What We Do

We build markets, create jobs and sustain peace in crisis-affected countries by connecting local entrepreneurs to new business opportunities.

Copyright: James Rexroad/Building Markets

Job creation is one of the greatest drivers of poverty reduction and stability in conflict-prone countries. The key to those jobs? Local entrepreneurs. The reason that poverty and instability persist is due to basic barriers that prevent local entrepreneurs from accessing formal business opportunities. Building Markets was founded to solve this problem.  

Our approach is simple. We connect local entrepreneurs to domestic, regional and global supply chains. Our teams start by finding and verifying competitive local businesses and matching them with the demands of buyers. We collect and translate tenders and distribute them through our extensive networks. We train local businesses on how to bid on, win and execute those tenders. We measure impact, and we advocate for aid reform and open markets.

To date we have redirected over
$1.35 billion
into some of the world’s poorest
nations, helping to create the full-time equivalent of over 
70,000 jobs

Road Map to Success

Building Markets has grown rapidly since we were founded in 2004. 
We have operated across a dozen countries around the world.

Hover over the path to see important milestones we have achieved in the past and where we’re headed next.

Buildingmarkets timeline

2005 Commissioned by the UN, PDT undertakes groundbreaking analysis on the local economic impact of UN peacekeeping operations.
2006 PDT launches first Marketplace operation in Afghanistan.
2007 PDT sets first quantitative benchmark on local procurement in Afghanistan and expands its operations to Timor-Leste.
2008 In partnership with the UN, PDT publishes the first Start-up Field Guide for the launch of all new UN peace operations.
2009 Launch of third Marketplace in Haiti. PDT releases second study measuring the local impact of aid spending in Afghanistan: Spending the Development Dollar Twice.
2010 PDT wins Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship and G20 SME Finance Challenge.
2011 PDT helps create more than 65,000 full-time equivalent jobs in Afghanistan and launches its fourth Marketplace operation in Liberia. Scoping trips to South Sudan and Rwanda undertaken.
2012 PDT changes name to Building Markets. Takes steps towards implementing new loan guarantee program and expands into new regions and countries.
2015 Building Markets has operated in 6 countries, with an impact of over 67,000 jobs created, $1.2 billion in local spending, and 22,000 local businesses reached.



Where We Work



Learn more about our work by clicking on the country names above.