Webinar: Inclusive Entrepreneurship: Helping People With Disabilities Become Self-Employed


  • Date:
    Wednesday: May 2, 2012
  • Time:
    1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. (Eastern)
    12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. (Central)
  • Duration:
    1.5 hours


  • Gary Shaheen
    Senior Vice President, Syracuse University Burton Blatt Institute
  • Nicole LaCorte-Klein
    Senior Program Development Associate, Syracuse University Burton Blatt Institute


  • Chip Kenney
    Project Director of TACE (Technical Assistance and Continuing Education) Southeast


Most people with disabilities throughout the United States and worldwide are unemployed or underemployed and live at or below the poverty line. Self-Employment is a valid but underutilized vocational outcome authorized through the Rehabilitation Act. Low self-employment rates can be partially due to predominating myths and misperceptions. For example, most people cite the high failure rate among new small businesses as a reason why self-employment might be discouraged, however seven out of 10 new employer firms survive at least two years, and about half survive five years. Despite these challenges entrepreneurship may make sense for many more people with disabilities than are currently self-employed.  

This 90 minute session will articulate the process and illustrate the outcomes of an innovative and replicable strategy to help people with disabilities achieve vocational outcomes through entrepreneurship. The approach, called “Inclusive Entrepreneurship,” includes new methods for developing collaborations, providing self-employment assessments and goal development services, business training and financing that can help improve self-employment vocational outcomes.

The session will be organized into 6 modules to assist participants to identify strategies for replication that takes into account local cultures, economies, demographics and needs. Information about challenges and successes where Inclusive Entrepreneurship has been implemented will also be shared. The session components include:

  1. Background and Rationale for Entrepreneurship
  2. Methods for Implementing the Process
  3. Results Achieved
  4. Conclusions and Lessons Learned
  5. Impact
  6. Strategies for Replication

Supplemental materials to be provided in advance will offer guidance in adopting or adapting the practices to improve self-employment outcomes among people with disabilities served by participants. These will be loaded to the Southeast TACE website.

Inclusive Entrepreneurship is a process developed by the Burton Blatt Institute (BBI) at Syracuse University, its partner the Whitman School of Management Falcone Center for Entrepreneurship and Emerging Enterprises (EEE) and other community partners.

Materials & Resources

Recording of Webinar


NOTE: This is the rough unedited version of the transcript

PowerPoint Presentation

Supplementary Materials

Resources to guide the entrepreneur

Small Business Development Counselors (SBDC) resources to support entrepreneurs with disabilities

Videos from the Entrepreneurial Thought Leader Speaker Series