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Jozef Balaz

Josef Balaz has long been passionate about Roma affairs. After an experience in providing free aid made him realize he was hindering rather than helping individuals, he shifted his work to providing opportunities to those that wanted a hand rather than a handout. At only 32, his visionary foresight and successful business practices have already made him one of the most respected businessmen in the region with plenty of potential for further growth.

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Liga o.s. Bruntal
Model
Hybrid Social Enterprise
Sectors
Workforce and Employment
Headquarters
Czech Republic
Areas of Impact
Eurasia, Czech Republic

Liga o.s. Bruntal

Understanding the vicious cycle of unemployment and marginalization among the Roma population in the Czech Republic, Liga o.s. Bruntal employs primarily Roma in construction and electronic waste recycling positions. It then uses parts of the profits from the business to fund youth development initiatives to help break the cycle of poverty. Josef Balaz’s strategy as Founder has been to look for market weaknesses or cracks and exploit them with a first-mover advantage. This strategy is employed in both his construction company and electronic waste management company called the Green Workshop.

Foreseeing the change in EU law regarding electronic waste management in 1995, Balaz started the Green Workshop to handle all electronic waste recycling in the northern Czech region. The Green Workshop provides environmental benefits in addition to its employment of socially marginalized populations. Josef then reinvests his profits into a foundation that targets root causes of unemployment in the Roma community by providing a youth club, integration centre and employment assistance. To ensure impact is being created, Liga has developed impact assessment tools to allow for measuring and tailoring strategy to best suit the needs of the community.