There are many small business owners in this country including entrepreneurs with disabilities.
According to the U.S. Department of Census, people with disabilities are almost twice as likely as people without disabilities to start a business.
Fourteen percent of working persons with disabilities are self-employed, while only eight percent of working persons without disabilities are self-employed.
Is Entrepreneurship The Right Choice For You?
Owning a small business can provide entrepreneurs with disabilities a level of flexibility which often doesn’t exist in large organization cultures.
Running your own business means you can work from home or cater the work day schedule around your specific needs.
Self-employment also provides control and empowerment for you to succeed on their own terms while accommodating their unique needs.
In traditional workplaces people with disabilities may be more restricted based on company rules or accommodations available.
However, starting your own business can be a significant undertaking for anyone.
Below, we list some valuable small business resources to help you get started.
Starting A Small Business
Business.gov provides online access to many resources which can help potential entrepreneurs start, grow, and manage a small business.
For example, this source offers an online seminar called Self-Employment for Potential Entrepreneurs with Disabilities.
This seminar explains several important factors involved in starting a small business including:
- Business feasibility.
- Financial resourcing.
- Business plan development.
- Identification and access to community small business resources for people with disabilities.
On the Business.gov website, you can also find information on other agencies such as Start-Up USA and the Social Security’s Administration’s Ticket To Work Program.
The Office of Disability Employment Policy’s (ODEP) Job Accommodation Network (JAN) is another valuable resource which provides:
- Individualized technical assistance.
- Consulting services.
- Mentoring services.
Small Business Loans
Federal and state government agencies do not provide grants to entrepreneurs with disabilities for starting a business.
However, there are several low-interest loan programs which aim to help people with disabilities receive startup financing. You can find a list of these programs here.
You can also use the Loans and Grants Search Tool to see if you would qualify for any grants, loans, or venture capital programs.
Other Resources for Entrepreneurs With Disabilities
Veteran and Service Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses: These resources help veterans start their own businesses as well as locate government contracting opportunities.
U.S. Business Leadership Network: This network is the only national disability organization led by business for business. It promotes best practices in hiring, retaining, and marketing to persons with disabilities.
Chamber of Commerce for Individuals with Disabilities: This national consumer volunteer organization uses business principles to improve the economic status of persons with disabilities.
Disabled Businesspersons Association: This association exists to help potential entrepreneurs succeed in the business world.
Becoming a small business owner can be exciting and challenging at the same time. Using the resources mentioned above can help you get started as you embark on your new journey as an entrepreneur.