The toughest challenges demand the boldest ideas. That’s why Mercy Corps identifies self-sustaining, scalable business ideas that can break through cycles of poverty and deliver social benefit to millions of people in the developing world.
How we innovate
Mercy Corps tests ideas in the field, measures the results, and scales the most promising.
Mercy Corps’ 4,000 global team members
Our on-the-ground insight into how local markets and systems function gives us a deep understanding of the problems people face every day — and our teams are constantly generating promising new ideas to address them.
With support from our Social Ventures Team
With their expertise in business, finance, technology, product design and consumer insight, Mercy Corps’ Social Ventures team turns ideas into scalable businesses in emerging markets, acting like an internal incubation and acceleration lab.
And with you: Mercy Corps Social Venture Fund
Mercy Corps’ Social Venture Fund provides early-stage financing to build social businesses and drive them toward commercial viability. Supported through philanthropic donations, the Social Venture Fund advises and invests in Mercy Corps’ highest-potential emerging ventures — those that are able to demonstrate strong potential for financial sustainability, social impact and scale. Learn more and partner with us ▸
Innovations: Our track Record
Poverty. Hunger. Conflict. Mercy Corps sees the world’s toughest challenges as an invitation to bring big ideas and bold action together with local insight. But our goal is always the same: to strengthen families so they can build better lives.
What's possible when we think differently and pursue bold ideas? Our impact:
Stronger small businesses. Our specialized micro-insurance products and eight microfinance institutions have connected countless entrepreneurs with resources and expertise.
Bigger harvests. We bring together the right people — and technology — so farmers have the knowledge and tools they need to earn more.
Better family health. We make sure families have the products and information they need to stay healthy, whether it’s a microfranchise of mini health shops, or clean cookstoves and solar lanterns.
All stories about Innovations
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.
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.