Why the Name Arizmendi?
Arizmendi is the shortened name of JosÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â© Maria Arizmendiarrieta, a young priest who inspired and helped found the MondragÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â³n Cooperatives in the Basque Country of Spain. Although worker cooperatives have functioned in most parts of the world since the 19th century, the success of the MondragÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â³n Cooperatives has attracted worldwide attention. What started as one firm and roughly 25 people in 1956 is now a major international business with a work force of over 34,000, employed in some 100 worker-owned enterprises and affiliated organizations. These cooperatives continue to be inspired by ArizmendiÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s belief that worker ownership and participation in the workplace should be an integral part of a just and democratic society. Through their financial, technical and organizational alliances, the MondragÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â³n Cooperative Corporation helps develop new businesses, supports existing ones, and facilitates mutual support among member cooperatives. The name Arizmendi acknowledges his inspiration in our effort to expand democratically owned and operated workplaces.