OIPO Disability Abstracts: Entrepreneurship

Updated 7/26/2023

Baines, N., & Klangboonkrong, T. (2021, April). Disability entrepreneurship research: Review and critical reflection through the lens of individual-opportunity nexus [CIMR Research Working Paper Series No. 51]. London: Centre for Innovation Management Research, School of Business, Economics & Informatics, Birbeck University of London.

Given the paucity and the fragmented nature of the extant literature on disability entrepreneurship, this literature review juxtaposes the current body of knowledge to the individual-opportunity nexus perspective on entrepreneurship. Six thematic findings emerge from the review. Together, they suggest that while the term disability is understood in relation to structural hindrances and that barriers on multiple levels – societal, market, and personal – influence the availability of opportunities to entrepreneurs with disability (EWDs), current understanding of how these challenges could be overcome is mostly related to adaptive mechanisms at the individual level. The use of individual-opportunity nexus as the point of departure reveals some limitations, as we argue that the deterministic, variance-theoretic approach may be too restrictive if entrepreneurship is intended as a development policy. The same concern will likely apply to other areas of entrepreneurship involving disadvantaged people. Some future research avenues that contribute to both theory and practice are suggested.

Balcazar, F. E., Kuchak, J., Dimpfl, S., Sariepella, V., & Alvarado, F. (2014). An empowerment model of entrepreneurship for people with disabilities in the United States. Psychosocial Intervention, 23, 145-150. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psi.2014.07.002.

People with disabilities are greatly underrepresented in the workforce, often face discrimination by employers, and often are not effectively served by the U.S. Vocational Rehabilitation System whose primary purpose is to get individuals with disabilities employed. Additionally, many individuals with disabilities face discrimination and/or fear of becoming a liability by business owners. The Chicago Add Us In (AUI) Initiative sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy, created an entrepreneurship program for people with disabilities in order to counteract these barriers, promote empowerment and facilitate economic self-sufficiency for people with disabilities. The model includes a course on how to write a business plan, one-on-one business mentoring, technical assistance, start-up business grants, and assistance from a business incubator. In addition to the core program components, there was an emphasis on creating systems change in the Illinois Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) to ensure program sustainability. In-depth case studies are offered to illustrate the process of consumer empowerment and the impact of the entrepreneurship program on the lives of the entrepreneurs who have participated thus far.

Balcazar, F. E., Murthy, S., Gibbons, T. M., Sefandonakis, A., Renko, M., Parker Harris, S., & Caldwell, K. (2023). Supports and barriers that entrepreneurs with disabilities encounter when starting their businesses. Rehabilitation Psychology, 68(1), 91–101. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1037/rep0000479.

Purpose/Objective: Entrepreneurship is increasingly emerging as a viable employment option for many people with disabilities. It provides opportunities to develop interests, skills, and passion for starting a business. We conducted multiple interviews with various stakeholders to identify the perceived supports and barriers that people with disabilities encounter in the process of pursuing entrepreneurship. Research Method/Design: Individual interviews included 20 entrepreneurs with disabilities, 6 service providers, and 5 school administrators. This qualitative study used a constructivist grounded theory approach to shape the process of data collection, analysis, and theory building. Results: People with disabilities interested in pursuing entrepreneurship benefit from facilitators such as social support, mentoring, and access to space, equipment, and money. Personal qualities include their desire to be “my own boss,” help others, earn money, creativity, persistence, and flexibility. On the other hand, they may face several systemic barriers, such as the lack of infrastructure to set up the business, discrimination, lack of formal support from Vocational Rehabilitation counselors or their school settings, and/or lack of money. Conclusions/Implications: The systemic barriers can make it difficult for entrepreneurs to start and/or continue to operate their businesses. We discuss the implications of the findings for the development of entrepreneurship training for youth with disabilities and offer recommendations for future research and practice in the rehabilitation field.

Barba-Sánchez, V., Ortíz-García, P., & Olaz-Capitán, A. (Eds.). (2019). Entrepreneurship and Disability [Special Issue]. Journal of Entrepreneurship Education, 22(2).

The studies included in this Special Issue feature research on the identification of those competencies that promote or limit entrepreneurship of people with disabilities.

Barba-Sánchez, V., Salinero, Y., Jiménez Estévez, P. and Ruiz-Palomino, P. (2023). How entrepreneurship drives life satisfaction among people with intellectual disabilities (PwID): A mixed-method approach. Management Decision Ahead-of-Print. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1108/MD-11-2022-1568.

Purpose: The high and persistent unemployment rates of people with intellectual disabilities (PwID) reveal the wide gap that still remains to be bridged. Entrepreneurship combinedly with a high enterprising tendency could improve PwID’s life satisfaction.

Design/methodology/approach: A mixed-method approach was used, based on questionnaires and structured face-to-face interviews on 37 PwID who had recently become entrepreneurs. Data were firstly quantitatively analyzed using partial least squares-structural equation modelling (PLS-SEM), and qualitative data were used to enable robust findings.

Findings: The entrepreneurial tendency of PwID who had recently become entrepreneurs was found to be a positive to their life quality (LQ), job satisfaction and life satisfaction.

Research limitations/implications: This study revealed that entrepreneurship among PwID who had high enterprising tendency enhances their LQ, job satisfaction and life satisfaction. However, further research could evaluate whether becoming an entrepreneur is in itself enough to change PwID’s life to better, such that a comparison could be done between PwID who become entrepreneurs and PwID who have a salaried job.

Practical implications: New aspects in the design of public social policies to improve PwID’s life satisfaction are suggested. These include the facilitation of both entrepreneurship and enterprising tendency for PwID to enhance their life satisfaction.

Originality/value: There are very few occasions in which PwID set up businesses. This is one of the first studies to analyze the benefit of entrepreneurship and enterprising tendency on the LQ, the satisfaction at work and the life satisfaction of PwID.

Bennett, D., & Gibb, Y. K. (2022). Entrepreneurship, neurodiversity & gender: Exploring opportunities for enterprise and self-employment as pathways to fulfilling lives. Bingley, UK: Emerald Publishing Limited. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1108/9781800430570.

Entrepreneurship, Neurodiversity & Gender shines a spotlight on issues of intersectionality and opens the debate on how we can develop and support the options of entrepreneurship or self-employment that are offered to young people early on in their career.

Boellstorff, T. (2019). The opportunity to contribute: Disability and the digital entrepreneur. Information, Communication & Society, 22(4), 474-490. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/1369118X.2018.1472796.

A range of scholarly work in communications, informatics, and media studies has identified ‘entrepreneurs’ as central to an emerging paradigm of digital labor. Drawing on data from a multi-year research project in the virtual world Second Life, I explore disability experiences of entrepreneurism, focusing on intersections of creativity, risk, and inclusion. Since its founding in 2003, Second Life has witnessed significant disability participation. Many such residents engage in forms of entrepreneurship that destabilize dominant understandings of digital labor. Most make little or no profit; some labor at a loss. Something is being articulated through languages and practices of entrepreneurship, something that challenges the ableist paradigms that still deeply structure both digital socialities and conceptions of labor. Disability is typically assumed to be incompatible with work, an assumption often reinforced by policies that withdraw benefits from disabled persons whose income exceeds a meagre threshold. Responses to such exclusion appear when disabled persons in Second Life frame ‘entrepreneur’ as a selfhood characterized by creativity and contribution, not just initiative and risk. In navigating structural barriers with regard to income and access, including affordances of the virtual world itself, they implicitly contest reconfigurations of personhood under neoliberalism, where the laboring self becomes framed not as a worker earning an hourly wage, but as a business with the ‘ability’ to sell services. This reveals how digital technology reworks the interplay of selfhood, work, and value – but in ways that remain culturally specific and embedded in forms of inequality.

Caldwell, K., Parker, S., & Renko, M. (2016, January). Social entrepreneurs with disabilities: Exploring motivational and attitudinal factors. Canadian Journal of Disability Studies (CJDS), 5(1), 211-244.

