4 tips for inspiring entrepreneurs with disabilities


Any aspiring entrepreneur has got their agony to recount on the frustration of convincing potential sponsors about the viability of their business proposal. Most consider themselves fortunate if they receive a dismissive response that states: “It’s not in our best interest….Good luck.” In fact, most of the proposals which they spend hours drafting are dumped in the trash bin and shredded, unread.

For aspiring entrepreneurs with disabilities it is twice as complicated to secure any form of assistance or let alone being heard. The moment a representative from an institution realises that the person they are dealing with has a disability they become reluctant.

Pitifully, all disabled people, regardless of potential, are hastily dismissed as charity cases. Their marginalisation with regards to entrepreneurship is more extensive than most people think.

But what is often overlooked is that aspiring entrepreneurs with disabilities represent an untapped source of innovation and productivity. And given the right assistance and encouragement, they would be keen to set up their own businesses.

You could play a part in unleashing the entrepreneurship potential that lies dormant amongst people with disabilities by taking note of the following points:

  1. If you represent a financial institution don’t let your perception about their disability cloud your judgment about the viability of their business idea. You could be throwing away South Africa’s answer to the phenomenal Apple brand!
  2. Do not assume that everyone you encounter with a disability is selling you pity. They want to stand on their own feet without bothering anybody and starting business is one such avenue.
  3. The outcome might take time, but make an effort to convince your colleagues to accord people with disabilities with the courtesy they richly deserve. Rid your organisation of stereotypes about people with disabilities and let them appreciate the talents they possess.
  4. If you see some missing gaps, tell them that their business idea is brilliant and the rough edges only need to be refined. It won’t hurt to tell them: “I can see someone changing the way the world communicates.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.