Creating Opportunities, Entrepreneurship, Parents with Disabilities, Women in Business, Work and Careers

3 Ways Parents With Disabilities Can Find Success as Entrepreneurs


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.


  1. 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.


  1. 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.


  1. 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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Living Your Best Life North of Forty and Fifty Plus

Take A Deep Breath and Exhale, You’re Ready For Your Second Act

There was a time in life when being a teacher, postal worker, secretary, or any other occupation or job was enough. People put their time into a company, school, state or federal government agencies with the view towards retiring with a pension and in some cases, a gold watch.

This was the generational ideal for many years. It only began to crack when the Silent Generation gave way to Baby Boomers and post-war America. The fifties are seen as an idealized time portraying life with a mother, father, and children. Dad works and mom stays home to take care of the children and the house. People liked Ike and Pat Boone was an acceptable rock star. This staid atmosphere led to changing ideas of gender, family, and sexuality underwent. The idea of women being more than just a wife, mother, to complement a man took hold. Boomers ushered in a sense of freedom young women responded to. It opened the doors to male dominated careers.

Even though boomers are now in their sixties and seventies, the legacy of pushing the envelope and challenging the status quo is a part of Gen-X and still very much alive. Women over forty and fifty are changing careers or turning hobbies or side hustles into a full-blown business.

Changing lanes career-wise

Whether they’ve enjoyed a long career as a teacher, professor, engineer, architect, or lawyer, more women are changing careers to pursue long-held passions. You’ll find former lawyers and paralegals becoming writers or chefs. There are engineers and architects who decide to use their attention to detail to become pastry chefs, painters, or fashion designers. Some go back to school or intern to get educated for their career change. It may take time, but the bottom line is pursuing a passion is fulfilling and satisfying.

Feeding the Fires of the Entrepreneurial Spirit

Starting a business to do something you love ensures that you will never work a day in your life thereafter. It sounds corny but it’s true. Many women are using the skills someone else paid them for and are using them as the foundation to build an empire. Women over 50 are the top demographic worldwide who are starting businesses. So, you’re in good company.

Thinking about a career change? Here are some things you need to consider

  • If you know that you want to make a change, but aren’t sure what you want to do, look into taking a self-assessment to help crystallize your interests and what careers are best suited for your personality
  • Think about your skillset in terms of transferrable skills. These are the talents and abilities you have acquired from doing one type of work that you can use in another. For some careers, you may even be able to substitute your transferable skills for formal training.
  • When deciding between a career that requires additional schooling and one for which you can use your transferable skills, you may decide to choose the latter. It will allow you to transition more quickly and with less effort, at an age when you may want to limit your expenditure of time, energy, or money. 
  • In addition to learning what the educational qualifications are for a new career, look into the job or industry forecast in terms of economics. What’s the median salary? What’s the expectation for growth in the field or industry?
  • Beyond the salary, what type of benefits are offered? Is there a 401K? If you’re in your early forties, is there a possibility of becoming vested within ten years? Health benefit dollars are important, how much does your employer cover, and how much are you responsible for?
  • Even though this is a second-act career, how much paid vacation time is offered. If you still have school-age children or senior parents, how much personal and sick time will you receive if they get sick?

Things to consider before diving into entrepreneurship

  • Just as with a career change, one of the most important things you can bring to a new business venture is experience. Do you have the experience that relates to your business?
  • Where will the money come from? You must have a cushion. Tapping into your IRA isn’t what you should do. You’ll need it down the road.
  • Get educated for free. Take advantage of SCORE, a partner of the Small Business Administration. They provide free business mentoring and education for those looking for experienced help from experienced entrepreneurs.
  • Look at the market and see what you have to contribute that no one else is doing. Then, do the job first. It’s one thing to cook or bake for the holidays or parties, it’s another to do it every day. Working with a caterer or at a bakery will give you an idea of what you can expect a workday to look and feel like.

In the end, follow your heart

The one thing age teaches us is that time is fleeting. It seems like one minute you’re bringing your new baby home from the hospital, then you’re dropping them off at college. It all goes by too fast. We seem to go from twenty to forty in a heartbeat. Therefore making the most of our time is important. Whatever you do, follow your heart and make it happen. The only thing better than doing something you love is knowing that tomorrow, you get to do it again.

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