NCEOC Celebrates 2021 Accomplishments

The North Carolina Employee Ownership Center (NCEOC) is a statewide educational nonprofit that is dedicated to protecting jobs, increasing community wealth, and creating a more vibrant, inclusive economy.

As we draw another challenging year to a close, NCEOC has much to celebrate. We have built new partnerships across North Carolina, attracted new and existing funders, spoken to business owners and their advisors, and, most importantly, have helped create several new employee-owned companies. Our growth and success are the result of a strong and diverse working board, a full-time executive director, and support from people throughout the great state of North Carolina. We are also tightly connected to partner organizations in North Carolina and across the country, giving us many opportunities to collaborate, share best practices, and increase our impacts.

2021 Accomplishment Highlights:

  • Reached almost 400 business owners, business advisors and economic development professionals through webinars, presentations and speaking opportunities.
  • Assisted with NC’s first Employee Ownership Trust (EOT) conversion at ShopBot Tools.
  • Worked directly with 10 business owners as they consider conversion to employee ownership.
  • Developed county-specific data on retirement wave impacts with Project Equity.
  • Continued our community-based work in Durham and launched an additional community-based program in Forsyth County with funding from the Winston-Salem Foundation.

The NCEOC team is excited as we look forward to 2022. We have received notification on several funding opportunities that will enable us to deepen our current work and expand to new areas, including development of an Employee Ownership Ambassador Program and outreach to large, high-impact businesses.

2022 Program Goals:

  • Winston-Salem Foundation – Two years of funding to increase our presence in Forsyth County and launch a new program of community based employee ownership ambassadors.
  • Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Elevate Initiative – Funding to identify Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC)-owned businesses and those with majority BIPOC workforces.
  • Fehsenfeld Family Foundation – Partnership with NCGrowth at UNC Kenan Flagler Business School to identify large and medium sized privately held companies in NC that may be good candidates for employee ownership.
  • USDA Rural Cooperative Development Grant – In partnership with the Industrial Commons, outreach to the business community in northeast NC about cooperative business structures.
  • Gambrell Faculty Grant – In partnership with UNC-Charlotte ARCHES program, conduct research to better understand North Carolina’s employee owned companies and promote findings in the Greater Mecklenburg County area.