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We all know menstrual cups are a revolutionary way to manage your period, right? So what about a revolutionary way of running a business? To celebrate Employee Ownership Day we wanted to write a blog to share how Mooncup Ltd,…READ MORE
“Employee Ownership” – How Mooncup Ltd is owned and run
We all know menstrual cups are a revolutionary way to manage your period, right?
So what about a revolutionary way of running a business? To celebrate Employee Ownership Day we wanted to write a blog to share how Mooncup Ltd, the pioneering silicone menstrual cup manufacturer, is owned and run.
What is Employee Ownership?
Employee ownership is a business model where, instead of the “traditional” model of the big boss at the top unilaterally calling all the shots and retaining all the profit, all employees have a ‘significant and meaningful’ stake in the business where they work.
Find out what Employee Ownership is, how it was set up here at Mooncup HQ, and why it’s a departure from “business as usual”.
How does Employee Ownership (EO) work?
Employee owned businesses are totally or significantly owned by their employees. It’s a model that is growing in popularity in the UK and elsewhere.
For Mooncup Ltd, shares are held collectively on behalf of all employees through an employee benefit trust – a similar model to that operated by the well-known UK EO business John Lewis.
Another key requisite of an Employee Owned business is that employees must have a say in how the business is run. In this way Employee Ownership puts a business in the hands of those that work for it.
Mooncup Ltd has always been run in a very collaborative way, with all employees being involved in the decision-making process. Employee Ownership has now formalised this in the way that the business is structured.
How did Mooncup Ltd become Employee Owned?
Mooncup Ltd became an Employee Owned business back in 2014 as Mooncup founder Su Hardy had started to think about retirement. (Shout out to our lovely Su! We hope you’re sunbathing on a beach or exploring in your campervan right now 🙂 )
For Su – who had lovingly grown the business from her spare bedroom into the internationally-recognised brand it is today – it was impossible to simply hand in her notice. She was thinking about retirement, but didn’t want to sell the business to some external entity, as Mooncup Ltd could not have continued to be the same company our customers know and love.
In an interview by the Guardian in 2018, Mooncup Company Director Eileen explains; “Employee ownership provided an exit route aligned with her [Su’s] personal beliefs: ideologically, ethically and as a practical continuation solution for the business.” Not only did it offer her a financial reward for creating the business; it also promised the personal satisfaction of leaving a legacy to the employees that helped to build the business.
The Guardian wrote;
“pursuing the current model provided staff [at Mooncup Ltd] with a level of confidence about their future, and also staved off any threat of a takeover, which could have brought with it unwelcome changes.”
Today, Mooncup Ltd. has three Company Directors and the entity which holds Mooncup’s shares in trust has three Trustee Directors. The Trustee Directors are Mooncup employees elected by other members of the team on a three-yearly term. The Company Directors run Mooncup Ltd and the elected Trustee Directors ensure that this is done in the best interests of the business and all its employees.
It makes perfect sense that a company manufacturing a sustainable product should adopt a more sustainable business model – something which Employee Ownership is frequently associated with.
Find out more about Employee Ownership through the Employee Ownership Association.
Read the full Guardian article, featuring Mooncup Ltd and other EO businesses.
Read more on the Mooncup Blog