The current economic climate demands more innovative approaches to increasing labor market participation for people with disabilities. Social entrepreneurship offers one alternative pathway to employment. However, little is known about the motivational and attitudinal factors influencing social entrepreneurship for people with disabilities. Using empirical data from focus groups comprised of social entrepreneurs with disabilities, and interviews with key stakeholders working in the fields of policy, disability, and business, this research frames its analysis in the intersection of disability studies and entrepreneurial studies to explore: what motivates people with disabilities to pursue social entrepreneurship, if they continue to encounter attitudinal barriers and discrimination, and whether motivational and attitudinal factors affect their social entrepreneurship. Findings indicate that despite social entrepreneurship having been promoted as a strategy for circumventing employment discrimination, the individuals with disabilities in this research continued to encounter attitudinal barriers and discrimination affecting their employment decisions. Future research should focus on interrogating what might be gained in the spaces where need and opportunity intersect and exploring the extent to which motivations overlap for social entrepreneurs with disabilities in theory, policy, and practice.

Caldwell, K., Parker Harris, S., & Renko, M. (2017). Women, disability, and entrepreneurship. In C. Henry, T. Nelson, & K. V. Lewis (Eds.), The Routledge Companion to Global Female Entrepreneurship (pp. 327-341). New York: Routledge.

Within a global context, entrepreneurship for people with disabilities differs significantly among regions, depending upon international and national policy efforts. In the UK the advancement of the ‘Learning Society’ has led to the promotion of developing entrepreneurial skills in education, but not necessarily materially supporting small business development (Pavey, 2006). The history of disability and institutionalization is distinct in many European countries, where an entire generation was lost to the Eugenic influences of the second World War (Mitchell & Snyder, 2003). This has been reflected in their employment programs, which vary substantially: from truly innovative approaches to inclusion to regressive approaches that further segregate people with disabilities. While rates of people with disabilities in self-employment vary widely among Member States within the European Union, community integration has been a strong mandate in current policy that indirectly supports entrepreneurship as a strategy under the broader umbrella of participation in employment (Halabisky, 2014). In developing countries, entrepreneurship has been used as an anti-poverty strategy to help individuals with disabilities and communities in remote regions (van Niekerk, Lorenzo, & Mdlokolo, 2006). Given that Article 27 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) explicitly identifies self-employment and entrepreneurship as a right, it is expected that there will be continued growth in this area across the world. However, it is unclear how change might be implemented or evaluated on an international scale. For example, in India there has been some controversy surrounding the implementation of micro-enterprise programs that are intended to support entrepreneurship but instead promote a neoliberal agenda that further disadvantages people with disabilities (Chaudhry, 2012). However, such claims demand further research, especially as pertaining to gender.

Caldwell, K., Parker Harris, S., & Renko, M. (2020, March). Inclusive management for social entrepreneurs with intellectual disabilities: “How they act.” Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 33(2), 204-218. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/jar.12662.

Background: Social entrepreneurship is a growing trend that reflects a shift in contemporary policy towards entrepreneurship and self-employment as viable employment option for people with disabilities. Entrepreneurship is intended to promote autonomy and reduce dependence on entitlement-based services as well as reduce employment disparities while stimulating business and job creation. However, it is not well understood what exactly this means for people with intellectual disabilities (ID) involved in social entrepreneurial ventures.
Methods: Dyadic interviews were conducted with people with ID participating in social entrepreneurship (n = 7) as well as with the person they identified as instrumental in providing support (n = 7). Interviews focused on understanding the management processes used by people with ID, or “how they act” in negotiating between formal and informal systems of services and supports and barriers encountered.
Results: Themes that emerged include the main barriers they experienced, how their businesses are organized; and the use of formal and informal services and supports.
Conclusions: This research expands upon our understanding of social entrepreneurship and the management processes involved in customized employment for people with ID. It offers new insights and information for practitioners, policymakers, and researchers to inform the expectations we set for entrepreneurship as a sustainable employment option, from the perspective of social entrepreneurs with ID themselves.

Caldwell, K., Parker Harris, S., & Renko, M. (2020). Inclusive entrepreneurship and motivation among people with intellectual disability: “Why they act.” Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 58(6), 499–512. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1352/1934-9556-58.6.499.

Social entrepreneurship is a growing trend for people with intellectual disability (ID). This trend reflects a shift in contemporary policy towards entrepreneurship and self-employment as a viable employment option for people with disability in general; a strategy which is intended to promote autonomy and reduce dependence on entitlement-based services as well as to reduce employment disparities and stimulate business and job creation. However, it is not well understood what exactly this means for people with ID involved in social entrepreneurial ventures. This research approached the issue by conducting dyadic interviews to explore the motivations of people with ID who are participating and supported in social entrepreneurship—“why they act.” In exploring these motivations, this article investigates push-pull factors, the role of the social mission, and how support influences motivation.

Casado, A. B. F., & Casau, P. M. (2019). Personal self-knowledge, a key factor for entrepreneurship in people with disabilities. Journal of Entrepreneurship Education, 22(S2).

The article hereby analyses the influence of psychological factors on entrepreneurship of people with disabilities, focusing on the dimension “Personal Self-knowledge”. Its aim is to look into the extent of such an influence on this collective when launching an entrepreneurial activity as well as to know both, the competence self-evaluation in people with disabilities and the factors or barriers, which in their opinion limit such entrepreneurship. The data used in this article are the result of a survey which was conducted between November and December 2018 on a sample of residents in Spain who have physical, sensory and organic disabilities. The technical sheet of such survey appears referenced in the Article of Barba-Sánchez, published in this review. It was developed by the University of Murcia within the framework of the Project “Disability and entrepreneurship.

Dakung, R. J., Bell, R., Orobia, L. A., & Yatu, L. (2022, November). Entrepreneurship education and the moderating role of inclusion in the entrepreneurial action of disabled students. The International Journal of Management Education, 20(3), 100715. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijme.2022.100715.

Educators and policymakers have sought to open entrepreneurship to a broader range of students. The paper investigates the role of entrepreneurship education in the development of People with Physical Disabilities (PWPDs) and the moderating role of inclusion in their entrepreneurial action. This research employed a cross-sectional survey of 253 students with physical disabilities across tertiary institutions in Nigeria. The findings underscore the significant role of entrepreneurship education in enhancing the entrepreneurial action of physically disabled students. The finding of the study established the moderating role of inclusion in the relationship between entrepreneurship education and the entrepreneurial action of physically disabled students. This implies that the commitment of the educators to accept and support physically disabled students in the class will create an environment in which physically disabled students can learn to monitor and respond to entrepreneurial changes in the environment. This will in turn prepare them to engage in a business start-up. This research highlights that entrepreneurship education and inclusion make significant contributions to physically disabled students’ entrepreneurial action. Therefore, these factors are key to consider in preparing physically disabled students to become entrepreneurial graduates. The study contributes to the extant literature by underscoring the value of creating an environment of inclusion in entrepreneurship education.

Darcy, S., Collins, J., & Stronach, M. (2020, March). Australia’s disability entrepreneurial ecosystem: Experiences of people with disability with microenterprises, self-employment and entrepreneurship. Broadway, New South Wales: UTS Business School, University of Technology Sydney.

People with disability (PwD) face great difficulty in getting access to the Australian economy. PwD have high unemployment rates while those who do get jobs often find them unsatisfactory. Establishing a business is one strategy to overcome these economic barriers. This report presents the findings of the first detailed research project on PwD self-employed entrepreneurs in Australia. Key findings from this research include: (1) Education: entrepreneurs with disability lamented a lack of entrepreneurial education that may have alleviated common startup mistakes, costing them money, time and emotional energy. When schemes including incubator and accelerator programs are available and accessible, entrepreneurs with disability are likely to benefit. However, mainstream entrepreneurial training programs are not inclusive of disability type nor the level of support needs of EWD; (2) Networking: respondents commented on the difficulty of networking generally, and specifically with other entrepreneurs with disability (EwD); (3) Government social services and bureaucracy: government policies may stifle entrepreneurial activity among those with disability; (4) Culture and attitudes: discrimination in mainstream employment or blocked mobility may push PwD toward self-employment and entrepreneurship. Yet, other barriers may constrain EwD from fostering relationships with consumers, contractors, funders, and other key individuals. Challenging social attitudes about the ability of self-employed and entrepreneurial PwD is required to provide a more level playing field in business for EwD; (5) Importance of family and friendship units: key individuals in the lives of PwD provide support at many levels and are integral in their entrepreneurial journeys, especially so for people pursuing micro-enterprise activities. Many of the cultural, structural and attitudinal barriers experienced by PwD are overcome with support from immediate family, friends and carers; and (6) Financial support: making sure that PwD do not fall into further hardship is crucial in order to foster entrepreneurship in this cohort. Startup progress is contingent on the combination of the human, social and financial capital available for their enterprise. Human and social capital affect access to financial capital. Knowledge and access to mainstream funding opportunities such as in-kind business development, seed funding, grants, angel investors, venture capital, crowd funding or loans should be further developed to support aspiring entrepreneurs with disability.

