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
Afghanistan: Shamsia: Profile of a Borrower January 3, 2007
My name is Shamsia. I am 31 years old and am from Kabul. I run a school for women where they learn how to sew, embroider, make jewelry, produce ‘chapans' (a traditional Afghan costume) and weave.
Afghanistan: Life in Shashtepa Takes a Turn For The Better January 3, 2007
Afghanistan: A Story of Glitter and Plastic Flowers January 3, 2007
A Stitch in Time November 30, 2006
Brus, Serbia - Many Serbs say that, the further south you travel in their country, the sadder the situation grows. But you wouldn't know that from meeting Nevenka Mihalovic.
South Sudan: Generating Market Opportunities November 10, 2006
Agok, southern Sudan — Before April of this year, whatever hustle and bustle existed in this lightly populated farming town typically ceased after sunset.
Kyrgyzstan: Storing Up Value October 19, 2006
Tosor, Kyrgyzstan — Apples may be a fall fruit, but growers here think of them as a winter moneymaker.
Kyrgyzstan: Selling the Harvest October 19, 2006
Tamga, Kyrgyzstan — Mariam Jeenalieve's backyard orchard produces a colorful mix of apples: there's the Chinese Kulon Kitika, recognized by its alternate streaks of pink and lime-green, the golden-yellow Tashaima, and an inordinate number of pale-red McIntosh.
Kyrgyzstan: Learning to Grow October 19, 2006
Tamga, Kyrgyzstan — It's a crisp, late-September morning that feels perfect for plucking apples, and a tree in Murat Toguzbaev's backyard is sagging with dozens of plump Red Delicious varietals just ripe for the picking.
Kyrgyzstan: A New Breed of Development October 16, 2006
Kara Dobo, Kyrgyzstan — Veterinarian Joldosh Ibragimov doesn't exactly pine to return to the days before Kyrgyzstan gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. But he does fondly recall at least one thing about Soviet rule: big cows.
Lebanon: After the War, the Mattas Press On September 7, 2006
Kawkaba, Lebanon - Ask Assad Matta what the recent fighting did to the olive oil business and he just groans.