Dundee and Angus-based information technology firm ITWORX has moved to employee ownership.
A total of 17 staff have been given a stake in the Aberdeen-headquartered business, which was founded in 2010 by Philip Mowatt and Jill Ross.
The firm provides tailored IT and communications services to a range of clients across Aberdeen city and shire, and has recently expanded into Dundee and Angus.
In 2019 the business turned over £2.6 million and earlier this year, before the pandemic pushed most of the world into lockdown, ITWORX said it was targeting £4m annual turnover within three years.
As the firm approached its 10th birthday, its founders wanted to mark the milestone.
An adviser at Business Gateway had previously mentioned employee ownership and its benefits, so they decided to explore the option further.
Ms Ross said: “10 years into ITWORX’s journey, we were in a great position – financially stable, with a solid client base and a skilled and dedicated team.
“We wanted to use this strong position to reinvent some aspects of the company that would bring about long-term benefits.”
Ms Ross and Mr Mowatt were put in touch with Co-operative Development Scotland (CDS), the arm of Scotland’s enterprise agencies that supports company growth through collaborative and employee ownership models.
Attract and retain talent
After learning more from an adviser and undergoing a feasibility study, they concluded employee ownership would bring a number of lasting benefits to their business.
Ms Ross added: “Our staff are key to our success, and some of the senior employees have been with us for a very long time, so handing the company over to them shows them they are valued.
“It also offers peace of mind about the company’s future as there is no risk of it being absorbed by a competitor further down the line.
“We also hope the structure will help attract and retain new talent.”
An employee ownership trust has been formed and holds 100% of the shares on behalf of staff.
Head of CDS, Clare Alexander, said: “Employee ownership is a fantastic fit for ITWORX and its values, and we look forward to following the company’s success under its new ownership model.”