Increased Support Needed for Entrepreneurs with Disability
3 August 2018 at 1:29 pm
Entrepreneurs and business owners with disability need increased support to take their ideas “to the next stage”, a disability sector leader believes.
Ross Joyce, CEO of the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO), spoke to Pro Bono News following an AFDO-hosted entrepreneurs with disability event in Melbourne on Thursday
Joyce said it was vital minority groups such as people with disabilities received support due to their “different requirements” to the larger community that “must be met”.
“It’s not about them fitting into the square that’s there, it’s about us making sure the system is tailored appropriately depending on who is engaging in it”, Joyce said.
He said it was important to understand the business ideas coming from the disability community would make a difference not only “for people with a disability, but also the wider community”.
“These ideas are assisting carers and supporters of people with disabilities,” he said.
“We need to talk about it as including the total community.”
Hosted by paralympian and entrepreneur Dylan Alcott, the event panel featured other entrepreneurs who gave insight into the barriers people with a disability faced when trying to set up their own business, and tips on how to stay motivated.
Our groups are spending the next hour discussing their small business ideas, challenges they’re facing and workshopping new opportunities with fellow entrepreneurs. #SmallBizFestVIC #disabilityinnovation #disabilityentrepreneurship pic.twitter.com/4IKWXRS5L2
— AFDO (@AfdoOffice) August 2, 2018
Joyce said he hoped events like this could turn into more of a “roving” venture.
“From AFDO’s point of view, we’d like to see something nationally happening… and some backing in terms of seeding money to take some of these ideas to the next stage,” he said.
The event was supported by the Victorian government, as part of its Victorian economic participation plan for people with disability.
Victorian disability minister Martin Foley said: “Whether it’s by offering extra services or supporting business owners and entrepreneurs, this government looks after Victorians with a disability.”
Alcott said was “proud to work with the Victorian government” to support underrepresented demographics.
“They have so much to offer,” Alcott said.
“They think differently, solve problems in new ways and contribute to society.”