CE Solutions, formerly Community Enterprise Solutions and now Community Empowerment Solutions, was founded as a US 501c3 organization in May of 2004. Co founders and former Guatemala Peace Corps Volunteers Greg Van Kirk and Bucky Glickley first started CE Solutions as an effort to continue to support a local tourism venture (El Descanso) and community education center (El Centro Explorativo) in Nebaj, Guatemala that Greg founded in 2001 and 2003 respectively with the support of many, many others. It was also their goal to expand the entrepreneurial cook stove distribution model that would later become The MicroConsignment Model.
Since inception CE Solutions has scaled in breadth and depth. We now work not just in the indigenous Maya communities of Guatemala, but as well in an urban community and textile factory in Haiti, the marginalized bateys of the Dominican Republic, the mountains of Nicaragua, and the jungles of Ecuador. We have also recently launched efforts in Chiapas, Mexico. CE Solutions co-creates locally-owned social enterprises with aspiring social entrepreneurs. Together we identify, teach, equip, and support impact-focused entrepreneurs who offer villagers the opportunity to access cook stoves, vision solutions, solar energy solutions, water purification buckets, and other high social impact technologies for the first time in their lives. In addition, we now train community groups in how to form their own banks, teach villagers how to design their own technologies, and provide consulting for other local organizations doing important work in communities. Everything we do is simply focused on using our knowledge, experience, and resources to play a positive role in the empowerment of community members in the regions where we work. We are guided by our social entrepreneurship approach, our core values and our focus on empowering others to change systems that aren’t working and create opportunities where none previously existed.
CE Solutions has worked with our friends, partners, and collaborators to create over $12,000,000 of net economic impact (earnings + productivity gains + cost savings) in over 2,500 communities. Conservatively over 150,000 people have directly benefitted from our efforts. El Descanso continues to thrive in the hands of local leadership and El Centro Explorativo has flourished whilst being owned and operated by a local association now in La Pista, Guatemala. But our work continues. We can and need to do more and do better.
Greg Van Kirk
Co-Founder and Executive Director
"The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now."
- Chinese Proverb
George "Bucky" Glickley
"Opportunities are usually disguised as hard work, so most people don't recognize them."
Global Social Innovation Leader
“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”
-Sir Winston Churchill
Country Director - Mexico
“We do one thing expecting this result, and expecting it right away, but what happens is beyond our imagination, and not necessarily on our watch.”
Country Director - Guatemala
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness... Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime”
Country Director - Ecuador
“The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.”
-Coretta Scott King
Country Director - Nicaragua
“When a resolute young fellow steps up to the great bully, the world, and takes him boldly by the beard, he is often surprised to find it comes off in his hand, and that it was only tied on to scare away the timid adventurers.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
Regional Social Innovation Leader - Nicaragua
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”
Maria Luz Giambartolomei
“I think if you do something and it turns out pretty good, then you should go do something else wonderful, not dwell on it for too long. Just figure out what’s next.”
Co-Founder Greg Van Kirk on social entrepreneurship, our MicroConsignment Model and social innovation
Social Entrepreneurship: You are the relative expert
Embrace Limitation for Social Innovation
The MicroConsignment Model
Miami University Center for MicroConsignment