Written by Ed Carter
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, young people with disabilities of all types have a high level of school dropout rates. Physical and mental health issues additionally take younger people out of college before they achieve their career goals. Some disabled individuals find success when they discover a career that suits their needs and provides the correct accommodations for their disability.
After having children, many individuals with disabilities often wish for a better work-life balance that can often be found by starting their own business. Entrepreneurship can give them the flexibility to address their medical or mental health issues at the same time they care for their families and have a fulfilling work life. If you are a parent with a disability, consider the following three ways to get your own small business started. Make sure to visit Still A Chick-Lit for more empowering content like this one.
- Apply for a Federal Grant
Those with physical disabilities who wish to start a small business often qualify for special funding in the form of federal grants, state-specific loans, and private loans tailored to specific medical conditions or disabilities. Whether you deal with blindness, deafness, mobility issues, or a more complex neurological condition such as autism, you may qualify for a federal grant that can help you start your business. Specific grants and scholarships for disabled parents may be available if you need to find startup capital or acquire specific work-related skills through further schooling.
Service-disabled veterans can find federal grants that help them become entrepreneurs, while women can take advantage of funding opportunities that support their desire to become entrepreneurs and owners of their own businesses. Some of these opportunities are only for people with disabilities while others may be awarded to anyone. Check the application rules to make sure you apply for those that are the most appropriate for your situation.
- Write an Airtight Business Plan
Sit down with any business partners you have and compose a business plan that contains this information as well as financial points such as your budget, your marketing plan, and your projected return on investment numbers. A business plan is a great document to give investors and add to your grant application packet if appropriate. Including your story as a disabled parent in your mission statement can help attract the right kind of investor who wishes to contribute to a cause and see people like yourself succeed.
- Choose a Name and Business Structure
One of the first things you probably did when creating your business was naming it — but you’ll need to formally register with your state to make this christening official. While you’re taking care of administrative tasks, form your business as a sole proprietorship or a limited liability company to set yourself up for tax breaks and easier filing of paperwork when you file your quarterly or yearly taxes. Create a “doing business as” name for your company can open the door to additional opportunities such as when you want to sell products under a secondary name. A DBA or trade name can also allow you to market your products or services as the name you want if your desired domain name was already taken.
Getting your new small business off the ground as a disabled parent will be difficult, but it’s possible with the right plan and preparation. Set yourself up with great administration by filing your legal paperwork as early as possible, and don’t hesitate to reach out for assistance whenever you need it.
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