The power of commerce to create wealth is immense. Yet in recent years we have seen the erosion of trust in corporations and a growing division between the interests of ordinary people and the businesses they work for and trade with. The rich have increased their share of wealth while global
corporations have begun to behave like sovereign nations, acting only in the interests of their shareholders. At the same time austerity has affected working people the most, with a whole new generation of young people
facing greater challenges than ever before. We need more than a choice between state control on
one hand or an unrestricted free market on the other. Business needs to be trusted by customers, to respect
its workers, and follow a purpose that serves the common good. So, what’s the answer? Well, we call it the People’s Business. Business that operates in the interests of you and me. And the best part is that this way of doing business already exists! It has done so for more than 150 years. These businesses are owned by their customers, their
workers, groups of producers or likeminded individuals. They are best known as cooperatives and mutuals;
they can be found all over Europe. In these businesses, the members are the owners. They exist to serve them, not channel profit back to investors. Across Europe there around 130,000 of these businesses; they account for 1.3 trillion euros in income every year and employ nearly 5 million Europeans. We believe that The Peoples’ Businesses should grow. Because they help to solve some of the biggest problems that we face. They help to build an economy that prioritises people before other interests, generate policy ideas that counterbalance the effects of globalisation, create businesses that challenge inequality and spread wealth, offer financial services which work in the interests of people, not capital, provide work that is meaningful and rewarding, provide access to quality, affordable housing, increase renewable energy through local control. The People’s Business is about more than regulations and laws. It’s about putting people in control. It’s about a progressive policy for enterprise. It’s about business, but in your interests.