By Rob Miller, CEO of VSECU
Imagine a strategy that could transform a country’s poorest regional economy into one of great wealth and prosperity. An approach that could build a community that produces more than 9 percent of that country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), 12 percent of its exports, and 30 percent of its patents, while only comprising 7 percent of its population. This scenario is no fantasy. It’s the realty in Emilia Romagna, Italy. What’s their secret? A thriving cooperative economy. Their success is largely attributed to the region’s commitment to building co-ops and employee-owned firms since 1950. In fact, co-ops now account for 30 percent of Emilia Romagna’s GDP.