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.
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.
I am 50 years of age, I have multiple health issues, registered disabled had many surgeries, I have spinal conditions, have arthritis, have mesh and metal staples after hernia repair in stomach, suffer with adhesions severally, I am asthmatic, diabetic, had major stroke 7 years ago also have weakness on left. About 1 and half year ago I started working remotely on telephone as an advisor but as time went on started having hurdles like need to attend appointments at hospital or Gp, having health issues as you have to a break as scheduled, unable to eat on time, or use bathroom facilities etc.As I have a mortgage to pay and bills and family to look after then I opened my business limited company, but have been struggling as I need support as I am still trying to work and trying to run a house and pay all bills and trying to find money to invest in business.Which has been a major struggle. I really want to be able to get some support so that I can take off my recruitment company and start bringing money in so I can leave the 2 jobs I am trying to joggle with business.Looking for some help somewhere maybe miracle. To help me get started so I can then make this my career. Thank you for reading.
Debz - 7-Feb-24 @ 10:56 PM
I'm 38, been registered severely sighted for the last 16 years, been competing in Powerlifting and disabled strongman,also have a passion for coaching children football. Would love a gym and football facility business
Dawi - 1-Feb-24 @ 7:25 PM
Hi there! I worked up until I had an accident at the age of 25, I am 40 now. When I was 25, an accident left me with a fractured vertebrae from T9 to T10 to T11 andT12. I had to undergo a serious nine hour operation as they didn’t know if I would be able to walk again. Fortunately they did a multicolumn spinal fusion with a metal cage and titanium rods from the top to bottom of my spine which will be in there permanently. I since have been diagnosed with degenerative disc disease, I have a bulging disc on L1, I have fibromyalgia, I have also been diagnosed with EUPD and PTSD along with anxiety disorder and depression. I love to write and poetry which has been quite a tonic for me. Since I cannot walk very far or do many things, I had to get used to a “new normal“.
I am just writing in because I would like some advice on how I would maybe be able to get a laptop where I can type up my work. I am not a published writer, but I want to write my story and have quite a lot to tell.
My battle with what is classed as a serious mental health condition is something I fight every day. I have my ups and downs like everyone, when the pain is too much to bear, or or I remember how my life was before the accident and everything I used to be able to do which I can’t anymore.
I also have carpal tunnel in both wrists so writing is difficult for me, and if I do write on paper, I can’t do it for very long and I really pay for it the next day.
It’s like being stuck between a rock and a hard place because writing is my escape. This is why I am wondering if I can get any help towards buying a laptop please? I don’t have much money and have to pay for quite a lot of taxis because I have lots of different hospital appointments for different things which really gets expensive. Also, the cost of living crisis has really hit me hard and my energy bills, mainly the gas has been swallowing my money up no end.
There just doesn’t seem to be enough to pay for anything at the moment outside of my utility bills so any help or guidance as to where I can find some help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much and I hope to hear from you soon..
Dolly - 29-Nov-23 @ 7:24 PM
Hi, I am 49, I have been unemployed for almost 5 years because of physical and mental health conditions, I have surgery on both my shoulders, it’s even more stressful to be at home,I have 3 kids and a lovely nagging wife ??,I am trying to get a flexible job that suits both my mental and physical condition as it is even more difficult especially now due to in going redundancies within private and government sectors, The only thing I can do is drive a cab as self employed with a flexible working hours, need support towards buying a suitable suv as lower cars painful for my back and knee to get in and out. I have family welling to support with couple of grand but it’s not enough.
What are my options to get back to flexible work to keep me going by getting the financial support for buying a suitable vehicle.
Kam - 4-Oct-23 @ 12:50 PM
I'm 53, going on 18 ?? and have been trying to build up a business for the past 18 months but I've hit a wall now and really need a bit of financial helpto get to my next level. I've even thought about going on dragons den but my mental and physical health isn't good enough and I don't need anywhere near the tens of thousands of pounds other entrepreneurs are asking for. Aw well, might win lottery when I'm nearer to the end of my life.
