Lessons From Finland: Building Co-Operative Economy

From Finland’s high-tech businesses through to an extensive network of regional co-ops that ensure that there are banks, stores and other services within two miles of residents throughout the year, there are co-owned services in every sector stretching right across a country 40% larger than the UK. We have much to learn from countries like Finland and, across Europe, there has been a welcome strengthening of trade relations and contact between the 160,000 co-op enterprises which provide jobs for 5.4 million European citizens. My recent trip to Finland coincided with the start of the Lapland tourist season: the plane that brought me there boasted a seven metre high picture of Santa Claus on the tail. But I was there for a more prosaic reason, visiting some of the country’s leading co-operative enterprises.
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