Mada supports entrepreneurs with disabilities
For its part, the Mada Center has released a set of best practices in the area of supporting entrepreneurs with disabilities, which it aims will go a long way in improving the ability of people with disabilities to access relevant services provided by the government, incubation centers as well as development and commercial banks.
Throughout the world, the number of people with disabilities that are employed is considerably lower than their able bodied peers. Furthermore, in most instances where people with disabilities are employed, they find themselves stuck in low skill jobs with minimal pay. Undoubtedly, this has an adverse impact on the financial independence of people with disabilities, which in turn impacts their quality of life.
Similarly, governments miss out on the potential productivity of an entire sector of society, and end up with extra strain on social welfare programs. Society in general is also impacted by the marginalization of people with disabilities from the world of employment because this exclusion creates an inequitable environment where people with disabilities are grossly marginalized from civil society.
In addition to creating inclusive workplaces, affording entrepreneurship opportunities to people with disabilities has tremendous social and economic impact. Unlike traditional employment, entrepreneurship has the ability to offer flexibility in working hours and the potential for greater financial reward.
As such, entrepreneurship programs must play a critical role in national strategies that aim to empower people with disabilities in a way that meets sustainable development goals.
In order for people with disabilities to be able to start their own businesses, all entrepreneurial services must be provided in a fully accessible manner. In addition to that, some specialized services need to be put in to place to ensure greater access and improve the ability of people with disabilities to overcome a number of obstacles that are specifically related to their disability.
A lack of accessible services along with the unavailability of specialized expertise will most likely deter people with disabilities from starting their own businesses. However, when training, financial support and consultancy services are made available, people with disabilities are more likely to become successful entrepreneurs. Support can also come in the form of technology, ranging from pervasive business tools to a range of assistive technology tools that can improve the ability of people with disabilities to conduct business.
As such, it is important for entrepreneurial programs in the country to take into account the needs and abilities of people with disabilities. Only then, will these programs be accessible to all.
The entry of people with disabilities into the workforce as employees and entrepreneurs will provide the world with a new perspective on productivity. It will reaffirm the notion that people, regardless of ability, are able to overcome tremendous obstacles, when adequate support is made available. Through the provision of necessary support, people with disabilities will be empowered to start their own successful businesses. As such, people with disabilities will form a critical component of Qatar’s economic and social growth. Therefore, investing in entrepreneurs with disabilities is important on so many levels, but will only be possible with fundamental changes to societal perceptions and attitudes.
Please visit Mada’s website to read and download Mada’s report on best practices on supporting entrepreneurs with disabilities.