The Roles of a Basque-inspired Cooperative in the Community Based Economic Development in Cleveland, Ohio
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Although globalization and internationalization have dominated the social fabrics of our today’s world, the significance of local places remains sound. The local level development approach can potentially become a geographical framework to increase the communities’ competitiveness, encourage the partnership of various stakeholders within a regional economy, and embark the wealth creation and retention in the community. The present study examines the ongoing social experiments in one of the rust belt city in the United States, the Evergreen Cooperative Initiative in Cleveland Ohio, which is also known as the Cleveland Model.Inspired by Mondragon cooperative in the Basque country, the Cleveland model presents the community with a development approach that involves large-scale worker cooperatives, anchor institutions, and local government. Besides, Cooperative experience in Cleveland demonstrates the feasibility of Mondragon replication outside the Basque Country, a notion that has been debated by scientists in Basque cooperative studies. Quantitative text analysis performed on data collected from several in-depth interviews confirmed that the success of implementing Mondragon style cooperative in Cleveland lies on the extensive modifications to suit the local contexts including socioeconomic characteristics and culture.