Darcy, S., Collins, J., & Stronach, M. (2023). Entrepreneurs with disability: Australian insights through a social ecology lens. Small Enterprise Research, 30(1). 24-48. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/13215906.2022.2092888.

The study of people with disability who become entrepreneurs has been a neglected field of research but with a developing body of knowledge from different countries around the world over the last two decades. This paper aims to contribute to that body of knowledge through examining the journeys of entrepreneurs with disability (EwD) in Australia. It does so through a theoretical framework guided by the minority entrepreneurship literature, their lived experiences through social model understandings of disability and a social ecology framework. The research design involved interviews with 60 EwD with the findings examining their motivations, barriers, enablers, outcomes and benefits. The discussion examines the social, economic and cultural embeddedness of EwD’s journey, the paradox of their higher rates of entrepreneurship than the nondisabled and the entrepreneurial ecosystem. We conclude by outlining the contribution this study makes to disability entrepreneurship through the complexity revealed by the social ecological framework.

Entrepreneurship Series: Entrepreneurship for People with Disabilities [Accommodation and Compliance Series]. (2018, July). Morgantown, WV: Job Accommodation Network.

This brief document shares two situations and solutions on the issue of entrepreneurship for people with disabilities.

García, P. O., & Capitán, Á. O. (2019). Gender differences in entrepreneurship of people with disabilities. Journal of Entrepreneurship Education, 22(S2).

Data on women and disability in Spain manifest the double discrimination which affects women due to their own condition and the fact of presenting some kind of disability. This situation of vulnerability is especially evident in the labour field, in general, and in self-employment or entrepreneurship, in particular. Basing on a survey conducted on this collective concerning this issue, this article inquires about the differences in entrepreneurial activity among people with disabilities in relation to gender. The results show the lower propensity of women to start up a business in comparison to men. According to such data, differential aspects in entrepreneurial motivation and in the factors that inhibit such activity are also identified.

Győri, Z., Svastics, C., & Csillag, S. (2019). Conference Paper: Push and Pull Motivations of Entrepreneurs with Disabilities in Hungary. In Tipurić, Darko Hruška, Domagoj (Eds.), 7th International OFEL Conference on Governance, Management and Entrepreneurship: Embracing Diversity in Organisations. April 5th – 6th, 2019, Dubrovnik, Croatia, Governance Research and Development Centre (CIRU), Zagreb (pp. 351-366).

Disability is a worldwide phenomenon: approximately 16% of the world’s adult population aged 18 and older is disabled. WHO terms disability as an umbrella term, covering impairments, activity limitations and participation restrictions, including participation in the labour market. One possible solution to problems of low rates of labour market participation could be for people with disabilities to become entrepreneurs and run their own businesses. In our paper we would like to contribute to the growing body of empirical research on entrepreneurs with disabilities, highlighting the results of our exploratory qualitative research project, with a focus on ten Hungarian entrepreneurs with sight loss and physical disabilities. We explore and analyse the motivational background of people with disabilities establishing their own enterprises, showing forms of pull and push motivation.

Hafiar, H., Subekti, P., Setianti, Y., & Asiah, N. (2021, March). Mapping of research publications concerning disabilities and entrepreneurs as scientific communication activities. NYIMAK Journal of Communication, 5(11), 117-133. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.31000/nyimak.v5i1.3664.

Limited availability of employment opportunities, making some with disabilities intend to become entrepreneurs. There are a number of research results related to disability and entrepreneurship that have been published and indexed on the Garuda portal. The publication of research results is one of the scientific communication activities. This research aims to map a number of these studies. The research method used is descriptive quantitative. Based on the results of the analysis, it is known that research related to disabilities and entrepreneurship which is published in national journals and indexed on the Garuda portal, the majority of the research content makes the disability community the subject of its study, is followed by disabled entrepreneurs and students with disabilities, and makes people with disabilities in general the subject of their studies. followed by hearing, physical, visual and intellectual disabilities. Furthermore, there are four clusters of keywords related to the results of disability and entrepreneurial research. The first cluster of entrepreneurs is associated with training, education, ability, motivation, and finance. The second cluster of entrepreneurship is associated with skills, vocational, character, independence and marketing. The third cluster, entrepreneurship, is associated with mentoring, empowerment, business and community. The fourth cluster connects entrepreneurship with, welfare, accessibility, economy and entrepreneurs.

Halabisky, D. (2014). Policy Brief on Entrepreneurship for People with Disabilities: Entrepreneurial Activities in Europe. Paris: Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

This paper is part of a series of policy briefs on inclusive entrepreneurship produced by the OECD Local Economic and Employment Development Programme and the European Commission Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion.

Hidegh, A. L., Svastics, C., Csillag, S., & Győri, Z. (2023). The intersectional identity work of entrepreneurs with disabilities: Constructing difference through disability, gender, and entrepreneurship. In J. Mahadevan, H. Primecz, & A. J. Mills (Eds.), The politics of difference: Critical investigations across time and space [Special Issue]. Culture and Organization, 29(3), 226-241. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/14759551.2023.2201006.

Despite a growing interest in intersectional entrepreneurship studies investigating the interplay of privileged and disadvantaged identities, people with disabilities still appear to be a ‘forgotten minority’ in that field. Drawing on qualitative interviews with 29 entrepreneurs with disabilities (EWD), this study examines how differences are constructed by EWD when performing intersectional identity work at the crossroads of disability, gender, and entrepreneurship. The results revealed four overlapping strategies in response to different sources of identity threats, such as disability and gender threats: bracketing, reconciling, adjusting, and neglecting. While the identity work of EWD was informed by challenging dominant entrepreneurial discourse impregnated by ableism and hegemonic masculinity, simultaneously, othering was also used in crafting positive identities, which instead reproduced power-laden social differences.

Hsieh, Y., Josse Molina, V., & Weng, J. (2019, December). The road to entrepreneurship with impairments: A challenges-adaptive mechanisms-results model for disabled entrepreneurs. International Small Business Journal: Researching Entrepreneurship, 37(8), 761–779. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0266242619867654.

This article explores how different challenges potentially inspire those deemed impaired to engage with entrepreneurship and how they overcome such challenges through different adaptive mechanisms. Taking an interpretive perspective, we undertook semi-structured interviews with 13 entrepreneurs with impairments, providing an understanding of the relationship between challenges and the adaptive mechanisms that led to business and personal attainments. Based on our empirical findings, we propose a new challenges-adaptive mechanisms-results (CARE) model contributing to the literature on disabled entrepreneurship among those with impairments and also provide insights into the entrepreneurial endeavours of the disabled population.

Hutchinson, C., Lay, K., Alexander, J., & Ratcliffe, J. (2021, March). People with intellectual disabilities as business owners: A systematic review of peer-reviewed literature. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 34(2), 459-470. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/jar.12836.

Background: Microenterprises are very small businesses requiring little capital and can be an employment pathway for people with intellectual disabilities. This systematic review aims to identify the facilitators, barriers and outcomes from microenterprise.
Method: Web of Science, Scopus, EconLit, PsycINFO and ProQuest were searched to identify peer-reviewed studies on microenterprises owned by people with intellectual disability published up to and including 1 October 2019.
Results: A total of 1080 papers were independently screened by two reviewers. Six papers met the inclusion criteria. Barriers included lack of access to business expertise and resources, and the tension between growing microenterprises and maintaining eligibility for welfare payments. Formal and informal supports were key facilitators. Outcomes experienced included additional income, skills development, increased confidence and engagement in meaningful activities.
Conclusion: Additional research is required to develop an evidence base which may support investment in this employment pathway, making microenterprise more accessible to people with intellectual disabilities.

