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
South Sudan: South Sudan - The birth of a nation July 5, 2011
Mercy Corps began programs in South Sudan in 2004 to help devastated communities rebuild after decades of civil war. As South Sudan declares its independence from the north, Mercy Corps staff looks at the progress the people have made in the past six years.
Sudan: Mayol Dau inside his shop July 5, 2011
Mayol Dau does three things in his shop: credit card transfers over the phone, repair of mobile phones and recharging of mobile phone batteries.
Sudan: Mayol Dau outside his shop in Aweng, Sudan July 5, 2011
Fifteen-year-old Mayol Dau started a cell phone business, with help from Mercy Corps, to help his family buy food. Now he's also using the money to pay for school fees to further his studies.
South Sudan: Mayol: the 15-Year-old entrepreneur July 5, 2011
Mayol Dau is 15 years old and is an entrepreneur in Aweng, Twic County. Twic County is a remote area of South Sudan that has no paved roads and very little infrastructure, but that has not slowed down the business instincts of this teenage boy.
Indonesia: Saving for the future, one coffee harvest at a time July 3, 2011
Guatemala: Mercy Corps Guatemala program featured in USAID Frontlines magazine June 23, 2011
USAID's Frontlines magazine recently showcased Mercy Corps Guatemala’s Innovative Market Alliance for Rural Entrepreneurs (IMARE) program through the personal story of Delma Gomez, one of t
Internships build hope for Kosovan youth June 16, 2011
For 20-year-old Albana Konjuhi from Kosovo, interning paved the way to success in the future job market.
Nepal: To combat hunger, Janaki learns new ways to grow, store and sell June 16, 2011
I’m pretty sure Bill Gates hasn’t met Janaki Bhatta. But I’m just as sure he’d see in her a kindred spirit — a feisty entrepreneur who’s taking some smart steps to increase her yields of aloo (potato) and audha (ginger) — and the income she earns from them.
India: Shubina, the bee-keeper of Kashmir June 16, 2011
The upper Kashmir Valley, lined by the foothills of the Himalayas, is an idyllic spot for raising honeybees. Saffron and mustard flowers, apple blossoms and acacia blanket the valley.
Nepal: Khadga Ramtel in Katwalguan village June 15, 2011
Mercy Corps’ Khadga Ramtel, a monitoring and evaluation officer for our agricultural and infrastructure work, talks with women in the village of Katwalguan.