Unexotic Underclass as opposed to the poor in underdeveloped countries. which are given much more attention for being "exotic" and hence newsworthy. Reality is that the unexotic underclass people don't have the tools to find their way out of the situation they are in, nor they have the tools to find the tools themselves.
To put it in startup terms, there seems to be a huge untapped opportunity to provide these people some tools. Problem is that there is no money on the table to pay for it, although value for society would be definitely positive.
Is there any way to solve this challenge? I don't know. In my activity of startup coach I dream of contributing to the solution of this challenge by helping empower these people and teach them that they can consider also entrepreneurship as a possible tool to come out of their situation. The idea is to teach them some basic rules about entrepreneurship, how to look at challenges as opportunities, how to loo at possible solutions to these challenges.
In my last trip to US I met Boku Kodama of Urban FIRE at the Renaissance Center in Marin County, North of SF. He is working to empower the disadvantaged with exactly the same objective, and he's been doing this for years now. In our discussion he pointed out that it is very difficult to do what I am suggesting, because they really lack the most basic things like alphabetization and math literacy. Things have to be taught in much simpler ways than I am used to with luckier audiences. This is clearly a great challenge, providing entrepreneurial literacy and more basic literacy at the same time,and he is doing it!
But this is still in the perspective of helping the disadvantaged find their way out with their own forces through entrpreneurship.
Really there isn't anything else that could be done to help them out of their disadvantaged condition? How would this challenge look like? Who would/could/should pay for it? What would be the value for society?