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: Youth find work meeting new needs
Two young men sit outside the shop that's brought them a new source of income.
Indonesia: Cleaner tempeh, for health and profit
About an hour’s drive from the capital of Jakarta, Ribiyanto, a 37-year-old small business owner, is going about his daily task of making tempeh. The product, which is derived from fermented soybean, is a staple in the Indonesian diet.
Myanmar: Innovative conservation efforts honored
Mercy Corps' innovative efforts to save valuable mangroves in Myanmar has won a big accolade.
Kenya: Choosing opportunity over violence
Earlier this summer I spent three weeks in Kenya with Mercy Corps colleagues who are implementing an ambitious program called “Yes Youth Can!” (YYC).
Kenya: Young people shape their economic future
Young people in Kenya face enormous hurdles. Today, the youth unemployment rate is an alarming 65% and growing. Suffering with few job prospects and a slow economy, many young people have been lured into violence fueled by political and tribal conflict.
Afghanistan: Students welcome visit from British government official
The normal school day at our vocational training center in rural Lashkar Gah, Afghanistan was recently shaken up — but students were eager to discuss the changes education has brought to their lives.
South Sudan: Building on hope one year after independence
South Sudan Country Director Mathieu Rouquette met these two little girls in the market in Bentiu, Unity State, when they peeked their heads into a camera shop that recently received a Mercy Corps business grant.
South Sudan: From the field: Local market perseveres after attacks
Mercy Corps staff visit the local market in Bentiu that was damaged in recent aerial attacks, part of the ongoing conflict with Sudan to the north.
South Sudan: Back to work after bombings
Much of our work is about giving people the resources they need to build healthy, safe and productive lives for the longterm. To do so in areas where conflict threatens not just livelihoods, but lives, can be especially challenging.
Afghanistan: Fathers and sons learn a trade together
Multiple generations are learning new job skills like carpentry in Afghanistan's Helmand province, where decades of conflict have limited opportunities to earn an income.