How Great Western Brewing has benefited from its employee-owned business model
In 1989, when 16 Saskatoon workers bought the Carling O’Keefe brewery that was slated for closure as a result of a merger, the last thing on their minds was pioneering a great business model. They were just trying to save their jobs and those of their co-workers.
But that was the outcome of launching employee-owned Great Western Brewing Company. Much of Great Western’s success, including its growth across Saskatchewan and in Manitoba, British Columbia and Alberta, can be attributed to it being largely an employee-owned company, Michael Micovcin, Great Western’s president and chief executive, said.
“Because we have employees who are shareholders, it allows us to be far more transparent with our employee population,” he said.
“If they’re shareholders, they obviously have a vested interest. They’ve made an investment in us and we have a special obligation to them. The transparency and communication are very important. In the past, we…
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