One of Cornwall’s largest tech companies has become the first in the sector to become owned by its employees.
Bluefruit Software has changed to become an employee owned business with the formation of an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT).
Employees are now the principal shareholders in the company, with a 51% stake and a say in governance.
The EOT’s board of trustees has two non-director employees on it, who will be working on decisions that affect all their colleagues.
Founder and director, Paul Massey, said it was a way to enshrine the parts of the business that helped the company’s impressive growth that is its people-led culture.
He said: “We’ve found time and time again, that by empowering our people to make the right decisions for themselves and their work that we get a better result for our clients than if we didn’t.
“It was important that we found a way to preserve this and ensure the business would be around 10, 20 or even 30 years from now. Something that your typical Silicon Valley or London based tech startup doesn’t care about.”
The change of status comes as Bluefruit, which is based in Redruth , has undergone massive growth having gone from 39 staff in 2017 to 71 in 2019.
In the year ended April 2019 annual revenues also grew by more than 30%. Bluefruit Software has also been recognised at the 2019 Cornwall Business Awards as Cornwall’s Growth Business of the Year, and as Cornwall’s Best Place to Work, and also at the Tech South West Awards in November as the Best Tech Workplace in the South West.
Bluefruit Software director, Caitlin Gould added: “We’re offering a place of work that’s unique in not just Cornwall but tech companies worldwide.
“There’s a real problem with businesses saying that they’re empowering their people, but they’re not. And that leads to high turnover in a sector that’s hurting for lack of talent.
“We have an employee turnover rate of 4%—the tech industry average is 23%1. When you look at the growth we’ve had from being people first, it makes sense to protect that.
“This is not only great for our people; it also provides stability to our customers.”
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