The founder of Birkenstock USA would like to see new business ownership models pioneered and encouraged, where people investing in a company are also intimately connected to the organization. She recalls starting Birkenstock USA in 1967 with little money and loans from several friends. Such small-scale options aren’t viable for entrepreneurs today, which has Fraser questioning what alternatives are available.
“It’s obvious that what we have now in mainstream business is not working because the owners are mostly investors that don’t understand the business. Their only interest is to get money out of the business, to extract. While there is a need for profit, profit isn’t the reason for business,” says Fraser.