What can the UK learn from Mondragon?

In the the last 60 years a massive, worker-owned co-operative has taken the Basque Country in northern Spain from the brink of bankruptcy to prosperity, by putting existing skills and resources to better use.

A report from The Young Foundation asks how the UK can learn from this example.

Mondragón, Spain now employs 75,000 workers and has revenues of €12 billion. The co-operative association was borne from desperation as communities of people worked together to solve problems.

Gorka Espiau from CRIEM CIRM Agirre Lehendakaria Center, said at a launch of a report on Mondragon that story we tell ourselves is key. “The message has to be: ‘We can all do it – and we do it this way.'”

Ed Mayo from Co-operatives UK said we need to join up the many Mondragon-like examples of co-operative businesses in the UK to create systemic change.

“We need a co-operative entrepreneurs programme. If we limit enterprise in post-Brexit Britain we are self-harming,” he said.

Read the report here.

Photo of a worker at Copreci courtesy of Mondragon.

Also published on Medium.

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