Data from the task group’s annual What Happens Next? reports on the first destination of disabled graduates regularly shows that more disabled graduates go into self-employment than non-disabled graduates.
If you are considering self-employment, here are some quick things that might help –
Work with your university enterprise services
This is a great place to start with making the first steps into self-employment – or even to just explore this if you’re unsure. Depending on your university, they may also be able to help you with looking for sources of funding.
While the support available varies between universities, you may still be able to get help if you have recently graduated too.
Access other support available
If you have graduated or left full-time education, you may be able to access other support especially for disabled people (including financial). For example, this includes –
The Scope website has a useful page on setting yourself up as self-employed
The British Association for Supported Employment (BASE) also has a good page on self-employment.
The Disability Grants website have a list of places that may offer business grants and support.
If you are interested, the government have also produced research on ‘Understanding self-employment for people with disabilities and health conditions’
I asked Chris Catt, a renowned expert on helping disabled people go self-employed, what would be the best piece of advice he would give a disabled student considering self-employment. He replied –
The most important thing for anyone wanting to become self-employed is to know your WHY. What do I mean by that? You must first begin by analysing yourself, your customers and build a business that meets both these ‘needs’. You need to develop Emotional Intelligence to ensure that you have the most effective relationships with your potential and exiting customers. You need to learn the value of Congruence, Authenticity, Transparency and Trust. You will succeed much more quickly if you have a Mentor. I have a number of Mentors that help me with my business. Remember “have you heart in your business and your business in your heart”.
So, here’s a thing.
“Why have you been trying to fit in all your life when you were born to stand out”.