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
Timor-Leste: Benefits of clean energy radiate through villages
In Timor-Leste, 65 percent of the population does not have access to electricity. We're helping communities there build clean energy markets that improve their lives and strengthen their economies.
Kyrgyzstan: A new life starts with a small loan
From barely being able to feed her family to sending her kids to college, Anarkan Mambetova's story is one of many successes we're seeing after building Kyrgyzstan's microfinance services for the last decade.
Myanmar: Empowering women in newly democratic country
New opportunities are emerging for historically poor communities to pull themselves out of poverty. See how we're helping women take advantage of them.
Indonesia: New award for bringing mobile payments to rural farmers
Visa's Innovation Grant will allow us to deepen our commitment to using technology to improve people's lives in some of the most remote communities in Indonesia.
Haiti: Women entrepreneurs creating new opportunities
In Port-au-Prince, still recovering from the 2010 earthquake, financial stability is elusive. But tenacious women like Bilha believe in a better future.
Nepal: Testing the future of emergency assistance
We’ve been part of the mobile money revolution for some time, and now our latest efforts are being tested in Nepal — one of the poorest countries in the world.
West Bank and Gaza: Gaza Sky Geeks takes tech support to the next level
In the isolated Gaza Strip, economic instability is a constant. But in the months after November's conflict, our work with tech-savvy Palestinian youth has taken a new spin.
Indonesia: Fighting poverty in the Spice Islands
Amid the tropical beauty of Indonesia's Maluku islands some families are living on less than 36 cents a day. We're helping spice farmers turn the abundance all around them into profit.
Mobile phones bring land ownership to indigenous farmers
How new technology is helping rural communities achieve greater equality.
Ethiopia: Behind the camera: Eating from the same table
Kuye's mother, Taiko, is feisty and determined. It's no surprise she's doing everything she can to keep her daughter in school.