Clay - 2-Oct-23 @ 9:16 PM
I was born with a bad back but I have never been approved for a check and I have dreams just turned 50 and I am no longer able to work with out equipment and I have a lot to do before I am no longer here
Dean - 20-May-23 @ 4:31 AM
I am a 72 years young, Disabled man with a passion for establishing a Secure Assessment Monitoring and Management Health Platform. With the current crisis within the NHS it is time that you and I took responsibility for our own health issues and tell the Doctor what is wrong with you for them to decide how best to treat you.
Using the latest Biometrics, Wearable devices AI and IoT, today this is achievable.
Contact me for further information.
OhDannyBoy - 13-Mar-23 @ 11:49 PM
Hello. I’m a single disabled mum of a very energetic 5 year old boy. I have few hip and spine chronic conditions that effect my daily life and I’m on disability benefits and have been since my son was born because that’s when my disabilities presented themselves. It all actually started in pregnancy so has not been been the experience I thought I was going to get. It was and still is (not as much since therapy) physically damaging to me.
I’ve been getting therapy called ‘body talk’ and it’s helping me improve my disabilities on a level I never thought possible. I would like to train in this therapy not only so I can heal and improve my health but to become a therapist so I can help others.I believe that’s why I have been through this journey.There are 9 modulesto complete to be a therapist. Each module is 1k . Where do I go to find funding? I’m nearly 40 so I’m too old for the princes trust one mentioned above.
Shell - 20-Feb-21 @ 9:28 AM
I have three boys now in their 40s and interested in animals but my farm has no modern sheds to keep cattle over the winter period. In addition the new buildings for small cattle would need to be designed for the boys in terms of feeding, changing and testing.
I am keen to leave them a small business that they enjoy in a healthy environment but need some help with the capital. This is likely to cost in the region of 60 to 80K. Does anyone know of a charity or Gov Department that could help in this venture. I am able to support the venture at 50%
and stock the project 100 per cent. Any assistance much appreciated.
Mac - 6-Oct-20 @ 11:16 PM
Hello there...i am jobless and disabled woman ( with long term catheter), just been terminated from NHS on ill health grounds due to back injury at work last June 3, 2019 that leads to my disability and urinary retention giving me constant pains and anxieties i live on my own withcarers coming in 4x a day to attend to my personal care. I am on benefits but i found my water bills electric and heating so highthat i cannot afford to pay anymore so now im thinking of starting up a business even in a small stall in Reading Mall., to sell Vitamin C and Natural Health Drinks. Is there any grant i can get. Many thanks.
Yamb - 19-Aug-20 @ 6:47 PM
Hi I am a 42 year old with autism I have two children one 7 on spectrum the other not old enough to be diagnosed I have a partner with epilepsy we are both currently out of work and would like to work from home or set up a business that is going to bring us an income that we both enjoy. Have ideas but no guidance around it can anyone help ???
Ross - 7-Aug-20 @ 10:37 AM
I am a disabled female and wrote a novel about domestic animals and translated it into 9 languages. I have tried to publish it howevet, no publisher has contact me to publish it aftet contacting more than 70 publlishers. During the coved19 last April, somethimg came up in my mind in that,in order to publish my books (second one is bilingual grammar in English and my language) I have to opem my own press and can wlork from home with the help like minded people until the business stands by its own fit. Since I am classified as one of thr valunerble peopele, I might be a victm of this horrible disease which is claiming so many livres worldwide. I therefore, need some financial help to publish my books and distribute them worldwid.
none - 22-Jul-20 @ 2:31 AM
Hello anyone can help me with something, I would like to start in my own business I am a young disabled person, I really like to start as soon as possible but I don't have any finance way to do nothing. Is it possible someone can advise my self to get a money for a fresh business own. Any help is really appreciate. Thank you so much and have a lovely day.
freddyca - 2-Jun-20 @ 2:46 AM
for a grant to start up
business because really strugglingdue to corona
Need to support family
Shamim - 26-Mar-20 @ 1:06 PM
iamdisable andrunningsmallbusinessat the moment;lookingextra££for employmorestaff.
isthere anychancefor advise?
