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
India: Brewing change for ten years October 2, 2012
In Darjeeling, deep in the foothills of the Himalayas, and in Assam, nourished by a tropical river basin, the world's most favored teas are hand-planted, plucked and processed.
Liberia: Youth find work meeting new needs September 14, 2012
Two young men sit outside the shop that's brought them a new source of income.
Indonesia: Cleaner tempeh, for health and profit August 1, 2012
About an hour’s drive from the capital of Jakarta, Ribiyanto, a 37-year-old small business owner, is going about his daily task of making tempeh. The product, which is derived from fermented soybean, is a staple in the Indonesian diet.
Myanmar: Innovative conservation efforts honored July 31, 2012
Mercy Corps' innovative efforts to save valuable mangroves in Myanmar has won a big accolade.
Kenya: Choosing opportunity over violence July 30, 2012
Earlier this summer I spent three weeks in Kenya with Mercy Corps colleagues who are implementing an ambitious program called “Yes Youth Can!” (YYC).
Kenya: Young people shape their economic future July 30, 2012
Young people in Kenya face enormous hurdles. Today, the youth unemployment rate is an alarming 65% and growing. Suffering with few job prospects and a slow economy, many young people have been lured into violence fueled by political and tribal conflict.
Afghanistan: Students welcome visit from British government official July 12, 2012
The normal school day at our vocational training center in rural Lashkar Gah, Afghanistan was recently shaken up — but students were eager to discuss the changes education has brought to their lives.
South Sudan: Building on hope one year after independence July 9, 2012
South Sudan Country Director Mathieu Rouquette met these two little girls in the market in Bentiu, Unity State, when they peeked their heads into a camera shop that recently received a Mercy Corps business grant.
South Sudan: From the field: Local market perseveres after attacks June 21, 2012
Mercy Corps staff visit the local market in Bentiu that was damaged in recent aerial attacks, part of the ongoing conflict with Sudan to the north.
South Sudan: Back to work after bombings June 15, 2012
We hope we never have to use it, but we have a Contingency Plan for a reason. Mercy Corps has been working in Bentiu, Unity State, since 2005, and for the past year specifically helping people make a living in the local market with small business and farming support.