100% Employee Owned
In June 2019 Torchbox became the first digital agency in the UK to transfer 100% ownership over to the employees. Founders Tom Dyson and Olly Willans wanted to solidify a future that kept Torchbox’s ethos alive.
“We decided that by far the best people to own Torchbox are the people who have made it the success it is today, and the people who will continue to make it a success tomorrow.”Olly Willans
As of June 2021 we are two thirds of the way through paying the original shareholders for the sale of the business, which is done through the profits the business makes. This is quite typical of employee owned businesses.
So, who is in charge?
The Board of Trustees
The Board of Trustees will be made up of 6 elected members, voted for by the current employees. The senior management team must report into the board and all major decisions are decided democratically by the board members.
So now I hear you ask, how do we make sure employees views are heard?
The voice groups were set up to give every single employee a voice. So far we’ve got voice groups for social events, diversity and inclusion, climate and sustainability, wellbeing and civic engagement. These groups are given a budget to spend how they choose for the better of the Torchbox community.
For example, recently our groups have twinned our office toilets with toilets in Uganda, Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of Congo, which means we've sponsored the build of new sanitation systems in these countries. And we've paid for memberships for all our employees to access mental health app Headspace, where they can seek help and advice on sleep, meditation, stress and mindfulness.
But does being employee owned mean we benefit financially?
Tax Free Bonus
Being employee owned means all staff members qualify for an income tax free bonus of up to £3,600 per year.
But what does the future look like?
In about a year's time Torchbox employees will reach 'financial freedom' where the debt will be repaid in full and the profits of the business will be in the hands of the Board of Trustees. The employees will be able to choose what to invest in and how to shape their future.
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