Jammaers, E., & Williams, J. (2021). Turning disability into a business: Disabled entrepreneurs’ anomalous bodily capital. Organization. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/13505084211032312.

In a time and place where being impaired is equated to being of lesser economic value, some disabled people take matters into their own hands by creating their own job and converting their bodily difference into bodily capital. This paper uses a Bourdieuan lens to discover what sets apart disabled entrepreneurs who build their business around disability and those who do not. Building on the experiences of 40 entrepreneurs, we outline the existence of certain bodily and mental schemata that lead to a body habituated to run a business centred around one’s impairment and experience of living as a disabled person in an ableist world. We specify such ‘anomalous’ bodily capital and discuss the constraints to its conversion related to the social environment and impairment effects. This study speaks back to the literature on disability in organizational contexts by extending the ‘value in disability’ debate whilst remaining cognizant of the danger of ‘supercrip’ stereotyping and disability ghettoization. In addition, the complex structure/agency interplay inherent to the practice of leveraging anomalous bodily capital offers a contribution to entrepreneurship research that tends to adhere to a simplistic view of the body.

Jammaers, E., & Zanoni, P. (2020): Unexpected entrepreneurs: The identity work of entrepreneurs with disabilities. Entrepreneurship & Regional Development An International Journal, 32(9-10), 879-898. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/08985626.2020.1842913.

Drawing on in-depth interviews, this study investigates how entrepreneurs with disabilities (EWDs) position themselves, in their identity work, vis-à-vis dominant, normative representations of the entrepreneur that tend to exclude them. Addressing the current neglect in how EWDs deal with such discursive barriers, we document four identity positions which they deploy, in various combinations, to construct an identity as an entrepreneur. Our findings show that outward positions, by which EWDs compare their own self with (non)-entrepreneurial (able-bodied) others and emphasize similarity and uniqueness, reproduce normative representations of the entrepreneur. Inward positions, by which EWDs engage in inner conversations contrasting their current self with older, aspirational or impossible selves, on the contrary lead to the destabilization of normative representations. This study speaks back to wider debates in entrepreneurship studies, including the plea to consider ‘ordinary’ entrepreneurs, the difference between ‘being’ an entrepreneur and ‘doing’ entrepreneurship, and the value in difference.

Kašperová, E. (2021). Impairment (in)visibility and stigma: How disabled entrepreneurs gain legitimacy in mainstream and disability markets.
Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, 33(9-10), 894-919. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/08985626.2021.197410.

Entrepreneurs’ use of linguistic practices, such as storytelling, in building legitimacy with customers and others is well documented. Yet, not all entrepreneurs may equally use or benefit from such practices in their legitimacy-building efforts. For those with stigmatized social identities, like disability, embodied properties and practices of non-linguistic, more visual kind, may be salient despite being under-explored in the entrepreneurial legitimacy studies. To address this knowledge gap, this article examines how disabled entrepreneurs gain legitimacy with customers and, more specifically, how impairment visibility shapes their capacity to do so. Drawing primarily on in-depth interviews with UK-based entrepreneurs, the article extends Suchman’s work by reconceptualizing his legitimacy-building strategies considering impairment visibility. It is argued that impairment visibility can both enable and constrain legitimacy depending on the product offering and the target market. Disabled entrepreneurs are found to adopt four embodied legitimacy-building strategies in the marketplace, each with specific implications for their micro-level interactions with customers.

Kitching, J. (2014). Entrepreneurship and Self-Employment by People with Disabilities [Background Paper for the OECD Project on Inclusive Entrepreneurship]. Paris: Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

“The objective of this background paper is to examine the possibility that entrepreneurship – defined as self-employment or business ownership – offers a solution to disabled people’s labour market disadvantage and social exclusion” (pp. 1-2).

Krüger, D, & David, A. (2020, February). Entrepreneurial education for persons with disabilities—A social innovation approach for inclusive ecosystems. Frontiers in Education, 5(3). DOI: https://doi.org/10.3389/feduc.2020.00003.

Fostering entrepreneurship and inclusive societies are on top of EU policy agenda. This article is bringing together both aims by discussing a social innovation framework for inclusive entrepreneurial education for persons with disabilities. Similar to other disadvantaged groups, persons with disabilities can benefit from entrepreneurial skills for self-management or, on a next level, for starting own, opportunity-driven businesses. The framework suggests several building blocks considered necessary for successful entrepreneurial education for the beneficiaries. First, it is approaching the framework through a social innovation perspective. In doing so, it suggests a social innovation ecosystem perspective to operationalize all relevant stakeholders and contextual aspects relevant for the framework. Second, it suggests to build on socially innovative, hence novel, practices by starting from co-creation and co-production in order to meet individual demands and needs of learners. Furthermore, it takes the concept of universal design into account as it holds major implications for inclusive entrepreneurial education for persons with disabilities and underlines the need of different, more suitable practices in entrepreneurship education and beyond, toward an inclusive learning ecosystem.

Levesque, M. (2020). Leadership as Interpreneurship: A Disability Nonprofit Atlantic Canadian Profile. In C. de Clercy (Ed.), Leadership, Populism and Power [Feature Issue]. Politics and Governance, 8(1), 182–192. DOIhttps://doi.org/10.17645/pag.v8i1.2505.

The entrenchment of the neoliberal state and rise of populist leaders has marginalized the role of voluntary organizations in society. This presents significant challenges for nonprofit leaders in economically challenged areas as it erodes their ability to protect and serve vulnerable populations. Attention turns to maintaining hard fought gains at the expense of making progress. Yet doing so requires new skills and leadership styles to manage organizational change where innovation and transformation are key. Based on 42 qualitative interviews with disability nonprofit leaders in Atlantic Canada, our study aims to characterize this transformation. Using Szerb’s (2003) key attributes of entrepreneurship that distinguish between entre-, intra-, and interpreneurs, we find disability leaders have become interpreneurs. We find a strong emphasis on networked service delivery underscoring shared goals, risks and responsibilities, and resources. For disability leaders, cultivating relationships and strong communication skills are essential. In the face of populist desires for state retrenchment, we question how long this collective response can hold given ongoing economic challenges.

Lundberg, C. S. (2023). Striving to abolish a deficit approach to disability: Frames applied by frontline workers and activist entrepreneurs in employment. Disability & Society. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/09687599.2022.2160927.

Frontline workers engaged in enabling employment and activist entrepreneurs strive to reframe disability as they facilitate work inclusion. They do so in an organisational and societal context that emphasises labour-market participation. Frontline workers facilitate this inclusion when they implement and construct disability employment policies at the street level, while activist entrepreneurs do so when they privilege hiring disabled people. Based on interviews in this study within a Norwegian welfare context, I show how both groups of actors strive to abolish a deficit approach in distinct yet overlapping ways. They do so by framing disabled people in terms of their assets and contributions rather than foregrounding their needs and challenges. While the entrepreneurs brought up ways in which disability can be a central part of identity that should be recognised and talked about, the frontline workers promoted assets in an individualised manner. Nevertheless, the deficit approach is maintained in subtle ways.

Matsaure, K., Chindimba, A., Zimano, F.R. & Ruffin, F. (2020). Looking under the veil: Challenges faced by people with disabilities in cross border entrepreneurship. African Journal of Disability, 9(0), a645. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ajod.v9i0.645.

