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’ 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 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.
Palestine (West Bank/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.
Uganda: Solar energy reaches northern Uganda
Haiti: Protecting small business owners in Haiti
Palestine (West Bank/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.
Palestine (West Bank/Gaza): Inspired youth at first Gaza Startup Weekend
Palestine (West Bank/Gaza): Inspiring tech innovation at Gaza Startup Weekend
Gaza isn’t necessarily the first place you think of for a Startup Weekend.
Ethiopia: Grain storage bags make a big impact for Ethiopia's farmers
Palestine (West Bank/Gaza): Getting Google to Gaza
Through an innovative Mercy Corps’ partnership with Google and the Source of Hope Foundation, young Palestinian web developers receive firsthand training and mentoring from engineers and business people from cutting-edge technology companies – as well as potential seed capital funding.
Palestine (West Bank/Gaza): Empowering the techno-geeks of Palestine
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
One of the storeowners in Saint-Marc, Haiti, supported by Mercy Corps' Mobile Money program.