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: Winter in Afghanistan brings its own challenges January 31, 2012
In freezing conditions, Afghanistan's most vulnerable are in need of water and warmth. As we help them cope with immediate needs, we're also building a stronger economy to help break the cycle of poverty.
Haiti: From relief to recovery: Images from two years in Haiti January 11, 2012
Haiti: Helping small business owners succeed January 11, 2012
Two years after the devastating earthquake, small businesses are more crucial for Haiti’s economy than ever before.
Mongolia: Songs of success January 6, 2012
Tserennadmid is a woman with plenty to sing about. Her company, Zugraan Egshig, or Six Tunes, is a thriving tourism and produce business located in an especially scenic region of Mongolia's Arkhangai province.
Nepal: From unbanked to borrowers December 14, 2011
If you’re a bank, eastern Nepal might not seem like the most desirable place to open new branches.
Myanmar: Cookstoves to the rescue December 8, 2011
Myat Soe and his family lost their house, fishing business and small grocery in the 2008 cyclone that devastated Myanmar's Ayeyarwady Delta. Afterwards, they moved in with his father and struggled just to make ends meet.
Haiti: Insuring women-owned businesses against natural disaster December 1, 2011
I have been in Haiti for a mere 36 hours and have already waded through a river, trekked through rice fields, climbed mountains and stumbled upon a buzzing open market in a remote village in the Central Plateau.
Myanmar: Changing times November 30, 2011
Change was a theme that kept cropping up during my visit to Myanmar earlier this year. The changes the country has seen since my grandfather lived there in the 1940s. The changes Cyclone Nargis brought in 2008 to the thousands of families it affected.
Mongolia: Khureltogoo, carpenter in rural Mongolia November 23, 2011
Since 2005, Khureltogoo has secured two loans totaling $16,000 thanks to guarantees provided by Mercy Corps. He used them to renovate a workshop, add a drying facility and purchase high-powered, modern equipment.
Japan: Restarting small businesses November 14, 2011