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Fecha de publicación: 17/04/2008
Socially-oriented economy: Cooperatives and Workers' Incorporated Companies

Most firms in the social economy work in industry, although a rising number now belong in the services sector, the construction industry and agriculture. In all, 53,852 Basques work as co-owners of their business and participate in the management of more than 2,150 cooperatives and worker cooperatives.

Employment levels in the Basque social economy are higher than in its French counterpart and cooperatives are now the predominant formula for business set-ups in some areas, particularly in the province of Guipúzcoa. The outstanding organization here is the Mondragón Corporación Cooperativa  (MCC) , the Basque Country's leading business group and Spain's most diversified group.

The majority of Basque cooperatives are represented by the Confederation of Cooperatives of the Basque Country  , comprising 581 firms in the sector working in agriculture, consumer goods, credit, education and transport and which invoice in the region of 7,320 million € a year. The Confederation represents 95% of all cooperative members in the Basque Country.

Workers' Incorporated Companies (Sociedades Anónimas Laborales - SAL) are particularly important in the Basque Country and above all in the industrial sector. The 300 Basque companies in the ASLE - Agrupación de Sociedades Anónimas Laborales de Euskadi  [Workers' Cooperatives Association of the Basque Country], employ nearly 9,000 worker-members, 16% of the total workforce in companies of this kind in Spain.


Source: Presidency of the Government - General Secretariat for Communication