The toughest places demand the boldest ideas and solutions. That’s why Mercy Corps partners with creative thinkers from the private and public sectors to develop social innovations that transform lives. New technology, business models and creative partnerships provide transformational opportunities for overcoming poverty and despair. We leverage our robust global program platform to identify breakthrough ideas, test them in the field, and scale them broadly.
We often take a shared value approach in our partnerships with the private sector, and focus our efforts in two key areas: financial services and last mile distribution.
Learn more about these social enterprises and shared value models at work in the Mercy Corps world. Download the fact sheet ▸
Through savings, insurance and loans, we enable individuals to grow their businesses with confidence, knowing they will be able to weather unforeseen setbacks.
- MiCRO: Haiti, Colombia, Central America
- Bank Andara: Indonesia
- Agri-Fin Mobile: Indonesia, Uganda, Zimbabwe
- Mobile money: Haiti
The Microinsurance Catastrophe Risk Organization offers microinsurance products that protect clients, mainly women, from the economic aftermath of severe natural disasters.
This commercial bank exclusively caters toward serving Indonesia’s microfinance sector with the capital, and financial and technical services they need to better serve low-income small business owners.
Agri-Fin Mobile uses mobile technology to provide small-scale farmers with “bundled,” localized financial services, market information and agricultural expertise.
Our first-of-its-kind mobile money food security program helped poor and rural people to receive, withdraw and transfer funds as well as pay for goods from affiliated merchants via a mobile phone.
Last mile distribution
Poor people in rural areas are usually the last to access new technologies and information. Mercy Corps finds ways to extend the benefits of these advances through the power of mobile networks, online resources, and new sales and distribution models.
- KeBAL: Indonesia
- Tiendas de la Salud: Guatemala
- Red Tierras: Bolivia, Guatemala, Colombia
- Rural energy: East Timor, Haiti, Nigeria and Uganda
Our for-profit food cart microfranchise in urban Jakarta creates jobs and helps meet the nutritional needs of kids under five years old.
This microfranchised network of health stores supplies high-quality, low-cost medicines to rural areas.
Red Tierras connects land rights practitioners from marginalized communities, NGOs and government agencies to accelerate the process of securing land rights and make it more cost effective.
To increase energy access and economic opportunities for rural communities, we identify and train supply chain actors, tailor appropriate finance mechanisms, and develop business skills among local micro-entrepreneurs and retailers.
All stories about Innovations
West Bank and Gaza: Online Arabic freelancer network launches in Gaza April 5, 2012
After winning third place in the first-ever Startup Weekend in Gaza this past December, AnaLancer has launched an “expert-sourcing platform” that connects freelancers from the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) with business owners worldwide.
Uganda: Solar energy reaches northern Uganda February 20, 2012
In an effort to provide sustainable energy and invigorate small business, Mercy Corps teams worked over the last year to connect large-scale solar power companies in Uganda's capital of Kampala with merchants in rural northern Pader to offer affordable solar power equipment to residents.
Haiti: Protecting small business owners in Haiti February 9, 2012
After the devastation of the earthquake two years ago, Mercy Corps developed MiCRO (Microinsurance Catastrophic Risk Organization) to protect small business owners, especially women, from natural disasters.
West Bank and Gaza: Telling young tech entrepreneurs to go fish February 4, 2012
Last week, Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood was abuzz with a rare combination of techies, social investors, Arab world watchers and humanitarians.
West Bank and Gaza: Inspired youth at first Gaza Startup Weekend February 2, 2012
Mercy Corps' Arab Developer Network Initiative, in partnership with Google, helped host the first ever Gaza Startup Weekend in December 2011, giving Palestinian youth the opportunity to develop and launch their web development ideas.
West Bank and Gaza: Inspiring tech innovation at Gaza Startup Weekend February 1, 2012
Gaza isn’t necessarily the first place you think of for a Startup Weekend.
Ethiopia: Grain storage bags make a big impact for Ethiopia's farmers January 27, 2012
Our Ethiopia teams worked with local farmers to develop a simple solution to yield more from grain harvests: plastic coated bags to protect the grain from pests and mold during longterm storage underground.
West Bank and Gaza: Getting Google to Gaza November 1, 2011
Through an innovative Mercy Corps’ partnership with Google and the Source of Hope Foundation, young Palestinian web developers receive firsthand training and mentoring from engineers and business people from cutting-edge technology companies – as well as potential seed capital funding.
West Bank and Gaza: Empowering the techno-geeks of Palestine October 10, 2011
This summer, I attended an event in the Gaza Strip with 100 computer-science students and budding entrepreneurs about the latest open-source software and development tools, showcased by engineers visiting from Google.
Haiti: Mobile banking customer in Saint-Marc, Haiti August 5, 2011
One of the storeowners in Saint-Marc, Haiti, supported by Mercy Corps' Mobile Money program.