Discover the new online support hub for disabled entrepreneurs

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has launched a dedicated online hub to support disabled entrepreneurs and encourage small businesses to be more inclusive and accessible.

Entrepreneurs face many hurdles – disability shouldn’t be one of them. Businesses Without Barriers brings together a wealth of information, interviews and resources from leading experts and organisations. From starting a business to inclusive employment, FSB has curated guidance, advice, and grant opportunities.

New research

The Business Without Barriers hub launches as FSB’s latest report found that 52% of business owners have experienced a barrier due to their disability or health condition.

As the leading voice for 5.5 million small businesses and the self-employed in the UK, FSB’s report includes their recommendations for Government as part of a 10-Point Plan for Disability and Entrepreneurship.

“Despite the prevalence of people with disabilities and health conditions entering self-employment, support available for them to start and grow their business is lacking,” said Julian John, FSB Disability, Health, and Wellbeing Policy Chair.

disabled entrepreneurs

A man with Down’s syndrome smiles at the camera after pouring a pint of beer at work.

Advice from successful disabled entrepreneurs

Starting your own business can feel daunting, especially when faced with additional challenges as a disabled entrepreneur. FSB member Mark Esho MBE turned his hobby into a successful business after developing post-polio syndrome and needing to work flexibly.

Mark shares his journey from failed businesses to setting up one of the UK’s first digital marketing agencies, Easy Internet Services, and the barriers he faced. “Business support services didn’t understand the additional layer of challenges that a disabled person faces in business,” said Mark.

Mark believes it’s important for disabled entrepreneurs to find a mentor who understands their needs, which is why he recently set up The Circle Foundation to provide targeted support for disabled people wanting to start their own business.

The hub also includes interviews with award-winning disabled entrepreneurs Julian John and Elizabeth Wilkinson, who share their own journey and advice for starting a business.

Supporting small businesses with accessibility

Business Without Barriers features a range of free advice and guidance for small business owners and employers to help them become more inclusive and accessible, including Q&As with legal and employment experts and links to further sources of information.

Together with Leonard Cheshire, the hub has a free accessibility audit to help small business owners review the accessibility of their premises.

Find stories from successful disabled entrepreneurs, guidance about inclusive employment, and support for making your business more accessible on FSB’s Business Without Barriers hub.

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