Background: Cross-border entrepreneurship is one source of livelihood that is transforming people’s lives, especially those with limited resources and educational qualifications and those in need of supplementary earnings to complement meagre formal earnings. However, despite strides made to make this avenue worthwhile, this Zimbabwean study shows that hidden hindrances still persist from procedural and structural barriers from road entry point management systems. To people with disabilities (PWDs), the impact of these hidden barriers is severe to the extent of obstructing their optimum progression into cross-border entrepreneurship.
Objectives: This article sought to interrogate some veiled challenges in border management systems affecting PWDs’ quest to venture into cross-border entrepreneurship. This angle has, to this end, been timidly addressed as most organisations and legislation have concentrated on making things work for the majority of the populace.
Method: Qualitative phenomenological method in which researchers’ lived experiences, review of literature, ideas and opinions is complemented by secondary survey data from a road entry point management system study in the Zimbabwean setting.
Results: Cross-border entrepreneurship has potential to transform people’s lives: 1) road and border management systems’ procedural and structural complications present hidden challenges impeding PWDs’ entry and optimum participation in cross border entrepreneurship, 2) people with disabilities are not automatically dependents; in fact, most have dependents looking up to the, 30 social construction of disability persists and must be curbed and 4) there is a need to institute a ‘stakeholders triad approach’.
Conclusion: The existing road entry points’ management systems are not informed by considerations from PWDs, hence the existence of hidden challenges. Cross-border entrepreneurship can open significant livelihood avenues to PWDs. A stakeholders ‘triad approach’, proposed herein, can solve some of the policy discrepancies as it recommends utilising inputs from PWDs, research and policy-makers.

Maulida, E., Esty Nurbaity, E., & Utami, V. (2020). Entrepreneurship Education and Entrepreneurial Intention among Disability Students in Higher Education. International Conference on Humanities, Education, and Social Sciences, KnE Social Sciences (pp. 281–289). DOI: https://doi.org/10.18502/kss.v4i14.7886.

Entrepreneurship education helps to form appropriately entrepreneurial mindsets and behaviors in students. This is not only for normal students but also students with special needs in tertiary institutions. This study aims to identify the entrepreneurial intention of students with special needs (disability) at Jakarta State University (UNJ). This research used the case study research method, where the cases are students with disabilities at UNJ who are registered as active students. Data was collected using unstructured interviews. The research revealed three core indicators of student entrepreneurial intention. These are 1) elements of intention (cognition, emotions and conations), 2) characteristics of an entrepreneur and 3) business ethics. The results of this study state that students with disabilities know about entrepreneurship (cognition) and have a desire to become an entrepreneur (emotion) and have experience in trying entrepreneurship (conations). In addition, the students with disabilities also know what needs to be prepared to become an entrepreneur such as the readiness of the risks to be faced and how to run a good business.

Mota, I., Marques, C., & Sacramento, O. (2020), “Handicaps and new opportunity businesses: what do we (not) know about disabled entrepreneurs?” Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy, 14(3), 321-347. https://doi.org/10.1108/JEC-12-2019-0120.

Purpose: The process by which disabled individuals become entrepreneurs can be influenced by factors of different orders. Throughout their entrepreneurship careers and projects, disabled entrepreneurs may have to overcome multiple personal, social and political barriers. This study aims to review what we do (and do not) know about disabled entrepreneurs research to date.

Design/methodology/approach: The literature review focused on analyzing 42 articles from two databases, namely, Web of Science and Scopus. After the articles were selected, they were grouped into thematic clusters.

Findings: The results were categorized into four areas, namely, entrepreneurs with disabilities, self-employment as an alternative to unemployment for people with disabilities, barriers faced by disabled entrepreneurs and the importance of education, training and/or orientation for these individuals’ entrepreneurship. The research verified that, in some cases, people with disabilities resort to self-employment and become entrepreneurs to avoid unemployment. Education and training’s positive role in how this process develops is clear as they empower individuals with disabilities and enable them to raise entrepreneurial attitudes.

Originality/value: Based on the citation profile of articles on disabled entrepreneurs, the results contribute to a better understanding of the flow and main findings of scientific research on this topic over the past 15 years. The findings also include research tendencies that reveal the field’s emergent perspectives, which are of great importance to academics seeking to enhance entrepreneurial processes and policymakers interested in stimulating entrepreneurship education.

Mustaffa, C. S., Halim, H., Ahmad, J., Ishak, M. Q., & Johari, N. A. (2020). Disability and poverty: A review on social entrepreneurship opportunities for persons with disabilities in Malaysia. Albukhary Social Business Journal (ASBJ), 1(2), 1-11. DOI: http://eoi.citefactor.org/10.11241/asbj.01.02.001.

Disability is a phenomenon, which naturally occurs in societies. Just as the able-bodied people, disabled people are part of the society and they form a valuable group, work and participate in economic activities. However, issues on employment among people with disabilities (PWDs), which are viewed as social issues, are still not adequately dealt with even though these issues have long been debated, and are widely discussed. Multiple solutions have been proposed to address these issues but still, members of this group face various obstacles or difficulties in joining the job market. One of the solutions that are seen viable in helping this segment of the community is through social entrepreneurship (SE), which could possibly provide an opportunity to create employment for them. It is anticipated that SE will change the landscape of people with disabilities, and at the same time encourages entrepreneurs with disabilities to participate in economic activities. The urgent call for the implementation of SE is due to the fact that the number of individuals and the unemployment rate among PWDs are now increasing in Malaysia. Thus, this paper elaborates on how SE can be treated as a mechanism in overcoming issues related to PWDs employability in the Malaysian context. This is consistent with the Malaysian Plan of Action for People with Disabilities 2016-2022, which describes the equal rights of PWDs to education, employment, and cultural life; the rights to own and inherit property, not to be discriminated against in marriage, children, and not involving them as unwilling subjects in a medical experiment. The paper provides an opportunity for knowledge sharing on how Malaysia should move forward towards implementing SE program for PWDs.

Norstedt, M., & Germundsson, P. (2021). Motives for entrepreneurship and establishing one’s own business among people with disabilities: Findings from a scoping review. Disability & Society. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/09687599.2021.1919504.

As people with disabilities often face difficulties entering the labour market, entrepreneurship and self-employment are often regarded as an opportunity to gain employment and earn a living. This article presents a scoping review that aims to investigate what establishment motives previous studies have identified for self-employment and entrepreneurship among people with disabilities. Four themes emerged: economic motives; flexibility and self-determination; avoiding discrimination; and personal development and being able to contribute something. In the article we discuss the results and relate them to the general discourse on entrepreneurship, which often includes the concept of autonomy. We argue that the findings suggest implications for how to develop support and strategies for this group, to help them avoid ending up in an even more vulnerable position. In this work, the individual’s own motives for establishment are of great value.

Norstedt, M., & Germundsson, P. (2022). Self-employment for people with disabilities: Barriers to and (Im)possibilities in starting and running their own business. Scandinavian Journal of Disability Research, 24(1), 239–252. DOI: http://doi.org/10.16993/sjdr.909.

Little is known about self-employment among people with disabilities in Sweden. The present article contributes knowledge about barriers and opportunities experienced by self-employed people with disabilities and discusses how these affect the labor market inclusion of people with disabilities.

The article draws on qualitative, in-depth interviews with 10 self-employed participants with disabilities and one group interview with six participants who were self-employed and had visual impairments.

The analysis shows that the participants see self-employment as an opportunity for a more flexible working life. However, the economic redistribution on which they often depend to run their business is conditioned in a way that does not take into consideration their everyday life. Consequently, despite political goals of inclusion and social justice, people with disabilities come to be excluded from yet another arena, that is, self-employment.

Office of Disability Employment Policy, U.S. Department of Labor. (2013, December 15). Self-Employment for People with Disabilities. Washington, DC: Author.

ODEP initiated START-UP, a three-year grant project, in 2007 to identify policies and practices then in place that either made it difficult for individuals with disabilities to become self-employed or supported them in becoming self-employed. As part of the initiative, three states (Alaska, Florida, and New York) were awarded grants to pilot new innovative models for assisting individuals with disabilities to start businesses. A fourth grant established a national technical assistance center, Self-Employment Technical Assistance, Resources, & Training (START-UP/USA), to provide information and guidance about promoting self-employment for disabilities to the state grantees, as well as serving as a national resource for individuals and agencies wanting to pursue self-employment goals for people with disabilities. This is the final report of the START-UP initiative. It describes the barriers experienced by the four grantees, the self-employment models tested, the achievements of the grant programs, and case studies of several individuals with disabilities who successfully became self-employed. The report also makes recommendations for adoption by agencies and individuals for realizing self-employment goals.

