People always ask me what I mean by at-risk or vulnerable populations, and despite it being my jam, it can be challenging to explain, so I created a visual to help with that. As you can see, vulnerable populations are at a higher risk of physical, physiological, and social disparities and reside in underserved communities that lack resources. The overlap of these two areas creates a population of people at higher risk than the average person. Notice in the visual how many different groups make up the vulnerable population. Also, consider individuals who check the box on a few of these groups. For example, an elderly minority woman who is blind and living in a rural community is at more risk of health issues and economic instability than a person who is only elderly or not on the list altogether. For businesses to impact vulnerable populations, they have to understand the factors driving their outcomes. I not only understand these factors, I know how to use my education and skillset to train staff, create policy and build programs that support these folks and the businesses who serve them.
I am sure some of you are curious if I only work with businesses serving vulnerable populations, and the answer is no way! We consult for all businesses regardless of their consumers. My insight into vulnerable people, simply makes me a better consultant overall.