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Open Content

Steward-ownership is diverse and multi-faceted, bringing together start-ups, SMEs and large corporations, and combining modern with traditional entrepreneurship, economic sustainability with economic efficiency. Here you will find a selection of different materials on and around steward-ownership.

With the Purpose Foundation‘s open content materials, we want to share knowledge, information and experiences on steward-ownership to make steward-ownership widely accessible and known and to support stakeholders, such as entrepreneurs, investors, researchers, lawyers, tax advisors, in different regions of the world in their implementation. Click here for more information on the rights of use for the Open Content materials created by the Purpose Foundation.

Enjoy reading, listening or watching.

image: Dirk Schmidt


Stories of Purpose

03/2024 | #basics, #read, #finance, #inspiration, #SME, #start-up, #stories

Stories, interviews, insights and information about steward-ownership, including interviews with and examples of key stakeholders, lighthouse companies and the work of Purpose.
credits: Devin Berko


Workbook Verantwortungseigentum

03/2024 | #basics, #read, #education, #finance, #implementation, #inspiration, #start-up, #transformation

A collection of materials and information to inform, guide and support you on your journey towards steward-ownership. A must-read for entrepreneurs who are considering steward-ownership as an ownership structure for their business.
credits: Devin Berko


Toolkit for Steward-Ownership

03/2024 | #basics, #read, #implementation, #inspiration, #start-up, #stories, #transformation

A collection of materials and information to inform, guide and support you on your journey towards steward-ownership. A must-read for entrepreneurs who are considering steward-ownership as an ownership structure for their business.


Propiedad Responsable. Repensando la propiedad en el siglo XXI

09/2023 | Spanish, #basics, #read, #finance, #historyofso, #inspiration, #SME, #transformation

Este libro es la obra fundacional para repensar la propiedad empresarial en el siglo XXI. Century. Artículos, entrevistas y estudios de casos ilustran el concepto de propiedad responsable como una opción tangible para las empresas autodeterminadas e con un propósito en la teoría y en la práctica.


Arte: Mehr Sinn statt Gier – Kapitalismus neu gedacht

09/2023 | German, #watch, #historyofso, #inspiration, #SME, #socent, #start-up, #stories

Eine Dokumentation über Verantwortungseigentum, mit den Purpose-Unternehmen Ecosia, Wildplastic und elobau. Was motiviert Gründer*innen, ihr Unternehmen in Verantwortungseigentum umzuwandeln, in Verantwortungseigentum zu gründen oder Nachfolgeprozesse in Verantwortungseigentum zu gestalten?


Purpose over greed – Rethinking capitalism

09/2023 | English, #read, #inspiration, #SME, #socent, #start-up, #stories

A documentary about steward-ownership, featuring the Purpose companies Ecosia, Wildplastic and elobau. What motivates founders to transform their company into steward-ownership, to set up their business in steward-ownership or family businesses to design succession processes in steward-ownership?
Champ Panupong Techawongthawon


Money, Power, and Stewardship: Decoding the “OpenAI Saga” of 2023

01/2024 | English, #basics, #listen, #inspiration, #stories

This article provides insight into the OpenAI Saga of November 2023 and the interplay of ownership, governance, and power dynamics regarding OpenAI and its role as a forerunner within the field of AI. It lays the basis for exploring OpenAI’s ownership structure from a steward-ownership perspective.


Case Study: Vyld

04/2024 | English, #read, #finance, #inspiration, #start-up, #stories, #transformation

A must-read for anyone who’s interested in steward-ownership aligned financing. German start-up VYLD seeks to promote menstrual health while saving the oceans. Their mission is to produce innovative, eco-friendly, and healthy products made from seaweed, starting with tampons.
Zac Wolff


OpenAI in the Context of Steward-Ownership

01/2024 | English, #basics, #read, #implementation, #inspiration, #stories

The second article of the OpenAI-series explores OpenAI’s ownership structure from a steward-ownership perspective. Outlining the technical requirements, it shows that it is important to bring the ownership structure to life with stewardship in order to be able to benefit from its potential.



04/2024 | #read, #finance, #implementation, #inspiration, #SME, #stories

The founders of Stapelstein® have been looking for ways to regain control and secure the independence of their company. The transition to steward-ownership, strategic and steward-ownership aligned buy-outs from old investors have enabled them to do so in the long term. Read more in this case study.
credits: Juan Pablo Mascanfroni


The Patagonia Structure in the Context of Steward-Ownership

09/2023 | English, #basics, #read, #education, #implementation, #SME, #transformation

An article about Patagonia's new ownership model. Yvon Chouinard's shift to steward-ownership sparks debate and redefines corporate ownership. With the realignment of profit and purpose, Patagonia is paving the way for a paradigm shift in business dynamics and inspires entrepreneurs worldwide.
Gertruda Valaseviciute


OpenAI & Bringing Steward-Ownership to Life While Playing on the Field of Capitalism

01/2024 | English, #basics, #read, #finance, #implementation, #stories

The third article of the OpenAI-series looks at the events of November 2023 around the ousting of Sam Altman and the role of OpenAI's ownership and governance structure. It draws learnings from the case particularly in regards to an intentional design of governance, financing and stewardship.
credits: Sharetribe


Case Study: Sharetribe

04/2024 | English, #read, #implementation, #inspiration, #start-up, #stories

This case study provides insights into how Sharetribe turned steward-owned while seeking financing for the launch of its second product. Today, their legal form and financing structure protects the company’s independence and purpose in the long term whilst enabling it to take on new investments.
credits: VPro Tegenlicht


