Markets, whether large or small, keep communities thriving. But conflicts, disasters and a lack of infrastructure can prevent people from conducting the daily transactions on which all growth and progress depend. Around the world, Mercy Corps discovers why commerce is stuck.
In some places, manufacturers need loans to purchase equipment and young people desire job skills. In others, key transportation routes to market must be rebuilt or farmers require better storage to keep their inventory fresh until sold.
Our economic development projects provide financing, equipment, training or technical support. These projects help people find jobs, build their businesses, supply their communities with the goods they need —and improve their lives.
All stories about Economic opportunity
Afghanistan: Women breaking down barriers in southern Afghanistan March 8, 2014
Vocational training and a revolutionary new women's market are giving many women the opportunity to earn their own income for the first time.
Japan: Businesses, communities thrive three years after disaster February 26, 2014
Since the 2011 tsunami devastated Japan's northern coast, we've helped 300 entrepreneurs heal their communities by reviving their small businesses.
Philippines: Rebuilding homes with mobile money February 12, 2014
In the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan, our mobile banking program is providing Filipinos, like Rodelyn and Zeny, with safe new roofs — and new opportunities.
Philippines: Mobile banking helps isolated families recover from Haiyan January 22, 2014
Our new mobile money program is speeding funds to typhoon-affected families, like the Franciscos, in remote regions of the Philippines.
Uganda: Making clean energy affordable far from the city October 30, 2013
Kerosene used for light and cooking is risky and costly. So why aren't families rushing to switch to fuel efficient cookstoves and solar units?
West Bank and Gaza: In the News: NPR's All Things Considered profiles Mercy Corps tech startups in Gaza October 17, 2013
Gaza is rich with educated youth but limited in job opportunities. We are working to develop Gaza as an innovative tech hub and support youth with startup dreams.
Indonesia: New initiative helps small businesses grow online September 24, 2013
Custom-Clouds will launch in Indonesia and offer affordable website services to connect entrepreneurs with an increasingly global economy.
Timor-Leste: Benefits of clean energy radiate through villages September 18, 2013
In Timor-Leste, 65 percent of the population does not have access to electricity. We're helping communities there build clean energy markets that improve their lives and strengthen their economies.
Kyrgyzstan: A new life starts with a small loan August 7, 2013
From barely being able to feed her family to sending her kids to college, Anarkan Mambetova's story is one of many successes we're seeing after building Kyrgyzstan's microfinance services for the last decade.
Myanmar: Empowering women in newly democratic country July 23, 2013
New opportunities are emerging for historically poor communities to pull themselves out of poverty. See how we're helping women take advantage of them.