Peregrinus - 13-Feb-20 @ 9:05 AM
Im currently employed as a prison officer in Scotland. I have always had issues with my hearing since birth but over the last 2 years has become really bad. i have now had a major surgery and have more surgery planned for my other ear. My job within a private prison is now under threat as they dont really want to help me or find another position. i know they just cant get rid of me but im looking into funding/grants to possibly start up my own business as the stress of my work being so difficult is horrendous. does anyone know of any grants etc for people with hearing loss ?
David - 26-Jan-20 @ 7:12 PM
I have fibromyalgia mental health and chronic pain I am too ill to go out to work Ican not commit to a job. But love to learn about 3d printing, T-shirt cups. I would be interested to know if I am able to have a grant for equipment to have a go
Wildtribe - 6-Nov-19 @ 8:51 AM
Hi I am a parent of teenager who has autism , based on the levels to which he interacts with his environment and can function for himself he will most likely never live independently or not require assistance from others. I am looking to see if there is a model or business currently operating which could assist in setting up a business which would employ disabled individuals so they can be actively involved in employment which would run a retail / cafe and also have a ethical greengrocer / farm produce supply chain along with gifting which could be made by recognised artists who are themselves disabled or something along this idea
Thommo - 18-Oct-19 @ 3:52 PM
I am a 51 years zambian citizen physically handicapped with a challenge of spinal code seeking for assistance of working capital of£30,000 to embarking in agriculture business.i have 10 hectorsland given by government through the ministry of land resettlement scheme andregistered business certificate .
My vision is not just for self benefits but also to help my fellow disabileds to beindependent unlike what is btaining on the ground where persons with disabilities earn living through street begging.
i have a lot of objectives,visionin my life that can benefit many and improve the living standard of persons with disabilitiesbut the challenge is were to get the working capital especially that my our province is the second poorest province in the country out of the eleven.
this has even prompted me to come up with a disability organisation called WAPAC DISABILITY INITIATIVE in order to assist the persons with disabilities in luapula province in zambia .
i will very grateful if my request find your favorable consideration
KAPS - 20-Sep-19 @ 2:55 PM
I am a 41 year old physiotherapist and have got a progressive neurological condition and want to set up a wedding photography business as I am probably going to find myself out of work soon.Is there a grant I can get?
Estelle - 6-Sep-19 @ 5:47 PM
I'm a mentally disabled person with schizophrenia. My aged mother has IV stage stomach cancer, my brother suffers from lower limb atherosclerosis. We are badly in need for financial aid for medications and even basic need such as food. My brother and me want to start a small business enterprise in the country. The purpose of it is to grow, dry, pack and sell herbs and berries, prepare packaged salads for selling them at the markets and supermarkets. We reside in Ukraine, in Vinnitsa region. Can we rely on the financial support? If so, what should be done on our part to get it?
Alec - 20-Jun-19 @ 11:27 AM
I'm a blind visual artist with opportunities to exhibit in
London but need financial help to do so. Can anyone help?
Freddie - 11-Jun-19 @ 3:44 PM
I'm a disabled person and would like to seek a financial assistance of $50,000 to start-up my business project in Papua New Guinea.
Jonathan - 20-May-19 @ 3:14 AM
hi can you help me start up my own business and help with any sort of grant loan if not can you give me info tio anyone who can help
bigjustin - 16-May-19 @ 3:32 PM
I suffering from mental health issues due to which I can’t work. Therefore I want 20000 pound grant to start a online business. Not sure where to seek help. Is there anything can be done please advise.
Sob - 6-May-19 @ 8:49 AM
Looking for business start up help for my 18 year old daughter who has a chronic pain condition and suffers sound sensitivity so is unable to enter the general workforce. Wants to open her own shop. Any suggestions on where to start looking would be appreciated. Thanks.
Ju - 9-Jan-19 @ 2:11 PM
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.