Renewed Interest in Employee Ownership Among SMEs
It was good to see Mediascape's Non-Executive Director, Carole Leslie, in the news recently, talking about the increasing number of employee-owned businesses in Scotland. Mediascape Ltd is proud to be one of Scotland's employee ownership success stories, being a trailblazer of the new wave following the launch of the Employee Ownership Trust (EOT) in 2014.
Mediascape has always been a great place to work. It felt like a real family business, where the owners, Angus and Shona Knight, genuinely cared about both making the company successful and ensuring that the employees were all well looked after. As they began to consider their retirement plans, they could easily have sold the business to one of the larger players in the market. That would inevitably have led to downsizing of the staff, and possible relocation of the business, perhaps to down south. Angus chanced upon an article in the trade press about a similar company that had taken the EOT route, and he and Shona began to explore whether employee ownership could work for Mediascape.
It all seemed a bit too good to be true. They could phase their exit from the business, allowing them time to develop the young management team and find are placement to take over Angus's role as Managing Director. Most importantly, the EOT offered a stable model of ownership that meant every employee had a stake in the success of Mediascape. The sale to an EOT meant the fantastic Mediascape team could stick together, continuing to offer the high quality of service our customers expect and maintaining the partnership we have with the sector's best suppliers.
It's been a winning move for us. We had our most successful year ever in 2019, and we were set to beat that again in 2020. Then Covid19 happened. It's been a challenging few months but we pulled together and got through it. Indeed, our efforts to keep everyone informed and engaged led to our Employer Award in the WeDo Scotland Business Awards.
During lockdown, we also managed to hire Niall MacDonald as Managing Director, Niall was recently named Director of the Year for the Highlands & Islands Region and we believe our employee ownership was a key reason we attracted an executive of Niall's calibre.
Employee ownership has been great for Mediascape and we are so pleased to see the growing popularity. It's good to hear so many companies are following our lead and pursuing the path. We're always very happy to share our story, and wish all the new employee-owned companies well on their journey.