Watch the video above to learn how we’re empowering young people in Africa to go after their dreams, start their own businesses, and succeed — no matter what challenges they may face.
A roadside stand in South Sudan selling soap; an internet start-up in Gaza; a tofu processing plant in Indonesia: The global economy is connected by complex and dynamic markets. Mercy Corps believes in harnessing this inherent power to provide better opportunities for the world’s poor and vulnerable, half of whom live on less than $2/day.
Local communities themselves have the ability to drive this change and no two situations are alike. For this reason, we take a holistic, locally-led approach, working with communities, their systems and structures to build businesses, increase income and improve employment opportunities. Even in the most fragile and informal markets, we focus on intentional, market-based solutions, ones which can succeed and expand long after we’ve left.
Mercy Corps promotes safe, decent and equitable income opportunities for individuals around the world.
Forty-two percent of the world is under the age of 25; Mercy Corps tailors employment programming to the unique needs of male and female youth.
All stories about Economic opportunity
Afghanistan: Behind the camera: Chickens that change lives
A photographer in Afghanistan experiences first-hand the tension and risk women face as they try to earn a living and tell their story.
Japan: Biodiesel enterprise fuels economic recovery
If you had never visited Japan’s tsunami-ravaged coast until this week, the bleak landscape where homes and businesses once stood would be sobering.
Kenya: Kids in Kenya
Pictured are school children from the community of Kenyanjeri, which participates in our Yes Youth Can! program.
Afghanistan: Education against all odds: Job skills open up new world
Our INVEST vocational training program gives women in Helmand province an opportunity to go to school and earn an income for the first time in a generation. Meet Shamsiya, who is bravely seizing her brand new opportunities.
West Bank and Gaza: Digital opportunities transcend borders
In Gaza, information technology is one of the only ways to connect to a productive future. See what Alaa and her visionary peers achieved at Gaza's first-ever Startup Weekend.
Haiti: Female entrepreneurs bounce back
Haiti is a land of micro-entrepreneurs. In every town, on every street, shopkeepers, traders and craftsmen are working hard to provide their communities with the essential goods and services of daily life — and in so doing, lift their own families from poverty.
West Bank and Gaza: Online Arabic freelancer network launches in Gaza
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.
Iraq: Empowered youth build stronger society
Salahadin in one of the hardest hit provinces in Iraq. Just north of Baghdad, services here are hard to come by and the security situation is often critical. But it is also the center of a groundswell of civic activism and organization.
Japan: Images: From ruin to renewal
Twelve months after the tsunami that devastated Japan's northeast coast, reminders of the tragedy are everywhere — but so is an incredible resilience and hope to rebuild the future.
Japan: Seaweed harvest brings fresh start to coastal towns
If you have ever eaten a traditional Japanese meal, chances are you’ve had a taste of wakame seaweed. Harvested in early spring, it is most often served in soups and salads.