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: Leaving the past behind November 23, 2009
West Bank and Gaza: We're all the beneficiaries November 21, 2009
Indonesia: Faster is better November 19, 2009
Every morning at 3:30, Ridwan starts making tempeh. He’s been doing this for almost 18 years.
Liberia: Mama na come November 19, 2009
Liberians have lots of great expressions, and I've enjoyed learning some of them as we traveled the country. I've shared a few of them here on my blog — how da body, tryin' small, a fish cup of rice.
Tajikistan: Six days on the road November 18, 2009
I'm both exhausted and exhilarated by my six-day journey through the red clay rocky back-roads of Tajikistan's border area with Kyrgyzstan in the Rasht Valley.
Liberia: Cocoa, arm wrestling and opportunity November 12, 2009
Annie Garfree has six children, three daughters and three sons. Only her boys are currently in school. But she's eager to make sure all of them get an education.
Indonesia: Lasting change November 7, 2009
Behavior is hard to change. I know. I’ve tried. Even with support, it’s still extraordinarily difficult to change. To learn new skills. To give up character flaws. To be a better person.
Indonesia: Can you spare a square? November 4, 2009
I didn’t expect my first blog post from the field to be about sanitation. I thought maybe microfinance or agriculture programs or mobile commerce. Something unique, innovative, life changing. But sanitation? Toilets? Hand washing? What could be less cutting edge?
Delivering aid to Samoa's survivors October 11, 2009
It has been an unforgettable week. As a starter, let me share this photo of the formally picturesque village of Lalomanu where South Pacific Business Development (SPBD) once had 21 thriving micro-entrepreneurs. After the tsunami, Lalomanu is gone.
Indonesia: Lead them to a better future October 9, 2009
I started my day with a cup of tea while reading a local newspaper, Padang Ekspres, this morning. The headline for today’s edition read “70 percent of the business economy is destroyed.”