VPro Tegenlicht: Goed geld verdienen

09/2023 | English, #watch, #historyofso, #inspiration, #SME, #start-up, #stories, #transformation

In dieser Doku diskutieren Waldemar Zeiler und Philip Siefer inmitten der Covid-Krise krisensichere Wirtschaftsparadigmen; darunter auch Verantwortungseigentum. Ein Video über visionäre Unternehmer*innen, auf der Suche nach resilienten, verantwortlichen und langfristigen Geschäftskonzepten.
credits: Kola Shobo/Majorminor


Case study: Firebrand Artisan Breads

04/2024 | English, #read, #implementation, #inspiration, #SME, #stories

A case study about the US-bakery Firebrand and their motives to adopt a steward-ownership structure to reshape local economics, emphasize shared wealth and community impact; with a focus on their financing rounds and setup.
Credits: Banca Ética Latinoamericana


Banca Ética Latinoamericana

04/2024 | #basics, #listen, #finance, #inspiration, #stories

A case study about Banca Ética Latinoamericana, a steward-owned pioneer in the financial sector and known for its innovative approach to operations and decision-making, which are guided by a clear purpose, promoting human well-being, social cohesion, and environmental regeneration.
credits: Purpose Projects


Purpose Projects: #25 Camille Canon – What does it mean to be a purpose-driven business?

09/2023 | English, #basics, #listen, #finance, #inspiration, #stories

In this podcast, Camille Canon (co-founder Purpose US) talks about steward-ownership and why there is no way around it when talking about purpose in today’s corporate world. A technical yet fascinating conversation with examples from inspiring purpose-driven companies like Firebrand Artisan Bread.
credits: Wildplastic


Case study: Wildplastic

03/2024 | English, #read, #finance, #implementation, #inspiration, #socent, #start-up, #stories

A case study about Wildplastic, outlining the startup’s mission and founding journey to set up a steward-ownership structure and including a deep dive into their two financing rounds shaped by finding aligned and non-extractive funding.
credits: Alex Shutin


Steward-ownership is capitalism 2.0

09/2023 | English, #read, #inspiration, #start-up, #stories, #transformation

A blogpost outlining the impact of steward-ownership on capitalism by emphasizing its applicability beyond “impact companies”. Whilst addressing capitalism's negative impacts by retaining its efficiency and entrepreneurship, steward-ownership mitigates inequality and environmental concerns.
credits: Alkemio


Case Study: Alkemio

04/2024 | #read, #implementation, #inspiration, #start-up, #stories

Many founders are faced with a dilemma – how to attract top talent while money is still tight? While some opt for schemes like ESOPs not all of these models align with steward-ownership. This case study highlights how Alkemio found a way to reward both financial backers and time contributors.
credits: soulproducts gmbh


Case study: soulbottles

01/2024 | German, #read, #implementation, #inspiration, #start-up, #stories

A case study about the startup soulbottles outlining their process towards steward-ownership with regards to their focus on holacracy and nonviolent communication and the wish to embed these in the company’s decision-making process as well as ownership structure through employee participation.


SO:22 – Keynotes

09/2023 | English, German, #watch, #inspiration, #stories

A Youtube-playlist of six inspiring talks from the VE:22 - Conference on Steward-Ownership in September 2022. With keynotes from Prof. Katharina Pistor, Rutger Bregman, Prof. Meredith Whittaker, Gerhard Behles, Lene Skole and Lena Marbacher.
credits: Creativity Culture


Aligned capital for creative entrepreneurs

09/2023 | English, #read, #finance, #socent, #start-up

In the startup phase, creative entrepreneurs seek mission-aligned funding, challenging conventional venture capital. This article offers insights into steward-ownership structures, promoting long-term impact and sustainability for purpose-driven businesses.
credits: Goldeimer


Case study: Goldeimer

09/2023 | German, #read, #implementation, #inspiration, #socent, #start-up, #stories

This case study describes the path towards steward-ownership for the non-profit company Goldeimer. Steward-ownership allows for them to remain part of a larger decentralized network of companies whilst setting up a structure that allocates voting rights to those who carry operational responsibility.
credits: Märkisches Landbrot


Case study: Märkisches Landbrot

01/2024 | German, #read, #implementation, #inspiration, #SME, #stories

The Berlin bakery Märkisches Landbrot has a long history of common good, sustainability and stakeholder engagement. The case study outlines the succession process into steward-ownership and the foundation structure of the company to maintain long-term independence and value-oriented entrepreneurship


State of Alternative Ownership in the U.S.

09/2023 | English, #read, #finance, #implementation, #inspiration

This report reflects a yearlong learning journey Purpose and RSF Social Finance undertook to explore steward-ownership and alternative financing in the US, including learnings from more than sixty conversations with entrepreneurs, investors, founders, owners, non- profits, and business leaders.
credits: EcorNaturaSi


Case study: EcorNaturaSì

09/2023 | English, #read, #implementation, #SME, #stories

This case study outlines the succession process of EcorNaturaSì, a steward-owned organic wholesaler. This process enables successors to safeguard the company’s original values, spirit and purpose.
credits: Patrick Fore


On what matters

09/2023 | English, #read, #inspiration, #start-up, #stories

A blogpost about Sharetribe’s mission: to help solve global challenges with their steward-owned company. Sharetribe aims to democratize the sharing economy, increase resource efficiency, reduce inequality, and restore meaning to work. A call for collaborative action to address existential crises.