Entrepreneurship as a way of life
Some say entrepreneurs are “born” out of the need of the individual to make change to some situation. As such, people who live with disabilities may have been using entrepreneurial skills throughout their life to adapt their environment to suit their needs. These skills can be transferrable to small business creation and self employment. But it is no easy road to become a successfully self employed entrepreneur. One must have a good marketable business idea and the ability to turn this into a viable operation.
- Is your idea best suited as a hobby, or can you turn it into an operable profit-generating business?
- How much energy are you willing to take to make your idea an operating business?
- Do you have the energy and resources to make it to break-even and beyond?
- Are disability issues (insurer’s regulations, other health concerns) sufficiently addressed for you to move forward?
- Can you survive financially while developing a business?
- What does success mean to you?
Significant facts and statistics from British Columbia (source: Statistics Canada 2003 Survey)
- In 2003 there were 325,321 registered small businesses in BC. This number represents 98% of all registered companies in the province. Small business accounts for 30% of the province’s gross domestic product, and pays approximately 1/3 of all wages in BC. Approximately 47% of the BC population is involved in small business.
- 52% of small businesses are owned by people aged 35 to 45. 22% of small businesses are owned by people aged 55 years and older.
- Approximately one in seven people living in BC has self identified as living with a disability or chronic health condition.
- As people get older, the incidence of chronic health conditions and disability increases.
Entrepreneurs with disabilities start, manage and are active in small business in BC. Community Futures assist people who self-disclose disabilities make small businesses working successes.