Pavey, B., Alexander-Passe, N., & Meehan, M. (Eds.). (2020). Entrepreneurship, Dyslexia, and Education: Research, Principles, and Practice. New York: Routledge. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4324/9781351036900.

The development of entrepreneurial abilities in people with dyslexia is a subject of great interest. It has gained increasing importance in economically difficult times because of its potential for the development of new business opportunities. This book brings together contributions from researchers, educators, and entrepreneurs with dyslexia, investigating this subject from many perspectives. Is there something different in the profile of a person with dyslexia that supports the development of entrepreneurship? This book aims to draw out key themes which can be used in education to motivate, mentor, and create the business leaders of tomorrow. It offers a fundamental text for this area of study with a comprehensive, international examination of its topic. It includes views by new and established international writers and researchers, providing up-to-date perspectives on entrepreneurship, dyslexia, and education. It is accessible to read, to understand, and to learn from, and is suitable for recommended reading for graduate and postgraduate students. The diverse views and perspectives demonstrated in this book make it as relevant as possible for a wide group of readers. It informs study in the fields of business and dyslexia, and will be of interest to educators, researchers, and to anyone interested in the overlap of entrepreneurship and dyslexia.

Parker Harris, S., Caldwell, K., & Renko, M. (2014). Entrepreneurship by any other name: Self-sufficiency versus innovation. Journal of Social Work in Disability & Rehabilitation, 13(4), 1-33. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/1536710X.2014.961115.

Entrepreneurship has been promoted as an innovative strategy to address the employment of people with disabilities. Research has predominantly focused on the self-sufficiency aspect without fully integrating entrepreneurship literature in the areas of theory, systems change, and demonstration projects. Subsequently there are gaps in services, policies, and research in this field that, in turn, have limited our understanding of the support needs and barriers or facilitators of entrepreneurs with disabilities. A thorough analysis of the literature in these areas led to the development of two core concepts that need to be addressed in integrating entrepreneurship into disability employment research and policy: clarity in operational definitions and better disability statistics and outcome measures. This article interrogates existing research and policy efforts in this regard to argue for a necessary shift in the field from focusing on entrepreneurship as self-sufficiency to understanding entrepreneurship as innovation.

Parker Harris, S., Renko, M., & Caldwell, K. (2013). Accessing social entrepreneurship: Perspectives of people with disabilities and key stakeholders. Vocational Rehabilitation, 38, 35-48. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3233/JVR-120619.

Social entrepreneurship has been gaining increasing attention as a possible employment strategy for people with disabilities. However, little is known about the experiences of social entrepreneurs with disabilities in relation to their resources needs, opportunities for participation, and barriers they encounter. Further, little is understood about how social entrepreneurship differs from self-employment or forms of commercial entrepreneurship. The findings included herein are representative of the first empirical research integrating the fields of disability studies and entrepreneurship studies to explore social entrepreneurship among people with disabilities through interviews with key stakeholders working in the field (n=19) and focus groups with social entrepreneurs with disabilities themselves (n=27). Three themes emerged from this qualitative research that hold particular importance to policymakers and professionals working in the field of vocational rehabilitation: 1) education, training and information; 2) finance, funding and asset development; 3) networking and supports. The findings demonstrate that social entrepreneurship can be an effective model of employment but is currently underutilized. With additional investment, it can offer a meaningful way for people with disabilities to participate in the labor market and complement existing strategies in competitive and customized employment to promote choice and self-determination.

Parker Harris, S., Renko, M., & Caldwell, K. (2014). Social entrepreneurship as an employment pathway for people with disabilities: Exploring political-economic and socio-cultural factors. Disability & Society, 29(8), 1275-1290. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/09687599.2014.924904.

The current economic climate demands more innovative approaches to increasing labor market participation for people with disabilities. Social entrepreneurship (SE) offers one alternative employment pathway. However, little is known about the broader factors influencing SE for people with disabilities. Using empirical data from focus groups comprised of social entrepreneurs with disabilities and interviews with key stakeholders working in the fields of policy, disability, and business, this research frames its analysis in the intersection of disability studies and entrepreneurship to explore which factors influence the potential for SE to provide equal participation opportunities for people with disabilities in the labor market. Findings suggest that further consideration of political–economic and socio-cultural factors is needed if we are to better understand the potential of SE for people with disabilities.

Powers, B., Le Loarne-Lemaire, S., Maalaoui, A., & Kraus, S. (2021). “When I get older, I wanna be an entrepreneur”: the impact of disability and dyslexia on entrepreneurial self-efficacy perception. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, 27(2), 434-451. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1108/IJEBR-06-2020-0400.

This article contributes to the literature on entrepreneurship for people with disabilities through a better understanding of the impact of entrepreneurial self-efficacy perceptions on entrepreneurial intentions in populations with lower levels of self-esteem. It investigates the entrepreneurial intention and self-efficacy of a population of students suffering from dyslexia, which is a learning disability.

Quick Reference Guide: “I can’t work for others anymore.” (n.d.). Washington, DC: National Disability Institute.

This quick reference guide provides information and resources to guide individuals to information on self-employment or entrepreneurship.

Raudsaar, M., & Kaseorg, M. (2013, March). Social entrepreneurship as an alternative for disabled people. GSTF Journal on Business Review (GBR), 2(3), 120-125.

Employment of people with disabilities is an important aspect in terms of social involvement because nonactive residents inhibit economic development. Estonia performs average in comparing ratio of no-active people (including disabled workforce) across EU countries. The situation can be improved when motivation to enter job market is increased either eliminating barriers or applying active employment policy measures. In this regard Estonia has not used its full potential, since intensity of measures taken is relatively modest. However, some good alternatives have emerged among third sector organizations. The main risk groups are women, young people, disabled people and elderly. In this paper we concentrate on the problems of unemployment among disabled people and the aim is to explore alternative work possibilities for disable people. We search for different solutions and analyze cases what has been used in Estonia.

Robinson, S. (2021, Spring). A Black, Dyslexic, Gifted and Male Entrepreneur: The Unheard Voice. Journal of African American Males in Education, 12(2).

Scholarship addressing entrepreneurs who identified themselves as gifted and dyslexia continues to come from a singular perspective and lacks diverse or inclusive views. Researchers examining the experiences of entrepreneurs who are gifted, and dyslexia must include the sociocultural perspectives of Black males and understand the process of how becoming an entrepreneur is based in the individual’s gifted identity. To truly give voice to entrepreneurs from underserved and underrepresented communities, qualitative (i.e., autobiographical) and conceptual research are necessary that focus on new venture creation and development, characteristics, and behaviors. Therefore, this autobiographical article of a Black, dyslexic, gifted male will give voice to the biographical process of becoming an entrepreneur.

Renko, M., & Freeman, M. (2019, December). Entrepreneurship by and for disadvantaged populations: Global evidence. In A. McWilliams, D. E. Rupp, D. Siegel, G. Stahl, & D. Waldman (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Corporate Social Responsibility: Psychological and Organizational Perspectives. New York: Oxford University Press.

“In this chapter, we focus on such entrepreneurial entities and draw attention to their ‘actions that appear to further some social good, beyond the interests of the firm and that which is required by law’—that is, the very definition of CSR (McWilliams and Siegel, 2001). More specifically, we focus on the role of entrepreneurship in furthering a distinct form of social good, that is, the integration of disadvantaged populations in the society, and the related provision of economic opportunity to such groups.”

Saxena, S. S., & Pandya, R. S. K. (2018). Gauging underdog entrepreneurship for disabled entrepreneurs. Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy, 12(1), 3-18. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1108/JEC-06-2017-0033.

