Steward-owned companies embody responsibility

Purpose-Companies serve their employees and customers. Profits are primarily reinvested and serve the purpose of the company. Responsibility lies with the people and inside the organisation. Purpose-Companies work for purpose maximisation rather than shareholder-value maximisation.


Purpose-Companies commit to the principles of

1st Principle: profits = means to an end, not end in itself

We often see profit-maximisation replacing the mission of companies thus preventing them from achieving their purpose. The Purpose approach: profits serve the mission of the company and are re-invested, Purpose Companies cannot be treated as speculative goods and cannot be sold to the highest bidder

2nd Principle: Ownership = Entrepreneurship

We often see company decisions being influenced or taken by distant investors or other people, who have no active role in the company. This separation of decision-making and execution creates a structural lack of responsibility. The Purpose approach: Decisions are taken within the company. Thus responsibility and accountability remain within the company.

The charitable Purpose Foundation ensures in collaboration with Purpose companies, that the Purpose principles cannot be changed and thus become a binding commitment to customers and employees. This is a promise that Purpose companies stand for purpose maximisation rather than profit maximisation.

How does this work exactly? →

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The sharing economy brings about many benefits: the things we own are used more efficiently, we can connect with others in our community, and we get extra income while doing so. Unfortunately, in the recent years, we have also seen problems arise from the sharing economy.

We want to create a better sharing economy; one where society gets the benefits of this new economy while distributing the value (i.e. profits) more evenly, placing it back into the local communities. By making marketplace technology accessible for everyone, we offer people a choice: if they are not happy with the rules or policies of a particular platform, they can simply vote with their feet and create their own platform instead.

We are working towards a future with thousands of thriving local sharing economy platforms, owned by small and medium-size businesses, social enterprises, co-operatives, non-profits, and cities.

In November 2014, Sharetribe launched its first product, Sharetribe Go. It’s a software solution for building and running marketplace websites. With Go, anyone can create their own peer-to-peer platform in one day and manage it with ease, without technical skills. The business model is similar to that of the blogging and publishing software WordPress: the software is open source, but non-developers can use a Software-as-a-Service solution at

Sharetribe Go is great for people who want to launch their Minimum Viable Platform quickly and with a small budget. However, the overwhelming feedback from our customers is that as their platforms gain traction, they need more flexibility to keep improving and growing. The “zero coding” approach taken by Sharetribe Go—the very thing that makes it so easy and fast to launch your initial marketplace—inevitably limits customers’ freedom to change and evolve their platforms. Not being able to freely iterate on the user experience of your marketplace and add features and integrations yourself also means that we mostly haven’t been able to help the bigger, more ambitious teams and organizations with their platform concepts.

All this is now changing. At the end of March, we introduced a product that we’ve been developing for over a year: Sharetribe Flex. By any standard, it’s the most advanced sharing economy software solution out there. Thanks to its API-first architecture, it offers the flexibility of a custom-built solution for the price and time-to-market of an off-the-shelf solution like Sharetribe Go.


Ever since its inception in 1914 it has been PranaHaus’ mission to offer the best products and most valuable books to further the well-being of body, spirit and soul.


We’re opening the doors to where art lives.

coGalleries is a new berlin art platform for social art experiences. These include visits to artist studios; art workshops and creative nites out. The ‚co‘ stands for: connect; collect; and collaborate. We are all about tapping into local art scenes in a social and engaging way. As a platform we grant access to a curated selection of professional artists in Berlin. At our core stand the art experiences that allow exclusive entry to the local berlin art scene and private views both for locals and visitors on a city-break. As a guest you benefit from a more intimate, richer behind-the-scenes experience of the berlin art scene than you would at a regular gallery or contemporary art museum. On our coGalleries website, we feature an overview of events and art experiences hosted in studios and in our Berlin-Mitte art gallery. We enable art explorers, art interested publics, curators and international art collectors to build direct relationships with leading and emerging berlin artists within an increasingly globalized art world.

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Triaz Group
Triaz Group

At a Glance:

Founded: 1987
Revenues 2016: ~ € 85 million
Profits 2016: ~ € 3,5 million
Employees 2016: 360

Waschbär was founded 30 years ago as the pioneer merchant in Europe selling ecological detergents and clothing.



Help people to live and act in an environmentally sustainable way in their everyday life.



Waschbär is “the green and socially responsible Amazon” of Europe. 50% of revenues come from ecological fashion which they produce themselve and 50% from detergents, house keeping products, and books.


Good They Do for the World 

Waschbär was the first company decades ago to offer CO2 neutral shipping, they only sell products that can be recycled such as eco-friendly clothing and shoes.



