Page Loading

Employee-Owned Business Census 2022


To undertake a census of all employee-owned businesses (EOB & worker co-operatives) operating in Scotland (as at 5.4.22) to enable policy implementers to track recent developments in the size of the sector and provide a baseline figure against which to evaluate the success of the policy objective to increase the incidence and coverage of EO in Scotland.


Desk research, online survey emailed to EO companies, and telephone interviews with EO companies.


There are 146 employee-owned businesses in Scotland of which 119 are Scottish-registered (SR) employee-owned business and 27 SR workers’ co-ops. There are 49 non-Scottish-registered employee-owned businesses (including 1 co-op), giving a combined total of 195 employee-owned businesses operating in Scotland. SR EOBs are found in 5 sectors: Professional, Technical, & Scientific; Manufacturing; Wholesale & Retail; Construction; and Information & Communication. Worker co-ops are highly concentrated in five core areas - Wholesale & Retail, followed jointly by Professional, Technical, & Scientific, Information & Communication, Education & Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing. All SR EOBs have some forms of employee participation in governance that are not typically used by non-employee-owned firms. Total employment in SR EOBs is 5000, with an average per form of 42 employees and median of 23. Total co-operative employment is around 350. Estimated total turnover in Scottish EOBs is £661m, and just over £30m in worker co-ops.


No recommendations were made.

Author University of Leeds
Published Year 2022
Report Type Research
  • Sectors
    Construction, Digital markets and enabling technologies, Food and drink, Financial and business services, Forest industries, Life Sciences, Tourism