The toughest places demand the boldest ideas and solutions. That’s why Mercy Corps partners with creative thinkers from the private and public sectors to develop social innovations that transform lives. New technology, business models and creative partnerships provide transformational opportunities for overcoming poverty and despair. We leverage our robust global programme platform to identify breakthrough ideas, test them in the field, and scale them broadly.
We often take a shared value approach in our partnerships with the private sector, and focus our efforts in two key areas: financial services and last mile distribution.
Learn more about these social enterprises and shared value models at work in the Mercy Corps world. Download the fact sheet ▸
Through savings, insurance and loans, we enable individuals to grow their businesses with confidence, knowing they will be able to weather unforeseen setbacks.
- MiCRO: Haiti, Colombia, Central America
- Bank Andara: Indonesia
- Agri-Fin Mobile: Indonesia, Uganda, Zimbabwe
- Mobile money: Haiti
The Microinsurance Catastrophe Risk Organisation offers microinsurance products that protect clients, mainly women, from the economic aftermath of severe natural disasters.
This commercial bank exclusively caters toward serving Indonesia’s microfinance sector with the capital, and financial and technical services they need to better serve low-income small business owners.
Agri-Fin Mobile uses mobile technology to provide small-scale farmers with “bundled,” localized financial services, market information and agricultural expertise.
Our first-of-its-kind mobile money food security programme helped poor and rural people to receive, withdraw and transfer funds as well as pay for goods from affiliated merchants via a mobile phone.
Last mile distribution
Poor people in rural areas are usually the last to access new technologies and information. Mercy Corps finds ways to extend the benefits of these advances through the power of mobile networks, online resources, and new sales and distribution models.
- KeBAL: Indonesia
- Tiendas de la Salud: Guatemala
- Red Tierras: Bolivia, Guatemala, Colombia
- Rural energy: East Timor, Haiti, Nigeria and Uganda
Our for-profit food cart microfranchise in urban Jakarta creates jobs and helps meet the nutritional needs of kids under five years old.
This microfranchised network of health stores supplies high-quality, low-cost medicines to rural areas.
Red Tierras connects land rights practitioners from marginalised communities, NGOs and government agencies to accelerate the process of securing land rights and make it more cost effective.
To increase energy access and economic opportunities for rural communities, we identify and train supply chain actors, tailor appropriate finance mechanisms, and develop business skills among local micro-entrepreneurs and retailers.
All stories about Innovations
A cultural bridge September 28, 2009
The city of Mitrovicë/a in Kosovo is very often described by the media as a city of trouble. The most beautiful bridge in the country — with the Ibar/Ibër River flowing beneath — divides this city in half.
Simple is sustainable July 20, 2009
Looking at the simple and inexpensive — yet powerful — ways to help on our Home page, I’m reminded how needlessly complicated humanitarian assistance can become.
A Pioneer in Social Innovations March 25, 2009
We believe that solving social problems in the developing world requires a blending of sustainable, entrepreneurial strategies with the deep knowledge of culture and context that comes from working alongside local communities each day.
Neal Keny-Guyer: Social Entrepreneurship at Mercy Corps December 1, 2007
Recently we sat down with Neal Keny-Guyer to talk about the agency’s long history with social entrepreneurship – and how he feels about winning Fast Company’s 2008 Social Capitalist Award.
Tom Keffer: The Global Urge to Succeed December 1, 2007
William Early: Education for the Global Economy December 1, 2007
William Early is a rare breed of social entrepreneur: a businessman and philanthropist whose contributions range well beyond donations.
United States: John Haines: Filling a Niche December 1, 2007
When Mohammad Yunus won the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize for championing small-scale lending to the world's poor, most U.S. microfinanciers probably took it as an affirmation of their own good works. Not John Haines.
Jonathan Dill: Far from Typical December 1, 2007
The problems of the developing world would usually be one of the last things on the mind of a typical American teenager, let alone something like the spread of waterborne diseases. But Jonathan Dill is far from typical.