Our approach

Driven by the value of social enterprises and the vision of a generative economy, Evan Edwards, our first CEO, brings two decades experience growing businesses and nonprofits while scaling their impact across sectors. Project Equity’s founders, Hilary Abell and Alison Lingane, have nearly 60 combined years of hands-on leadership experience in mission-driven companies and traditional and emerging styles of employee ownership. Together they have partnered with some of the smartest minds in the industry and built a team that is propelling employee ownership to the forefront of business succession solutions.

Courtney with Humminbird Wholesale - Project Equity

Employee ownership: the preferred business model, now and in the future

Employee ownership is on a trajectory to scale. Baby boomers who own half of small businesses with payrolls are seeking exits. Prime age business owners are seeking strategies to recruit and retain workers. Demand for quality jobs among workers has never been higher—the reinvigorated labor movement is a testament to this fact.

Employee ownership not only helps business owners sell their business, it also helps employees and local economies. And the more communities build regional resilience through employee ownership, the stronger our national economy becomes.

When employees become owners, they can unlock opportunities to acquire assets and increase their income. In one study, employee-owners earned 33% more and had a household net worth nearly twice as high as their non-employee-owner peers. These increases can mean better outcomes day-to-day and long-term gains like saving to buy a home and building retirement. Employee ownership is a powerful tool to help working people and families from Black and Brown communities build economic security for generations to come.

My life’s work has been about finding ways to scale access to opportunity, and at the core, this is what we founded Project Equity to do.

Alison Lingane

Co-founder, Chief Strategy
& Innovation Officer

What is Project Equity’s unique approach?

We change the narrative

We change the narrative.

Through strategic communications, public relations campaigns, events, data analysis and storytelling Project Equity advances a field-level vision for employee ownership as a preferred business model and approach to economic development. We partner with state employee ownership centers and our champions network to lift up stories that introduce business owners and new audiences to employee ownership. As a founding partner in the EO Equals brand campaign, we are building the field of employee ownership on a national level.

We offer hands-on support to businesses

We offer hands-on support to businesses.

From assessing feasibility to closing the sale and beyond, Project Equity works with businesses at every stage of becoming employee-owned.

We train the trainers

We train the trainers.

Project Equity brings together business advisors, owners and employees alike to understand how employee ownership works and why it is a preferred business model. For those who buy and sell businesses, understanding the practical side of employee ownership is a critical step to expanding opportunities for businesses and employees alike.

We guide local leaders

We guide local leaders.

Project Equity works with local and regional governments, Small Business Development Centers, Workforce Development Boards and local nonprofits across the country to grow the local economy through employee ownership. We also follow and lift up state and federal legislation to advance employee ownership.