Friday, December 1, 2023

Accessibility, inclusion and entrepreneurship


Entrepreneurship is certainly a dream for many. It comes with a lot of perks and challenges at the same time. How difficult it is for the disabled individuals to become an entrepreneur? What are the challenges they face in the path to becoming an entrepreneur?

Being an entrepreneur with a disability is more possible than you think. Nowadays Individuals with disabilities now have more chances than ever to create their own companies. Government programmes, support NGOs and organisations, scholarship and grant foundations, and more are available to those having physical and intellectual disabilities.

These programmes increase the chances of success for persons with disabilities who have a plan in place. The business plan is the most important component for anybody starting a business, disabled or not. This plan includes details about the proposed business, such as the goal, cost, demography, marketing strategies, and dangers. These plans are useful not just to the business owner in terms of laying out clear and concrete activities, but they are also required to receive funding.

Without a viable business plan, lenders and foundations will not open their wallets or resources to a business owner. Every entrepreneur has to start somewhere, therefore aspiring entrepreneurs should seek assistance in developing a business strategy and conducting required research. Marketing is the act of disseminating information about a company to increase sales and profits.

Disabled individuals can achieve this by joining networking groups, collaborating with other disabled people, and pooling resources. They may also devise marketing strategies to aid in the promotion of the company and provide opportunities for individuals to spread the news. Marketing should never be done on the spur of the moment, but rather through a series of regular, intentional acts. This is the foundation of business, and it will enable individuals to reach their full potential.

Business owners may become a fixture in the community and marketplace by expanding their reach through sponsorship, events, initiatives, and multimedia. Seminars on the benefits of outreach are frequently held by disabled groups, and they teach company owners how to properly position themselves for success. These initiatives are priceless, as establishing a relationship with the community lowers the barrier between manufacturer and customer and opens up communication channels.

It also goes without saying that no firm can be launched without some initial investment. In this aspect, handicapped individuals have a variety of choices, including low-interest loans, government subsidies, and coaching and mentorship for aspiring disabled entrepreneurs. This beginning money is critical to a person’s firm’s success, therefore anybody considering starting a business should focus on acquiring the funds needed to make their idea a reality. 

It is highly beneficial for companies to have an inclusive corporate environment as it can help widen the scope of the company.

It is highly beneficial for companies to have an inclusive corporate environment as it can help widen the scope of the company. The company can grow and reach a larger number of audiences by being inclusive and diverse. The trust of customers with the company also increases due to this. Believing in yourself is of utmost importance when starting your own company as a disabled entrepreneur.

Confidence is key. You need to believe that you are just as powerful as any other entrepreneur and that your disability cannot stop you from reaching your highest potential. This is how next-gen leaders from the disabled community will be able to be on par with the other leaders.

What could be more liberating than launching your own company? It’s an opportunity to pursue a long-held goal, work for yourself, achieve financial success, and much more. Here are a few ways in which you can start your own business as a disabled person:


Don’t limit yourself

Let’s start by recognising that persons with disabilities are capable of starting and operating a wide range of companies. According to American Express entrepreneur Kirk Keating, you should begin your job hunt as you would for anybody else; don’t make the mistake of thinking about everything through the lens of your disability. Make decisions that are in line with your personality and skill set.

Self-employment is just as common among disabled people as it is among non-disabled people. So don’t limit yourself by believing that since you have a disability, you must pursue only one sort of business and ignore other possibilities. Although some disabilities may make it harder to pursue certain business ideas, in most situations, you can pursue any excellent company concept you choose. 

Make the most of your disabilities

Although, as Kirk Keating pointed out, you don’t have to worry about your disability, it’s occasionally a good idea. After all, living with a disability provides you with a unique set of experiences that other people lack. Many entrepreneurs have taken advantage of this to launch profitable firms based on their specialised knowledge. It provides me with a competitive edge since you are familiar with, interacts with, and have contact with your consumers or individuals who are similar to them.

You are more aware of their needs and can sympathize with them than someone who does not have a disability. You would not have launched my own business if it hadn’t been for your disability. So consider what you’ve learnt as a result of your disability. Frustrations or pain spots are typically the sources of the finest business ideas, so attempt to identify them and then come up with solutions that will benefit both you and others.

Search for funding

Funding is frequently a significant barrier to overcome when beginning a small business. You need to invest in the company, but how can you do so if you don’t come from a wealthy family or have a sizable savings account? There are various extensive series on company finance, which covers everything from small business loans to crowdsourcing and angel investors and has a wealth of ideas.

You may be able to access even more possibilities as a disabled small business owner (or aspirant). Disability small business grants or business loans are available in many countries for individuals with disabilities, and you may apply for them to get a head start in a company. 

Disabled entrepreneurs bring a plethora of valuable experiences to the table, as well as ambition and a desire to assist.

Learn from others

Starting a business may be intimidating, and many individuals are put off by the high level of competition and the possibility of failure. However, many differently-abled entrepreneurs have found success, and you may learn from them as you start your firm. There are several networks and organisations throughout the world that provide valuable tools for Differently abled business owners and entrepreneurs. Look up inspirational entrepreneurs who have used their unique capabilities to paved their path irrespective of their disabilities.

As you’ve seen, there are a variety of methods to become a successful entrepreneur; all that’s left for you to do now is choose your path and get started. One of the benefits of becoming an entrepreneur is that you don’t have to rely on your boss to make your workplace accessible; you can make the necessary changes yourself.

As an entrepreneur, you have complete control over your workspace, so figure out what you require and install it yourself. Being an entrepreneur is both an exciting and rewarding experience. You should also try and support the local businesses owned by disabled entrepreneurs to encourage and support them. No one should feel that a disability prevents them from achieving their goals.

Disabled entrepreneurs bring a plethora of valuable experiences to the table, as well as ambition and a desire to assist others. In addition, there are numerous areas where a disabled person’s viewpoint may be extremely valuable, such as tourism. Starting a firm that survives the test of time, on the other hand, maybe a big task. The sooner you begin to understand what it takes to attract and retain consumers, the more likely your company will be a huge success.

Also Read: LGBTQ and double marginalisation: The problem is deeper than it seems

(Sumit Agarwal is a public relations specialist, storyteller, media relations specialist, disability and inclusion SDG ambassador.)

(Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the author’s and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.)


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