Gregory Van Kirk

Ashoka Fellow
Guatemala
Fellow Since 2008
The New Development Solutions Group

Citation

This profile was prepared when Gregory Van Kirk was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2008.
The New Idea
Greg’s MicroConsignment model creates access to health care-related goods and services in isolated rural communities. The key to the MicroConsignment model is that local women are given the opportunity to become entrepreneurs by selling goods and services in their communities using a consignment mechanism. Unlike the traditional approach of giving handouts to rural communities, the MicroConsignment model—which Greg implements through his American citizen organization (CO), Community Enterprise Solutions and Social Entrepreneur Corps, is scalable, replicable, and sustainable.

The majority of MicroConsignment’s local entrepreneurs are women who had no other opportunities to generate additional household income. They have successfully sold eyeglasses, wood-burning stoves, seeds/growing techniques, water filters and energy-efficient light bulbs, in over 1,000 remote villages at affordable prices; thereby improving public health and economic welfare. Greg’s model creates powerful synergies between all the stakeholders in the supply chain, from low-cost providers to the locally-owned social enterprise partner, Soluciones Comunitarias, to the local entrepreneurs and ultimately, the consumers. These synergies are the basis of the model’s success as well as its future replicability.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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