We are driven by our empowering core values....

All of our decisions and actions are taken in adherence to a well thought out set of core values. These are the core values of social entrepreneurship. We recite these in our meetings, we carry these with us to communities, we reflect upon these when we need to make “tough calls”, and we use these as the basis for our relationships with other stakeholders. And our metrics have been designed to tell us if we are staying true to these values. We are imperfect and we fail. But we are clear about what success requires and strive to get better every day.

We offer community members informed choices....

We offer community members a variety of informed opportunities to choose what they believe is most important for them. All of these opportunities result in a positive economic, health, energy and water impact. And many of the social innovations we offer as an organization have multiple benefits. In short, community members have a “menu” of options to choose from that is based on their personal needs and wants. We believe opportunity and choice is critical to achieve client focused outcomes. This menu ranges from access to empathetic job opportunities to the opportunity to purchase a cook stove, solar lamp, pair of glasses or water filter to the chance to start a community bank to the ability to access training, education and consulting.

We have a proven history of success...

We started in one community in rural Guatemala over 10 years ago. Since then we have worked with our friends, partners and collaborators to create over $12,000,000 of net economic impact (new earnings + productivity gains + cost savings) in over 2,500 communities in five countries. Conservatively over 150,000 people have directly benefitted from our efforts. We have built successful social enterprises. El Descano 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. And we have done all of this all on a relatively small budget every year.​

We are an award-winning recognized organization...

We recently were awarded “Community Partner of the Year” recognition voted on by all of the employees at Levi Strauss Company for our work in Haiti. We were given this same award by the University of Notre Dame. Greg Van Kirk was elected an Ashoka Fellow in 2008. He was also selected from all Ashoka Fellows as a “Globalizer” twice. Greg Van Kirk was also awarded "Social Entrepreneur of they Year" in 2012 by the World Economic Forum's Schwab Foundation. We are a member of the Clinton Global Initiative. We won the “Leveraging Business for Social Change” competition from Ashoka Changemakers for the social enterprise we co created in Guatemala. Our MicroConsignment Model has been written about in the New York Times, Forbes, amongst others. We have been on CNN Money and Greg has been asked to present a number of TEDx conferences. In short, serious organizations with deep knowledge in this field have recognized our work and innovations as groundbreaking in the field of social entrepreneurship. Click on the images below learn more..

Your contributions are highly leveraged...
 

Your contributions are leveraged in three essential ways. First, we build social enterprises that  empower value chains of local entrepreneurs. Jobs and income are created for these entrepreneurs and sales revenue generates sustainability and a diminishing need for contributions for these social enterprises. Your contributions have a tremendous multiplier effect. Second, we created a sister organization, Social Entrepreneur Corps, which brings hundreds of students and professionals to the communities where we work every year as volunteers and interns. Through this our work benefits from tens of thousands of hours of passionate human capital and a portion of the costs that these amazing folks pay goes to our work. This now covers a majority of our operating budget. As well, participants in Social Entrepreneur Corps are continuously evaluating our work and providing feedback. We have built in our own monitoring and evaluation mechanism from third parties. Third, we have larger grants from organizations such as the Inter American Development Bank, The IFC, Whole Planet Foundation and Levi Strauss Foundation. We also receive glasses at no cost from Warby Parker as a part of their “Buy One, Give One” program.