Employee-ownership programs (or in short "ESOPs") play a critical role in attracting and retaining top talent to fledgling young companies. Stock options reward employees for taking the risk of joining a young, unproven business. This risk is offset by the opportunity to participate in the future success of the company. Stock options are one of the main levers that start-ups use to recruit the talent they need; these companies simply can't afford to pay the higher wages of more established businesses.
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