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
India: Catching up with old friends
I should clarify that before a few weeks ago, I had never met Sonia and Rima. But when we met, I felt like I was catching up with old friends. I knew about the challenges they faced growing up on Assam's tea estates — and their aspirations to own their own successful beauty salon.
Tajikistan: Dress for success
Sitting in a room with four other girls, Gulshan Chorieva holds up a dress that she and the other sewing students have been working on under guidance of the master seamstress.
Tajikistan: Through a Caring Lens
Ethiopia: Partnering with Angelique Kidjo to help Ethiopian girls stay in school
Starting today, there will be more educational opportunities for young women in some of southern Ethiopia's poorest villages.
Ethiopia: Helping Ethiopia’s daughters stay in school
“These days, I can barely sleep because I am so excited with ideas on what to do next," says 38-year-old Felekech Endiris says with a smile. "I’m doing a bigger business. My family has enough to eat and I can afford medicines for my children now.”
Alleviating energy poverty
Energy poverty and community-based energy solutions have been back in the news lately, and have been a focus of Mercy Corps’ programming for the last couple of years.
Uganda: Truly, skills for employment and skills for life
A few weeks ago, I was honored to serve as the Chief Judge at an interschool debate on HIV/AIDS prevention. Under a perfect blue Ugandan sky, youth from two neighboring schools prepared to deliver remarks on the importance of abstinence, safe sex, delayed marriage and healthy life choices.
Ethiopia: Celebrating a new home
Just three months ago, Temam Khiyar was homeless. He lived with his wife and their four children in a lean-to constructed of wooden poles and scrap cloth on the hard red clay of a vacant lot. Not any more.
Ethiopia: Standing her ground and springing back
In many places around the world, drought withers lawns. In Ethiopia, drought withers lives. "When I was young, I was beautiful," says 50-year-old Zesino Mohamed Shiro. "But years of drought and not having enough to eat makes you old."
Ethiopia: What’s beyond Paradise