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
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.
Zimbabwe: Beauty Jokonya with crop
Beauty Jokonya, a local farmer in Zimbabwe's Murehwa district, with bounty from her crop field — which, with help from Mercy Corps, she and her husband irrigate with a treadle pump.
Zimbabwe: Better living through treadle pumps
One of the greatest challenges that smallholder farmers face in Zimbabwe is how to irrigate bigger plots and get higher returns from their pieces of land.
Haiti: Celebrating the launch of mobile money in Haiti
Mercy Corps was recognized on Monday in a ceremony to announce the launch of T-cash, the Haitian mobile money service from telecom operator Voilà and Haitian bank Unibank.
Niger: Missed opportunities
In Niger, although women represent more than half of the population, they are victims of all kinds of discrimination. Despite their best efforts they mostly remain poor.
Uganda: ‘Staying lonely is not easy’
In a place for the displaced, two women share a common bond; one wisened and weathered, the other young, ambitious and full of ideas.
Yemen: Engaging youth for a peaceful and productive future
Mercy Corps opened offices in Yemen in October, 2010 to work with local partners to implement a United States Agency for International Development (USAID) program that engages young people in constructive community activities — thereby reducing their vulnerability to the negative influence of vio
Central African Republic: A source of strength to continue
Women who have been abandoned or abused find a safe haven at Mercy Corps' listening centers — and the support they need to build a successful life.