimated that 60 percent of these business owners plan to transfer ownership in the next decade and COVID-19 has accelerated this retirement timeline for many, yet many do not have a succession plan.

“This funding from the McKnight Foundation empowers us to amplify awareness of employee ownership as a valuable, flexible succession planning tool that enables owners to sell their businesses to their employees while preserving jobs and keeping the company rooted in its community,” said Sue Crockett, Executive Director of MNCEO, one of seven State Centers for Employee Ownership created by the Employee Ownership Expansion Network (EOX) since launching in 2019. “The support of the McKnight Foundation allows us to expand our current capacity for outreach and being able to engage Project Equity to complete our recently released data study is a perfect example of McKnight’s support being put to great use.”

“We are honored that the McKnight foundation sees the work of the MNCEO as fitting into their Vibrant and Equitable Communities initiative,” said Steve Storkan, Executive Director, EOX. “Using an employee ownership model to sell a business rewards the employees through equity in where they work, keeps jobs in their community, and creates a legacy that owners can feel good about. It also provides a tool to help communities across the country address the issue of rising wealth and income disparity.” To get involved with the MNCEO, visit https://www.mnceo.org/.

About the Minnesota Center for Employee Ownership
The Minnesota Center for Employee Ownership is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in 2019. Its mission is to engage business owners, their advisors, community leaders, and state and local government officials about employee ownership as a way to preserve businesses, provide local quality jobs, strengthen the community’s economic resiliency, and create equity and wealth for all employees regardless of their race, ethnicity or education. To learn more visit, https://www.mnceo.org/.

About the Employee Ownership Expansion Network
The Employee Ownership Expansion Network is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in Philadelphia, PA in 2018. Its mission is to significantly expand employee ownership in the United States by establishing and supporting a network of independent non-profit Centers for Employee Ownership. EOX has provided funding and technical assistance to support the opening of seven state centers for employee ownership. The organization aims to help create one million new employee owners by 2025 by having at least 70 percent of the US population living in a state with a center for employee ownership. To learn more, visit https://www.eoxnetwork.org.

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Steve Storkan
EOX Network
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