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
DR Congo: In Congo, saving trees and lives
Last November and December I was working with Mercy Corps in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). I had the chance to make a photo essay on our work that the BBC is featuring on their website.
Central African Republic: Baking a better future in Africa
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.