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The Ownership Hub is delivered by Employee Ownership Association and Co-operatives UK

London Ownership Hub

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Group of five web developers
Outlandish – a worker co-op digital agency based in London

The London Ownership Hub is a programme that supports, promotes and empowers worker and employee owned businesses. 

The London Ownership Hub (LOH) promotes and supports employee and worker owned businesses in the capital. It raises awareness and works with partners to create a favourable environment in which democratic businesses can start, grow and thrive.

The programme is a partnership between the Greater London Authority (GLA), Co‑operatives UK (CUK) and the Employee Ownership Association (EOA). 

CUK and EOA are membership bodies for the UK’s co‑operatives and employee‑owned businesses. They bring expert knowledge, extensive networks and pre‑existing support programmes to the London Ownership Hub.

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Increasing the number of employee and worker owned businesses is a key part of my mission to build a better London for everyone – a safer, fairer, greener and more prosperous city for all. 
– Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London 

Why be a worker or employee owned business?    

Worker or employee owned businesses are key to building a fair and thriving economy for London. According to research, these business models have many benefits:

  • Good work: higher pay, happier workers, better work/life balance, more investment in training and stronger diversity, equity and inclusion.  
  • Thriving businesses: 8-12% more productive, more resilient.  
  • Vibrant local economies: these businesses are more likely to have a social mission and to reinvest funds in the local community. They are greener too.    

Developing the business support infrastructure for worker and employee owned business 

Workshops for business advisers    

The LOH offers free online workshops to business advisers – teaching them to spot the potential for these business models and support clients to find out more. It also enriches business advisers’ knowledge of worker and employee ownership and enables them to signpost to specialist support from CUK and the EOA.

 The LOH has a good working partnership with Grow London Local, the GLA’s flagship business advice service, described as the ‘single front door’ for SME business support in London. 

Convening and aligning strategy: Mayoral roundtable  

In October 2023, The LOH convened a roundtable with senior stakeholders from across the co‑operative and EO sectors locally and nationally. It was hosted by Deputy Mayor for Business, Rajesh Agrawal. It was a chance to create a shared vision for challenges and opportunities in developing the sector.  

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People sat around a table at a round table event

ZHero – accessing London Ownership Hub support

ZHero is a zero-emission delivery and logistics start-up. Three years in, it has an annual turnover of £650,000, a fleet of 12 cargo bikes and three electric vans. The business is now exploring a potential transition into employee-ownership, with support from the London Ownership Hub.  

“We have a strongly felt sense that this is the right future for us, our company, and that we could be even more successful in employee ownership,” said Joe Sharpe, Co-founder of Zhero.

Examples of worker and employee-owned businesses in London

  • Outlandish: an award-winning digital agency and worker co‑operative that builds websites and digital tools with a focus on positive social impact, making the world better through technology, co‑operativism and communication.
  • Ricol: an interpretation and language services co‑op formed by a group of skilled workers in response to falling wages and standards following a wave of privatisation in their sector. Their clients include translation services for the Grenfell Inquiry.
  • Wavehill: a research agency that became employee-owned in 2020. This has ensured greater input and increased accountability for all employees. The company has been awarded the Mayor of London’s Good Work Standard and strives to provide the best experience for its workers, including a nine-day fortnight.
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I had a voice from the moment I walked in the door. We’re all about looking out for our workers, making sure everyone’s voice is heard.
– Amil Vasishtha, Outlandish co-op

Contact us

The London Ownership Hub is keen to hear from:

  • Existing worker or employee owned businesses, or people interested in starting one. If you’d like a one-to-one consultation with the LOH team to see how we can help you, get in touch. 
  • Business advice professionals. Register for updates on LOH workshops on how to support employee‑owned businesses and co‑operatives.  
  • Local council officers. The LOH is setting up a new policy forum for local council officers.  If you’d like to find out more, contact the team.

Further resources 

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