Innovation is the key to creating sustainable programs. Whether it's helping communities find financial solutions, using technology to improve crops or developing clean-energy strategies to save people money, our approach means trying different solutions and growing and replicating the ones that work best.
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 solutions.
Mercy Corps’ 5,500 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 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.
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 ▸
Through partnerships: Innovation Investment Alliance
Mercy Corps works with USAID and the Skoll Foundation to help proven, transformative and innovative organizations reach millions of people globally. Together, the Alliance invests in opportunities across the globe and in multiple sectors to create widespread positive transformation. Learn more ▸
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 produce more and 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.
Three steps for making the world a better place
With nearly 60 million people forcibly displaced from their homes, we are making the case for rethinking how to change a broke and broken humanitarian system in the face of a growing need for humanitarian aid.
Timor-Leste: Life of a girl: Solar power lights the way for Lourdes
Follow 15-year-old Lourdes through her day, and find out how Mercy Corps' clean energy program is helping her find time for her schoolwork among her other household responsibilities.
Timor-Leste: Fish ponds bring hope to hard-working families
As rice farmers cope with changing weather patterns, we're helping them build new sustainable sources of food and income.
Smart design speeds recovery for Haiyan survivors
Our partnership with IDEO.org and BanKO will create new financial products for families in the Philippines who have never had access to a bank.
Uganda: Making clean energy affordable far from the city
Kerosene used for light and cooking is risky and costly. So why aren't families rushing to switch to fuel efficient cookstoves and solar units?
Palestine (West Bank/Gaza): In the News: NPR's All Things Considered profiles Mercy Corps tech startups in Gaza
Gaza is rich with educated youth but limited in job opportunities. We are working to develop Gaza as an innovative tech hub and support youth with startup dreams.
Indonesia: New initiative helps small businesses grow online
Custom-Clouds will launch in Indonesia and offer affordable website services to connect entrepreneurs with an increasingly global economy.
Indonesia: New award for bringing mobile payments to rural farmers
Visa's Innovation Grant will allow us to deepen our commitment to using technology to improve people's lives in some of the most remote communities in Indonesia.
Nepal: Testing the future of emergency assistance
We’ve been part of the mobile money revolution for some time, and now our latest efforts are being tested in Nepal — one of the poorest countries in the world.
Quantifying impact: How data is changing the way we work
What happens when the development world collides with Silicon Valley? New technologies allow us to collect data that refines our approach to solving even bigger global problems.