Hello Ms. Cortese! As a student from the University of Florida and someone who is hoping to make a difference and be a business owner one day, I really enjoyed reading your article and found it extremely helpful in understanding the options that I may have as a corporation. I truly only believed that there were very limited options and what is portrayed in the media in relationship to the top 100 firms, you can only see the top-down structure that is run day-to-day and come to think that most corporate entities run off of a hired board of directors. Unfortunately, it even seems that most aren’t necessarily even internally hired based on their experiences in the firm. Understanding the distinction between an ESOP and Co-ops is new to me as well. never knew that there were options within a company for the employees to be able to invest in the firm through specific stock options. I would love to learn more about the financial structure behind that, why companies feel it is necessary to provide those platforms, and even in regards to what you said in the article: why creating ESOPs can be very expensive?
I also recognized in your autobiography that you are a strong advocate for focusing on locally-owned enterprises and your beliefs in them bettering the community. In regards to my future and what I want to build, how do you, yourself truly differentiate between the two and do you have any suggestions in what I can do to make myself an enterprise that maybe can grow through social entrepreneurial values? I am hopeful that one day I can create something and make enough of a difference where I will be brought into an accelerator program that focuses on companies that want to make change and do well for the world. I think we are moving closer and closer to an industry where firms are now being run as co-ops and hiring their directors internally. As well it seems that the structure on why the firm was created is being moved to more of a social responsibility focus where they are making change for the better. I hope to continue to see this trend move up and that more and more members my age become excited to create, build, and step out of their comfort zone because I feel that there is so much opportunity in this world and we just need to go for it! Thanks again for the great article.