Economic opportunity

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.

Learn more about our approach to market systems development ▸

Mercy Corps promotes safe, decent and equitable income opportunities for individuals around the world.

Learn about our approach to make markets work in crisis ▸

Mercy Corp's market-driven approach to crisis response leverages the capacities of non-aid actors in local and global economic systems and gives crisis-affected individuals the ability to drive their own decisions and secure their own lives and livelihoods.

Learn about our approaches to the “world of work” — employment, employability, entrepreneurship and job creation ▸

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.

Learn about Mercy Corps’ youth employment work ▸