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
Central African Republic: Baking a better future in Africa April 19, 2010
In the impoverished Central African Republic, we're finding ways to help women like Edwige feed her family by expanding their economic opportunities.
Haiti: Helping ensure that small Haitian businesses can start over April 18, 2010
One of Mercy Corps’ first interventions in Haiti was engaging in a partnership with Fonkoze, a leading Haitian microfinance institution that works with women.
Afghanistan: Almonds for Afghanistan: A farmer tries his hand at a high-value crop April 15, 2010
I picked my way gingerly though the rows of young, green wheat as our host, farmer Ahmed Shah*, the Mercy Corps project manager and a few agriculture experts strode ahead across the field.
Liberia: On market day in Gio Town, farmers learn a new way to extract palm oil March 31, 2010
Wednesday is market day in Gio Town, a small village in Liberia’s Grand Bassa County. By mid-morning the stalls are crowded with vendors and shoppers.
Liberia: A sweet business: Cocoa brings new hope to Liberian farmers March 31, 2010
Liberia is a lush tropical rainforest, just the right climate to grow cocoa beans. And before the country’s two civil wars, it did just that.
Indonesia: Kedai Balitaku provides employment March 31, 2010
Mrs. Anik joined Kedai Balitaku Aceh — Mercy Corps' Child Nutrition Program that helps vendors sell healthy foods to children — in December 2009.
Indonesia: Helping the baby get better March 25, 2010
My name is Muhammad Rizal. I’m working with Mercy Corps as the Marketing Officer for a nutrition program called Kedai Balitaku in Aceh Province, Indonesia.
Liberia: Redefining success: My journey to Liberia March 17, 2010
Glance down a deeply rutted Monrovia side street and you may see, at the end of the block, a glimpse of palm trees, sandy coastline and the rolling ocean. Blink, and you may briefly imagine you’re in Mexico or another beachy getaway.
Liberia: Changing her life with goats March 17, 2010
Victoria Dannies, 33, is divorced, with three daughters and two sons. Thanks to the training she received in Mercy Corps’ Youth Education for Life Skills (YES) program, she’s able to take good care of herself and her children.
Liberia: Tiny and tough March 17, 2010
Annie Garfree is 42, with five daughters and one son. She’s soft-spoken, with smart eyes and a steely determination.