Economic and Community Development is one of the Seven Areas of Focus that Rotary has asked all clubs to focus on, especially in October.

What is your club doing? Here are some ideas.......

The work of Rotary begins in the community, and every community has its own unique needs and concerns. While we serve in countless ways, we’ve focused our efforts in seven key areas to maximize our impact. These areas encompass some of the world’s most critical and widespread humanitarian needs. Rotary members planning new service projects are encouraged to consider these areas and the many opportunities for innovative projects within them. Rotary International and The Rotary Foundation have adopted seven areas of focus as organizational priorities: 

  • Peace and conflict prevention/resolution

  • Disease prevention and treatment

  • Water and sanitation

  • Maternal and child health

  • Basic education and literacy

  • Economic and community development

  • Supporting the Environment

There are countless ways that Rotary clubs can address these issues both locally and internationally.

For ideas, consult the publication Rotary’s Areas of Focus Brochure (965en) . It s available in a pdf format. Sign in to  myrotary on website.


What is your club doing?

Here are some ideas:

  • 190 million people are funding their business endeavors through microfinance

    • Partner with a local microlender to improve access to financial services and provide financial infrastructure in the community.

    • Develop mobile banking resources in partnership with a microlender. Cell phones, which can be used to make deposits and transfer funds, can increase access to banking systems in developing communities

    • When supporting service projects in a developing community, purchase goods and supplies locally to stimulate the economy and avoid unnecessary shipping fees

  • 1.4 billion people — nearly half of them employed — live on less than $1.25 a day

    • Expand vocational training opportunities, including job placement programming, at local nonprofit organizations

    • Send a vocational training team to teach business leaders in developing communities how to create a business plan and maintain accurate financial accounting.

    • Partner with a cooperative that provides training, joint economic ventures, and ownership of assets to its members through a democratic structure

    • Provide equipment or supplies to a cooperative to increase production and sales in the local market

    • Support entrepreneurs and small businesses in developing communities. The success of local business leaders can multiply employment opportunities in the community


Read news about Rotary's work to grow local economies


Rotary members train people to become resources for their community, offering networking activities, advice on new business development, and mathematics and financial management training.

Rotarians make amazing things happen, like:

Breaking the cycle of poverty for women: Most of the women living in rural Guatemala do not have the collateral to get loans from regulated financial institutions. The Rotary Club of Guatemala de la Ermita helped 400 local women complete financial literacy courses so they could pool their money and fund their own microlending program.

Skills development, business training: In Esmeraldas, Ecuador, Rotary members helped grant more than 250 microloans and train more than 270 community members in sewing, baking, plumbing, microcredit, business management, and leadership. 

Sustainable farming: In west Cameroon, soil erosion and loss of soil fertility have significantly reduced farmers’ harvests. Rotary members gave farmers the skills they needed to improve soil fertility, control soil erosion, and market their produce. The results: increased crop yields and profits.


Resources & reference


Please watch the Rotary Supports Local Economies video:


For even more ways you can help, be sure to contact our very own District 7070 Areas of Focus Action Committee:

  • Community Economic Development.