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
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.”
India: Promoting Fuel-Efficiency in Darjeeling October 8, 2009
Kyrgyzstan: Microfinance and development in Kyrgyzstan October 8, 2009
Kompanion News is distributed in Kyrgyzstan to highlight the development work that Mercy Corps and Kompanion, Mercy Corps’ microfinance institution, undertake in the country.
Zimbabwe: A chance for the people of Zimbabwe October 2, 2009
Uganda: The resilence of children September 30, 2009
Today I learned about the true resilience of children.
Central African Republic: Standing up for their futures September 26, 2009
I went to spend the afternoon with one of Mercy Corps’ partners for the Women’s Empowerment Program in a slum area on the outskirts of Bangui. The group is called Terrespoir, which translates to Land and Hope.