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
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.
Haiti: The source of Haiti's success
Haiti: Help for Haiti's homeless
After his house collapsed in the earthquake, Junior Moise, 30, had no better option than to move his wife and daughter to a tent camp near Frere Road in Port-au-Prince.
Haiti: The long road to recovery
The Jan. 12, 2010, earthquake in Haiti decimated the capital city of Port-au-Prince, killing more than 230,000 people. It was a tragic blow to a country where 55 percent of the population already lived below the poverty line of $1 a day.
Sudan: Out of destruction, rebuilding hope in Abyei
It has been just over two and a half years since clashes between the northern Sudan Armed Forces and the southern Sudan People’s Liberation Army burned Abyei town to the ground.
Haiti: Mobile money in Haiti
Around 6:30 on Friday morning, I left Port-au-Prince with Nick Kristof, Sheryl WuDunn and their two teenage kids to Saint Marc, a seaside city about a two and a half hour drive north of the capital, to check out Mercy Corps' use of mobile phones to deliver assistance to earthquake-affected famili
Indonesia: Bringing healthy street food to Tegal Alur
“Hi friends! Come to My Child's Café… choose and get various healthy snacks here,” said a catchy jingle that played during over the grand opening of My Child Café and its healthy kitchen in West Jakarta's impoverished Tegal Alur neighborhood.
Central African Republic: Hadja becomes an entrepreneur
Hadja had never engaged in commerce, and had never had an opportunity to generate her own income — until she joined the Mercy Corps Village Savings and Loan Association.
Find a mentor. Be a mentor. Build a business.
Business mentoring isn’t a new concept for many professionals — but the way these connections are happening is changing faster than ever. Breaking out of the mentoring program mold is the Mercy Corps program MicroMentor, best described as a Match.com for business mentoring.