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 one-time grant can help save lives in Haiti
In early January, Louis Jeune Dadyne had finally infiltrated a Mercy Corps Mobile Money event. She sat quietly in the back of the small, outdoor classroom, next to a particularly rambunctious prospective vendor.
Somalia: Stitching together her place in the market
It was midday and the weather wasn’t favorable. The heat was scorching and everyone wanted to be in the shade.
Somalia: Encouraging local culture through peaceful change
Iraq: Finding the story
I work with Awatif in southern Iraq, but we had to travel across the country to get to know one another.
Nicaragua: Mentoring businesses in Nicaragua
As MicroMentor's Central American partner, we are working to promote business mentoring in a society where entrepreneurs are facing tough economic, social, and environmental circumstances - often with little or no support.
Greetings from Davos, Switzerland
In the past couple of weeks, I’ve traveled from Haiti to South Sudan to this Swiss mountain village where the World Economic Forum (WEF) holds its annual meeting on the state of the world’s economy.
Zimbabwe: Urban gardens nourish families and communities
Until last year, 81-year-old Lucia Mbanje and her family of six, all residents of impoverished Sakubva township in Mutare, could not afford a balanced diet due to the prohibitive cost of vegetables in Zimbabwe as a result of the economic crisis.
Haiti: Interviews in the camps, a year later
A few days ago, I went out to the Mojapta displacement camp, where Mercy Corps is providing clean water and sanitation to families, to ask earthquake survivors about their experiences today — and of the last year. Gilberte Jean, 23
Nicaragua: ¡Vivan los empresarios!: Mentoring entrepreneurs in Central America
Starting with just a sewing machine, Aida Mayorga and Oscar Garcia built a business that now employs more than 50 workers and promotes positive environmental and social business practices.
Haiti: Introducing Haiti's first mobile wallet
Mercy Corps has teamed up with mobile operator Voilà and Haitian bank Unibank to introduce Haiti's first "mobile wallet," a cellphone account that can store savings and work like a debit card.