Work with MercyCorps Northwest
A subsidiary of the international organization MercyCorps, MercyCorps Northwest (MCNW) is a non-profit organization that makes loans to small entrepreneurs as one of its programs working with marginalized and vulnerable populations. Our work, currently under development, is a partnership between MCNW and the Department of Architecture of the University of Oregon. The partnership is intended to supplement the business help that MCNW provides to the small entrepreneurs to whom it makes loans, that includes workshops in such matters as writing a business plan, keeping accounts, and other basic business functions. Our work will help small entrepreneurs in matters concerned with their physical space—determining the need for expansion or new location; helping find new space; answering questions concerning location and zoning; providing resources with respect to layout, space usage and design; helping find builders, inexpensive materials and other resources. Our tools are taking the form of a website as well as direct consultation. The partnership helps to satisfy a strong desire of architecture students to be involved with community-based work while at the same time providing assistance to small entrepreneurs that they might not otherwise have available.