Lucy Bernholz over at Philanthropy 2173 beat me to the punch in posting about one of the latest Ashoka Fellows who has a microfranchising connection. But there's always room for repeated coverage of good models.
When the Ashoka newsletter came out the other day I was excited to see a familiar name, Greg Van Kirk, as one of their new Fellows. I am not involved on the venture side to have seem it coming but I'll probably be involved in deciding what funder provides his living stipend :)
I first learned about Van Kirk's Micro-Consignment model at the last ESR Conference at BYU. I remember being impressed by the many different levels of involvement of CE Solutions, providing complete support in the business incubation process. I have seen other models that are very good at the microfinance side, others who whose strength is training and mentoring, and others who have successfully moved technological solutions, but Van Kirk is supporting the entire process and having incredible success because of it.
So, congratulations to Greg and CE Solutions. Congratulations likewise to Ashoka and their continued ability to identify these high impact social entrepreneurs and to all those that fund them through giving to Ashoka. (Always have to acknowledge those behind the scenes now that I've worked in Development).