Self-Employment Steps for Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors: Helping a Consumer Start a Business


Chapter 4

Self-Employment Assessment

Our research with VR agencies and counselors indicated their desire to incorporate assessments into the VR self-employment process. Assessments are conducted so both the consumer and the counselor can determine possible businesses to pursue or to identify a general career path if the consumer is unsure of the direction to take; to identify deficient areas to remedy with training, education, or experience; and to determine self-employment potential. Some self-employment consultants who work with VR agencies to develop policy do not endorse the use of assessments because they are concerned that assessments will be used inappropriately or misinterpreted to disqualify potential business owners and discourage the use of self-employment. They also are concerned that a low score might not be a good indicator of the individual's potential for success. It is imperative that assessments are appropriately used in the process. This chapter discusses currently-available assessment types including:

  • The Feasibility Study
  • Skills and Interest
  • Tests for Evaluating Entrepreneurial Potential
  • The Business Assessment Scale


The Feasibility Study focuses on the proposed business; whereas the Skills and Interest Assessment and Tests for Evaluating Entrepreneurial Potential focus on the potential business-person. The Business Assessment Scale focuses on both. 

As warranted by the situation and the individual, you may also wish to use psychological and vocational assessments.




July 1998, 1st Revision June 1999, 2nd Revision February 2001