The Key to Success in Co-operative Enterprises

Claudia Sanchez Bajo (Chair in Cooperative Enterprises), Mikel Lezamiz (Director at the Mondragon Cooperative Corporation), Karen Harlos (Chair, Department of Business and Administration), Peter Bjornson (Hon Minister of Housing and Community Development, MLA)

Claudia Sanchez Bajo (Chair in Cooperative Enterprises), Mikel Lezamiz (Director at the Mondragon Cooperative Corporation), Karen Harlos (Chair, Department of Business and Administration), Peter Bjornson (Hon Minister of Housing and Community Development, MLA)

UWinnipeg hosted an International Seminar, The Key to Success in Co-operative Enterprises by Mikel Lezamiz. This seminar celebrates the first year of the Chair in Cooperative Enterprises, Dr. Claudia Sanchez Bajo. The Hon Minister of Housing and Community Development Peter Bjornson was in attendance.

Mikel Lezamiz, Director at the Mondragon Cooperative Corporation from Spain,  shared his insights on the key to success of this business group of 100 cooperative enterprises, with a presence across the world that includes a credit union, a consumer cooperative. It also has built the‘University of Mondragon’, 12 technology centers and the ‘Garaia Innovation Park’.

Lezamiz will take part in The International Summit of Cooperatives organized by the Canadian financial Cooperative Desjardins Group and the International Cooperative Alliance in Quebec.

Mikel Lezamiz, Director of Cooperative Dissemination is responsible for external education programs for Mondragón Cooperative Corporation (MCC), for which he is also head of the Sociology Department, since 1990. He started as a member-worker in the ALECOP students’ cooperative in Mondragón from 1973 to 1975, and after worked as an educator, trainer and organisational leader in Mondragon including holding senior positions on the governing boards within Mondragon’s education system. Mikel is the author of three books on Mondragon and has traveled all over the world to help people learn about Mondragon.

Mondragón, humanity at work, is a co-operative business organisation integrated by autonomous and independent cooperatives that competes on international markets using democratic methods in terms of its company organisation, job creation, both the human and professional development of its workers and a commitment to the development of its social environment. This mission was defined at the Co-operative Congress, which means it has the approval of all the co-operatives that make up Mondragón.

The University of Winnipeg has Manitoba’s first Chair in Co-operative Enterprises, a position made possible through a collaborative partnership with the Manitoba government, the co-op sector and UWinnipeg.  The University of Winnipeg’s Faculty of Business and Economics created this unique position aimed at strengthening the co-op movement and developing socially responsible entrepreneurs.

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