Programme Design

Gobi Regional Economic Growth Initiative, Mercy Corps, PACT 2004-8

    The Gobi Regional Economic Growth Initiative (Gobi Initiative) is a rural business development program managed by Mercy Corps in partnership with Pact. The first five years of Gobi Initiative (Phase I) ended on January 7, 2004. A second five-year program (Gobi II) began on January 8, 2004. Mercy Corps and PACT are assisting herder groups in rural Mongolia to transform their traditional livelihoods into commercial enterprises while also strengthening other existing small businesses. Mongolia is the most sparsely populated country in the world. In the Gobi region, where the program operates, population densities range from 0.2-0.6 people per square km. The program assists herder groups and other rural businesses to access business consulting, training, and technical assistance. It provides loan guarantees to help small producers access loans from banks. It links businesses with potential trading partners. And, it increases access to business and market information through media - radio, television, and SMS.

    Summary of results
    During the first five-year phase of the program, 300 new businesses were created through training for more than 2,500 would-be entrepreneurs and 250 herder groups, comprising 10,000 individuals. Consulting services enabled businesses to increase their productivity and profitability. The introduction of a herder-managed breeding program resulted in a 100 percent increase in the supply of elite breeding animals. Trade fairs and exhibitions assisted herders in selling their production and establishing valuable contacts.

    Associated Activities and Documents
    »Gobi Economic Development Projects, Mercy Corps 2004-2008