Triaz was founded by Leo Pröstler as Germany’s first organic textile and sustainable lifestyle mail order company. It went bankrupt in 2001 and Ernst Schütz rebuilt the company and grew it very successfully. He bought the company from the bank for around € 7 million. When Ernst Schütz was looking to retire, he did not want to leave it to his children, who he felt should not be forced to continue his life but live their own life instead. Nor did he want to sell it to private investors because he wanted the company to stay mission driven and independent for the long term. That is why he chose a steward-ownership structure. It makes sure that the new trustee-owners will not only be employed people but true voting-right owners. In return for Ernst Schütz giving up all his dividend rights he receives a pension from Triaz.

Ownership Structure 

In short: In this model the statutes of the company directly ensure that only the people leading the company can hold voting rights. If a trustee-owner (voting rights owner) leaves the company, she must transfer her control rights to a successor. Furthermore, the statutes ensure that voting rights are not connected to dividend rights. These rules cannot be changed by voting right holders unless the holder of a golden share votes in favour of the change. Voting rights and dividend rights are separated and voting rights are held directly by the trustee-owners (CEOs and managers). Dividend rights are held by the company itself, by foundations and investors. The security of the structure is ensured by a golden-share which is held by a charitable foundation.

Details Waschbär’s Ownership Structure 

The Triaz GmbH has one shareholder: Artiz GmbH. The Artiz GmbH has three groups of shareholders:

1. The trustee-owners
2. The Purpose Foundation
3. Investors

The first set of trustee-owners was selected by Ernst Schütz, the owner of the company. The trustee-owners have voting rights but no dividend rights. They can give themselves a set of rules and procedures. In the case of Triaz the majority of voting rights will be held by only one person, while others hold minority stakes. They cannot pay more than market-rate salaries to themselves. If trustee owners leave the company or if they break with the mission, a succession board chooses new trustee-owners for the company. The succession board consists of 4 people (experienced entrepreneurs and investors) from outside the company and 3-4 employees. The external members of the succession board co-opt new members if somebody leaves or retires.

The Golden Share is held by the Purpose Foundation. The foundation cannot interfere in business decisions. It only ensures that those sections of the statutes that ensure steward-ownership cannot be changed. The Foundation itself has a statute that obligates it to veto any such changes. This can only be overridden by a majority vote of the companies that use the service of the Purpose Foundation.



“As a steward-owned company, we have the freedom to act in the interest of the company, our customers and employees. Our company will never be a speculative good, but belongs to itself and remains independent.”

Katharina Hupfer Speaker of the Board of Management



Unternehmen mitte
Unternehmen mitte

Unternehmen mitte in Basel is a platform, work space and public living room. It is a place where ideas are born, destinies collide and friendships are lived. It keeps on going from here…

Our ownership structure enables us to achieve a transparent motivation: The work itself is the motive, not the money. Consequently, increased quality is attained in the business. This principle of free motivation is also extended to the guests. They may freely stay in the house, without any obligation to consume our products. Initially, many believed this to be “a foolish business model.” Nevertheless, it has been the foundation of our success.
He who is not forced to act, is free to act.


We decided to make a credible promise to our customers, employees and suppliers: Waldorfshop is self-owned, the company can never be treated as a speculative good and profits are means to an end and: to serve people and planet as much as we can.

Through movement, children learn and discover the world. For the healthy physical and mental development of our children, it is of great importance to try out and experience the natural urge to move.

Making children happy means offering them well thought out, children adequate and special selection of shapes and colours that appeal to them and move them.

Our thought-through product selection

Our products are designed to further the development of children and their creative skills. Therefore we have little embellished toys in our assortment, toys for a variety of movement games as well as a wide selection of creative products – tools for painting and crafting, knitting and crocheting and toys for building and crafting.

Our products are made of certified natural materials in an environmentally friendly manner. We look for aesthetic design as well as the longevity of the products.

Well thought out colour arrangement is an essential foundation of Waldorf education. This is reflected in our products as well as the soothing, harmonious effects of colours, which increases the enjoyment of creative work.

Wilde Möhre
Wilde Möhre

At a Glance:

Founded: 2013
Revenues 2017: lower seven digit area
Profits 2017: N/A
Employees 2017: 9 full time and about 22 freelance collaborators


The Wilde Möhre collective stands for an open mind-set and positive values. Wilde Möhre projects and events promote fair, sustainable, and tolerant social interactions and aim at fostering positive change in our society.


Set in the heart of Brandenburg’s green Lausitz, Wilde Möhre’s biggest project “Wilde Möhre Festival” has taken place every year in August since 2014. The inspiring open-air culture festival appeals to all senses of about 5,000 visitors and merges different music genres with other art forms such as film, theatre, readings, performances and DIY workshops. The festival promotes tolerance, cultural exchange and peaceful social interactions and invites people of any gender, age, skin colour, and origin.

Further activities of Wilde Möhre include organizing numerous club events, fostering young artists with their label “Möhrerekorder”, and running the culture bar “Zum Schwalbenschwanz” in Berlin’s upcoming area of Lichtenberg, where guests can experience the festival spirit all year round. Moreover, Wilde Möhre UG also provides services in the music and event sector.

