Disability self-employment.Self-employment is perfect for people with disabilities.PhD research confirms that high-quality business start-up support tailored for disabled people is needed. After years of lobbying Government, training mainstream business support organisations, delivering the successful Work for Yourself projects and just listening to disabled people themselves, I know that those who want to work often have no alternative and have the skills and experience to succeed. Now it is good to have rigorous academic research supporting our practical experience with clients.Disability Dynamics contributed our evaluation reports (see below), case studies and helped with individual interviews to provide the researcher with her data.Eva Kašperová’s research confirmed that disabled entrepreneurs are:Filling gaps in the mainstream market where other businesses don’t support disabled customers;fully committed to their businesses which enable them to work without discrimination;choosing self-employment for control and flexibility in their work.If you are interested in helping disabled people get back to work, this short executive summary is worth reading.If you would like more information about how to run a successful business start-up programme for disabled people, please contact me.Higher percentage of working disabled people are self-employed than others.Our years of promoting this key route to work for disabled people to Government and others are underpinned by:Facts and data –including the 2011 Census and the recent boom in self-employment. Sound reasoning for both individuals and local economies. For more information, click self employment for disabled people Practice rather than theory. Since 2008, we have delivered our Work for Yourself programme in Derbyshire (particularly Bolsover and Chesterfield) and gathered further evaluation evidence summarised in reports on:East Midlands Development Agency project.Working Neighbourhoods Fund projects.European Regional Development Fund project (ERDF) Delivery model.We use professional accredited Business Advisers with years of experience supporting disabled people – they deserve high quality as much as other entrepreneurs. Support is not judgemental or time-bound but is a holistic method of self-development so that clients who decide that self-employment isn’t for them are still better prepared for the world of work. Our business information packs have been specifically tailored for them so that they can progress at their own pace. Most of the support is one-to-one at locations that suit the clients but we also offer inclusive workshops on marketing, confidence with customers and recordkeeping. And, of course, we focus on every aspect of accessibility.Amazing results.Clients can be outstandingly imaginative as they translate previous work experience and lifetime passions in to new businesses. We have gathered a great collection of their success stories to promote their businesses and regularly keep them up-to date with further advice and information. Several of our clients have received great media coverage: television, radio and newspaper features. For an example of this, see the video clip presented by Alison Corbett at the Help to Work conference. Excellent project management.The Work for Yourself programme is underpinned by a comprehensive operational manual covering every process, template and the client database. We monitor each individual’s progress, refine support through client surveys and have robust reporting systems. All of this means that the programme can be easily replicated anywhere in the UK.
Chesterfield’s Trevor Johnson turns recycling into a business - click here or the picture above to read his story
Bolsover’s Grant Dring’s photographic gallery - click here or on the picture above to read his story.