How to uncover the untapped potential of the poorest people

Pavel Hrica of Cesta von, offers a different way of looking at the poorest people - without prejudice, an overlooked burden changes into untapped potential.

Illustrative stock photoIllustrative stock photo (Source: TASR)

The potential customers, loyal employees, possible business partners live next to us. However, we ignore this niche and we have not yet found the courage to invest more in them. In the long run, we are harming both them and ourselves.

In Slovakia, about 7,000 children per year are born into extreme generational poverty. I am talking about Roma settlements where the parents of these children and many generations before them grew up.

This poverty is not caused by Roma culture or mentality. Many still openly (or secretly) believe this racist prejudice. It's wrong. Tens of thousands of Roma live here as an integrated part of the middle class. We do not condemn them because they are like us. It´s a common cognitive bias when we judge groups of people according to their most extreme manifestations of poverty. The mental lag, the addictions, repossessions from unpaid loans, petty crimes and having many kids at a young age - we tend to generalize these to all Roma.

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