CEI’s philosophy and mission are rooted in the civil rights movement. Since its inception in 1977, CEI has grown and adapted to changing markets and new possibilities, always focused on helping people, especially those with low incomes, reach their full potential. Targeted sectors have included:
- value-added fisheries, farms and forest projects
- microenterprise development
- targeted job creation
- the creation of supported, rental and privately-owned housing
- assistance to women business owners
- child care facility development and
- support for refugees and new immigrants
…all to achieve social and economic justice within sustainable communities.
CEI lends and invests money and provides business counseling services to companies in Maine and New England. Company sizes vary from one employee to 500, in stages from start-up to mature. CEI also has a robust policy arm, through which it works legislatively and with its partners to meet its goals.
Through its business support and policy activities, CEI employs a holistic approach to address the complex, interwoven issues inherent in poverty alleviation, rural development and environmental sustainability. As a practitioner of sustainable development, CEI demonstrates methods that help businesses, individuals and communities achieve tangible changes that result in enhanced personal or community assets.
Click to read! CEI History: 25th Anniversary Report
Click to read! History of CEI: A Rural Community Development Corporation