Welcome to Entrepreneurs with Disabilities
Funded in part by Western Economic Diversification Canada.
It might not be apparent, but people with disabilities have a lot in common with entrepreneurs. Both groups face more barriers than most people. Both groups have to be extra-determined to succeed in business. And both groups have to be able to tune out nay-sayers.
In many ways, people with disabilities make ideal entrepreneurs. Examples include Steve Jobs, Richard Branson. Read on to see if this program can help you!
Is This Program For You?
Prospect's program for Entrepreneurs with Disabilities is available at no cost, and designed for people who...
- Live in the Metro Edmonton Area
- Have a permanent disability or chronic condition
- Find it hard to get or keep a meaningful job because of that disability or condition
- Have a viable business idea they’re passionate about
- Are ready, willing and motivated to run a business
- Are creative, resourceful and ready for change
What Is Prospect?
Prospect is a leading Alberta not-for-profit that helps people who face barriers to employment overcome those barriers and find and keep good jobs. We have decades of experience helping everyone from people with disabilities to youth to recent immigrants to veterans of the Canadian Armed Forces. We’re pleased to bring this program to Edmonton, supported and funded by Western Economic Diversification Canada.
How To Apply For Entrepreneurs with Disabilities
The first step is to book an appointment with our Intake Coordinator or Business Advisor (we will also accommodate drop-ins as best we can). The program assessment consists of a 60 to 90 minute meeting that will determine your suitability for the program, the type of entrepreneur you are and an analysis of your strengths. A list of recommended courses will be provided and a custom work plan, including self-directed and directed activities, will be created for you.
Once enrolled in the program, entrepreneurs may choose from a selection of workshops that align to their work plan. Workshops will be informative and interactive. Clients will learn vital information and can immediately work on applying it to their business development plan.
You’ll engage with peers and the Business Advisor to reinforce your knowledge and build your entrepreneurial capacity. Workshops will be adapted to meet accessibility needs. All workshop content is tailored for entrepreneurs with disabilities.
Strength in numbers: the Entrepreneurs with Disabilities Network
All participants who enroll in workshops can attend Entrepreneur Network meetings every two weeks. This will build a strong network of entrepreneurs with disabilities and allow for peer collaboration.
Prospect’s Business Advisor will facilitate meetings and bring in guest speakers to discuss relevant topics. Meetings would focus on topics such as accessing capital, business development, current labour market challenges, and accessible workplaces, accessing diverse talent and managing staff.
Clients can be enrolled in a LinkedIn Group where they can continue their conversations and support one another regularly outside the classroom.
Fully Accessible Business Centre
Prospect will ensure participants in the Entrepreneurs with Disabilities program can access working space. Feel free to come in and independently work on your business development. The use of computers, printing and faxing services will be available at no cost.
You’ll be invited to our Annual Entrepreneurial Connector
Every year, in collaboration with the Western Canada Business Service Network and our employer network, Prospect will host an Annual Entrepreneur Connector. This event will be an opportunity for you and other entrepreneurs to network, share successful business practices, learn from leaders in the entrepreneurial community including those with disabilities, and solve common business problems in working groups.
We are proud to have partnered with Rise!
Mental health conditions or addictions can get in the way of stable employment for many. At Rise, we break down barriers and change futures through our innovative small business services. Rise is the only national charity providing people a path toward sustained self-employment or small businesses ownership. We personalize our services to support each client with a combination of training, resources, mentorship, and low interest microloans. The result? Our clients improve their financial stability and make positive life changes to benefit their families and communities alike.
Rise offers a supportive environment geared to people who’ve experienced barriers resulting from mental health conditions or substance use.
- Low interest loans
- Business advice, mentorship, and peer support
- Help navigating small business resources
- Acceptance, and a community of support
- Encouragement and validation of your strengths and capabilities