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
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.
Haiti: Testing out mobile money in Haiti November 30, 2010
Jokebed Auguste, 31, and Benita Bellevue, 29, walk side by side as we make our way to the Market St. Pierre, a local convenience store in Mirebalais.
Haiti: On the road, sharing good news about Haiti October 11, 2010
For the past two weeks or so, I’ve been on the road between New York and Washington, DC, attending meetings, conferences and learning events, as well as spending time with our partners and key Mercy Corps staff.
Uganda: Truly, skills for employment and skills for life September 14, 2010
A few weeks ago, I was honored to serve as the Chief Judge at an interschool debate on HIV/AIDS prevention. Under a perfect blue Ugandan sky, youth from two neighboring schools prepared to deliver remarks on the importance of abstinence, safe sex, delayed marriage and healthy life choices.
China: Welcoming Mercy Corps' newest friends August 9, 2010
While Mercy Corps works in dozens of far-flung locations across the world, we are proud to call the state of Oregon and the city of Portland home. It’s the place that nurtured the culture of innovation, collaboration, and optimism (with a touch of scrappiness) that we prize to this day.
Spreading the good word of storytelling April 12, 2010
I spend most of each workday for Mercy Corps either writing or editing stories. This past weekend, I got to teach a class on why stories matter for all of us.
Tackling complex urban development challenges March 24, 2010
The UN-Habitat World Urban Forum is the world’s largest global meeting on cities. Its fifth session — happening this week in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil — has a record 21,000 delegates from across the globe.
Haiti: Haiti, nine weeks after the earthquake — what happens next March 9, 2010
Week 9 post-earthquake: Mercy Corps, like our partners and peers, has been focused on emergency response. We’ve been busy with distributions, Comfort for Kids, water and sanitation provision, and more.