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
Indonesia: Fighting poverty in the Spice Islands June 5, 2013
Amid the tropical beauty of Indonesia's Maluku islands some families are living on less than 36 cents a day. We're helping spice farmers turn the abundance all around them into profit.
Bolivia: Mobile phones bring land ownership to indigenous farmers April 11, 2013
How new technology is helping rural communities achieve greater equality.
Ethiopia: Behind the camera: Eating from the same table March 14, 2013
Kuye's mother, Taiko, is feisty and determined. It's no surprise she's doing everything she can to keep her daughter in school.
Japan: Reflections on two years supporting tsunami-hit communities March 7, 2013
The 200 local small businesses we’ve reached are collectively the region’s largest employer. They also lie at the center of community life, and are a critical part of the recovery for everyone here.
Japan: Update: Two years since the tsunami March 7, 2013
Much has changed in Japan in the past two years, yet much has painfully stayed the same in the tsunami zone. Mercy Corps assisted in the emergent aftermath of the disaster, and has continued to provide support for local small merchants, helping to revive the badly struggling local economies.
Yemen: Fetching water for families in Taiz March 1, 2013
An increased supply and new distribution programs help secure clean water — and provide jobs in Yemen's poorest communities.
Central African Republic, Timor-Leste: Employees engaged to drive strategic community investment February 21, 2013
Western Union's new Innovation Awards ask employees to choose which Mercy Corps initiatives to invest in. The first two awards are funding economic development programs in the Central African Republic and Timor-Leste.
Haiti: What does resilience look like? January 22, 2013
Discussions at the World Economic Forum's annual meeting this week will focus on how to better prepare for and minimize disasters of the future. In Haiti, we've been investing in communities to do just that.
Haiti: Three years later, investing in the long-term January 11, 2013
Since the January 2010 earthquake, Mercy Corps has reached more than 1.6 million people with lifesaving assistance. Now, we're investing in youth, small business owners and rural communities to build back stronger.
Haiti: Building back stronger January 9, 2013
Through programs that empower young people, support entrepreneurs, and protect valuable natural resources, Haitians are finding new reasons to hope.