Social Enterprise Case Study

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Understanding Social Enterprise: Theory and Practice Sage Publications

Case 9.1

SRB Case Study Custom Products

Socially Responsible Business (SRB) case study Custom Products was founded in 1990 by a schoolteacher and one of his pupils. Fuelled by a belief that they could create an ‘inspiring’ environment, they each invested £5000 pounds in a venture to customise clothing for schools and colleges. By 2000, they had created a company with over 100 staff with 80% of employees owning 20% of the company’s shares. In 2004, proposals were put to both the workforce and shareholders to transfer majority ownership to an employee trust, and sell remaining shares to staff. A separate proposal to replace a selfselecting board with four elected governors was also put to staff. Both proposals were passed with over 75% of votes and a new trading company owned by the employee trust took over operations in 2005.

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