Stakeholder vs. Shareholder: What’s the Difference?

The main difference between stakeholders and shareholders is that stakeholders have a broader interest in the company and its activities beyond their financial investment whereas shareholders own shares of the company and have a financial interest in its success.

Before we move to more differences, let’s first understand Stakeholder and Shareholder:

  • Stakeholder: A Stakeholder is any person or group that has an interest in a company, including employees, customers, suppliers, the local community, and the environment.
  • Shareholder: A Shareholder is a person or entity that owns one or more shares of a company’s stock, which entitles them to a portion of the company’s profits and gives them voting rights on certain corporate decisions.

Now, let’s get to Stakeholder vs Shareholder:

Major differences between Stakeholder and Shareholder

Stakeholder Shareholder
Stakeholders are interested in the company’s overall success, including social and environmental impact. Shareholders are interested in the increase and protection of their financial investment.
Stakeholders may or may not have the ability to influence decision-making. Shareholders have voting rights and can participate in certain corporate decisions.
Stakeholders are concerned with the long-term sustainability of the company and its impact. Shareholders tend to prioritize maximizing profits and shareholder value.
Stakeholders may benefit from the company’s success in other ways, such as job security or access to community resources. Shareholders expect to receive dividends and returns on their investment.
Stakeholders generally have a longer-term relationship with the company and its activities. Shareholders can sell their shares in the company at any time.

So, these are the main differences between the entities.

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