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
Entrepreneur Resources for People with Disabilities
Details important considerations for potential entrepreneurs with disabilities.
Important Considerations for Entrepreneurs with Disabilities
Outlines important considerations for potential entrepreneurs with disabilities.
Online Seminar: Self-Employment for Individuals with Disabilities
Introduces some of the critical factors in considering business feasibility, developing financial resources, basic business plan development and the identification and access to community small business resources for disabled persons.
Small Business and Self-Employment Service
Provides access to information such as the pros and cons of starting a business as a disabled person, counseling, and referrals regarding self-employment and small business ownership opportunities for people with disabilities.
Contains self-employment information and resources for individuals with disabilities.
State Vocational Rehabilitation Agencies
Lists programs that help people with disabilities become employed, including self-employment.
Ticket to Work Program
Connects Social Security Disability Insurance and supplemental security income beneficiaries with employment networks for training and other support services needed to achieve your employment goals, including self-employment.
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:
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.
Accessible IRS Tax Products
Provides popular tax forms from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and publications in accessible formats, including Braille and talking formats.
Facts About Disability-Related Tax Provisions
Contains facts on the IRS' disability-related provisions that are of particular interest to businesses as well as people with disabilities.
Tax Incentives Packet on the Americans with Disabilities Act
Explains how to take advantage of the tax credit and deduction available for complying with the ADA.
Trade and Professional Resources
Business Leadership Network
Details the only national disability organization led by business for business, and how it promotes best practices in hiring, retaining and marketing to people with disabilities.
Chamber of Commerce for Individuals with Disabilities
Provides information about the national consumer volunteer organization that uses business principles to improve the economic status of individuals with disabilities.
Disabled Businesspersons Association
Explores the association that assists enterprising individuals with disabilities to succeed in the business world.
National AgrAbility Project
Gives resources to assist people with disabilities who are employed in agriculture.
Job Accommodation Network (JAN)
Provides access to technical assistance, consulting and mentoring services for disabled entrepreneurs.
Disability Entrepreneurs: What Can You Do Campaign
Explores information and resources for disabled entrepreneurs.