…in the early stages of generating business ideas and looking for advice on what might be successful?
…already sure of your business plan and structure, but need some assistance to launch the new business?
…concerned about what self-employment will mean for your disability payments, medical card and other supports?
Towards Work aims to increase opportunities for entrepreneurship and self-employment as a possible career option for people with disabilities. We hold regular webinars which allow you to learn more about entrepreneurship and self-employment, including the full range of supports available from the planning stage of a new business idea, through financial aid, mentorship and ongoing supports after a business is launched. Webinars also feature entrepreneurs already in business, reflecting on the important things they’ve learned, as well as their challenges and unique perspectives as people with disabilities starting out in business.
- Flexible schedules, set your own working hours
- Heightened self-esteem through accomplishment
- Sense of purpose from following your own interests/goals/passions
- Freedom from barriers that exist in traditional employment settings
- Greater personal autonomy to direct your own life
- Increased independence through more financial resources
- Ability to be a role model for others
- More social connections through networking and business contacts
- Lived experiences provide unique perspective for problem solving
- Lack of specific supports that acknowledge extra barriers faced by people with disabilities seeking self-employment
- Difficulty accessing start-up capital and other financial aid, especially if prior credit checks are required
- Concern over the risk of lost/reduced disability benefits or other financial supports
- Stress of starting a new venture and the unknown complications that may arise
- Juggling the many tasks involved with being self-employed beyond your core purpose, such as marketing, business planning, bookkeeping, networking, etc.
- Lack of understanding/awareness of disabilities by those in business support services or lending institutions
- Mental health issues from stress, anxiety, self-doubt and fear of failure