Integrom is the flagship social impact project at BCG Budapest
BCG partners with multiple organizations around the world that seek the opportunity to make a difference. We support these organizations by applying our talent, expertise, and insights developed from the consulting services we provide to them. Our social-impact work is conducted on two fronts: through our global and our local partnerships.
As BCG was celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2012, the Budapest office decided to launch a "game-changing" social impact program — one that would address a top priority issue in Hungarian society in a sustainable way. As a result Integrom was established to foster Roma integration through a unique model of cooperation between social and corporate sectors.
Integrom addresses a major social issue in Hungary
The 750,000 Roma form the largest minority group in Hungary’s population of ten million. They are facing many difficulties: 70% live below the poverty line, most live in underdeveloped, poor rural areas with limited access to quality education, work opportunities and stable incomes, and only 20% are active on the labor market.
Reasons of this low level of integration are manifold, as the majority of Roma face multiple disadvantages. Most important of these is low levels of educational attainment, geographical disadvantages, and limited job opportunities for the low-educated, long-term unemployed and – last but not least – labor market discrimination.
The vision is to strengthen Roma middle class
Integrom aims to create examples of career paths which barely exist today: Roma who are successful in white collar positions, integrate into leading companies, perform well and build long-term careers – and companies who are hiring them for their own well understood interests, tapping into a new pool of talent from a significant part of the population.
A central principle of the program is not to guarantee employment, but guarantee opportunity – participants have to prove themselves in order to get the jobs, but through Integrom, they are given a first chance which they otherwise would not have.
A unique Roma placement program
Integrom supports young educated Roma to find their way at the corporate labor market. The program offers guidance throughout the entire employment process from the job seeking to the first few months of employment. The program provides participants with a 4-day soft skill training to prepare for the corporate recruitment procedures. The training is followed by a placement process in which participants are provided with career counseling and get connected with employers who are ready to give them the opportunity to work.
The uniqueness of the program lies in the successful collaboration of diverse stakeholders: large employers who commit to the issue of Roma integration, civil partners who recruit Roma participants and professionals who provide pro-bono services.
Results show further potential of the project
By the spring of 2016, more than a dozen Integrom program participants started their career successfully in new corporate roles (such as IT service, customer support, or loan administrator) at one of our corporate partners.
Various international acknowledgements highlight the importance of the topic and the unique perspective, how BCG addressed the challenge of Roma unemployment. In late 2015 Integrom was selected among the top 11 global inclusive grow projects to be showcased at Harvard University’s Symposium on Inclusive Growth & Development. In 2016 Integrom has been awarded with a SozialMarie prize, and has been selected among the top 15 most innovative social project of the Central European region.