We assist economically disadvantaged people around the world to develop opportunities and obtain skills to build secure sustainable futures for their families and communities while improving their quality of life. We do this by helping to improve the organizations that provide microfinance or economic development services. These include social enterprises, financial institutions, microfinance institutions and their national networks, NGOs, for-profit companies, development organizations, cooperatives, and other socially responsible institutions.


A world where everyone has the opportunities to create an abundant life without poverty or injustice.

We Are Entrepreneurs

  • We are a social enterprise – Our main income source is from selling consulting, training and evaluation services
  • We founded 5 financial institutions
  • We have helped create 15 social enterprises that have continued to be sustainable for several decades
  • We have created graduate programs in three different universities
  • We continually assist others to create economically sustainable for-profits or non-profits.
Colombian 4 women-raising-hands

Current Initiatives

  • Central American immigrants in Mexico who are earning from entrepreneurial and economic development
  • Impact Investing– investors --> funds --> social enterprises --> those who make the impact to evaluating it. We work with all 4 entities to measure and manage impact
  • Evaluations – we have experience implementing and teaching a wide variety of methodologies
  • Work on 9 of the 17 Social Development Goals
  • Providing many consulting and training services

Where We Have Worked

In dozens of countries on 4 continents

  • From Mexico to Mongolia
  • From the Philippines to Peru
  • From South Africa to the Southern US
  • From Egypt to Washington, DC
  • We have worked 35 years consulting in 15 countries in Latin America

Our History

  • Starting in 1975, worked in community economic development, civil rights, racial justice, and community organizing for 13 years in urban and rural distressed communities in 8 states of the southern United States.
  • In 1986 began working in Nicaragua, where we worked bringing those in emergency into their own development. We continually have had associate consultants and a variety of programs there over the decades.
  • We created the first microenterprise in Nicaragua, TecAp. IDEAS trained 76 youth to install solar rooftop systems and 100 women microfranchisees to earn by selling solar-powered products.
  • Our headquarters has been in Nicaragua and El Salvador and several cities in the US.
  • Our team is composed of dedicated associate consultants from many countries.

Seeking a bilingual part-time fundraiser

Our fundraiser seeks donations for our programs and those of allied organizations. Equally important is the search for impact investments that our allies need to grow their sustainable programs. Those investments are sought for our program of providing capital to Mexican financial institutions that lend to Central American entrepreneurs who have immigrated to Mexico. Please see the description of that program in another page of this site. The fundraiser works with other colleagues to produce media to encourage giving and investing. For information about this part-time, flexible position and how to apply, see our jobs page.

Works flexible hours from own remote office in Mexico, Central America or the US. The HQ is in Atlanta, Georgia, US but there is no expectation to work there. Approximately 20 hours/week with flexible hours. Hours and responsibilities could grow when fundraising is successful.

Compensation is based on relevant experience and commensurate with your previous pay level. May choose to be a consultant or a US employee (both are the same amount). The part-time total will be negotiated based on the amount of time the individual has available and our needs.

Application: Please send an email that explains how your experience fulfills our requirements. Attach a CV and a writing sample of a grant proposal to getinvolved@ideasnet.org. Please email your questions. Please do not start the communications by a phone call or text.

Our Core Team

The core team is complemented by a variety of Associate Consultants from many countries. If you are interested, see the information the section Become a Consultant.

Dr. Carter Garber

Dr. Carter Garber, the IDEAS CEO, has four decades of professional experience in the field of community economic development in developing countries and communities. As an economist, evaluator, and practitioner, he has been an international finance and development consultant and trainer on four continents. Having been an international pioneer in impact evaluation and impact investing, Carter continues to assist investors, investment funds, social enterprises, and organizations at the community level who are creating the impacts. See more.

Full Bio...

Juan GómezJuan Gómez Cruces

Juan Gómez Cruces is a Mexican national who has worked in the Atlanta office of IDEAS for 6 years. He is the Coordinator of International Institutional Relations and has worked with several consultancies, including helping to evaluate an impact investment fund that lends to 6 countries in Latin America and a major consultancy focused on improving a youth entrepreneurship program to be scaled up to 10 countries. He is working on the programs of IDEAS in Central America and Mexico.

Full Bio...

Imelda Torres LopezImelda Torres Lopez

Imelda Torres Lopez, a Nicaraguan, has been a key team member for decades. She previously worked on staff as the Administrator for the regional office of IDEAS in Nicaragua. She led IDEAS training, market research, evaluations, and consulting services in Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, Costa Rica, and Panama. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and master’s degree in Rural Development at the Polytechnic University (UPOLI) of Nicaragua.

Full Bio...

Gabriel Gaitán ArgeñalGabriel Gaitán Argeñal

Gabriel Gaitán Argeñal, Nicaraguan, is a consultant in microfinance. He studied Banking and Finance at the Baptist Polytechnic University of Nicaragua, along with courses in the specialization of inversion projects. Mr. Gaitán has a Master’s in Business Administration through the Commercial Exterior Program of the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua. He has taught a series of courses related to urban and rural development as well as microfinance.

Full Bio...

Associate Consultants

Associate ConsultantAssociate Consultants are an essential part of IDEAS Team.  With each consulting, evaluating, and training work we perform, we draw upon an international network of highly skilled consultants. For example, in a four-month consulting job in 2021, we used six consultants from three different countries. By design, 75% of our IDEAS consultants and trainers are citizens of developing countries. Of these, 65% have been from Latin America and 35% have been from Africa and Asia. Our preference is that at least 65% are women.One of IDEAS’ objectives is to build additional capacity of these skilled persons in training and technical assistance. IDEAS provides our clients with consultants who are native to the region, speak the local language, know the culture and issues, and are up to date with economic development in the region where they work.

We are seeking more consultants. If you have skills in one of the areas in our multitude of services described on this website and are interested in exploring being an Associate Consultant, please send a cover letter, a Curriculum Vitae, and a list of the consulting work that you have done. Send it to getinvolved@ideasnet.org  If you are interested, see the information in Become a Consultant.

Find out more about our Associate Consultants