Working Together to Build Just, Productive, and Resilient Communities

Entrepreneurs Eric and Naihma used a small business loan to finance their bike shop.

Photo by Juan Carlos Delgado
Erica and Naihma Deady, owners
of Bike Commuter received a loan
to expand their bike shop

Hear their story.

Everyone should have the opportunity to improve their life, regardless of their background. Many in the Pacific Northwest community face serious challenges:

  • 28.2% asset poverty rate in Oregon makes it the highest in the country
  • 50% of Oregon residents have a subprime credit rating, making it nearly impossible for them to access capital from banks
  • 1,000 refugees arrive in Pacific Northwest every year
  • Refugees are 2 times more likely to live in poverty than people born in the US
  • Each year over 150 prisoners are released back into Multnomah county



  • In the ability of all people to thrive, not just survive.
  • In investing in motivated individuals and hard-working families who are ready to act on their potential.
  • In creating positive systemic change at the individual and community levels.
  • In collaboration and building community platforms for the common good.
  • That with access to the right resources and training, people can create opportunity for themselves.

Our Mission

Working together to build more just, productive, and resilient communities in the Pacific NW.

Our Vision

Everyone should have the opportunity to improve their life regardless of their background. By investing in those without ready access to resources, existing economic disparities will become more equitable and motivated, hard working individuals and families will have opportunities to break intergenerational cycles of poverty for good.

Our Values

As an organization, we value:

  • Initiative: The personal responsibility of all people to take action to improve their lives and the communities in which they live.
  • Opportunity: Creating just systems and equitable access to resources.
  • Innovation:Being entrepreneurial, continually creating and applying better solutions to meet the challenges faced by the communities and people we serve.
  • Collaboration: Drawing on the experience and expertise of others to achieve common goals.
  • Stewardship: Being good stewards of resources entrusted to us.
  • Continual Learning: Being self-reflective as individuals and as an organization, always striving to deepen the understanding of who we are and the mission we serve.

Our Work

Our work seeks to address these challenges in the following ways:

Three programs support self-employment and small business development: Small Business Training, Individual Development Account (IDA) matched savings grants and Loans

These services provide assistance for individuals in a period of transition by helping them build strong connections in the community and to find employment and housing: Lifelong Information for Entrepreneurs (LIFE), ReEntry Transition Center, Refuge Gardens.

These initiatives are designed to build collaborative partnerships to encourage cooperation with the private sector, governments, and community organizations.
ROAR - Reentry Organizations and Resources
AmeriCorps VISTAs Oregon Asset Building Corps (OABC)

Non Profit Status

MCNW is the U.S. economic development office of Mercy Corps, the Portland-based international relief and development agency.  Mercy Corps Northwest is the assumed business name for the 501(C)3 non-profit, Mercy Enterprise Corporation, established in 1998.  The organization was incorporated in the State of Oregon on 3/16/2001, received nonprofit status on 6/17/02 and on 5/28/02 received U.S. Treasury designation as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI).