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Starting point: A Basque population that was tightly related as a community and opposed to the national government; a local priest with a vision of cooperation

Organizing strategy: Create an interlocking series of cooperative ventures, including housing, a central bank, schools, manufacturing and services

Tools: Cooperative philosophy, raise money from community, empower workers

Outcomes: The most powerful and successful demonstration of the cooperative ideal as a legitimate and comprehensive societal intervention

Primary Resources:

The concern about Mondragon as a model for how the world should be organized has been its greatest strength: a pervasive sense of Basque identity, and whether that could be replicated or engendered elsewhere. Other than that, the growth of Mondragon as the organizing principle for a people has been astounding for more than half a century – specially when considering that many of those years were under the repressive and unsympathetic national, fascist regime of Francisco Franco.

MONDRAGON is one of the leading Spanish business groups, integrated by autonomous and independent cooperatives with production subsidiaries and corporate offices in 41 countries and sales in more than 150. 14.081IN TOTAL REVENUE (Million €) 289BUSINESSES AND COOPERATIVES 80.321EMPLOYEES 15TECHNOLOGY CENTRES

The Basic Principles of the MONDRAGON Co-operative Experience were approved at our first Co-operative Congress held in October 1987. They include a set of ideas forged over more than 30 years of operation as a co-operative, and are set out below in a condensed version:

Open admission; Democratic organisation; Sovereignty of labour; Instrumental and subordinate nature of capital; Participatory management; Payment solidarity; Inter-cooperation; Social transformation; Universality; Education

Message from Mondragon’s President:


If you’ve got two minutes, I’d like to introduce MONDRAGON and invite you to take a look around our website.

As you know, the current business scenario is marked by globalisation and by increasingly deeper and quicker change, and today more than ever companies must adapt to this new situation if they are to make the most of the opportunities open to them.

MONDRAGON proposes a business model with a difference, based on inter-company co-operation, people playing a leading role and commitment to developing our environment. We think it’s a fair, equitable and supportive proposal, and we sum it up in our slogan “Humanity at Work”.

We are Spain’s tenth largest business group. We work in the industrial, financial and retail sectors and also develop initiatives in the field of knowledge and education. In short, we are a highly internationalised, competitive and successful co-operative group with over 50 years of history behind us, and we’ve become a world benchmark in terms of work in co-operation.

If you’d like to find out more about MONDRAGON, please come and visit our website, which we’ve recently overhauled. I hope you enjoy visiting our site, and of course if you want to submit any comments that will help us perfect it, that would be great.

In any case, many thanks for your interest in MONDRAGON. I’d like to wish you all the best and I hope browsing our pages will be a pleasant and fruitful experience.

Javier Sotil. President of MONDRAGON’s General Council