Good They Do for the World

Respecting humans and the environment runs in Wilde Möhre’s DNA, and the festival is organized as sustainably as possible. Numerous measures have been implemented and are constantly developed further, among them compostable dishes, fair-trade products, chemical-free eco toilets, as well as exclusively using seasonal and regional ingredients for the catering.

In the spirit of cultural exchange being a particularly important issue to Wilde Möhre, the team collects donations for refugees and young cancer patients in order to enable them to visit the festival and give them a nice experience.


Many years ago we came to Berlin to study and asked ourselves what should we do with the freshly gained freedom, how should we live – reflection on life and the search for meaning were constant companions for us: How do you live a fullfilled life? What kind of person do I want to be? How can I give something back to my fellow human being? What does friendship mean? What are the values ​​you should strive for?

Slowly but steadily a desire grew within us to create a place where we could realize our ideals. We wanted to create a place in the heart of nature where everyone can find herself apart from the demands of society, where one can combine joy with relaxation and inspiration; A place where the love convinces every visitor of the right way and which can be used as a blueprint for social interaction.

Immediately after our first event, we had to admit that such a place and such a venture could not be obtained without the permanent support of a larger team. The foundation was laid to not just only create utopias as a group at the weekend but to build a long-term, sustainable and value-driven enterprise. The idea of ​​the “Wilde Möhre (carrot)” was born. The carrot was our eponym: its structure is made up of many small flowers, which together form a whole. At the same time, it symbolizes the connection to nature and its preservation. The group around “Wilde Möhre” is a constantly evolving institution, aware of its own mistakes. Our ambition is a holistic, fair and climate-friendly festival that takes into account the needs of all parties involved: guests, artists, operators, residents and not least the environment. We feel committed to our claim, which we summarize as “carrot-conforme way of doing things” – year by year we get closer this ideal with great effort. We are not a closed group, but an ever-progressing idea of life, supporting collectives and individuals not just at the “Wilde Möhre”.

As a value-based company Wilde Möhre stands for working autonomously and according to one’s own needs, as well as approaching others in a friendly and respectful manner. The team members live according to these values and therefore aim at positively affecting the environment. The idea of Purpose provides the foundation for preserving this jointly built set of values in the long run and benefitting from it. Distributing responsibility among several team members in terms of ownership ensures working for the shared cause. In the spirit of preserving our values, we appreciate the fact that the company can subsequently not be sold to potential investors that give priority solely to profit.


Ownership Structure

99 percent of the voting rights and 100 percent of the profit rights remain with Wilde Möhre Gbr., one percent of the voting rights (Golden Share) will be given to the Purpose Foundation. The foundation cannot interfere in business decisions. It only ensures that those sections of the statutes that ensure the Purpose principles cannot be changed. We put internal focus on making allowance for sensitivities in terms of the previous executives’ private liability towards the rest of the team members. We solved this issue by distributing voting rights according to a specifically developed ratio.

“Social injustices increases. Purpose corrects an misunderstanding too old and gives the bounty of labour back to the people.”

Alexander Dettke und Tobias Hauptvogel, Founder Wilde Möhre





“We have chosen Purpose because we want to make sure that we will always be able to prioritize our values and partners and to follow our mission and purpose”

Coliga is a platform for communities like coworking spaces and art collectives to create and curate their own job marketplace.

Many communities have a great reputation for attracting and curating talented individuals and companies, but are rarely able to translate that collective reputation into jobs for their members, or revenue they need to operate.

Coliga offers a new model to achieve both: we help communities become their own job collective and drive more jobs to members, while allowing the value of each job completed by a member to be split with the community and any other member that helped realise that opportunity.

Coliga is founded by an international team based in Berlin. Our core objective is to unlock the potential of self-organized work, and bring about a more cooperative and collaborative economy.


“We need to question the impact of our efforts and re-connect to values that got lost on the way. Decentralization will help us to find and keep our purpose.”

Jolocom re-thinks digital identity.

We offer companies the opportunity to use blockchain technologies combined with linked data. We designed a self-sovereign identity solution so customers can sign in with a single click, while keeping their data secure in their own data storage. Our smartwallet solution allows everybody to easily manage and share information with people and organizations they trust – with your data remaining yours.

We advise companies on the implementation of standard-based decentralized identity technology and help to understand and grow decentralized ecosystems. We also advise companies on compliance with data regulations like the the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation.

At Jolocom, we work hard to enable companies to collaborate rather than to compete. In a world where your data belongs to you and interested parties respectfully request permission to access part it your life will be richer in ways that were impossible before.

Many thanks for your registration. A confirmation link was send you. Please check your inbox (or spam folder). Thanks and Best Regards Your Purpose team