Businesses are essential in the fight against poverty. Not only are businesses consistently interacting with consumers who are living in poverty, some of their employees are facing the same dynamics. Good business sense calls on businesses to create internal policies that support employees and consumers living in poverty, as well as advocating to influence public policies that systemically have adverse effects on people in poverty.
Acknowledging the benefits of tackling social issues appears to be a stretch for many businesses however. Communities riddled with high poverty rates impact their bottom-line. People in poverty have little or no discretionary income which impacts what products they purchase and from where. The business sector is often constrained by a shortage of skilled human capital and low-income communities offer a potentially valuable labor market. However, hiring low-income workers without considering the necessary supports that help them be successful is a disservice to them and the community.
The Bridges Out Of Poverty workshop offered by Nonprofit Network positions businesses to think about their role in alleviating poverty, holds up examples of best practices, and provides strategies for out-of-the-box engagement with people in poverty.
In the city of Jackson. 36.3% of its residents live in poverty—over half of those living in poverty are children under the age of 18—and 75% of the population have attained less than an associate’s degree.
Nonprofit safety nets and government assistance are critical but insufficient alone in addressing the generational and systemic poverty that transcends the personal choices of people living in poverty. Harnessing the prowess of the business industry is necessary in alleviating the pain of historical legacies and eradicating discriminatory policies and practices that burden low-income families.
Join us in the fight against poverty! The first step is attending a Bridges Out of Poverty workshop to gain better insight on the causes of poverty, explore solutions and begin planning for institutional change.
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