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People with Disabilities

Starting a business can be a great opportunity for many people with disabilities. In addition to meeting career aspirations and goals, owning your own business can provide benefits such as work flexibility and financial stability. This page offers resources to help disabled people start, grow and manage a small business.

For hiring, recruiting and accommodation requirements, visit Hiring People with Disabilities.

Starting a Business

Financing a Business

Federal and state government agencies do not provide grants to people with disabilities for starting a business. However, there are a number of low-interest loan programs that help disabled people obtain startup financing.

Visit the Loans and Grants Search Tool to get a full list of grant, loan and venture capital programs for which you might qualify. The following loan programs are specifically for business owners with disabilities:

  • Abilities Fund
    Provides access to financial assistance and resources, and customized training to entrepreneurs with disabilities.

  • Alternative Financing Technical Assistance Project
    Offers information on state loan programs for entrepreneurs with disabilities and success stories.

  • Illinois Minority, Women, and Disabled Participation Loan Program
    Explains how Illinois small businesses can apply for assistance if they are 51 percent owned and managed by persons who are minorities, women or disabled, with loans up to $50,000 or 50 percent of a total project cost.

  • Iowa Target Small Business Assistance Program
    Outlines the criteria for loans, loan guaranty, and equity grants of up to $50,000 that are earmarked to help women, minorities and persons with disabilities start and expand their businesses.

  • Maine: Kim Wallace Adaptive Equipment Loan Program Fund
    Explores financial assistance for disabled persons and businesses involved in the purchase, construction or installation of adaptive products. This equipment allows disabled persons to become more independent within the community, promotes mobility and improves independence and quality of life. Businesses may use loan funds to facilitate compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

  • Maryland WorkABILITY Loan Program
    Explains if you are eligible for home-based and business loans, from $500 to $5,000, for people with disabilities.

  • Michigan Telework Loan Fund
    Allows you to apply for loans for equipment and home modifications that will allow Michigan residents with disabilities to either start a home-based business or work for an employer from home.

  • Mississippi Capital Access Loan Program
    Gives information on financing for borrowers who, for various reasons, might have difficulty in obtaining conventional loans. Borrowers must apply for a loan through a lending institution.

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