Why Those With A Disability Rock At Entrepreneurship

Why Those With A Disability Rock At Entrepreneurship

Leadership | Posted by YouInc.com - April 7, 2016 at 12:00 am

It seems that with every generation a new type of entrepreneur emerges to share their vision with the world. Female entrepreneurs have made tremendous steps in the business world over the past decade, and the stories of student entrepreneurs, like Mark Zuckerberg, have recently encouraged students to take a crack at shaping their own futures as entrepreneurs. Social entrepreneurs, with their vision of changing the world, have gained plenty of limelight as well in the past little while. I am sure that we could all name countless other examples.

But there is one group that I have personally noticed (and, full disclosure, am a part of) that often doesn’t get associated with entrepreneurship. Perhaps it is because of a lingering taboo or because entrepreneurship has been deemed too much for them. Putting the stereotypes and inaccuracies aside, the group that I am referring to are entrepreneurs with a disability.

Not only are these go-getters building and helping to grow fantastic businesses, but they are also doing it on their own terms. They are able to create a business culture of respect and diversity. Quite simply they rock at entrepreneurship! Here are the top five reasons why.

  1. They have overcome many failures and hardships.
    Everyone knows that good entrepreneurs will not only make mistakes, but also be able to brush themselves off and try again. Entrepreneurs with a disability have experienced difficulties outside of the workplace on countless occasions and use this as leverage to help both themselves and their ventures for the better.
  2. They have realized that sometimes you can't do everything.
    Sometimes as entrepreneurs we make the mistake of trying to be everything for our businesses. As many of us realize, though, this often hinders our effectiveness. Entrepreneurs with a disability have had to let others help them reach their goals and they are fine with that. They know that if they seek assistance in one area they will be able to use their energy to accomplish the tasks and projects that they do best.
    Entrepreneurs with a disability are a new class of entrepreneurs who are ready to make their methods for change apparent to the world.
  3. They are social innovation masters.
    These entrepreneurs have a keen eye for social innovation and they are always looking for solutions to help people in need with their day-to-day tasks. There are a few entrepreneurs I know of who exemplify this quality. One is Guy Harris, the founder of Disabled Gear (www.disabledgear.com). Guy has created a hub for used accessibility equipment for those who need it most. Clare Edwards (www.trabasack.com) is another example of a socially conscious innovator. Clare is the creator of unique travel equipment for those who use a wheelchair or have other special needs.
  4. They are able to embrace the fact that they are different.
    One of the things about having a disability is that you are often made to feel very “different.” However, it is often those who take the path less travelled that tend to have the most success. The ability to embrace the fact that they are unique is part of the reasoning why entrepreneurs with a disability come out on top.
  5. They understand what is important in life.
    Often we become so consumed in our everyday lives that we do not take the time to sit back and really examine what is important in life. In many cases, entrepreneurs with a disability have been placed in life-altering situations, which gives them the opportunity to re-examine their priorities. They know what is most important and remain true to it while they are out chasing success. They also understand the importance of sharing their achievements with those that matter most.

Entrepreneurs with a disability are a new class of entrepreneurs who are ready to make their methods for change apparent to the world.With a unique spark and go-getter attitude they are able to harness what they do best in order to create a brand, product or venture that will change the way we see the world.

Tags: disabled gear, entrepreneurs, perseverance, priorities, trabasack, unique, health, business, disability, encouraging entrepreneurship, failure, leadership, mental health, motivation, strong leadership, success

Devon MacPherson

Devon MacPherson is a York University student and a young entrepreneur. She is a mental health advocate and actively works to change the stereotypes of entrepreneurs who live with disability. In her spare time she can be found spending time with her service dog and co-pilot Barkley.

Nancy Vollmer
February 16, 2014 at 5:13 pm
Great article Devon. Thanks for opening my eyes. A lot of what you describe can apply to people and situations not so obviously "disabled".
Devon MacPherson
February 18, 2014 at 10:42 pm
Hi There Nancy! I just wanted to take the opportunity to reach out to you to say thank you for reading my article. I hope you will share it with others. I wish you much success :)
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