Bad attitudes hold back disabled entrepreneurs

Prejudice may be holding back people with disability from starting their own businesses, but a lack of role models is an issue too.

By News Desk
1st June 2009 at 11:23

Entrepreneurs with disability face business discriminationDisability is no barrier for wannabe entrepreneurs, but the attitudes of potential customers and investors is holding back the 56% of deaf and disabled people who said they’d like to start and run their own business.

Over half of the 500 disabled people interviewed in the Business Link London survey had thought about starting their own business or had actually got one up and running.

The biggest problems they faced were sceptical investors (54%) and difficulties in overcoming the prejudiced attitudes of customers (56%).

As one interviewee is quoted as saying:

People think if you are physically disabled you are mentally disabled as well and treat you different to an able bodied person.

It’s not just the attitudes of others that’s a hindrance. The lack of disabled role models in business was also an issue for 36% surveyed.

But there are some extraordinary role models out there who have overcome disability.

One of the most inspiring is Liz Jackson from Great Guns Marketing who despite losing her sight has grown a successful tele-marketing business.

Take a look at her in action at a recent British Library event.

[Picture credit: Sarah M Scott licenced from Flickr]

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  1. Jim Graham says:

    “Disability” is just ‘differently abled,’ and “special needs” are simply ‘needs’ when a person has the opportunity to design a business that capitalizes on his or her abilities and satisfies his or her needs.
    In Start Up Now workshops in Phoenix, AZ, USA, (and more widely, soon!), we help people design a business that fits their needs and abilities.
    Thanks for the article; I appreciate the statistics!

  2. News Desk says:

    Hi Jim, do you know/work with Francine Hardaway at all?



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