Markets, whether large or small, keep communities thriving. But conflicts, disasters and a lack of infrastructure can prevent people from conducting the daily transactions on which all growth and progress depend. Around the world, Mercy Corps discovers why commerce is stuck.
In some places, manufacturers need loans to purchase equipment and young people desire job skills. In others, key transportation routes to market must be rebuilt or farmers require better storage to keep their inventory fresh until sold.
Our economic development projects provide financing, equipment, training or technical support. These projects help people find jobs, build their businesses, supply their communities with the goods they need —and improve their lives.
All stories about Economic opportunity
South Sudan: Back to work after bombings June 15, 2012
We hope we never have to use it, but we have a Contingency Plan for a reason. Mercy Corps has been working in Bentiu, Unity State, since 2005, and for the past year specifically helping people make a living in the local market with small business and farming support.
Afghanistan: Fathers and sons learn a trade together June 13, 2012
Multiple generations are learning new job skills like carpentry in Afghanistan's Helmand province, where decades of conflict have limited opportunities to earn an income.
Ethiopia: Women transform small loans into progress and purpose May 17, 2012
Like clockwork, every time I visit the Addis Ababa, Ethiopia-based Women in Self Employment (WISE) organisation, my very first impressions are of the wonderful hospitality of the Ethiopian people.
Afghanistan: New graduates yield unexpected returns May 15, 2012
The latest group of students to graduate from our vocational training programme in southern Afghanistan — more than 3,600 of them — show that real success is giving young people hope.
South Sudan: Fighting prompts staff to evacuate border town April 27, 2012
All but two Mercy Corps staff members have been evacuated from Bentiu, the beleaguered border town that has been in the news recently as the target of Sudanese air strikes.
Afghanistan: Behind the camera: Chickens that change lives April 27, 2012
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 April 18, 2012
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 April 17, 2012
Pictured are school children from the community of Kenyanjeri, which participates in our Yes Youth Can! programme.
Afghanistan: Education against all odds: Job skills open up new world April 10, 2012
Less than a year after opening our INVEST vocational training centre to women in Helmand province, more than 900 women have enrolled to learn job skills for the first time. Meet Shamsiya, who is bravely seizing her brand new opportunities.
West Bank and Gaza: Digital opportunities transcend borders April 9, 2012
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.