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
Mongolia: Yak slippers point to the future of small business
Holding a child's slipper — deep chocolate brown with a strong leather sole — I marvel at the fine warmth of the yak felt and realize this is not just a shoe.
Uganda: Solar energy reaches northern Uganda
Myanmar: A father plants seeds for a new future
A wide grin spreads across U Myo Zaw’s long, lively face as he eyes his new watering cans and vegetable seeds. The relatively simple supplies will help him cultivate his own small plot of land, a tremendous symbol of personal progress for him.
Kenya: "Yes Youth Can" gears up to train young entrepreneurs
Charles Kosgei is a highly skilled carpenter from the village of Soba in the Rift Valley, Kenya. Having just learned about Mercy Corps' "Yes Youth Can!" program, he says he's excited by the opportunity to have two or three youth trainees join him in a project.
Afghanistan: Young man learns sewing trade
Our INVEST program helps men — and now women, too — learn job skills that put them on a path toward economic independence.
Iraq: A safer walk to school in Basra
Flying into Basra in southern Iraq for the first time, all I could see was desert and the occasional smoke plumes from the oil fields.
Haiti: Protecting small business owners in Haiti
Japan: Small business helps the youngest survivors
Today my heart sang. After days of seeing destruction and rubble, I got to visit the tiniest tsunami survivors at a day care in Kesennuma, Japan. After it was destroyed in the tsunami, the day care was recently restarted with Mercy Corps' help .
Japan: Signs of progress in tsunami recovery
I’ve spent about half of my time in Japan since the March 11 tsunami, working with our partners on the various relief and recovery projects. And each visit — whether I’m there a few months or just a couple weeks — presents a new face on the recovery.
West Bank and Gaza: Telling young tech entrepreneurs to go fish
Last week, Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood was abuzz with a rare combination of techies, social investors, Arab world watchers and humanitarians.