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|Many people with disabilities
dream of owning a business, but there is a gap between dream and reality
that can be filled only with careful planning. The purpose of this book
is to help you, the vocational rehabilitation (VR) counselor, understand
the process and steps for helping a consumer start a business to help
people who wish to be self-employed start the most successful business
According to the 1990 Census (the most recent statistics available), people 16-65 years old with disabilities are self-employed at higher rates than people without disabilities (12.2% vs. 7.8%). Non-metropolitan people with disabilities are self-employed at a higher rate than metropolitan people with disabilities or non-metropolitan people without disabilities (9.09%, 7.4%, and 7.5% respectively). In light of these statistics, it is likely that many of your VR customers will want to be self-employed.
Fig 1: Self-Employment Statistics
People with disabilities are no different than anyone else who goes
into business for him- or herself. They want to be self-employed for
various reasons. They may seek freedom from the 9-5 daily work routine
or want to be their own bosses. They may want to improve their standards
of living, be bored with their current jobs, or prefer to work when
and where they want. They may have products or services that they think
are in demand. In rural areas, there may be few employers and jobs.
People with disabilities may need flexible work schedules or need to
work at home. Learn more
about business owners with a disability.
Motivation aside, the successful small business will require:
Chapter 1 Study Guide: Why Self-Employment?
© July 1998, 1st Revision June 1999, 2nd Revision February 2001
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