Free Course: Foundations of Entrepreneurship for People with Disabilities at Syracuse University

Are you interested in learning about entrepreneurship from a disability perspective? If so, the College of Professional Studies invites you to join Syracuse University’s free online program starting September 5, 2023. This 12-week course is designed specifically for people with disabilities who want to learn how to start a business.

Syracuse University College of Professional StudiesHosted by two disabled activists, John Robinson, CEO of “Our Ability” a cutting-edge non-profit that links disabled applicants with the employment sector, and Professor Stephen Kuusisto of the Burton Blatt Institute (BBI) on Disability at Syracuse University, this groundbreaking virtual program will introduce participants to the principles of entrepreneurship through online-only instruction that will be free of charge. The course is instructed by John Liddy, an experienced entrepreneurship workshop leader.

Thanks to a New York Empire State Development grant through the Burton Blatt Institute (BBI), Syracuse University can offer the free program “Foundations of Entrepreneurship for People with Disabilities.” The program will consist of weekly online materials, readings, and assignments that participants can do at their own pace to work through their ideas, step by step. At specified intervals, participants will complete an evaluated assessment of their readiness for entrepreneurship to:

  • Determine readiness for the process of venture development
  • Determine suitability of the key idea for implementation as a business venture

During each of these assessments, a given participant may agree with the instructor to not move further to become an entrepreneur. That decision automatically gives the participant the opportunity to begin a different free, online-only course entitled, “Foundations for Employment for People with Disabilities” to help them be more competitive in the job market instead of developing their own business.

Weekly live online group sessions will be an opportunity for the instructor, guest speakers and participants to engage in discussions on the topics of entrepreneurship, specifically tuned to people with disabilities. At the completion of the course, participants will be introduced to a variety of options, such as the pursuit of funding as well as a mentor network to assist them in the development of their ideas into a sustainable business venture.

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About the Instructor

John Liddy is the interim Vice President for Innovation and Entrepreneurship of CenterState CEO in Syracuse, New York. He is also an Entrepreneur in Residence for the Syracuse Technology Garden, and the Director of the Griffiss Institute Business Incubator. John works directly with companies (new ventures and established firms) as well as consults with organizations (colleges, economic development, and government) seeking to assist these populations. He has participated in multiple startups as well as holding corporate executive positions. John has led numerous workshops for entrepreneurs, including several for veterans with disabilities through the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University.