Entrepreneurship For People With Disabilities


Who doesn’t want to own their own business? You don’t have to work for somebody else, you can set your own hours, and you can finally be responsible for your own success or failure. Being an entrepreneur is hard work, and it definitely comes with a risk of problems. But hey, nothing worth having is ever truly easy.

When you’re an entrepreneur with a disability, however, you might think starting your own business will be too difficult. Some aspects of the process might be more difficult; that’s true. But you can definitely be a successful entrepreneur, disability or not. What you need to do is start by finding out what business product or service will work with your disability and skill set.

Great Business Ideas For You

When deciding what to sell or offer, you need to keep two ideas in mind:

  1. What does the market need? Is there a good or service that people want that they cannot already get (or at least get easily)?
  2. What can you do given your education, skills, temperament, and disability?

Yes, you will have to consider your disability when determining what kind of business to start, but that’s just because you need something you can love doing. Without a passion, your business will likely fail.

Some good business ideas for people with disabilities include:

  • Copywriting: Many businesses need someone to write the words that go along with their advertisements and websites. You can even do this with a good voice-to-text setup. Sites like com are a great place to connect with potential clients when you’re first starting out.
  • Jewelry making: Whether it’s on Etsy or at local festivals, you can earn good money designing jewelry at home.
  • Customer service rep: Companies have started outsourcing their customer service jobs. Take a look at LiveOps to see how you can get started taking calls from your own home.
  • Pet sitting: Pet owners are always looking for caring individuals to watch over their pets when they’re out of town. Pet sitting is a great business to build through word-of-mouth and you can also connect with dog owners in your area through Rover.
  • Web design: Every business (and many people) has their own website these days, but those have to be designed by someone.
  • Social media marketing: Likewise, it’s become important to stay live on social media with blogs, tweets, and posts. Many people and businesses don’t have the time to do this themselves.

Financing Your Startup

You have a great idea for a business that you can not just do, but love. You have a plan, and you know how to get started. The problem is that you need money to make money. Unless you are awash in cash, you will probably need a loan or grant.

What’s the difference? Grants are like gifts. You normally do not need to give them back. Loans have to be paid off, but slowly over time. Grants are typically hard to get, but they can be well worth your time. Loans are easier, but you still need to have some good credit to be worth the risk.

If you have less-than-perfect credit, your disability can actually be an advantage. There are a number of government programs available to help entrepreneurs with disabilities secure the seed money they need to start a new business.

It’s Time To Be Your Own Boss

You do not need to let your disability be an excuse any longer. By finding what your passion is, getting the right funding, and making sure service dogs can participate sensibly, you can be an entrepreneur like you’ve always dreamt of being.

Patrick Young is an educator and activist. He believes people with disabilities must live within a unique set of circumstances–the outside world often either underestimates them or ignores their needs altogether. He created AbleUSA to offer helpful resources to people with disabilities and to provide advice on navigating various aspects of life as a person with disabilities.