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  • Chelsea Robinson

Case Study Diagrams

Case Studies Summaries by Charity May
Diagrams by Jay Standish

This extensively researched work in Assets in Common reveals a transformative strategy for building a more resilient economy through shared ownership models and steward-ownership. With in-depth case studies and practical approaches, "Assets in Common" offers compelling evidence that connecting assets across companies and communities can create profound economic benefits. From shared balance sheets to holding companies to cooperative infrastructure, the authors identify proven models working at scale and illuminate the path forward.

As part of our research, Jay Standish put together diagrams to help readers understand the variety of models quickly. In this blog, you'll find three diagrams and summaries for three of our case studies.

There is so much more in the book! We highly recommend that if you find this interesting you dig deeper. Just a reminder that this content is copyrighted.

Clegg Auto

Clegg Auto is a group of four auto repair shop in Utah. They transitioned to employee ownership by restructuring into a Perpetual Purpose Trust as the sole shareholder. This trust owns a holding company which in turn owns the four subsidiary auto repair shops. This three-tier ownership design allows for performance incentives and profit-sharing at both the subsidiary and overall company levels. In their first year post-transition, Clegg Auto doubled its profits compared to the prior year, with two newer shops becoming profitable. The founder attributes this surge to employee owners taking greater ownership and driving efficiencies while maintaining high customer satisfaction ratings. Notably, Clegg Auto was able to provide health insurance to all employees - a rarity in the auto repair industry. The transition aligned incentives for performance gains without compromising service quality, contrasting with private equity's typical cost-cutting approaches.


Sardex S.p.A. is an alternative currency for local businesses in Sardinia. They operate a subscription-based digital platform that allows members to trade with each other using Sardex credits to lubricate the exchange. Businesses become members through an application process, pay a subscription fee, and are extended a line of Sardex credit to trade goods and services within the network. While Sardex units serve as a unit of account pegged to the Euro and facilitate trade as a medium of exchange, they cannot be exchanged for Euros or other fiat currencies. This contrasts with cryptocurrencies that can be traded back to conventional money, fueling speculation and hindering their use for real-world use as a medium of exchange. The platform promotes self-governance through membership agreements specifying rules and limits on transaction volumes and credit lines. Sardex facilitates hyperlocal trade circuits built on trust and reciprocity, with brokers supporting deal-making. The lack of transaction fees and emphasis on social agreements reduce the need for external regulation, although the scheme is fully compliant with EU laws and members must pay taxes on Sardex income in Euros.

The Industrial Commons

The Industrial Commons (TIC) is a group that is advancing the textile industry in North Carolina toward equitable outcomes. It is structured as a multi-stakeholder network of enterprises, interconnected through governance, economic interests, and market cooperation. As a non-profit organization, TIC owns the for-profit Carolina Textile District LLC, a match maker connecting suppliers and producers. The nonprofit also owns a public benefit corporation. This public benefit corporation enables TIC to hold founding shares in the worker-owned cooperative LLCs launched by the non-profit, granting it veto powers to prevent mission drift. In this way it serves as a hands-on incubator for worker cooperatives. Additionally, TIC has established a community land trust and a capital fund to support its mission. Through its ownership structure and governance mechanisms, TIC facilitates access to capital and resources for these cooperatives, leveraging its balance sheet. The network fosters local relationships, civic engagement, and integrated programs for workforce development and community learning. By promoting employee ownership and shared economic interests, TIC aims to build sustainable solutions deeply rooted in the local context.


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