The concept of “steward-ownership” harnesses the power of entrepreneurial for-profit enterprise while preserving a company’s essential purpose to create products and services that deliver societal value and protecting it from extractive capital.
Steward-ownership represents a viable alternative to shareholder-primacy ownership. In addressing fundamental structural deficiencies of our system, it retools the goals and incentives the guide decision making in companies in the corporate DNA. By doing so it has the power to transform the economy. Steward-owned companies are committed to two principles:
(1) Self-governance — Control remains inside the company with the people directly connected to stewarding its operation and mission. With the control of the company held in a trust, it can no longer be bought or sold.
(2) Profits serve purpose — Wealth generated by these businesses cannot be privatized. Instead, profits serve the mission of the company, and are either reinvested in the company, stakeholders, or donated. Investors and founders are fairly compensated with capped returns/ dividends.