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ECO.S. FINANZIARIA : financing solidarity economy in the valleys of Marche

07 / 1993

Monte Sibillini is an area in the Marche region, in Central Italy. For years it has been a depressed area with high emigration and a decreasing resident population. Very recently there has been a more positive economic trend. ECO.S. Finanziaria was founded in 1991 in order to financially support the activities of Dimensione Natura, a cooperative active in the field of alternative tourism. Dimensione Natura also actively promotes job opportunities young people who have been marginalised, working on this topic in conjunction with a local community.

Ecos’ objectives are: a correct ethical use of money, collective management of resources, support to economical self-sufficient realities and particularly to young people coming from a difficult social environment. It wants to turn money from a factor of division into a tool for concrete solidarity. Ecos has 13 individual and 1 collective member. All of them come from the Marche and Venice. Ecoshas a social capital of 8,4 million Lire (around 5,600 US $)and a savings’ fund of 100 million Lire (approx. 70.000 US $). Ecos’s profits are of a financial nature - made through interest rates and investments - or through consultancy work - services offered to new and young cooperatives.

Ecos does not forsee controls or formal guarantees on credits since they support projects where members of the cooperative are highly involved. All decisions are taken collectively trying to reach consensus, or a large majority when consensus is not possible. The work of the cooperative is carried out on exclusively voluntary basis. Ecos is a among the founding members of REAS and it is still part of this international network.

Palabras claves

cooperativa de ahorro y de crédito, financiamiento alternativo, economía social, empresa, turismo solidario

, Italia


Ecos is among the most recent and one of the smallest Italian alternative financing realities. Ecos coordinators prefer not to move too fast and maintain coherence with original aims. Nevertheless they are interested in exchanging information with similar and quantitatively more relevant experiences such as those of Reas network.


Translated by Alessio Surian. It is an experience with many similarities to the Mag cooperatives (see general introduction to Mags)




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