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Community and Internet Resources

Employment: Start a Business (Self Employment)

Abilities Fund offers entrepreneurs with disabilities the opportunity to prepare for business by providing access to a suite of business development tools specifically designed with their unique needs in mind.

New Sign Business Ideas for People with Disabilities According to the United States Census Bureau, roughly 15 percent of people with disabilities have started their own businesses, and that number is growing. In fact, the percentage of disabled business owners overshadows the 10 percent of non-disabled business owners in the United States. Many people with disabilities are launching successful businesses from home, franchises, and even niche startups. With such a wide range of business opportunities open to people with disabilities, it can sometimes be difficult to decide which one is best. This guide offers resources for Starting a Business, Government Incentives, Business Ideas, Franchises, Financing, and Equipment.

Disability.gov: Guide to Self Employment and Starting a Small Business links potential entrepreneurs to information and resources on everything from writing a business plan and funding your business to developing a website and much more.

Disabled Business Persons Association provides small business counseling and guidance to individuals with disabilities. Assistance is provided via a network of volunteers who own their businesses and who often have disabilities themselves. Most of the assistance under this program is done with or in tandem with a consumerís vocational rehabilitation specialist.

Job Accommodation Network offers self-employment and small business development expertise and referrals regarding business planning, financing strategies, marketing research, disability-specific programs, income supports and benefits planning, e-commerce, independent contracting, home-based business options, and small business initiatives for disabled veterans. For more information call (800) 526-7234 (Voice).

Inc. is an online magazine that provides information that will help you grow a business. Resources include business plan templates, and information on everything from business feasibility, to mission and vision, to telling your story and so much more.

PowerHomeBiz.com provides a listing of small business resources listed by state as well as other resources that may benefit entrepreneurship. When using the site there are some navigation procedures that should be followed. The small business state resources are located towards the bottom of the page.

SCORE offers FREE business advice to potential entrepreneurs. The website can link you to local and online workshops and training, business mentors (via e-mail or locally), and hundreds of tools to help you start and build your business.

Social Security: Plan to Achieve Self-Support (PASS) is a special savings program that allows Social Security Beneficiaries to save assets beyond SSA limits to reach a work goal - such as starting a business. Your local Vocational Rehabilitation Office can help you set up a PASS.

US Small Business Administration: People with Disabilities provides links to articles and programs for potential business owners with disabilities. Information is offered on starting and financing a business.

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State Listings


Iowa Able Foundation provides loans to Iowans with disabilities who plan to start or are expanding a business. Funds can be used for the purchase of specially adapted equipment, such computers, software, etc. Loan applications are available online.

NIACC Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center: Self-Employment Loan Program (SELP) assists with the creation and expansion of small businesses in Iowa by low-income individuals or persons with a disability. SELP loans of up to $10,000 have an interest rate of 5% and must be repaid over a 5-year period. For more information, call the John Pappajohn Business and Entrepreneurial Center at North Iowa Area Community College at 1-888-466-4222 ext. 4111.


Pennsylvania Small Business Development Centers offer a great deal of information to individuals interested in starting their own businesses. They offer introductory seminars, information on business financing, information on building and sustaining business and much more. For more information, call (215) 898-1219.


Washington Community Alliance for Self-Help (CASH) offers free business training, small loans, peer support and on-going technical assistance to help start and expand small businesses. To receive loans and technical assistance, members must: successfully complete a Washington CASH business training course, participate in a bi-weekly business support group of 4-6 members, and contribute to a planned program of savings. For more information, call (206) 352-1945 or e-mail info@washingtoncash.org.


Easter Seals Wisconsin offers Self-Employment Services to people with disabilities. Their Self-Employment Specialist can help identify realistic business opportunities, assist in business plan and financial statement development, and provide referrals to funding alternatives and other free business planning services. Easter Seals Self-Employment Services works one-on-one with entrepreneurs to evaluate ideas from both a business standpoint and with respect to issues presented by disabilities. For more information, contact the Self-Employment Specialist at (920) 431-0843.

In Wisconsin is the web portal dedicated to growing businesses in Wisconsin. You will be connected to training programs, financing options, business planning resources and more.

Wisconsin Community Action Program Association via their Job and Business Development program helps low-income individuals develop their business ideas. Services include feasibility studies, business plans, marketing and more.

Wisconsin Women's Business Initiative Corporation (WWBIC) is a statewide economic development corporation that provides quality business education and financing to Wisconsin’s entrepreneurs and small business owners.

For more on the topic of Employment:

Community and Internet Resources / Editorials / FAQ / Guides / Books

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[Updated July 31, 2017]
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