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Grants for Disabled Entrepreneurs

By: Kevin Watson MSc - Updated: 22 Sep 2018 | comments*Discuss
Disabled Entrepreneurs Blind Partially

Self-employed entrepreneurs make up 18% of the UK’s disabled workforce. This compares to 14% self-employment among non-disabled workers.

Business grant applications are therefore more likely to come from disabled entrepreneurs than anyone else. Many organisations take positive action to encourage such applications. Some also run specific business grant and award schemes for disabled people.

Access to Work

Disabled entrepreneurs may have health problems that limit what they can do at work. These health problems can restrict an entrepreneur’s potential.

The Access to Work scheme can help. It gives money to pay for equipment that makes a disabled entrepreneur’s working life easier. An entrepreneur may be unable to use a computer keyboard, for example. Access to Work may come to the entrepreneur’s aid by funding voice-recognition software. Access to Work can also assist with travel expenses and the costs of a support worker.

For more information about the Access to Work scheme, contact a Disability Employment Adviser (DEA). DEAs work at Jobcentres. Regional Access to Work centres also offer help.

Blind Business Association Charitable Trust

The Blind Business Association Charitable Trust (BBACT) exists to help blind and partially sighted entrepreneurs. Such entrepreneurs may need financial help for equipment that enables them to do their work effectively.

Some blind or partially sighted entrepreneurs may also need money to fund training courses. BBACT may be able to pay training expenses.

BBACT also makes grants available for business expansion. These grants are particularly useful if banks are being cautious about extending credit and loans to companies.

BBACT’s helpline is 0845 0450696.

Stelios Disabled Entrepreneur Award

Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou is the chairman of easyGroup. He has joined with the Leonard Cheshire charity to create the Stelios Disabled Entrepreneur Award. The award is annual and worth £50,000. Applicants must show how the award will change their business.

The Prince’s Trust

The Prince’s Trust helps 18-30 year-old disabled entrepreneurs. There are grants for new businesses and for market research.

The market research grants are invaluable. They give a disabled entrepreneur the vital market information he or she needs before setting up an enterprise.

The Prince’s Trust also puts disabled entrepreneurs in touch with business mentors. Mentors have the business experience that helps an entrepreneur succeed with a new venture.

Trading Places Awards

Barclays Bank runs the Trading Places Awards scheme. The scheme provides grants to disabled people who have lost employment because of a disability. The purpose of the grants is to set up a business.


UnLtd offers grants to disabled people who wish to become social entrepreneurs. Social entrepreneurship is about improving society. Such improvements may be environmental or educational.

UnLtd has six regional offices and a head office in London. The London phone number is 0207 566 1100.

Capital Enterprise

Disabled entrepreneurs who live in London can seek grants from the New Entrepreneur Scholarships scheme run by Capital Enterprise. The organisation’s phone number is 0207 843 4331.

Grants are up to £1,500. These help cover the cost of setting up a business. Capital Enterprise also runs networking and training events.

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I am 48 and have 6 mental health conditions. I would like to start up a property rentals agency in my local area of Lincoln. I just cannot get anywhere with a grant to do so as it seems most of these grants are for 30 and under age group. Please advise, I cannot take finance
Brian - 22-Sep-18 @ 5:03 PM
I want to open a non invasive aesthetics business. I'm autistic and have adhd ? I'm a single mum to 4 kids. Who can help me ?
Dee - 20-Sep-18 @ 12:38 AM
Hello I suffer from ptsd and I'm trying to start my own business and I'm looking for start up funds and I'm wondering if anyone can help
Sargy - 11-Sep-18 @ 3:41 PM
I am 23 y/o & suffer from several mental health conditions after a severe head injury & have been out of work since I was 18 due to this. I am currently working with the POD in Coventry who are helping me set up my own record label business but my plan is to go a lot deeper into the music industry & have several different aspects/avenues of the business itself including setting up a music charity for mental health alongside everything else as music truly saved my life.. this all of course needs a lot of planning which I am constantly working on to keep my mind occupied but will also need a fair bit of funding if possible & I was just wondering which schemes would suit me best & who/how do I get in contact? I am an extremely hard worker & I am very passionate about this as it is my dream that I now want to turn into reality! Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks
FN-94 - 7-Aug-18 @ 2:06 AM
I have a mental health disability coincide with a form of epilepsy.and constant dizy spells.i am unemployed and claiming benefits i want to start up my own e commerce business and need some financial backing.Because of my mental health i got my self into debt and am there for in a debt relief order and it ended on the 7th of this month.i consider myslf to be a keen and hard worker. But dont wish to get into more debt.is there any charitable trust who will help fund me thanks.
yvonne fornalski - 8-Jul-18 @ 11:16 PM
bignick - Your Question:
I am looking for work to set up my run from home business, and I am looking for £20,000 for my start up for tools and back up. I have many years on study and research into what I want to do.

Our Response:
Government Start Up Loans
Business Disability Grants
Turn2 US
GrantsExpert - 11-May-18 @ 10:26 AM
I am looking for work to set up my run from home business, and i am looking for £20,000 for my start up for tools and back up. I havemany years on study and research into what i want to do.
bignick - 9-May-18 @ 5:24 PM
aggi - Your Question:
I am looking for a business loan of £30000 to purchase equipment to start my business. As a disabled person following a traumatic brain injury, I am finding it very difficult to find any funding.

Our Response:
Disabled Entrepreneurs
Oli Bennett Foundation
Mentors Me
GrantsExpert - 25-Apr-17 @ 11:03 AM
I am looking for a business loan of £30000 to purchase equipment to start my business. As a disabled person following a traumatic brain injury, I am finding it very difficult to find any funding.
aggi - 23-Apr-17 @ 7:45 PM
Disabled person wanting to work and have some business to try to teach others
Lorri - 24-Dec-16 @ 11:11 PM
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