Purpose: In the past decade, entrepreneurship research has evolved with the contribution of different scholars, but there is a lack of studies available that focused on entrepreneurship with disabilities. The objective of the research is understanding differently abled entrepreneurs and their entrepreneurial journey. How challenges caused by disability contribute to motivate them to pursue entrepreneurship as a career. This study is based on “Underdog entrepreneurs: Challenge-based entrepreneurship model” theoretical model proposed by Miller and Breton-Miller (2017).
Design/methodology/approach: This qualitative research includes case study methodology to study eight differently abled entrepreneurs. All the identified cases are located in the city of Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India. In-depth interviews and multiple visits were scheduled to collect the data. Transcripts of the interview and observation notes were developed for the analysis of the content according to the adopted theoretical model.
Findings: Differently abled entrepreneurs show similar traits as the non-disabled entrepreneurs. They are also found to be more resilient and persistent while dealing with the challenges of failure, stress and uncertainty. Difficult conditions and experiences of discrimination indirectly prepare them for tackling challenges while pursuing entrepreneurship. People close to differently abled entrepreneurs play a critical role in shaping and supporting their ventures.
Research limitations/implications: Owing to the lack of authentic information available on disabled entrepreneurs, the study does not include different entrepreneurs with more disabilities such as hearing impairment, speech impairment and mental illness. The study also focuses on the entrepreneurs of Ahmedabad City, Gujarat because of the similar reason. Originality/value: This paper is an original submission and contributes towards understanding the differently abled entrepreneurs.

Shaheen, G. E. (2016). “Inclusive entrepreneurship”: A process for improving self-employment for people with disabilities. Journal of Policy Practice, 15(1–2), 58–81. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/15588742.2016.1109963.

This article describes the theoretical framework, processes, and outcomes associated with a U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Programs (ODEP)-funded project: “Start-UP NY.” Beginning in 2007, ODEP funded three Start-UP projects throughout the United States to test and demonstrate improved practices supporting entrepreneurship among people with diverse disabilities, including those with mental illnesses and veterans with disabilities. The New York project coined the term “Inclusive Entrepreneurship” to describe a model that promoted change at the individual, program, and systems level to improve the rate of small business development by people with disabilities. The author describes the genesis of the project, its intended effects and the lessons learned along the way that resulted in either course corrections or improvements, He then discusses how the project has been sustained and provides recommendations for replicating the project’s approach and methods in other United States communities or in other countries.

Shaheen, G. (2017). Chapter 10: Beyond the business case. In P. Miesing & M. Aggestam (Eds.), Educating Social Entrepreneurs: From Idea Generation to Business Plan Formulation (Vol. 1).  (pp. 97-111). Business Expert Press.

This case provides an example of individual entrepreneurship fur people with disabilities. Social entrepreneurship’s both social and economic goals can be met by seeding and supporting small-scale venture creation that assists people with disabilities to achieve financial stability and improve social inclusion. Social entrepreneurship students who understand the fundamentals of small venture development will benefit from this case. Disability studies students who understand person-centered planning and the employment challenges faced by people with disabilities are also likely to benefit from this case. The optimal benefit may be realized by assigning students of both disciplines as members of the same study teams to better leverage and apply their specific academic knowledge to the case example. After students read through the case, they will answer challenge questions related to the entrepreneur’s personal, venture operational infrastructure, and environmental barriers to a new venture start-up, using an “Inclusive Entrepreneurship Template.” The case exercise provides students with an opportunity to critically examine and discuss how they would assist a prospective entrepreneur with a disability in overcoming the personal, small enterprise infrastructure and environmental challenges that prospective entrepreneurs with disabilities often face in developing or scaling up their new ventures.

Shamir, O. (2015). On sensitivity and disability: Political consumerism, social-political entrepreneurship and social justice. World Political Science, 11(2), 245-277. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/wps-2015-1002.

Why do entrepreneurs choose to use consumer power as an alternative political channel in order to create social and political change? What are the conditions that lead them to adopt this strategy? The main purpose of this article is to offer a theoretical framework to discuss political consumerism strategy used by social entrepreneurs, those who seek to influence political norms in society, the conduct of the business market, and the shaping of public policy. The theoretical model, which this article intends to propose, is based on the new institutional approach (Neo-Institutionalism) and on the principles of the rational choice theory. The article suggests an explanatory variable in the form of political consumerism as an alternative means for political participation (alternative politics), which is influenced by structural, political, economic, and cultural conditions as well as by rational cost-benefit calculations made by entrepreneurs. For an empirical study of the proposed theoretical framework, the article analyzes two campaigns where the entrepreneurs employed political consumerism as a primary action strategy to promote issues related to social justice as institutional changes in Israel. The first of these was the campaign launched by the “Bema’agalei Tzedek” (“Paths of Righteousness”) Society for workers’ rights and the rights of the disabled; the second one was the campaign led by the consumer movement known as “Israel Yekara Lanu” against the cottage cheese producers as part of the social protest in the summer of 2011.

Smith, H. L. (2023). Public spaces, equality, diversity and inclusion: Connecting disabled entrepreneurs to urban spaces. In T. de Noronha (Ed.), Public Spaces: Socioeconomic Challenges [Special Issue]. Land, 12(4), 873. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/land12040873.

In the UK and in many other countries, the lack of support for disabled entrepreneurs is an economic, cultural, and societal issue. This is because while disabled entrepreneurs belong to and contribute to public spaces, there are often barriers to their full engagement in the local economy. Where interaction is well established, such entrepreneurs add to the cultural richness of places, to personal and societal well-being and economically by wealth creation. The goal of the study is to identify what can be done to overcome the marginalisation of disabled entrepreneurs, which leads to increased local equality of opportunity, thereby adding to the diversity of local economies and, thus, to a more inclusive society. However, as the evidence from this study of the geography of specialised networks which support disabled entrepreneurs in the UK shows, the entrepreneurial capacity of public spaces (inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystems) for disabled entrepreneurs is better in some places and entirely absent in others. It is this local dimension that has been missing in other studies of disabled entrepreneurs. By focusing on the formal networks that have been established to support disabled entrepreneurs rather than the entrepreneurs themselves, the particular knowledge gap that this paper addresses is the importance of the networks in making those connections and bringing about systemic change in urban spaces. They do this in three ways. They provide access to resources that disabled entrepreneurs need to start and grow a business; in turn, they need to engage with other local public and private sector organisations in order to sustain their own activities, and by their role as advocates on behalf of their members through their leadership, they increase the visibility of disabled entrepreneurs within urban spaces. The contribution to academic literature is to explore the interconnection between the agency of particular organisations to improve inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystems and overcome embedded exclusion within urban spaces. Examples from the UK and from the USA provide empirical insights into what can be done.

Svidron, L. M. (2021). Entrepreneurship as an employment option for people with disabilities: Adding information to your job development toolkit. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 54(3), 285-288. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3233/JVR-211138.

BACKGROUND: Traditional job development for people with disabilities involves placement of individuals into currently open community-based positions or customized positions in the community.
OBJECTIVE: When an individual expresses the desire to be self-employed and grow their own business, job developers are unaware of the opportunities available to assist in the process. Entrepreneurship or self-employment has been achieved by many notorious businessmen throughout time. These businessmen all have a disability in which they have learned to embrace their strengths and receive assistance for their weaknesses.
CONCLUSIONS: Lessons can be learned from the top businessmen to assist job developers in developing self-employment and entrepreneurship for their individuals to build a better job development toolbox.

Tihic, M., Hadzic, M., & McKelvie, A. (2021, November). Social support and its effects on self-efficacy among entrepreneurs with disabilities. Journal of Business Venturing Insights, 16, e00279. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbvi.2021.e00279.

We analyze if various programs for entrepreneurs with disabilities (EWD) positively impact their self-efficacy. We examine if variations in self-efficacy of EWD are related to perceptions of social support, quality assistance from service providers, and perceived barriers to entrepreneurship as a way to evaluate the impact of programs for EWD. We draw upon Critical Disability Theory to understand if service providers act as ‘sites of injustice’ for EWD, creating further barriers, or as ‘sites of justice’ that positively impact their self-efficacy. Using a sample of 127 EWD, we find a positive relationship between the services received from entrepreneurship and disability-specific support programs on self-efficacy. Conversely, we find a strong negative relationship between barriers to entrepreneurship and the self-efficacy of EWD. We contribute by forwarding Critical Disability Theory to the realm of entrepreneurship and shedding new empirical light on EWD.

