Bluefruit becomes employee owned

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Paul Massey

Bluefruit Software has become the first tech company in Cornwall to adopt an employee ownership model.

The Redruth-based business has formed an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT) and 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.

Bluefruit Software founder and director, Paul Massey, 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 ten, 20 or even 30 years from now. Something that your typical Silicon Valley or London-based tech start-up doesn’t care about.”

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%.

“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.”