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
Haiti: A culture of entrepreneurship June 2, 2011
Mention of Haiti often brings forth images of rampant unemployment, desperation and a society of people who are just barely making ends meet. While this is not an incorrect image, it is incomplete.
Kyrgyzstan: Cash to improve food security in southern Kyrgyzstan June 2, 2011
On a recent crisp spring day in Osh, I was milling about one of our distribution sites in the Alymbek-Datka neighborhood, chatting with program participants.
Haiti: What is your wish for Haiti? May 31, 2011
This is not the type of question you hear very often here. Everyone talks about what Haiti needs: shelter, infrastructure, healthcare. But it is rare to ask Haitians what they wish for their country.
Haiti: Market fairs acting as mobile money boot camp in Haiti May 25, 2011
On May 13, the Haiti Economic Recovery Team arrived on site in Saint-Marc’s 5eme section to witness our first market fair.
Japan: Taking back the sea May 18, 2011
Kesennuma, Japan is a city of the sea. Before the tsunami hit northeastern Japan on March 11, more than 85 percent of its 73,000 citizens were involved in the fishing industry in some way.
Japan: Returning to Touhoku May 13, 2011
Haiti: From walkie-talkies to mobile banking April 30, 2011
Morse Alexis welcomes customers into his small shop with a warm smile and asks how he can help. He discusses prices and availability of his products, which vary from rice and beans to sodas to vegetables. Morse is married, 46 years old, with one son and another child on the way.
Haiti: Insuring Haiti's small businesses April 19, 2011
Late last month, a number of businessmen, journalists and community organizers gathered in Port-au-Prince to witness the launch of the Microinsurance Catastrophe Risk Organization (MiCRO).
Niger: Four "H"s united for one goal April 11, 2011
The name "4H" is really a pure coincidence: these four colleagues from the same Mercy Corps project in Niger are called Hadiza, Halima, Hadiara and Hadiza.
Japan: Warmth and wreckage in Kesennuma April 9, 2011
Wednesday morning I went with my colleagues Yohei and Ryu from Peace Winds Japan to help deliver kerosene heaters. The northeast of Japan where the tsunami struck is still cold even in April, with temperatures around freezing at night and sometimes during the day as well.