[Gonbidatua] opinion
2017/01/26 07:55:00 GMT+1
Guest post by IBON ZUGASTI, International Projects Director at LKS. Director in Prospektiker, Chairman of Millennium, VP Foresight Europe Network, Deputy Director of Riber.

According to the Montreal Economic Development Strategy 2011-2017, the social economy has been part of Montreal’s socio-economic landscape for over a century now. Community-based enterprises – co-operatives, mutual associations and non-profit organizations – have contributed to the city’s development by meeting Montrealers’ needs in a variety of ways. In 2006, revenue from social economy enterprises on Montreal Island was estimated at $2 billion. Close to 3,600 establishments generated 61,500 jobs, or 7% of total employment on the Island.

A city that wants to take a community-based, sustainable approach must consider social aspects when reflecting on innovation, not only from the viewpoint of competition and economic growth, but also to attain better quality of life for all Montrealers. The innovative approach founded on the recent partnership between the social economy sector and the city of Montreal is an example of this kind of commitment.

At regional level, currently social economy figures in Quebec are highly satisfactory.

  • Over 7,000 collective enterprises (cooperatives and non – profit businesses)
  • Over 125,000 jobs
  • Over $17 billion in sales
  • Over 8% of the GDO

The activity sectors include: Agri – food, Early childhood, Arts and culture, Retail, Environment, Solidarity finance, Collective real state, Recreation and tourism, Media and communications, Services, ICT. It is said that manufacturing employment is the most sustainable, with greater pull and generating more jobs in a knock-on effect. However, Quebec’s social economy is focused on the service sector, with little manufacturing presence.

In the Basque Country, we have vast experience of social manufacturing ventures and MONDRAGON has actively contributed to their development. Since its inception, MONDRAGON has been characterized by its ability to generate new business projects and scale them worldwide to achieve a world-class competitive position. This has created thousands of jobs that have generated sustainable inclusive wealth in their surroundings, to the point that its deployment areas are an example of economic and social development. The industrial area is the heart of MONDRAGON, its origin and demonstrating competitive, with leading companies from different sectors.
In this context, LKS, the leading business company founded as part of the MONDRAGON Corporation in the field of innovation services to companies and institutions, is working together with the Young Foundation (YF), a leading independent center for disruptive social innovation based in London, to identify opportunities for social manufacturing ventures in Montreal. LKS has a long track record on supporting public institutions and private companies to design and implement location-based innovation strategies and scaling up social economy ventures. Together with the YF, LKS has recently launched a new strategic program to apply an integrated service offer specializing in city and territorial transformation such as the case in Montreal.

Let´s wait to see the results of this cooperation soon!