Cornwall-based tech company, Bluefruit Software, has handed control of the business to its staff after 51% of the business was placed into an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT). The move to employee ownership will preserve the values of the business and its culture, which have been fundamental drivers of its success.
Bluefruit Software provides Lean-Agile embedded software development for clients across a broad range of sectors worldwide and was founded by Paul Massey 20 years ago around a core ethos that a happy workforce leads to successful projects.
Staff will now have a direct say and stake in how the business operates and their clients will benefit from Bluefruit’s transition to employee-ownership too; research shows employee-owned businesses are more productive, have higher levels of staff engagement and are more resilient during periods of economic downturn.
Paul Massey, Director and Founder of Bluefruit Software said: “This move to employee ownership will ensure that no matter how much Bluefruit grows, we will never lose sight of the positive, supportive culture that made us so successful in the first place. Bluefruit’s future is brighter than ever before because each and every member of our team is now invested in our collective success.
“The profits of the business are going directly to the team delivering the projects so our clients can be sure that the team they are working with are 100% committed to delivering the very best project to the highest standards as owners of the business. With a personal stake and a seat at the table, the goals of our people and the business are inherently aligned.”
The move to employee ownership brings with it a number of benefits for employees too. Staff who have been at Bluefruit Software longer than three months received a tax-free bonus of up to £1200 each. Two members the team have also been elected as non-director Trustees to represent the interests of staff at board level.
Employee ownership is one of the fastest-growing business models in the UK, with EOTs growing at a rate of 30% per annum since their introduction in 2014.
Deb Oxley OBE, Chief Executive of the Employee Ownership Association said: “We congratulate Bluefruit Software on their transition to employee ownership. By placing the business into the hands of its employees, Bluefruit Software is securing the future of the business, including its ethos, values and employees. Their transition comes at a time of accelerated growth for the EO sector, as a growing number of high-profile businesses make the transition to employee ownership.”