Employee Owned Businesses to Close the Wealth Gap

Man in workshop
Researchers say employee-owned companies can be sustainable engines of wealth generation
Dr. Mark DeHaven, Gambrell Fellow

When it comes to the gap in resources between White, Black and Latinx families, wealth is a bigger factor than income. On average, White households have 10 times the wealth of Black households and eight times the wealth of Latinx households — far more than differences in income or salary. Ownership of assets, including businesses, can enable families to pass down wealth, cushion them in times of economic hardship, and provide opportunities for future generations that aren’t possible based on monthly income alone. 

That’s why a team of Gambrell Faculty Fellows is studying employee ownership in Mecklenburg County, and whether this ownership structure could be a tool to help close the racial wealth gap. Working with the North Carolina Employee Ownership Center, UNC Charlotte researchers will survey local business owners in Mecklenburg County using the county’s Minority, Women, and Small Business Enterprises database to see what they know about employee ownership, what their attitudes are, and what impediments they face if employee ownership is an option they’re interested in pursuing.

Read more