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: 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.
Ethiopia: Women transform small loans into progress and purpose
Like clockwork, every time I visit the Addis Ababa, Ethiopia-based Women in Self Employment (WISE) organization, my very first impressions are of the wonderful hospitality of the Ethiopian people.
Afghanistan: New graduates yield unexpected returns
The latest group of students to graduate from our vocational training program in southern Afghanistan — more than 3,600 of them — show that real success is giving young people hope.
South Sudan: Fighting prompts staff to evacuate border town
All but two Mercy Corps staff members have been evacuated from Bentiu, the beleaguered border town that has been in the news recently as the target of Sudanese air strikes.
Afghanistan: Behind the camera: Chickens that change lives
A photographer in Afghanistan experiences first-hand the tension and risk women face as they try to earn a living and tell their story.
Japan: Biodiesel enterprise fuels economic recovery
If you had never visited Japan’s tsunami-ravaged coast until this week, the bleak landscape where homes and businesses once stood would be sobering.
Kenya: Kids in Kenya
Pictured are school children from the community of Kenyanjeri, which participates in our Yes Youth Can! program.
Afghanistan: Education against all odds: Job skills open up new world
Our INVEST vocational training program gives women in Helmand province an opportunity to go to school and earn an income for the first time in a generation. Meet Shamsiya, who is bravely seizing her brand new opportunities.
West Bank and Gaza: Digital opportunities transcend borders
In Gaza, information technology is one of the only ways to connect to a productive future. See what Alaa and her visionary peers achieved at Gaza's first-ever Startup Weekend.
Haiti: Female entrepreneurs bounce back
Haiti is a land of micro-entrepreneurs. In every town, on every street, shopkeepers, traders and craftsmen are working hard to provide their communities with the essential goods and services of daily life — and in so doing, lift their own families from poverty.