Tucker, R., Zuo, L., Marino, L. D., Lowman, G. H., & Sleptov, A. (2021). ADHD and entrepreneurship: Beyond person-entrepreneurship fit. Journal of Business Venturing Insights, 15, e00219. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbvi.2020.e00219.

Research examining mental health and entrepreneurship has found important links between mental health and entrepreneurship. These findings have led scholars to suggest a fit between some aspects of mental health, and in particular, mental dysfunction, and entrepreneurship. This paper complements extant studies in this area by examining the mental health and entrepreneurship
relationship from a sociocognitive perspective. We examine to what extent does ADHD influence entrepreneurial self-efficacy and opportunity recognition tendency. Our findings are consistent with our hypotheses, suggesting that people with ADHD may not be efficacious in the entrepreneurial context, and specifically in recognizing opportunities. However, confidence in one’s ability regarding the entrepreneurship vocation can grow with education and experience. Our findings allow us to advance theory and offer practical implications.

Uribe-Toril, J., Ruiz-Real, J. L., Ceresia, F., & Valenciano, J. P. (2019). Entrepreneurship and psychological disorders in academic publishing. Journal of Entrepreneurship Education, 22(S2).

The role that different psychological disorders play in entrepreneurial intentions and behaviors is of increasing interest and importance to the scientific community. Scholars have undertaken a range of investigations that demonstrate that individuals with specific psychological disorders should be treated differently to other individuals. Some studies contribute to psychological disorders shifting from a disability paradigm to a paradigm of diversity. The main objective of this work is to carry out a preliminary analysis of the literature published about the relationship between psychological disorders and entrepreneurship. For this purpose, a bibliometric methodology and a fractional counting method of clustering were developed, identifying and analyzing 108 documents as recorded in the Web of Science and Scopus databases on the relationship between entrepreneurship and psychological disorders. This paper represents a contribution to the state-of-the-art of research on entrepreneurship and psychological disorders, identifying trends and proposing future topics and research lines.

Vaziri, D., Schreiber, D., Wieching, R., & Wulf, V. (2014). Disabled entrepreneurship and self-employment: The role of technology and policy building [Background Paper for the OECD Project on Inclusive Entrepreneurship]. Paris: Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

“…this background paper will illustrate current barriers for disabled people aiming to become an entrepreneur and provide best practice policy examples that support the elimination of these barriers through the application of technology. To conclude, this paper will make recommendations for required policy actions dealing with technology, which will promote disabled people to approach the pathway into self-employment” (p. 2). OECD has a series of policy briefs, short reports designed for policy makers and practitioners. Each policy brief presents key data, policy challenges and policy recommendations on selected themes (visit the OECD website).

Widoyoko, E. P., Setiawan, B., Sholeh, K., & Shina, M. I. (2018). Model of entrepreneurship for people with disabilities. The 1st International Conference on Law, Governance and Social Justice (ICoL GaS 2018), Vol. 54. London: EDP Sciences.

Persons with disabilities are often regarded as unproductive citizens, unable to carry out their duties and responsibilities so that their rights are ignored. Indonesia is a country that has various risks of disability due to various causes, such as prolonged armed conflict, chronic diseases and natural disasters in various areas such as earthquakes, flash floods, landslides and so on. People with disabilities are under-represented in the workforce, often facing discrimination by employers, and often not served and protected effectively. To support the active participation of people with disabilities in society and the economy, this paper aims to explore the role of entrepreneurs with disabilities and the entrepreneurship model of people with disabilities in the study area. We explore entrepreneurial activities between people with disabilities, theoretical foundations, provide entrepreneurial benefits and challenges for people with disabilities, and propose policy recommendations for models of entrepreneurship development with disabilities. Development of entrepreneurship programs for people with disabilities is needed to combat these barriers, promote empowerment and facilitate economic independence for people with disabilities. This model includes courses on how to write business plans, one-on-one business guides, technical assistance, new business grants, and assistance from business incubators.

Williams, J., & Patterson, N. (2019). New directions for entrepreneurship through a gender and disability lens. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, 25(8), 1706-1726. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1108/IJEBR-12-2017-0499.

Purpose – There is a dearth of studies exploring the intersection of gender and disability within entrepreneurship research. This is despite women’s entrepreneurship research encouraging an expansion of the research questions asked and approaches taken. As a contribution to this debate, the purpose of this paper is to develop an understanding of gender and disability as social categorizations which can shape entrepreneurial opportunities and experiences for disabled women entrepreneurs.

Design/methodology/approach – The paper offers an intersectional conceptual lens for the study of disabled women entrepreneurs to explore a concern for a particular social group – women – at a neglected point of intersection – disability – within the social setting of entrepreneurship. Guided by the research question (how can gender and feminist disability theory contribute to the development of an intersectional theoretical lens for future entrepreneurship research?), the potential for new theoretical insights to emerge in the entrepreneurship field is identified.

Findings – Through a gender and disability intersectional lens for entrepreneurship research, four theoretical synergies between gender and disability research are identified: the economic rationale; flexibility, individualism and meritocracy; and social and human capital. In addition to the theoretical synergies, the paper highlights three theoretical variances: the anomalous body and bodily variation; sexuality, beauty and appearance; and multiple experiences of care as potentially generative areas for women’s entrepreneurship research. The paper identifies new directions for future gender, disability and entrepreneurship research by outlining research questions for each synergy and variance which draw attention to disabled women entrepreneurs’ experiences of choice and control within and across different spaces and processes of entrepreneuring.

Originality/value – The conceptual intersectional lens offered to study disabled women’s entrepreneurship highlights new directions for exploring experiences of entrepreneuring at the intersection of disability and gender. The paper brings disability into view as a social category that should be of concern to feminist entrepreneurship researchers by surfacing different dimensions of experience to those currently explored. Through the new directions outlined, future research can further disrupt the prevailing discourse of individualism and meritocracy that perpetuates success as an individual’s responsibility, and instead offer the potential for richer understandings of entrepreneuring which has a gender and disability consciousness.

Yang, Y., Kulkarni, M., Baldridge, D., & Konrad, A. M. (2022). Earnings of persons with disabilities: Who earns more (less) from entrepreneurial pursuit? Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1108/EDI-09-2021-0239.

Purpose – Persons with disabilities (PWD) are among the largest and most diverse minority groups and among the most disadvantaged in terms of employment. Entrepreneurial pursuit is often advocated as a path toward employment, inclusion, and equality, yet few studies have investigated earning variation among PWD.

Design/methodology/approach – The authors draw on social cognitive career theory (SCCT), and the disability employment and entrepreneurship literature to develop hypotheses about who among PWD are likely to earn more (less) from entrepreneurial pursuits. The authors then conduct analyses on the nationally representative sample of the Canadian Survey on Disability (CSD) by including all PWD engaged in entrepreneurial pursuit, and matching each to an organizationally employed counterpart of the same gender and race and of similar age and disability severity (n ≈ 810).

Findings – Entrepreneurial pursuit has a stronger negative association with the earnings of PWD who experience earlier disability onset ages, those who report more unmet accommodation needs, and those who are female.

Originality/value – First, this study applies SCCT to help bridge the literature on organizational employment barriers for PWD and entrepreneurs with disabilities. Second, we call into question the logic of neoliberalism about entrepreneurship by showing that barriers to organizational employment impact entrepreneurial pursuit decisions and thereby earnings. Third, we extend the understanding of entrepreneurial earnings among PWD by examining understudied disability attributes and demographic attributes. Lastly, this study is among the first to use a matched sample to empirically test the impact of entrepreneurial pursuit on the earnings of PWD.

Yousafzai, S., Ng, W., Sheikh, S., & Coogan, T. (2022). Research Handbook on Disability and Entrepreneurship. Cheltenham, UK & Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar Publishing. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4337/9781789905649.

By exploring the economic and social value of disabled people with positive entrepreneurial traits and adaptive skills, this innovative book breaks away from normative entrepreneurial studies to recognise the overlooked value in disabled entrepreneurs.