The Welsh Government wants to double the number of businesses in Wales that are owned by their employees, and is committed to providing greater support for worker buyouts to ensure Wales-based companies remain in Welsh hands, Economy Minister Vaughan Gething said today to mark Employee Ownership Day.
The Minister marked the day by visiting Tregroes Waffles in Llandysul, which is part-owned by the locally-based staff who work for the bakery. An Employee Ownership Trust has benefitted both the owner and the employees, who now have more of a say in the thriving business.
On average, two to three employee buy-out deals take place in Wales each year but the scale of the employee-owned sector has grown in the past few years, and there is potential for many more employee-owned businesses. There are currently 38 in Wales, with 8 created in the last six months.
Employee ownership delivers numerous benefits for employees and for businesses, with evidence showing employee-owned businesses are more productive and more resilient. They are also rooted in their local areas and regions, securing good quality jobs for the longer term within communities across Wales.
Working with Cwmpas, the Welsh Government has recently approved £70,000 of additional support for promoting the benefits and development of employee ownership in Wales to ensure business based in Wales are aware of the opportunities and benefits it offers.
Business Wales and Social Business Wales also offer specialist advice to support employee buy outs, with fully funded and bespoke help available to help business owners decide if employee ownership and share schemes are the right solution for their business.
Further, the Wales Flexible Investment Fund, which is operated by the Development Bank of Wales, offers a potential debt-based funding route for employee buyouts, with support for Management buyouts available through the Wales Management Succession Fund.
Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething said:
“Employee ownership gives employees the opportunity to have a significant and meaningful stake in the business they work for. It gives them more control over their own destiny. It also provides business owners with the peace of mind that that the future of their business is in safe hands, and that the future of their highly valued employees has been safeguarded in the community the business was fostered in.
“It was inspiring to visit Tregroes Waffles in Llandysul to see for myself how employee-ownership has benefited the business, the staff who work there and the wider local community.
“The Welsh Government is committed to doubling the number of employee-owned businesses by 2026. To achieve that, we want to provide greater support for worker buyouts. I urge more businesses to explore the benefits on offer via Business Wales and Social Business Wales, to ensure Wales-based companies remain in Welsh hands.
Kees Huysmans, Founder of Tregroes Waffles, said:
“My hope is that employee ownership gives Tregroes Waffles the best chance to thrive in this unpredictable world of today.”