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
Haiti: Mobile wallets help Haitians rebuild August 3, 2011
Families needed food. Small vendors and local economies needed cash. And it turns out the solution to this Catch-22 was right in the hands — or the pockets — of most Haitians.
Indonesia: Kid-friendly food carts take on child malnutrition August 2, 2011
The slums of Jakarta, Indonesia are home to some of the poorest families in Asia. The city — one of the largest metropolitan areas in the world, with more than 28 million people — has dozens of such places, where thousands of people live cramped in close quarters.
Guatemala: Rural micropharmacies offer medicine for all July 28, 2011
Sustainable Community Health Stores is a new way of addressing the rural healthcare problem. It helps local families start small businesses while providing much-needed medicines in underserved communities.
Indonesia: Wholesale bank brings financial services to the poor June 22, 2011
In Indonesia, millions of people are self-employed through small businesses. But only a small percentage of them have had access to the formal financial services that help people move permanently out of poverty.
Haiti: A culture of entrepreneurship June 2, 2011
Mention of Haiti often brings forth images of rampant unemployment, desperation and a society of people who are just barely making ends meet. While this is not an incorrect image, it is incomplete.
Haiti: What is your wish for Haiti? May 31, 2011
This is not the type of question you hear very often here. Everyone talks about what Haiti needs: shelter, infrastructure, healthcare. But it is rare to ask Haitians what they wish for their country.
Nicaragua: ¡Vivan los empresarios!: Mentoring entrepreneurs in Central America January 6, 2011
Starting with just a sewing machine, Aida Mayorga and Oscar Garcia built a business that now employs more than 50 workers and promotes positive environmental and social business practices.
Central African Republic: Hadja becomes an entrepreneur December 20, 2010
Hadja had never engaged in commerce, and had never had an opportunity to generate her own income — until she joined the Mercy Corps Village Savings and Loan Association.
Find a mentor. Be a mentor. Build a business. December 18, 2010
Business mentoring isn’t a new concept for many professionals — but the way these connections are happening is changing faster than ever. Breaking out of the mentoring program mold is the Mercy Corps program MicroMentor, best described as a Match.com for business mentoring.
China: All-China Youth Federation Delegation to Oregon, June 2010 December 17, 2010
Mercy Corps has worked with the All-China Youth Federation (ACYF) to develop the Social Innovator Leadership Program.