Cathy Grant is a freelance writer and columnist that has been a satisfied client of BCITS for far more years than she cares to admit to. As a new member of the peer support group she hopes to continue her positive relationship with BCITS for many years to come. Please note that BCITS does not endorse any companies mentioned in this post.
In this last instalment of looking at self-employment for people with disabilities the question we are looking at is: why aren’t there more small businesses out there run by people with disabilities? Possibly the biggest hurdle for anybody who wants to start their own business: it takes A LOT of hard work to start your own business and get it to the point where you are turning a profit. It can take money, a bit of luck can’t hurt, but hard work is a must.
Many people may simply fail in business because they’re not willing to push themselves hard enough to commit to the hard work needed to make it. This is also why experts [in this instance “experts” are the many professionals for example like social workers, doctors, care workers, PTs and OTs etc. that are a large part of a disabled person’s everyday life] often try to dissuade people with disabilities from starting their own business.
In my opinion such thinking really underestimates people with disabilities and ignores in fact the potential opportunity we have in starting a business: working hard and doing things that are uncomfortable is a fact of life for many people with disabilities. As a matter of fact we are so used to working hard and coping with uncomfortable things, this may be one of the few areas where people with disabilities actually have an advantage over the able bodied. We just need an idea and the means to make it grow.
Is there a high chance of failure? Yes there is. However, it is also very hard to find a job. At least with starting your own business it feels like you have more control finding those chances, and being in control is a very poignant issue for people with disabilities. Thanks to the internet those chances of finding a ‘fit’ for you and a business opportunity that you can exploit in your own time, are growing. So check it out, what have you got to lose?